The Niagara Falls region of western New York offers some breathtaking scenery including one of the seven natural wonders of North America, Niagara Falls. Recently my wife expressed a desire to see the falls firsthand—and I immediately realized this was a great opportunity for a trip in our 1978 Warrior, N35321.
A review of the route from our home base, Albertus Airport (KFEP) in Freeport, Ill. to Niagara Falls International (KIAG) quickly revealed the challenges that I would need to address. First was the decision on the route of flight.
THE TRIP EAST
The most direct route would involve crossing Lake Michigan north of Chicago’s Class B airspace and flying the entire length of Lake Erie to western New York. I wasn’t comfortable with crossing Lake Michigan and a long over-water flight of Lake Erie, so I elected to transition through Chicago’s Class B airspace around the south end of Chicago.
Our early morning departure from Freeport gave me hope of getting clearance through the lower levels of Class B airspace at the south end of Chicago, but alas, this was not to be due to a high controller workload. In my experience, you won’t get much help from Chicago Approach—and this proved true once again.
After skirting around the south end of the Class B airspace, we headed east from Chicago and flew direct to Wood County Regional (1G0) in Bowling Green, Ohio for our intermediate fuel and rest stop. Wood County Regional is a nice place to stop with a municipally operated FBO with 24-hour self-service fuel at a good price: $5.69/gal. An employee on site met us at the plane, took our fuel order and handled the credit card transaction. (This was what they called “self-service”—nice!)
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