The weather yesterday was just about exceptional. There was little wind, the skies were fairly blue apart from some high cloud through the Desert Road, with just a wee bit of anti-cyclonic gloom [see, I sound fancy!] limiting the visibility down to around 20-30 km in places.
|Flying past Mount Ruapehu, on the way home|
Knowing that there was likely to be very nice weather a few days out, I booked the Nanchang CJ6A for most of the day, and planned a trip from Wellington to Taupō and return. Originally, I was going up the coast to near Whanganui, then up the Desert Road, then returning back via Masterton. The return trip changed for reasons I'll explain later.
|Also on the way home. Lovely weather!|
The first change was that I flew into Whanganui for fuel. The Nanchang only has 2.5 hours endurance. Given a legal minimum reserve of 30 minutes, we are down to 2 hours flight time. With the Club [sensibly] wanting an extra 15 minutes reserve, we are down to 1 hour and 45 minutes. The flight was planned for 1 hour and 28 minutes, so quite doable. That anti-cyclonic gloom I mentioned? Probably better to have a few more minutes reserve up my sleeve, so I popped into Whanganui for fuel. Hello Jonathan and Zac.
|ADSB-In is nice, but eyes are important|
Turns out it was all no problem. It all cleared up as I got closer to Waiouru. Still, I'm never heard anyone complain about having more fuel than they needed to have at the end of a flight.
Taupō is a great aerodrome to visit any day. The cafe in the terminal is always a great place to stop and have a snack. Also, hello Anthony and Alex. Bacon butty and Pepsi Max - the lunch of Kings!
It was then that a small issue was found. I use an iPad Mini 6 for my aeronautical charts and navigation planning. It works great, but on longer flights may need a recharge. I have a backup that is usable [on the phone], but it's not ideal.
As it turns out, the cable I selected has a feature. It charges the phone but not the iPad??!?. So, rather than fly through some less familiar airspace, I came back via the same route [but without stopping in Whanganui]. Home in around 90 minutes, and the iPad had plenty of juice for the entire flight [and would have for the original plan... but you know... threat and error management and all that]. Also, NZWU and NZPP available should I have been concerned about fuel [which wasn't an issue].
The naughty cable now has two new features - after confirming that others cables work fine, I chopped the ends off and have ordered some replacements. I guess that just goes to show the importance of testing equipment before I head off..
Anyway, that's today's trip.
|Nice equipment :-)|
Where to next??