Friday, July 13, 2012

PFC member and 68N featured in AOPA news

A project that PFC member Ross McCurdy is working on is featured on AOPA:

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Wings and Wheels Expo 2012 @ KTEB

A reminder that the annual Wings and Wheels Expo at KTEB is next weekend: Saturday June 16 from 9–5 and Sunday June 17 fro 9–4.

A lot of historical and military aircraft will be on display including the P-51 Mustang and the legendary Spitfire.  The show will also feature the B-17, and rides are available.

Admission is $14 for adults, $8 for seniors and children under 12, and free for kids under 3.  Free admission for Veterans wearing VFW or American Legion Cap, and for active military personnel.

The event is always a great deal of fun.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

June General Meeting: Annual Budget Meeting

Date & Time: June 7, 2012 @ 8pm
Location: NJ Aviation Hall of Fame and Museum
Topic: Annual Budget Meeting

The June general meeting will be our annual budget meetings.  This is the meeting where we go through last year's finances to determine the overall cost of operating our fleet, and set both the monthly dues and hourly tach rates.  If you ever wanted to know what goes into financially keeping a fleet like ours going, this is the meeting to attend.  You will not only get an understanding of how the club manages our finances, but also the various items and considerations that go into keeping aircraft flying.

The meeting will start promptly at 8pm.

As usual, the Museum will be open to members and guests starting at 7pm free of charge.  And pizza and refreshments will be provided.

New Membership Rules Make it Easer to Join

At PFC we are always thinking of ways to make it easier for people to join our ranks, while at the same time maintaining our high standards for safety.

Starting in April, we have introduced a 60 day risk-free trial membership period.  If you are interested in membership, the basic process is this:

  1. Email us a, click on the "request info button" on our webpage and answer a few questions, or call us (347) 7-FLY-PFC (347-735-9732) and leave us a message.  Will, our membership guy, will call you to discuss the membership process and answer any questions you might have.
  2. Fill out the formal application, and arrange for an interview with the board (which typically happens on the third Thursday of each month).
  3. After the board interview and reference checks (assuming everything is well) you will be asked to attend a general meeting, to meet the members, and be officially voted in.
At that point, the 60 day trial period will begin.  During this period:
  • You can fly our aircraft with club approved CFI.  You can use this period to see if you like our planes, how the club is run, and your fellow owners.  You can use this period to practice and train for the club check ride.
  • During this 60 day period, you can leave the club for any reason.  You will be responsible for the monthly dues for the month(s) you were a member, as well as any actual flying you did.  Other than that, your buy-in will be returned to you in full, and (if there is one) you do not have to go on the exit list to weight to be "bought out," you can exit straight away.
  • Once you pass your club check ride, you will gain solo flying privileges on our planes.
  • The trial period will end when you pass your club check ride, or the 60 days are up, which ever comes first.  (Even beyond the 60 days, you are welcome to remain a dual-only member.)
Our primary motivation in changing our membership process was two fold:
  1. We wanted people an opportunity to really get to know our fleet, and the culture and various procedures of the club before committing.
  2. Many people came to us and said, "I need a few hours of training to be comfortable taking the check ride," or "It's been a while since I've flown, and I'm looking to get back in."  The new membership rules allow people to join first, get the training they need in our aircraft, paying club (as opposed to flight-school) rates.
So we hope you will give us a serious look.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

International Learn to Fly Day

This Saturday (5/19) is international learn to fly day.  If you are a pilot, take someone flying.  If you've always wanted to learn how to fly, this is a great opportunity.

Go to for information on local events.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

NJ Aviation Hall of Fame Open Cockpit Day

Every other month, the NJ Aviation Hall of Fame is kind enough to allow us to hold our monthly meetings at their facilities.  They have a small but fascinating collection.  A few times a year, they host an Open Cockpit Day, when they allow visitors to actually climb into the cockpits of the various historic aircraft they have on display.  A very interesting experience for those interested in learning what the insides of vintage aircraft look like.

The next one is scheduled for this Saturday May 5th.

Monday, April 30, 2012

May General Meeting: Advaced Pilot Seminar

Time & Date: 8pm, Wednesday May 2
Location: 482 W 43rd St, New York, NY, 10036 (43rd and 10th in Manhattan)
Speaker: Jochen Spengler

Our very own Jochen Spengler will be giving the Advanced Pilots Seminar.  This comes hot on the heels of the LOP/ROP issues discussed on pfc-announce.  Jochen's presentation will go over facts about engine operation.  We will then have a discussion about how to best operate our fleet, given the available equipment on each plane.

The APS classes are state-of-the-art, hands-on, personalized, seminars for pilots and owners of piston-engine aircraft, teaching revolutionary, yet time-proven, techniques which make flying safer, more economical and just plain easier

For more information about the scope of these seminars and for some useful downloads:

In addition, we will be reviewing club finances (especially airplane economics for each of our planes) as a preview of what we will be discussing at the budget meeting in June.  And we will also be voting in a new member.

The venue is a meeting room on the 1st floor of a condo tower. This is located near the corner of 10th Ave & 43rd street.  Look for the orange sports club awning. Convenient for Port Authority and Lincoln Tunnel, and walking distance from the NY Waterways ferry terminal.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Space Shuttle Enterprise Fly-by

Space Shuttle Enterprise arrived in NYC today, doing a dramatic fly-by of Manhattan.  Flew almost directly overhead the Jersey side of the Hudson River.  The Enterprise should be transferred to its permanent home at the Intrepid Museum in a few weeks.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Space Shuttle Enterprise arriving in NYC

The Space Shuttle Enterprise was supposed to make its trip from the Udvar-Hazy Center at Dulles International Airport this past Monday, but that flight was cancelled due to weather.  It appears the flight is now scheduled for tomorrow (Friday, 4/27), with the Shuttle carrier aircraft making flybys of Manhattan between 10:30 and 11:30am.

NYC Aviation has a post on the best locations to watch this event.

The Enterprise will land at JFK, where it will be transferred to a barge in a few weeks, to make its way to its final destination—the Intrepid Museum.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Discovery arrives at KDIA

One of our members, Josh, was on hand to witness Discovery and Enterprise trading places at the Udvar-Hazy Center at KDIA.  Discovery will be moved into the cavernous Udvar-Hazy Center, and Enterprise will make its way up next Monday to our neck of the woods where it will go on display at the Intrepid Museum.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Air Safety Institute Seminar: Wanted Alive! Reining in the Fatal Accident Rate

Another in the vein of local aviation events.  The AOPA's Air Safety Institute aling with the FAA Safety Team (FAAST) is hosting a free safety seminar titled "Wanted Alive! Reining in the Fatal Accident Rate."

The seminar will be held on Monday, May 7 from 7-9pm at the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City, NY.  As usual participants will qualify for FAA Wings credit.

What makes this seminar doubly interesting is that it will give you a chance to visit the renovated Cradle of Aviation Museum, which is located on the old Roosevelt Field (where Lindbergh started his famous flight across the Atlantic).  The museum contains a large number of historic aviation artifacts, including Lindbergh's Curtiss Jenny and an Apollo 19 (cancelled) lunar module.

The museum is a definite must see for aviation enthusiasts, and the seminar gives you the opportunity do just that.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A number of NJ Aviation events

As the flying season starts back up, there are a number of aviation events that may be of interest to NY/NJ area pilots.

First, our friends over at the North Jersey Ninety Nines let us know that their annual poker run, which raises funds for their scholarship program, will beheld this year on Saturday, May 5.  The airports involved will be KMSV, 44N, 39N, N07, and 1N7.  More info is available on their webpage here.

The other event is the NJ State Aviation Conference put together by the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Coalition-NJ.  The event is to be held at KEWR on Friday, May 4.  More info is available on their webpage, here.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Trip to EWR (from CDW)

After all the time preflighting, taxiing, and getting all the appropriate clearances, you could probably drive between CDW to EWR three or four times. But all pilots know that's not the point.

Michael Rogombe-Williams and I hatched the idea, to try to visit all three major metropolitan-area airports, just for the heck of it. After doing some extensive research on landing fees (they each add an extra $100 during peak hours) and facilities fees, we decided we would settle for one. For our daytime trip, LGA was out because their peak hours last all day. EWR's peak hours are 8am-10am and 5pm-10pm, while JFK's are 3pm-10pm. Land there outside those hours and the landing fee is $25. The facilities fees are reasonable as well. We also wanted to work in a Hudson River flight on this trip.

Michael took the first leg to EWR. We talked through a few options (head toward Morristown first, go direct, get a handoff to EWR, etc.) We decided to get a flight following code with CDW ground and let them know our intentions to go to Newark. Upon departure we listened to the ATIS off the Sparta VOR, and were handed-off to approach on 127.6 at 1500ft. For some reason, the controller didn't know our destination, or would not believe her ears. “You want to go where???” Her incredulous tone made me almost laugh out loud. We were vectored a few times, once that clipped Morristown's Class D, and we again made sure they coordinated our transition. We had not heard the magic words, “cleared into the class bravo” and we were getting close to the ring with a floor of 500ft. Michael asked for a confirmation, and we received it. We were then handed to EWR class B on 127.85.

Newark told us to expect runway 11 (winds were from the E, with the majority of the traffic landing on 4L, with 4R temporarily closed. That worked out great for us, as it was a straight in landing, and the FBO would be a very short taxi. Finally, we were handed off to EWR tower on 118.3, kept the speed up a bit, and touched down gently on the runway. We exited on Taxiway Uniform, from there it was Zulu, Sierra to Signature, and we contacted them on the radio to let them know of our pending arrival. Once we shut down, a Port Authority van pulled up. I whispered to Michael, “they want their money now”. We filled out our paperwork, and looked at the weather. Rain was coming in from the south, and we decided to head back home via the Hudson, since we could have been taxiing at EWR forever.

I took the second leg back home. We contacted EWR Clearance Delivery, told them we were at Signature and requested VFR clearance to CDW via the Hudson River in the Bravo northbound. We were told to wait, and eventually we got our initial altitude (1400ft), squawk, and departure frequency, and clearance to the Statue, Governor's Island, and from there continue northbound. They were good enough to give us runway 11 again, and ground asked if an intersection departure on taxiway Sierra would work. We decided it was fine. Now monitoring the tower, we were given the 'line up and wait' instruction and told they were waiting on a 777 landing runway 4L. Finally, we were told the wind, the time of the last departure on the crossing runway, a “caution – wake turbulence” and cleared for takeoff.

For added margin, we did a flaps 10 takeoff, and were on our way. Given 1500 ft, we made a beeline toward the Statue, and told we could proceed north as requested. The controller got our call sign mixed up with some other fellow and got a bit confused, but we cleared it up. We spotted plenty of low-flying helicopters below, and once we got to midtown, asked for a TEB transition to get us home. It was granted, and TEB tower told us we could proceed direct from our position on the Hudson to CDW, which gave us a nice view of TEB on the right, and MetLife stadium on the left.

All in all, it was quite the experience. Talking to controllers at EWR is easy, and they are very professional. Aside from the astonishment of the approach controller, everyone treated us as if we were a United flight coming in to land.

Here are some pictures and videos from that day.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Top 10 Accident Causal Factors

The FAA Safety Team is hosting one of their safety seminars in the area.

"The Top 10 Accident Causal Factors"
Topic: Operational Risk Management, Human Factors and Communications Procedures
Date & Time: Wednesday, April 4, 2012 @ 6:30pm EDT
Location: C&W Aero at Caldwell Airport (CDW)

From their description: This seminar defines the Top Ten reasons that airplanes crash and is intended for all certificated airmen. Flight Standards Management and Aviation Safety Inspectors along with specialists from Medical, Air Traffic and Airports will be on hand to answer questions that you may have. Operational Risk Management, Human factors, and Communication Procedures with the FSDO will be covered.

This promises to be an interesting and useful seminar.  Qualifies for WINGS credit.  To register, go here:

Friday, March 9, 2012

First IFR Sunday

Event: IFR Sunday
Date: Sunday 3/11
Time: Starting at 8am

Great way for IFR pilots to come and knock off some rust and practice approaches.  And a great way for non-IFR pilots contemplating training for the rating to find out what all the fuss is about.

We will be scheduling these periodically over the course of the year, so if you couldn't make it to this one, keep a look out for the announcement for the next one.

PilotEdge session with Keith Smith

This Wednesday, we were fortunate enough to have Keith Smith from PilotEdge back. Keith joined us a little over a year ago to share with us the progress he was making in creating a professional ATC environment for simulators.  PilotEdge launched last October, and he provided us with a demo.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Reminder: Annual Dinner with Thor Solberg

Annual Dinner with Thor Solberg
Date & Time: March 3 @ 7pm
Location: Sheraton Lincoln Harbor Hotel, 500 Harbor Blvd, Weehawken, NJ 07086

We are thrilled to have Thor Solberg back to  Speak at our Annual dinner on Saturday March 3rd. at 7pm

Not many pilots have heard the story of his father's record breaking flight from New York to Greenland in 1935 - The start of the epic journey was captured by Pathe News Reel:

Please let me know ASAP how many members in your group - The cost of the evening ($50 per person) will be added to your March Statement.  As usual all alumni and guests are welcome to attend. Please let me know in advance so we can arrange seating - and I will send you the payment details for the dinner.

The Sheraton Lincoln Harbor Hotel is just across the Hudson from Manhattan.  Access by NY Waterway Ferry from Manhattan, or via Path then NJTransit Light Rail.

March General Meeting with Keith Smith from PilotEdge

Guest Speaker: Keith Smith from Pilot Edge
Date & Time: Wednesday, March 8 @ 8pm (doors open at 7:45pm)
Location: 482 W. 43rd St., New York, NY 10036 (corner of 10th and 43rd)

About a year ago, PFC hosted Keith Smith from PilotEdge to demo an upcoming service that provides real-time ATC service for flight simulators.

We bumped into Keith again at the AOPA summit meeting in CT where he was presenting his service. He launched last year and is now open for business.

Keith will be showing his real time IFR flying and,  connection-permitting, will attempt to provide a live demo of the service. Since we do not have broadband service at the venue only 4G hotspot. it may not work but you will clearly be able to see first hand how the system works. Hopefully you can try a quick lap of the pattern, or even pick up an IFR clearance and shoot an approach.

This ATC is being provided by real people in real time, it is NOT recorded, canned, scripted, or based on voice recognition or artificial intelligence.

So bring your laptops with X-Plane 9, X-Plane 10, MS FS2004 or MS FSX and Keith will be on hand to set up a trial account. A discount will be made available for PFC members that sign up on the evening of the presentation. Additional information can be found at

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

February General Meeting with Don Argintar

Date: Thursday, February 2
Time: Pizza at 7:30pm, meeting starts at 8pm
Location: NJ Aviation Hall of Fame and Museum

This month, we are back in our NJ location at the NJ Aviation Hall of Fame and Museum at KTEB.

As our speaker this month, Don Argintar CFI/I will be joining us again.  Following on his great talk about airworthiness back in November, this time around he will be discussing Winter Flying.

The meeting is open to the general public.  As always, the AHOF museum will open its doors for free to members and guests at 7pm.  This is a great opportunity to take in a pretty interesting museum.

Friday, January 20, 2012

New Schedule for Monthly Meetings

Now that half our membership is firmly from NYC, we have been experimenting with holding our general meetings in Manhattan on alternating months.  This has been working well, and we will be making this permanent with a slight change.

From now on the monthly meetings will be on the following schedule:

  • Odd numbered months will be held in NYC on the first Wednesday of the month.
  • Even numbered months will beheld at the NJAHOF on the first Thursday of the month.
Hope to see you at a future meeting.