If you've read my previous post, you'll know that the weather was not great this morning, but the forecast was for an improvement in the afternoon, which is just what happened. Furthermore, the surface wind was unusually light for Wellington [4-8 knots, about 7-15 km/hr] almost straight down the runway. Awesome!
Today's flight called for a bit of sightseeing, some simulated instrument flight [i/f - flying by instruments without looking outside] and to finish off with some circuits. To prevent me from cheating during the i/f, I was wearing a particularly fetching pair of "foggles" - basically goggles that have a translucent portion, so the outside view is obscured but the instruments are still visible.
The intelligent among you may have already realised that flying without looking where you are going is a wee bit like driving down a motorway with your eyes shut - not a great idea and bound to result in a big bang... for this reason it's a requirement to take a safety pilot, so thanks Pete for coming along and being just that!
I spent 30 minutes flying straight and level, doing some turns, climbing and descending, all without looking outside. Hard work, but good to know that my skills are not too rusty! After a bit of sightseeing we headed back to the airport and ended up with three circuits to practice takeoffs and landings [a fairly essential skill in this game].
Anyway, on to the pictures. First up is the flight's handsome pilot-in-command [yes, that's my best side...] with his fetching foggles, then the instrument panel and the view looking south-east over Lake Onoke and Lake Ferry township. Following this is Wellington City with the clouds at about 1500 feet, a example of a nice approach, and the last one where I was waaaaay too high [but that's what the Cessna's big flap is useful for]. Pete referred to it as the "space shuttle approach" [ie: really steep!]... NASA - I'm available! :-)