Sunday, February 05, 2017

Healthy Bastards Bush Flying Champs 2017

No, I didn't choose the name, but I did get to complete for the first time this year.

The Healthy Bastards Bush Flying Champs [HBBFC] is an annual flying competition run by Marlborough Aero Club at Omaka [NZOM] aerodrome each February. The competition consists of two events - a precision landing and a STOL [Short Takeoff and Landing].

The precision landing event winner is the person who lands closest to, but not prior to, a line marked on the ground. Each pilot gets two attempts.

The STOL event winner is the person who has the shortest combination of takeoff and landing distance. The distance of the shortest takeoff and landing are added together for the score. Again, each pilot gets two attempts.

I was flying Wellington Aero Club's Cessna 172N, ZK-FLT, so I was never going to win when competing against pilots in Piper PA18 Super Cubs [and there were plenty of them], but I was along for the experience and to have a lot of fun - both of those aims were achieved.

Having said that, my best precision landing distance was only 13 meters which is good [and right about the average of 13.7 meters for everyone who scored], so I'm pretty pleased with that! The winner landed just 0.7 meters from the line!

In the STOL event, my best score was 120.5 meters. Not great, but pretty good for a C172N and no practice - certainly fair from shameful! Keep in mind, this was my takeoff AND landing distance added together! yes, it was windy :-) The winner in this event for the Light Touring Class was 38.7 meters in a Piper PA18A-160 Super Cub. By comparison, the winner in the microlight class had a score of only 18.2 meters in a Zenith CH701 with 130hp!

Anyway, it was a fun day! I hope to have a video up in the next week or so, and I will have a another post or two of images.

Cessna 172N, ZK-FLT, operated by Wellington Aero Club

Glasair Sportmans 2+2, ZK-SPO, operated by Airventures NZ

Piper PA25-235 Pawnee, ZK-CIQ

Piper PA18, ZK-BTX

Zenith CH701 STOL, ZK-JUG


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