I started taking flying lessons in 1997 at Caldwell Flight Academy, which is located on Essex County Airport (CDW) in Fairfield, New Jersey. The airport has a control tower and two runways, runway 9/27 (direction west-east) and runway 4/22 (direction southwest-northeast). This is what the field looks like right after takeoff:

CDW runways
CDW, runways 4/22 (horizontal) and 9/27.

In September of 1998, I obtained my PP-ASEL (Private Pilot-Airplane Single-Engine Land) certificate.

I love flying along the Hudson River and I often go up with friends and family. However, in order to remain alive, I have to strike a delicate balance between enjoying breathtaking views such as the one below, and monitoring the Hudson River traffic frequency (123.05 MHz).

The old lady
The Statue, from 500 feet

Oshkosh 97

In August of 1997, I went to Oshkosh '97, an absolutely amazing airshow in Wisconsin. If you are an aviation enthusiast, you have to see this at least once in your lifetime!

B2 and SR71
The mighty B2 bomber, SR-71 blackbird and Gene Soucy at Oshkosh 97

This year I also went to the New Jersey Festival of Ballooning at Solberg Airport in Readington Township, NJ. As you can see, it was quite spectacular to see the balloons go up.

The New Jersey Festival of Ballooning
  Check out these aviation sites:
*Caldwell Aviation Association, Inc.
*Federal Aviation Administration
*Experimental Aircraft Association
*AvWeb, a fantastic aviation magazine and news service