Saturday, May 28, 2011

Another local flight

I had the pleasure of another local flight today.

The day dawned clear with fairly little wind, although it turned out that there was a bit of wind up top and a fair crosswind. This looked likely to put a damper on things, such that I ended up cancelling the flight for a couple of passengers.

As with all things meteorological, it's not quite that simple, and about 15 minutes after cancelling the passengers, I was cleared to get the aircraft [Cessna 172N, ZK-ELF] and go. Soon after, Andrew [another club member] and I were in the aircraft and ready to go.

Unlike last time, there was absolutely no wait at the holding point - as soon as I called ready, I was cleared for takeoff. There was only a minor crosswind so that was easy [phew!]. We carried out the Karori Departure procedure, then flew up the coastline to Mana Island, followed by a play around in the Hutt Valley, then returned to Wellington.

Getting back in was a bit of drama, with light aircraft in the circuit, the local rescue helicopter departing, along with other IFR and VFR aircraft, a couple of VFR arrivals, several IFR arrivals, a runway change, a B1900 conducting a missed approach from short final [caused by windshear]. The controllers were well and truly on to it - everything seemed to go very smoothly.

Here are a few pictures from the flight: looking back to the airfield from overhead the city, across to the top of the South Island, looking across to Petone, looking north to the top of the Hutt Valley, short final approach for runway 16.

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