Sunday, June 07, 2015

More night flying

Today was one of those spectacular mid winter days we get in Wellington [aside from the fact that winter has only just started here in New Zealand].

Cool with a very gentle breeze, little or no cloud and great visibility. The perfect night to go flying. Oh yeah, there's no moon, and so it's really, really dark out there.

Rhys, Glenn and I got ready, jumped into Cessna 172S, ZK-CEO, and after a short 30 minute delay [at the suggestion of ATC due traffic reasons], we got started and were soon on our way.

First up was a flight over the Wellington CBD, then we joined left hand downwind for runway 34. Those of you who know Wellington will realise that on a really dark night, heading downwind for 34, you quickly run out of ground lighting and it gets really dark.

This is little different than being right hand downwind over the harbour entrance and having to hold for a couple of minutes... very very dark. Instruments are very very useful! This was one of the few nights when there was little outline of the hills visible, so a little eerie... Despite all of this, my turns were fine and my four landings for the evening were actually pretty good [if I do say so myself!]. Smooth, nicely controlled, and no unexpected arrivals with the surface :-)

Anyway, photography at night is not easy at the best of times. Rhys made a good job of the following panoramic photo [hand held on a smartphone, no less!], so I thought I would share it. Thanks Rhys...

NZWN Western Apron before our flight. Yes, it was that dark. Very much that dark. Fun times were about to ensue!
So much fun in so little time... no wonder I am tired tonight! :-)

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