Monday, November 21, 2011

A quick flight in the Auckland Aero Club Skycatcher

As you will have seen from my previous posts, last weekend was spent in Auckland.

While there, I was able to go for a dual flight in Auckland Aero Club's Cessna 162 Skycatcher light sport aircraft, ZK-AAC. The weather wasn't ideal - approximate 20-25 knots surface wind, mostly coming from 20-30 degrees right of runway 21 - in other words, the potential for turbulence :-)

Anyway, the aircraft is pretty interesting. Clearly very light without some of the fancy coverings you see in many other aircraft, it's very comfortable, and for such a small aircraft, it has a very wide and comfy cabin. Visibility in the turns is not great as the seats are positioned a long way back. It will be interesting to see how it handles the rigours of flight training, but I could imagine this as a great owner's plane.

As you'll see in the photos, there's just a single screen which contains all the required instrumentation and makes for a very uncluttered panel. Perhaps surprisingly, and despite this being only the second time I've flown an aircraft with an LCD PFD, it was all pretty easy to read and understand - a definite bonus!

Flying the aircraft was easy enough. OK, so I'm not claiming that I was very good, but it was easy to fly. Given that it was a short flight, there were just a few turns, then back for an overhead rejoin and some circuits. The biggest problem I had was the turbulence over the fence with the crosswind - it made me look all rather amateur :-( Having said that, I didn't damage the aircraft and Nicola [the instructor] didn't take control, so it can't have been all that bad!

I'd really like to take another flight, perhaps on a nicer day next time.

Photos are of the aircraft, of the panel during the flight, the Waterworks visual reporting point, and the entrance to the Aero Club. Enjoy!

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