I'm just starting training for my commercial license and I need a good 30 hours of PIC cross-country time. So I decided to spend a few of those hours down there in the USA mostly in NY and VT.
Having done all my training in Canada I understand flying in the US is a bit different. For example you guys have the "45 to the downwind" circuit entry, here we don't, either we join on long downwind or we overfly the field at 500' above circuit altitude then once on the inactive side of the airport we execute a desceding 180 turn that takes us upwind down to circuit altitude then a 90 degree turn to join mid-downwind. It does sounds complicated but it isn't once in the air. My question is how do you do it to join the 45 degree entry to downwind when you are arriving from the opposite side of the airport?
I also heard that you need current charts when flying in the US. And that FAA guys can peek inside your cockpit to check if they are indeed current. Does the AF/D has to be current also?
Also, here in Canada our callsigns are slightly different from the US ones. Here it's Golf Zulu Wiskhy Juliet. I heard that on when transmiting I should say "Canadian Golf Zulu Wiskhy Juliet", is that true?
And finally is there anything I need to know about US custom? Are they friendly or not? Every time I drive to the states i go through the Champlain crossing and the US customs folks are very friendly.
Thanks for your help