Third in this Auckland Quick Visit series, and my second big stop was to catch up with Rob Burns in Kiwi Thunder's hanger at Ardmore. Rob Burns is one of the record setting pilots who set the Auckland to Christchurch speed record in its class last year. I left Auckland about 2.5 years ago, and this has been my first opportunity to get up and personal with this stunning aircraft.
Even after a couple of years flying this aircraft looks immaculate in all respects. In many ways, it could have just come out of the showroom. Obviously, being hangered helps a lot with this, although I imagine that they must also have an attitude of [almost] no expense spared.
Rob allowed me to sit in the cockpit, and this was the first big challenge - how do I get in? It's a snug fit [to say the least], but still very comfortable. I was surprised by the visibility from the front seat [Rob says that the back seat vis is even better]. You'll see from the cockpit shot that everything is well laid out. BTW - that hole at the bottom of the panel is the hole for the GPS.
The second big challenge was to avoid looking stupid when my photo was taken. The helmet didn't help... Well, I got into the cockpit ok :-)
All in all, a very good evening, good drink and great conversation and catchup! Thanks Rob!