Solo navigation

Today I attempted my first solo nav flight out here in New Zealand and all was going well – that was until the weather came…

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Pics (clockwise): Me flying, Pirongia, weather at Raglan

The cloud to the north of Raglan meant that I couldn’t continue the flight so just had to turn around and divert back to Hamilton.
Looking at these pictures, you would have hardly guessed that these were all taken on the same day and within 25 miles of each other!

Still, taking the positives out of the trip, I got more practice at planning nav routes and saw how we have to de-ice the aircraft!

Navigating around New Zealand

With my training, I have so far stayed close to Hamilton Airport and been conducting ‘general handling’ flights, where you learn and practice how to fly the aircraft. But today I moved onto the next step – navigation flights.

These nav flights allow me to go further away from the airfield and, as a result, allow me to start seeing more of New Zealand than just Hamilton, Raglan and Matamata!
For example, today I went up to the ‘Firth of Thames’ towards the North of the country and getting on towards Auckland.

This is just the start of it. In our first few lessons we get told what route to plan but as we progress it then becomes our choice as to where we end up going so I’m planning on seeing as much of the North Island as possible!

In preparation, I have been busy printing out aerodrome plates for various airports across the North Island and put them all into this pack.
I think I may have gone a bit over the top – but you can never be too prepared!

Instrument Flight

Since I last wrote a post, quite a bit has been happening out here in New Zealand for me. Firstly, as eluded to in my previous post, I left the circuit on my own for the first time.

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This is the track of when I left the circuit and on our course, we think it looks a bit like a thumbs up… But I’ll let you decide if you agree with us.

I also did another solo flight where I went out to practice my general flying skills and that went really well too.
I also managed to find Hobbiton from the air as well, meaning that I’ve now been to it on the ground and spotted it from the air and it’s just as impressive from both perspectives!

But, it’s not all solo flying. I have been conducting instrument flying with my instructor recently. This is when you fly solely on the instrument – and to make sure you do this, the instructor makes us wear a ‘hood’ (imagine golfers cap and you’re about there) so we can’t actually see outside. It gets quite tiring but gives you a good grounding for when we’re flying the commercial jets and the only visual references we get is a layer of cloud.

I have also recently been looking through my log book and noticed that I’m just over 10 hours off hitting the 100 hours mark – something I’ll be looking forward to in earnest!

And to finish this post, I had an early flight the other morning and decided to get a picture of the sunrise over the airfield

sunrise-at-hamilton