Monday, October 13, 2014

Strip flying, day 2. Off to the Marlborough Sounds

Much like Saturday, Sunday dawned with barely a gentle breeze, a few clouds and lots of sunshine. It was clear that day 2 of the strip flying course at Marlborough Aero Club [MAC] was going to be a stunner!

We arrived at MAC at Omaka airfield Around 9am and after pre-flighting both aircraft and packing the essentials [which included a portable BBQ and food for lunch!] we headed out to a private strip at Nopera in the Marlborough Sounds.

To say the weather was perfect would be an understatement! Very little wind, the surface of the water was smooth and crystal clear... just perfect! We headed out over Koromiko airstrip and a few minutes later arrived at Nopera. the approach is over the water and is not really that hard at all. We flew overhead first to check the surface out [especially checking there were no sheep in the paddock] before heading in. Not a bad landing if I may say so! I got a couple of takeoffs and landings in [including with the land owners] before handing over the controls so Charles [one of the other Wellington pilots] could have a go. Here are some of the photos:

As you can see, there's a wee bit of slope... the main thing though is the terrain behind the camera which you can't see :-)

Next up was an airstrip at Port Gore. This was a really step up for us, although once we were shown how to handle it, it became quite doable. It seems an important step is to always do an approach and overshoot or fly-by first to ascertain the state of the strip, and, having phoned ahead for permission, we were all good to go.

You'll notice from the photos that this airstrip has a slight [!] slope on it from about half way along... what an amazing airstrip though, and again, once shown what to do, it was well manageable in the great conditions we had on the day!

As for the photos, you a look at the one I took from the back seat, at the top of the airstrip. Yes, it really is that steep [and I might add, awesome] :-) For a guy who hasn't done much of this before, it was both a bit weird and huge fun to be sitting at the top of a hill about to go to full power :-) So much fun, it should be illegal [but it's not!] :-) The second photo is of ZK-OMK taking off [BTW - see if you can see the wire]. Did I mention it was fun?

That's it for this post... the next one will include D'Urville Island and the final strip back near Omaka.

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