Sunday, March 06, 2022

Taupō again :-)

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..

Munted cable

Anyway, that's today's trip.

Nice equipment :-)

Where to next??

1 comment: