Archive for the ‘Flying’ Category

Fly-in Barbecue   Leave a comment

One of my constant favorite local landing spots is Carthage, North Carolina, where the Pik-n-Pig barbecue place sits on an otherwise sleepy grass strip. On a sunny afternoon, though, planes fly in from all over to get a tasty lunch, and locals drive in to watch planes takes off and land while they eat. This weekend, my parents visited, and we went with my sister to grab some barbecue! The opportunity to get a few pictures was too perfect…

Posted 9 Sep 2017 by John McManigle in Flying

Hudson River Flight, Take 2   Leave a comment

As one last pre-residency adventure, I took a quick northeast visit-flight tour. I set off from RDU to Pittsburgh to visit Katie from Penn State and Priya from Duke, now both residents at UPMC. After good visits (including a trip to the zoo and aquarium), I set off for New York City, to visit Léa from Blair and Natasha from Oxford. We were joined by Zach, and took a flight down the Hudson River and out to Block Island for the afternoon. On the way back, I stopped in Maryland to see my parents for Fathers’ Day before settling back in to Durham for the start of intern year.

Click for a few of the pictures!

Posted 19 Jun 2016 by John McManigle in Adventure, Flying, Travel

Flight to Ocracoke   Leave a comment

One of my first fun flights from the Durham area, many years ago, was to Ocracoke, a small town on the North Carolina Outer Banks. It has remained one of my favorite destinations: The remote beach can be reached by air in a little over an hour, compared to the 6-hour drive. This relative isolation makes it easier to explore the beautiful town and shore, somewhat removed from the bustle of other tourist beaches.

My latest flight from Lake Ridge out to Ocracoke was around beautiful cumulous clouds on an otherwise sunny afternoon. I filmed the trip and sped it up to just a few minutes; enjoy the view!

Posted 21 Apr 2016 by John McManigle in Adventure, Flying

Fly for the Hills   Leave a comment

On a sunny post-medical-school-classes North Carolina day, two classmates and I decided to head out for the hills of western NC. We took off from RDU, circled Duke and Durham a couple of times, landed at Rowan County airport to re-fuel, and then set off west for Avery County. There, we rented a car and hiked a couple of the local trails, notably stumbling across Linville Falls, before heading back to Durham just before sunset. It was Riikka and Qihua’s first time in a small plane, and so pictures were copious…

Fly for the Hills - Linville

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Posted 30 Mar 2016 by John McManigle in Adventure, Flying

Home, via Iceland   1 comment

Having completed all requirements of the DPhil degree, it is time to come back to the States and start my last year of medical school. To squeeze in one last adventure, I booked an IcelandAir #stopover on the way home. Sabine was able to join for three days in a Nordic paradise. We were able to fit in quite a few activities thanks to the incredibly efficient Iceland tourism industry. On our first full day, we traveled to the relaxing Blue Lagoon, a geothermal spa set on a lava field in the Reykjanes Peninsula. The second day was for adventure, with a small airplane flight from Reykjavik airport to Rif airport on the Snæfellsjökull peninsula and back. The mountain and glacier views were stunning.

Iceland Flight

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Posted 6 May 2015 by John McManigle in Adventure, Flying, Travel

Flying the NYC Hudson River Corridor   Leave a comment

NYC TACThe Hudson River runs through the heart of New York City and between four large commercial airports. The river carves out a VFR corridor from the highly regulated airspace otherwise encompassing the city, allowing sightseeing flights by any prepared pilot.

I’ve been meaning to take this flight for a while, and Lisa and I got the chance on Sunday evening. We flew north from Baltimore, over Philadelphia’s airspace, and descended to 1,300 feet by the Verrazano Narrows Bridge. We called the approach controllers and were cleared through the controlled airspace to fly along the lights of the Manhattan skyline. Upon reaching the George Washington Bridge, we turned around, descended into the VFR corridor (below 1,300 feet) and flew southbound along the New Jersey side of the river. We circled the Statue of Liberty at 800 feet before exiting the corridor to the south. From there, we turned back toward Philadelphia to land and enjoy a restaurant week dinner at Garces Trading Company.

Seeing the NYC skyline from just a few hundred feet was breathtaking. Though it was a bit bumpy, Lisa managed to get a few great pictures. And the flight planning and flying itself, while it took a bit of attention, wasn’t too daunting. Altogether, a fantastic night!

P1196092-ed

Click for a couple more pictures…

Posted 19 Jan 2014 by John McManigle in Adventure, Flying

Instrument Flight Rating   Leave a comment

View during a night ILS approach. The pilot may descend to 200 ft above the ground without visual reference. With approach lights in view, the pilot can proceed to 100 ft, whereupon the runway threshold must be visible to continue.

Most non-commercial flying is carried out under visual flight rules (VFR). VFR flight is similar to driving a car or operating a boat: regulations and conventions provide recognized “rules of the road” to guide the pilot’s decisions, but safety is ultimately achieved by looking out the window. When flying under VFR, pilots must “see and avoid” obstacles, whether airborne (other aircraft, skydivers, balloons) or on the ground (towers, mountains).

The alternative to VFR is instrument flight rules, a set of regulations and procedures facilitating flight when the pilot doesn’t have visibility to maintain obstacle clearance, commonly due to weather. The departure and en route phases of IFR flight are governed by air traffic control clearances — route and altitude assignments based on navigation radios or GPS. By coordinating these assignments, air traffic controllers ensure no two airplanes are in the same space. The approach to landing is guided by published “approach plates” unique to each airport. These charts guide the pilot along specific, descending paths which, with any luck, culminate in exiting the clouds just in front of the runway.

As you might imagine based on the complexity of some of these procedures, flying under IFR requires an additional pilot rating and its own written, oral, and in-flight examinations. During the first two years of medical school at Duke, I had started working towards the instrument rating with instructors at Empire Aviation. After a flying hiatus while I was in Oxford, I’ve spent most of this year completing the required instruction with Brett Aviation in Baltimore. I completed the required hours just before departing to Florida for the holidays, and was lucky enough to find FlightGest, a Raleigh-Durham flight school that went above and beyond to schedule an instrument check ride in coordination with the drive back from Key West. The tests went well, and I’m now certificated to fly into the clouds!

Posted 3 Jan 2014 by John McManigle in Flying