• F. Pacheco

Lehigh Valley Flying Club: Island Hopping Adventure


On the morning of May 5th, 2018, my friend Josh (also a pilot) and I performed a preflight of our club Cessna 182 (N5089N) and headed east to do a little island hopping. We departed Allentown (KABE) at 930am on a VFR flight plan through mostly clear skies at 7,500 feet.

Our plan was to venture to Block Island (KBID) and have breakfast and continue on to tour and land at Martha's Vineyard (KMVY) to top off our fuel. Along our first leg to BID, we decided to do a little VOR practice and flight planned the GPS and tuned in the VOR to Sparta (SAX), Carmel (CMK), New Haven (HVN), and Groton (GON) while I hand flew to maintain course.

After a good breakfast at the on-field diner we departed Block Island off Runway 28 and circled the Island to gain some altitude before heading closer to the Rhode Island shoreline for our next leg to The Vineyard. While a more direct course from Block Island to Martha's Vineyard would have shaved time off the flight, we made the decision to remain closer to the shoreline to reduce over water time. On departure from Block Island we contacted Providence Approach and received radar services (flight following) until being handed off to Boston Approach who handed us off to the Martha's Vineyard tower within a few miles of the island.

As we circled Martha's Vineyard we were looking for and found Katama Airfield (1B2). I wanted to get a reference on this airfield for a future adventure (click Katama). After identifying Katama we finished circling the island, contacted the tower, and made a decent 12 knot full crosswind landing.

The return leg to Allentown was smooth at 6,500 and we were readily given Bravo clearance through the New York airspace. I've rarely encountered a "remain clear of the Bravo" through this busy airspace. The controllers are always very professional but also I find easy going and more direct during high load times for the obvious reason. However, you are expected to do what you say and maintain altitude.

As we were inbound on final its always nice to be on speed and on glide-path. As we ended the flight and performed our post flight cleaning and inspection of the aircraft we reflected on what a great opportunity it is to fly as we did and the benefits that our club offers us.

On Block Island (KBID):