Flight 28, just solo

Had a really interesting flight today ! Rang Dave last night to say I was going to fly early this morning, and this is what he told me to do:
Fly to the “Loburn training area”, find a nice paddock and “almostland there !

So yes this morning I took off, in the direction of the Loburn training area, climbed to 2000ft and started searching for a nice paddock with no animals on it and away from houses. Now that’s not so easy, lots of lifestyle blocks everywhere, so in the end I picked a paddock with no animals, flew over it, reduced the engine power to idle speed, and started gliding down at 60mph. Dave told me to fly as if I was in a left hand circuit so I can see it all properly.

Now the trick is to space the circuit out so that when you go into finals (about to land) you have the right altitude aiming at 1/3 into the paddock. The last thing you do there is apply the flaps, to slow down, turn of the two magneto’s to stop the engine, switch of the main power switch  and close the fuel valve to reduce the risk of fire.

Relax 🙂 I didn’t land and turn off the engine, just simulated it by touching every control or switch. When I reached about 200ft (60m) I gently applied power and climbed up to 2000ft again, and did this whole exercise two more times.
Was fun in the end, all about estimating height, speed, distance, so that you can safely reach the spot where you are going to land.

After that I flew back to the home base NZRT and did 2 glide approaches, also simulating a engine failure landing, but this time in the circuit.

So yes all went really well, HAPPY !!

Here is a link where you can see what I did, just in case you are interested 🙂  wed31aug2016


Flight 27, just solo

Went for a solo flight to Rangiora again, very foggy at home but all clear at NZRT. I was talking with Dave last night and he told me to practice turns. Level turns, climbing turns and descending turns. Then a rejoin and a few more circuits with glide approach landings.

During my rejoin, I got a bit upset as I didn’t see another plane. Thinking about it, I didn’t see him because he was below me and in front coming my way. Anyway, nothing happened, but I just need to structure my off circuit decent a bit more. So learned from this. As you can see in the log below, I turn the downwind a bit earlier, as this other plane I missed was flying beside me. As a result I turned finals to early and was way to high so did a go-around and did the last landing with glide approach and did it perfect 🙂

Today’s log :  Sat20Aug2016



And below the elevation profile :



Just explaining what you see above, well so I remember later on (no one else is probably interested…)

After takeoff, climbing to 2000ft, there I did a couple of turns between 6 and 9 nm were you see a few little ups and downs, trying to fly level. Then at 10 nm I started doing climbing and descending turns. After 3 of each, a few more turns between 20 and 22 nm while trying to stay at 2000ft, followed by the trip back to the airfield.

At 33 nm I am overhead and start descending on the non traffic site, from 1700ft to 1200ft, followed by an attempt to land, but as I was to high I did a go-around. Did 4 more landings afterwards, with the last one a glide approach.  Al good !!!  🙂

Flight 26, just solo

Beautiful morning, flying early before going to work…

Spoke with Dave last night and told me to do circuits, and away from the airport with a few turns, and then rejoining and a few engine failure simulations landing using a glide approach.

So yes, I did 3 circuits, then left and flew over Loburn Abbey, did two tight turns, went back via River Junction (the confluence of Okuku river and the Ashley river) and joined the circuit again. Did 4 more circuits I think, with the last 3 doing an engine failure simulation landing with a glide approach. Last two went perfect, first one didn’t as I was way to high, so went around again.

In the log below, you can see the 3 last engine failure simulations, as I am gently turning into RW25, instead of flying the circuit that has a rectangular shape !

So , yes very happy !!  🙂

Have a look for the log here: Tue16Aug2016


Filling in wing root gab

Spend some time this weekend filling in the gab between the wing and the fuselage. There is a 2″ gab, maybe historical, but probably for technical reasons, as it was easier that way.

The reason I am trying this is to see if filling this gab increases the lift and decreases the drag.

Normally at the wing tip you have air “leaking” from the bottom of the wing were there’s a higher air pressure to the top of the wing were the air pressure is lower. In modern planes they minimize that with all sort of shaped wiglets at the tip of the wing.

In my case I can’t stop this “leak”. But I am sure I have the same leak at the wing root, and that’s what I am stopping and it should improve things. Not sure how I am going to prove it works as I am also in the process of improving the engine performance, so this gab filler, a piece of foam in the shape of the wing is probably always going to stay there, so one day will paint it the same colour as the wing.

Springs Junction, Murchison, Greymouth

Paul Godfrey asked a few days ago if anyone was interested to go with him to Murchison for lunch on Sunday 🙂

After thinking about it for half an hour, I rang him and left a message. Later that day he rang me back to confirm that I could fly with him,if the weather was good enough.

This was going to be a big test for me, flying for hours through the mountains, but a great experience !!!!!

Then this morning, I met up with Paul at the Rangiora airport. It was a beautiful day, no wind and no clouds!! We fueled the plane (I think we had about 90 liters) and a checked around the plane before we took off.

The Kitfox ZK-JFA

Slowly climbing through beautiful snowy mountains


Hope river valey towards the Lewis pass rd


Lewis pass summit rest area

As the Murchison airstrip would possibly have fog hanging around, we made a little stop at Springs Junction.
Click here for the Springs Junction airstrip: SpringsJunction


Next leg to Murchison for lunch:


Maruia falls

Click here for the Murchison airstrip: Murchison


Walked into Murchison and had lunch at Beachwoods, and continued our trip through the Buller gorge past Westport to Greymouth.



Westport in the distance

Beautiful coast line

Flying South to Greymouth




Greymouth just ahead, with the airport in the middle of the photo

Click here for the Greymouth airstrip: Greymouth20160807_152614

A bit of time for stretching the legs, a talk with a local at the air strip here in Greymouth, and then the last leg back home via the Arthurs pass  valley.

Moana at Lake Brunner

Closer to the massive mountains, flying towards Arthurs pass

Me and Paul

Arthurs pass summit; Deaths Corner

Out on the other side, The Waimak

Just amazing, rivers paddocks more rivers and snow snow and more snow

Almost home over those mountains there 🙂 Blackwater lake down below

This has been such an amazing experience, something I will not forget soon.
Thanks Paul for giving me the opportunity to fly with you.

Ooh and yes I flew a bit as well, that was great. Will have to get used to this plane as I will (if everything goes well) be getting lessons in a similar plane to this one getting my tail dragger experience !!

This is what we flew today 🙂  Click here: sun7aug2016 for a full size zoom-able map.