Friday, December 29, 2017

Flying Around Ft. Lauderdale

In what will likely be my last flight of 2017, I decided to get a flight in. My first fight outside Michigan. After all if you're gonna fly in winter, what better place than Florida?

I went to Ft. Lauderdale Executive Airport (KFXE) and checked in at North Star Aviation Academy. I had called ahead and they had a Cessna 172 for rent.

They did require I do a checkout ride with one of their instructors, which would not be a bad thing considering that not only is KFXE under Ft. Lauderdale's Class C airspace, it is right by Miami's Class B and there was a yuge Presidential TFR just north of the airport.

With all that busy airspace, having an instructor along to check me out and keep me on the straight and narrow was not a terrible idea. I asked the the checkout flight include a bit of sightseeing and we decided to head south along the coastline as going north would have gotten us our very own private airshow, and we really didn't want that.

It turns out flying a Cessna 172 is rather like ridding a bike.

I hadn't flown a 172 since early February 2017, but the preflight I still had down from memory and got it done and started N739UP up with no issues. It was a C172N, but handled the same as any other Cessna I've flown.

KFXE has a separate Clearance Delivery you have to call before ground and it is a busy airport.

So we called up, then got cleared to call Ground and did a long taxi to Runway 9. The taxiways are also a bit more convoluted than I'm used to but I figured out the way to the runway just fine. I did the run-up from memory, checking it against the checklist to verify and then from Tower we got the clearance to takeoff. Winds were 10 knots from 050 degrees.

I did a nice easy takeoff and then we turned south. As we did we were passed off to Ft. Lauderdale Control and given a squawk code and told to stay under 500 feet. Sweet. I got a nice up close view of the Florida coast.

I flew down to Miami Beach and then I turned us around to avoid Miami's Class B airspace.

Now the view was on my side of the aircraft.

Here's a nice marina with the Hollywood Golf Course in the background.

I then got a good view of the Ft. Lauderdale airport as we headed back to KFXE.

After passing it, we were soon handed off to KFXE Tower who initially had us climb back to pattern altitude of 1,000 feet and then headed in for a right base. Then, due to traffic they amended it to a downwind for Runway 9. I entered the downwind, got everything set and did a nice pattern and was perfectly set for final.

I then did a perfectly nice landing, touching down as the stall horn went off and greasing it on, and the checkout instructor said it was a darn nice one and he said he had no problems approving me for flying their aircraft.

My first Florida flight and it could not have been nicer, and everything just flowed, and it was a great relaxing flight.

1 hour and 1 landing as pilot in command and sole manipulator of the controls.


Unknown said...

That is a great flight. Thanks for the pictures too. Yes, a C-172N is about as easy as it gets. One question; shouldn't you already have been at TPA before contacting FXE TWR or would they want to tell you when to climb?

A side note is you could have stayed in MI for the opportunity to fly on skis. Well, that opportunity still awaits I reckon.

Aaron said...

Unknown: We were at the assigned altitude from Ft. Lauderdale KFLL, the Class C that FXE sits in and they had us assigned to stay at or below 500 feet and when they were ready they handed us over to KFXE, and then we could climb back up to pattern altitude.

Not sure of anyone nearby offering ski plane opportunities, but if it keeps snowing they very well might.

Old NFO said...

Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

Lake Dora, in Tavares, Florida. They have skiplanes. Of course, I have been in the weeds and did not see your post until today. You're back in the land of cold now... .