Hudson River Tour, the umpteenth Time
This day was again absolutely perfect photography weather! A crisp, cold winter evening, not even a cloud in the sky, nothing but a canopy of stars above! This time I took the "Zoom 1" setting for the focal length.
I turn on the camera as I was approaching the Tappan Zee from the N. Below me is the Hudson River. I think you can advance to around 7:10 where I cross the Tappan Zee. ATC did some rather "optimizable" hand-off decisions, to phrase it rather mildly. The approach controller apparently still thought I was flying to Morristown direct, although I had told two previous controllers about the game plan: southbound over the Hudson, to the Statue, to Newark, and then to Morristown for landing. The first time I told a controller when I was picking up flight following near the Kingston/Ulster airport, and from his acknowledgement I knew he understood. So now I told him the game plan all over again, this was the third time I told ATC. After a while he handed me over to Teterboro. The controller immediately asked me where I'd be parking, further indicating to me that she didn't understand the game plan. I told her that I'm not landing on Teterboro, that there must have been a mix-up on the hand-off, and told her the game plan (now a fourth time to ATC). After a while she handed me over to LaGuardia Tower. I was still at 1500 and was approaching the class B rings. She told me to proceed, but I still had no class B clearance. I told her that I'd need a class B clearance any moment now, and she simply told me again to proceed. When I was about 20 seconds away from hitting the class B ring (mind you, the 1500 ft. are INSIDE class B, not outside!), I told her that I was now starting a left 360 until I get a class B clearance. You see that maneuver starting at 10:06 . While I was in that somewhat steeper turn to the left, she told me again to proceed and gave me a class B clearance. So now I abandoned my left turn and got back on track. In my opinion, it's hugely problematic that ATC only "hands over" aircraft and doesn't pass on the game plan. I have to tell "intentions" every controller all over again, and "intentions" can be longer transmission. It means their system causes additional frequency congestion, because it forces a *longer* transmission to be done *multiple times*! Also problematic was the fact one approach controller handed me off to Teterboro. He probably thought I was still trying to fly direct to Morristown, which at my then-current position would have brought me through Teterboro's airpace.
Guys, here is my suggestion: don't focus so much on the destination airport only, focus on the game plan, and find some way to pass that on. You have one of the busiest airspaces in the country, and you cause additional frequency congestion by causing the pilot to repeat the whole game plan all over again multiple times! Shouldn't busy airspace reduce frequency congestion (and non-busy airspace too, of course!), and avoid bad hand-overs due to the fact the controller doesn't know the game plan (as it wasn't part of the hand-over information)? And you apparently don't realize that a) by not providing a class B clearance on time, you are causing the pilot to make some rather aggressive maneuvers. If you can't provide one, tell the pilot early enough, not some 20 seconds before the pilot would intrude and violate the FARs, and to prevent that, take aggressive evasive action, b) on a VFR flight a clearance to enter class B must be given, only on an IFR flight plan that is implicitly included, and c) the 1500 lower limit INCLUDES class B. It's not marked as 1500+. To me, your modus operandi makes no sense. Obviously, I'll file an ASRS NASA report on this.
Then she climbed me again to 2000, you see me climbing further on. Around 16:00 you see me passing the George Washington bridge. Some of my favorites always include midtown Manhattan with all its colors in the dark, it starts coming in around 20:2. Then come Hoboken and downtown Manhattan in sight, also some very exciting visuals. Around 23:10 you can see me turning right, I'm passing over the Statue, heading towards the Newark airport. Then see clip 2.
From the beginning of the clip, the moon provides for interesting lights, including its shadow in the bay. I overfly the Jersey City / Bayonne peninsula, and then comes the Newark airport, starting around 2:34. Again I'd like to point out the color play by looking at the lighting of the terminals, different terminals have different lighting colors. Then comes the tramway link as a bright white light, then you can see the brightly illuminated train station. Bright moon. A brigthly illuminated mall at 8:29. Then you see the Manhattan/Newark lights fading in the dark. When Newark Tower handed me over, I was at 2000, and I generally stay at the last altitude I was assigned in class B airspace, even though I may descend, but that provides for a very steep descent into Morristown when you come from the Newark airport. Once I left the class B airspace, I asked Morristown tower if he is very busy, which he answered to the negative, and then I told him I would practicse an emergency descent, a steep 360 left spiral. That starts at 8:51, if you look very closely at the right margin, you can see that my landing gear comes out at 9:43, and at 11:18 you see the runway coming in for landing. I exit at A, turn onto B, and then it probably gets boring for you, as I taxi to the ramp.
Copyright 2015 Andreas Lauschke, all rights reserved.