Our journey began on Friday afternoon October 6 with 2 aircraft and 5 club members heading off on a beautiful day with broken clouds near Allentown and opening up as we headed east. After a thorough flight plan and pre-flight, fellow club members Steve Marshalleck, Greg Mussich, and Fernando Pacheco climbed into the C182 (N5089N) with Floris Fooij and Bryan Drennan boarding the Archer III (N52326). Unfortunately, due to more fuel on 89N than anticipated, I ended up leaving a last minute participant behind due to weight and balance. Sorry again John.
Both aircraft filed flight plans and 89N departed VFR and filed an IFR flight plan from New Haven (KHVN) to Groton (KGON), to eventually pick up the clearance over New Haven. We did this in order to expedite our arrival rather than performing the full VFR arrival procedure and potential traffic congestion. During the leg, until reaching New Haven to prepare for the IFR clearance, I hand flew 89N under the hood as part of training for the Instrument rating with Steve as CFI / Safety pilot and Greg monitoring the information from his Stratus and iPad as well as looking out for traffic visually. Steve and Greg’s vigilance and my steady hand flying :o) came in handy as ATC vectored a business jet to cross within 500 feet beneath our flight on their descent to Teterboro (KTEB).
With the beautiful weather Steve and Greg were able to take in the sites over northern NJ, the Hudson River, and Long Island Sound as I focused on maintaining and improving my instrument scan, as well as maintaining a heading and altitude.