Last Tuesday I completed the flying portion of my Biennial Flight Review [BFR]. This is a check that is needed every two years to confirm continued competence and to ensure I am updated on anything significant that has changed in the aviation world over the past couple of years. The aircraft was Wellington Aero Club's Cessna 172N, ZK-EKE.
My goodness, it was a fun flight! The instructor and I managed to get the few hours of perfect weather in what has otherwise been a period of rather poor weather. We could not have had it better. A gentle crosswind at Paraparaumu, smooth flying conditions everywhere and one of the best evenings to fly on that I have ever encountered.
EKE has a 180hp engine and a STOL kit. This means you can actually fly it at 50 knots indicated [with no flap] and do a rate one turn. It gets airborne super quick also. It can be a bit tricky slowing it down if you're not sufficiently ahead of the aircraft.
In 1.9 hours, we covered everything, including a trip up to Paraparaumu, across to Upper Hutt and then to the southern Wairarapa area for a forced landing and some low flying. Given it was evening, we came back as it was getting darker and landed a few minutes before ECT [if we had been delayed, the instructor was night current and I'm night rated, so it hardly would have mattered].
I don't have any photos from the flight, but then, I doubt they would have done justice to what we could see. Smooth flying conditions, amazing visibility and a fun fun fun time... I learned something and got reminded of a couple of things also... just how a BFR should be!
Anyway, flights are also booked in the Nanchang between now and Christmas, so I should be able to get some tripping around done. Watch out Whanganui, I'm heading your way in 2.5 weeks if the weather gets better 😎