Monday 11 May 2015 – Sky Acres, Sky Manor and Atlantic City
I don’t think any of us had great expectations for the day, but in the morning the weather forecast changed and wasn’t nearly as pessimistic. With some clever analysis, it was thought feasible to head west and skirt around the west side of New York down to Atlantic City or Ocean City. This we did in three stages, landing at Sky Acres (44N) and Sky Manor (N40) for crew changes.
I flew the first leg of about an hour and a half to Sky Acres. The only unusual event was near our destination when New York Approach was expecting us to sign off. He pointed out the airfield was 10 miles dead ahead and then 5, but we couldn’t see it. With about 3 miles to run, he reported no traffic and we changed to the CTAF self-announcing frequency. We were almost on top of the field before it came in to view, hidden on the other side of a hill. It’s one of the few where you can’t see the runway from large parts of the circuit pattern. I succumbed to a lot of sink on short final and so it was more of an arrival than a perfect landing. You then taxi uphill to the parking area, and again up to the shop and café. It’s a very scenic airfield with a bonus that we could buy the remaining local charts we needed for our New York route.
Our lunch stop was at Sky Manor, owned by pilots and very much a lively GA airfield. It’s very busy at weekends, but quiet and relaxed on a Monday. We topped up with fuel at the self service pump which accepted our UK credit cards. AVGAS is priced at $4.61 per US gallon (approx. 80p/litre).
The final leg was straight down to Atlantic City airport, where we were vectored east somewhat out of the way for a long final into runway 22 to leave priority for an Airbus on the ILS for the longer runway 13.
The FBO there was efficient and well setup. A taxi took us into town where we’d booked rooms with a heavy discount during their off-season. You need to watch out for hefty local taxes and resort facility fees, but even so it was still cheaper than the previous night.
Fortunately our somewhat scruffy clothing wasn’t out of place. The city is pretty run down and I didn’t feel at home in the hotel casino areas. We walked along the boardwalk which had some shops that had seen better days and where one large hotel casino block is completely closed. We ate at the bizarre Rainforest Cafe which offers regular indoor thunderstorms and animated animals, aimed at a somewhat younger audience. One of our crew has a very youthful attitude to life.
Part 3 covers our flight up the Hudson River, between New York City and New Jersey