I have been dreaming about flying the Hudson River route for years. Finally, I did it on May 4, 2007. It is hard to believe that I fly an airplane that I built myself along the river besides one of the largest concrete jungles in the world. I was overwhelmed by the awesome view and the pride of being the builder and pilot of this wonderful airplane.
My wife and I took a four day trip to visit a friend in Poughkeepsie, NY and my sister's family in Long Island. We decided to take the opportunity to fly the Hudson River route from Poughkeepsie to Statue of Liberty before turning eastward to Long Island. Before we left, I found a wonderful website by Scott Germaise on Flying the Hudson. Upon arriving at Poughkeepsie I also purchased a copy of the New York Terminal Chart. The NYC airspace is quite complex to say the least. I definitely do not want to be forced down by a Blackhawk helicopter, or, worse, hitting a building or another aircraft. Since my RV-9A is equipped with a moving map GPS, the task of keeping myself out of the wrong airspace is made easier.
We departed KPOU soon after 8:30 am and immediately followed Hudson River down south. Before entering the NY class B airspace we set the radio to 123.05, the self announcement frequency. There are several reporting points suggested in Scott's article: Tappan Zee Bridge, Alpine Tower, George Washington Bridge, The Intrepid (gone for maintenance, I reported cruiseline pier), 30th Street Heliport (I missed it), Empire State Building, Holland Tunnel, Ground Zero (I missed it), Governor's Island, Ellis Island (my own addition), Statue of Liberty (or the Lady), Verrazano Narrows Bridge. You can see most of those reporting points in my photo album. For most of the route we maintained 950' until reaching Governor's Island when I descended to 500' to get a better look at the Lady. We climbed to 1200' to clear the Verrazano Narrows Bridge. After Verrazano Narrows Bridge we flew around the JFK airspace over the Lower NY Bay and Raritan Bay to Long Island. We flew slow and it took about one hour for the entire trip.
I must give my wife credit for the pictures. I was too busy flying the airplane and took only a handful of pictures. Since we flew in the morning and the sun was behind Manhattan, colors of the Manhattan pictures got washed out.
We flew back to Portsmouth, OH on 5/6/2007. Cruising 8,500 ft at 2470 rpm (fixed pitch), here is our ground speed (GS on the upper left corner)- 181 kts (155 kts true airspeed, or 208 mph ground speed and 178 mph true airspeed). Not bad at all.