Half hour flight:
Take off, climb to 1500ft, go north to the river, hang a left turn, talk to PNE tower to tell them I’m flying through, keep going south along the river, descend to 1000ft, see Center City on the left, then hang a hard left over the Ben Franklin bridge, see the USS New Jersey and the NJ state Aquarium and Campbell’s (like the soup) Field, follow Rt 70 back home.
One Hour Flight:
Take off, head east toward the Coyle VOR, follow Rt 72 to Long Beach Island, take a short left to fly over the Barnegat Lighthouse, then a hard right to follow the beach. Stay at 1000ft (or lower) along the shoreline, watch out to banner tow-ers. Soon you’ll see Atlantic City’s casinos and Boardwalk, watch out for banner tow-ers. You might catch a glimpse of Lucy the Elephant in Margate, but keep your eye out for banner tow-ers. Take a right at Ocean City Airport, stay pretty low unless you want to talk to ACY approach control, but watch out for the big smokestack just west of Ocean City. Then head due north back home.
1.5 to 2 hour flight:
Take off, head N.E. toward RBV VOR. Take the 060 radial until you get to the shorline, stay below the class B. You’ve got until halfway across the bay to get below 1500ft, so get down, but you don’t need to be in a HUGE rush to get down. (BTW, it should be noted that during this flight you will not be in a position to glide to a suitable hard surface at any time. Just FYI, in the event of an engine failure, you will get wet.) Right, so continue across the bay heading towards the Verrazano bridge. Fly over the bridge, wave to the people stuck in traffic below. Fly up the harbor, stay to the right. Fly past governor’s island and head for downtown. DON’T fly up the east river unless you’re in a helicopter, Cory Lidle. Keep to the right side of the river, stay 1000ft or below. Make sure you announce your position on 123.05. (“Hudson traffic, Cessna 5FW, verrazano bridge, northbound, 800ft”) Continue north past Manhatten, the sights will speak for themselves, downtown, ground zero, central park, USS intrepid, uptown, Yankee’s Stadium, LaGuardia, George Washington Bridge…
I usually keep going until I get to the Tappan Zee bridge and hang a U-turn. It’s plenty wide enough there and it’s a good place to turn around. People usually are surprised how quickly the river appears wild like it should so soon after passing NYC. Head back south, stay to the right again, make your position reports. When you get past lower manhatten you can make an orbit around the Statue of Liberty, but look out for helicopters, they’re plentiful around there. Head back for the Verrazano and then back towards RBV. Do some slow flight over the turbpike to watch the cars and truck race by at 90mph then throttle back up to cruise and leave them behind. Head for home.