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  • Writer's picturePaul Depperschmidt

New York City by air

This post is skipping way ahead of other content as we made our way up the East Coast in 2021. There will be additional posts covering Maine, Connecticut, Massachusetts and many other areas that had some fantastic sights. But this one just could not wait.

Flying through New York City stands out. Watching the video it will seem like we were breaking all kinds of federal laws. But we were flying down the Hudson in an approved VFR (Visual Flight Rules) corridor. The rules in the lower section are to stay below 1000', over water, and below 140 knots speed. It is suggested to fly on the right just like driving on a freeway. And it is required to call out when passing by landmarks such as the VZ bridge, Statue of Liberty and George Washington Bridge on a local radio channel to alert other pilots. Otherwise, you are on your own. No need to call or talk to Air Traffic Control. The area is thick with helicopters working the area and spotting them is essential. In the cockpit we had multiple ways to track them, but the most useful was the new FAA system ADS-B. This plots other aircraft who are then shown on a map that is seen on an iPad.

We actually started south of Philadelphia where the Black Pearl was stationed. That required flying through two very busy Class B air traffic areas around Philadelphia and New York City. Again, no contact with ATC required if we stayed below a certain altitude and within defined areas. All in it was about a 3 hour round trip flight. In our Cirrus we used to own this would have been relatively easy. But the Kitfox is much slower and has no autopilot. So it required hand flying and carefully watching altitude and heading. Add in a blustery day and it became quite a workout. But well worth it.

It was one of the most exciting flights of our travels so far. Its a little longer than the other videos, but we thought it would be fun to get more of an immersive feeling. We hope you enjoy our aerial view of the Big Apple.

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