This past Monday night I had an extended night flight – completing my 3-hour night flight requirement as well as a night cross country flight. My plan was to take us from Westosha up to Hartford (HXF) – 50.2 nautical miles away – and back. Since it was night and didn’t have the luxury of a lot of land-based visual landmarks, I decided to fly through the Burlington VOR and use it as my main navigational aid. The flight up to Hartford went very well, hitting my checkpoints right on time and landing at Hartford with no problems.
On the way back, we were making great time and my CFI asked if I felt comfortable making a detour to log more night flying time since he was apparently very confident I could navigate and pilot at night. (This was were my flight got very interesting and fun.) I, of course, said “sure!” and we decided to fly into Milwaukee’s General Mitchell Airport (MKE)! I was super excited as this would be the largest airport I’ve flown into. I called Milwaukee approach and had them vector me in for a landing. They gave me the appropriate headings and altitude and I proceeded into the large Class C airport. Upon getting closer (and listening to the other traffic/planes landing/taking off from Milwaukee) I realized air traffic control was holding a FedEx 747 for me to land. It felt pretty cool knowing that big jet was waiting on me and my little Cessna! The runway (Runway 19R in this case) was absolutely huge (almost 10,000 feet long)! Needless-to-say, we had clearance for a touch-and-go and had TONS of room to complete it (probably 3 times if I wanted)!
After Milwaukee, we skipped over to Kenosha (ENW) to kill more time. I’ve flown into Kenosha before during the day, but at this time of night the tower is closed so it was basically a huge uncontrolled airport! It was weird to be putzing around the fairly large airport (especially compared to Westosha) with NOBODY around.
After Kenosha, my CFI asked if I wanted to land “somewhere cool”….and as always, I had to say yes. He said we were heading over to Camp Lake (49C) which has no landing lights, only a reflector system. The airport would be impossible to find at night if my CFI hadn’t been there tons of times of before. He pointed me in the perfect direction and eventually I saw a glimmer of one of the runway reflectors from my landing lights. I plopped the plane down on the turf runway and even saw a coyote run off as we came to a stop. It was VERY odd but cool to land at such a seemingly remote/dark airport…kinda scary even! After turning around and taking off again, we knew I had enough time to finally head back to Westosha. The last landing of the night went great and it was the end of a very fun night!
This lesson/flight I logged 2.2 hours of night flight time.