Flying the Hudson River Corridor

Discussion in 'Cool Places to Fly' started by Penguinforce, Jul 24, 2021.

  1. Penguinforce

    Penguinforce Filing Flight Plan

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    My mom and I, both private pilots with about 150 hours and well into our instrument training, are planning to fly to New England and do a small trip around there. Part of the plan is to possibly fly the Hudson River corridor right by Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty on our way back home. Is this ill advised? Is it difficult? Are there any special considerations or tips for flying this passage?

    A small bit of background, we are from Colorado and have never flown in the East Coast in general ourselves.

    Thanks for the advice in advance :)
     
  2. eman1200

    eman1200 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    again, 2 seconds of googling gives you all the info you need.
     
  3. Kelvin

    Kelvin En-Route

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    Do it.
     
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  4. Hang 4

    Hang 4 Cleared for Takeoff

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    Take the online course on the FAA site. It's a bucket list thing. Just follow the procedure for the side of the river, frequency and callout landmarks. One of the best 15 minutes in the air.
     
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  5. skier

    skier Line Up and Wait

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    It’s fun. Night time is even better than daytime.

    21970930-EA1B-4FD7-B627-21E5FB915FCE.jpeg

    taken from a Mooney.
     
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  6. Justin M

    Justin M Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    Take the class as suggested above. Keep your eyes outside. Keep your lights on. Obey the Hudson SFRA reporting points and procedures.

    Also, from the North, I suggest flying it 3 times; once south bound, then after the VZ (Verrazzano Bridge) , turn around in the Lower Bay and fly north bound to get the better view of New York City and the Freedom Tower and then back down south bound to return to where ever you're going. If I only fly it once, I generally fly north bound for better New York City views.

    South bound GPS waypoints: Femdu, Ayiye, Deckr, Tickl, Nanci (Those aren't the Hudson River SFRA reporting points, just the waypoints I use to put into the GPS for flight planning, etc.)
     
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  7. Skip Miller

    Skip Miller Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    This is such a visual feast you must decide before the flight, who is the PIC and who is the passenger. Once that is decided, have a great trip!
     
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  8. Penguinforce

    Penguinforce Filing Flight Plan

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    Wow that is beautiful! We will have to make it to Louisville from New York so we were planning on flying the route in the morning but that looks amazing!
     
  9. Penguinforce

    Penguinforce Filing Flight Plan

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    I saw somthing about this. I will definitely take this
     
  10. Penguinforce

    Penguinforce Filing Flight Plan

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    Thanks for those suggestions. I was confused as to which way is best to approach. I saw someone say they also flew over central park using one of the transitions. Any thoughts on that?
     
  11. Justin M

    Justin M Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    There are two routes over the Hudson River. The SFRA (which we've been discussing) which uses CTAF 123.05 and operates below 1300. The procedures for the Hudson River SFRA is the class we've been mentioning. The SFRA is available independent of ATC.

    The other route is commonly called the "Skyline Tour" and it involves flying at or above 1500 (which is the floor of the Bravo over the Hudson next to Manhattan), talking and squawking with NY Approach.

    Sometimes, especially if they're busy or using the Hudson approach for the big airports, ATC will deny access to the "Skyline Tour" route.

    In theory, the "Skyline Tour" could potentially request a route that flies over Central Park. I've also heard of more denials than approvals.

    The Hudson River SFRA is bounded by 1300' and the width of the river. You are not supposed to deviate East or West of the river, but fly only over the river from Alpine Tower to the Verrazzano bridge (or vise versa). North bound on the eastern edge of the River, south bound on the western edge. I've been denied the transition west over Teterboro (KTEB) from the Hudson SFRA. East of the Hudson SFRA, the Bravo floor is the surface, so there's no way to fly over Central Park without talking to NY Approach. You still get a great view of Central Park from the SFRA at 1,100'.
     
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  12. MikeNY

    MikeNY Pre-Flight PoA Supporter

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    Resources to consider:
    -New York City Special Flight Rules Area (SFRA) training course available on faasafety.gov. (print/retain completion certificate)
    -Over the Hudson (along Manhattan), floor of class bravo is 1,300 msl.
    -Skyline Route is charted (it's over the river).
    -Check for Yankee stadium TFR, which extends across the width of Hudson River.
    (Unlikely to be active if in the morning.)
    -93.350 (d) requires a current NY TAC. NY class B Hudson River exclusion (SFRA) and the Skyline Route are printed on the back.
    -For SFRA, transient traffic fly between 1,000 and 1,299.
    -"Local traffic" is blw 1,000 (and safest, is to avoid).
    -Central Park is not in the Hudson or East River exclusions, requires a class B clearance, and is not the Skyline route.
    Flying over Central Park offers little/no "sightseeing" advantages; Manhattan, the park, reservoir, skyscrapers are plainly visible when flying over the Hudson.

    From New England, consider joining the Hudson river southbound (north of the Tappan Zee Bridge), below class bravo, west side of river for southbound.
    Before Alpine Tower, remain blw class B at transient altitude (1,000-1,299 msl).

    For non-local pilot with 150 hrs total time, might consider engaging a local CFI to come along.
    There are many options in the tri-state area.
    For example, from New England, check flight schools for an instructor based at KDXR.

    upload_2021-7-25_0-51-36.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2021
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  13. kath

    kath Administrator Management Council Member

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    Do it, +1

    Research the rules and study the map ahead of time.
    Eyes outside.
    Breathe.
    Don't forget to breathe. :)
     
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  14. UngaWunga

    UngaWunga Pattern Altitude

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    The flight is very easy and fun to do. I've done it 4 times now. The instructions from the course are very straightforward.
     
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  15. Penguinforce

    Penguinforce Filing Flight Plan

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    Thanks for that info! I really appreciate it :)
     
  16. Penguinforce

    Penguinforce Filing Flight Plan

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    Thank you for the suggestion of using a local CFI, I hadn't thought about that. I will complete the course and see how I feel after and if we think we need one
     
  17. Penguinforce

    Penguinforce Filing Flight Plan

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    I cannot lie, I am a bit nervous about the flight, I may need to add breathe to my cruise checklist for this flight! :)
     
  18. bkspero

    bkspero Line Up and Wait

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    I've flown the Hudson in the Bravo (1500 or 2000 ft depending on clearance) at least a dozen times and have never been denied a Central Park transition to the East River and then south down the East River back to the Hudson (although in the spirit of full disclosure, my experience is all pre-pandemic). I have always flown it from South to North as the Eastbound turn across Manhattan doesn't require me to cut across the Northbound traffic, so that may be a factor. And I am careful to avoid times when there is a Yankee game and the Stadium TFR gets in the way.

    The value is not only in seeing Central Park, it is the view of Midtown Manhattan and particularly the high priced real estate along Central Park South. And the sights along the East River that you don't get to see from the Hudson. The 59th street bridge and tramway. The United Nations Building. The Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges. South Street Seaport. The Battery and NYC Ferry Terminal.

    If you're approaching from the North, I suggest doing it as Justin M suggested. Be on flight following at least 20 nm North of the Bravo and let the controller know that you would like to fly the Hudson in the Bravo first Southbound, circle the Statue of Liberty, then return Northbound for a Central Park transition to the East River Southbound and leave the area to the South. The controller may defer to a later controller, so you may need to repeat it.

    At one point the TRACON controller will hand you off to LaGuardia tower and descend you to 1500 or 2000 ft. Somewhere just north of the southern tip of Manhattan they will hand you off to Newark tower and you will stay with them until you return back to the north when you will go back to LaGuardia.

    Fly North until you are about half way up Central Park (you can't miss it, it is the massive rectangle of trees, fields, and lakes in the middle of all the buildings). Then let the controller know you are about to turn Eastbound. They will give their blessing and start your turn. As you fly over look to the South towards Midtown. When you reach the river on the other side make another right turn Southbound and fly down the East River. It is narrower than the Hudson, so it helps to cheat towards the center to get a view of sights along the Manhattan bank. Fortunately there is little traffic in the Bravo along that river, so there's room to maneuver. LaGuardia will hand you back to Newark near the Brooklyn Bridge.

    When you get past the Southern tip of Manhattan, turn left towards the Verrazano Narrows Bridge and continue on your way to the South.

    The one caution I have is that my passengers and I always wear flotation for this trip. There is not much space to put a plane down on dry land if the engine quits. My expectation is that I would have to ditch if my plane lost power. That is also the reason why I no longer do this flight in the depth of winter when water temperatures are dangerously low.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2021
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  19. Albany Tom

    Albany Tom Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    I've flown it once, with a CFI along for guidance, just for my own comfort. It is incredible, highly recommend it. Suggest doing it in the daytime first, and suggest doing a google map type thing of the area so you're familiar with the landmarks, in addition to the training online. In particular, the clock was not terribly easy to fly. Keep your eyes outside, as others have said, and of course mind your altitude. Whomever isn't flying will probably want to take pictures. Check for TFR's beforehand. There were some present when we flew, but the TFR's did not encroach on the SFRA. Two things about the northeast - in the fall, when the leaves change, it's beautiful. Second, mind the weather. You guys have have a lot more elevation to deal with, but here we have a lot of moisture, pretty much all the time. I say that just as a reminder to leave plenty of slack in your schedule for waiting out non-VFR conditions. Oh, and for the SFRA, I'd download the helicopter chart. Either it or the TAC is required, and the helicopter chart is more straightforward, imo.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2021
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  20. MikeNY

    MikeNY Pre-Flight PoA Supporter

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  21. C-1 PILOT

    C-1 PILOT Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I printed and laminated the quick reference guide, its always in my pilot side pocket. Keeps me from having to hunt for it. I also have the frequencies loaded into my radio. Just make the experience easier and more enjoyable.
     
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  22. Brad Z

    Brad Z Final Approach

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    I fly the Hudson quite often as my sister lives in CT and the corridor is an easy way to get up north when traffic or ceilings limit going over the top.

    I always do the bravo skyline route and have never been denied. I find it much easier than joining the helicopter free-for-all down lower. If you're doing a loop, go: Alpine tower, circle the lady, East river, central park transition to northbound and you'll have a nice scenic flight.
     
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  23. UngaWunga

    UngaWunga Pattern Altitude

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    Every time I've flown it, the helicopters stay below 1000', so they're out of the way for the SFRA.
     
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