Tuesday, May 20, 2014

After School Cross-Country Flight

One of the hardest parts of being a Private Pilot has been wanting to fly, but being stuck on the ground. With my Junior Year of high school ending quickly, things have been incredibly busy. Finding the time to get into the air has been difficult, but all the more rewarding when it finally works out. 

About two weeks ago, I saw a great weather forecast for a Tuesday afternoon. I don't normally have the time after school to fly, but really wanted to make it work! I called up the airport, and sure enough, they had my old plane, Tecnam P92 N16HV, open that afternoon! (I'm trying to build experience in the Cessna, so have been staying away from the Tecnam recently) Throughout the day, I checked on the weather forecast, which was marginal up until my flight. Luckily, it cleared up! 

Amazingly, since getting my PPL, I hadn't taken a fully solo cross-country flight (with a destination 50+ nautical miles away from my point of departure). I decided on the route shown below: KOFP-KFCI-KFVX-KOFP: 

Throughout the flight, I logged the flight using CloudAhoy, my iPad, and an external GPS (XGPS160). It was my first cross-country using Foreflight on the iPad, so I was excited to try it out! The amount of technology in that tiny Tecnam was incredible: external GPS, iPad (with Foreflight), iPhone (with Foreflight), internal GPS, Garmin 496, and a multi-function display! 

Enroute from Hanover to Chesterfield, I made a quick diversion, doing a few turns over my school for friends who were at afternoon practice: 

With the winds being so calm all day, it was a great flight and not turbulent at all! After checking the ATIS, I set up on a 5 mile final for Runway 15 at Chesterfield KFCI. I don't normally do long final approaches, but with my track, and with the winds being light and variable, it made sense. 

After a smooth landing at Chesterfield, I took off and turned West towards Farmville KFVX. Once again, it was a smooth and uneventful flight. I got a little bored and listened to Potomac Approach, with lots of commercial traffic arriving into Richmond International. I ended up doing 2 touch and go landings at Farmville because the weather was so good. I thought about shutting down to get a passport stamp but didn't have the time. (someone had the plane right after myself)

Once I was finished with Farmville, I headed back towards Hanover at 3,500 feet. Earlier, it had rained, so you can see how green Farmville was as I departed: 

Flying back over the James River and towards Hanover, I was happy that the flight had gone so well. With summertime weather arriving, it's rare to find a completely smooth day for flying. 

This was one of those lucky days. 

Thanks for reading! 
-Swayne Martin 
Twitter: @MartinsAviation


  1. A beautiful flight! I miss those quite days and perfect flights. I can live them through you.

  2. Great flight! It’s good that you observed the weather very well. Mobile technology has given many contributions in aviation recently.


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Many Thanks, Happy Flying,
Swayne Martin