Flight 55, first solo XC

Yes did my first solo XC (Cross Country) today.

Basically means you leave the airport where you are based and go somewhere else and navigate a bit 🙂

So yes, arrived just after 0700 I think it was and there she was :

The hanger where KNZ lives

I did all my checks, filled up the petrol tanks and rang Terry. We were talking about the wind conditions and he gave me the OK. It was nice and calm, with a bit of a NE wind, not a lot. But I know it would get stronger.

This is the map I was using for my trip:

Today’s map

So basically starting in Rangiora, going anti clockwise.

First point to fly to was the Sefton Chipmill. Easy to spot as it always has lots of white smoke coming from the chimney, but not today. Just a little bit:

Sefton Chipmill

Flying North just past Amberley, my next turning point was Dave’s property. He has his own private “SHORT” runway. I spotted it from a distance (can you ?). So yes all good :

Dave’s runway

That’s the way to Oxford. A nice day, but a bit of fog ahead of me !! I noticed it driving away from home this morning:

That’s the way to Oxford

Beautiful views:

Just a nice view

Next turning point was Loburn Abbey. I’ve seen it many times before, but never approached it from the East. But again I didn’t have any problems finding it:

Loburn Abbey

And yes getting closer to Oxford with more and more fog! Beautiful views towards the North, looking at Mt Thomas:

Towards Oxford, looking at Mt Thomas

As the fog was to thick, I decided not to go all the way to Oxford, but stay on the edge of the fog, and turn at Harewood Rd. Easy to recognize as I have driven there lots of times. Here you see the little single lane bridge across the Eyre river:

Harewood Rd single lane bridge across the Eyre river

And yes I wanted to circle around our house. Its a bit to the right from the centre, with the drive way loop and the white looking shed 🙂 :

Our house
Our house

Everything was going fine, until I got closer to Forrest Field, my next turning point, the air strip not far from us. I spotted it straight away.

I saw a plane not far from me, but quite a bit higher. So I radio-ed him that I could see him. A few seconds later I saw another plane coming towards me, at the same altitude, so I started turning right, that’s one of the “right of way” rules in aviation, internationally. He descended and went under me. All looking safe, didn’t feel in danger at all at any time. Next someone called me on the radio saying that I was on the wrong frequency ! OOOOOPS

I apologized and quickly changed frequency, and reported my position, altitude and my intentions.

I completely forgot to change frequency. I blame the fog, as it changed my plans,

So important to use the right channel !!!!!!!!!!

Won’t do that again. So no photo of Forest Field.

Next turning point was Cust. Yes looking good, almost home:


I found Rangiora no problem and had a really good landing, considering there was a lot of wind now, a lot more then when I left.

If you click on THIS LINK a new tab opens with the map you see below. And if you zoom in, you can see the turning points that I photographed, GREAT :


So yes had a really good time. Seen fog from above, had beautifully views, made a mistake with my frequency (hopefully learned from it) and had a really good landing. So yes happy !!!

Oh yes rang Terry when I landed to “terminate” my SAR time ( Search And Rescue ). If I wouldn’t have arrived on time they would start looking for me 🙂

7 thoughts on “Flight 55, first solo XC

  1. Hi there Gert

    Well, no harm done and this flight, like all the others you will ever do was a learning experience. Correct radio frequencies are important, and now you understand why – yes, your eyes are your primary “collision avoidance system”, but the radio when its on the correct frequency, is very important too. Good on you for admitting such in your “blog”, but you shouldn’t have blamed the fog – you are the one who didnt change to the correct frequency.
    A very simple rule is “aviate, navigate, communicate”. In that order.
    Glad you enjoyed the day, and every best wish.


  2. Hi there Gert

    Next time we fly, we are going to take a look at flying slowly – no more than 50 knots with some flap. For a bit of this, we will fly at legal minimums. We will do straight and level, plus some medium turns while in this state.
    All good practice for your eventual conversion onto your Bleriot. I had a chat with Evan, and in his opinion, that’s what we need to teach you –
    Evan also said you need a bunch more hours. I replied to Evan that the way your going, you’ll have done another 20 or so by Christmas. Let’s make our target you flying your Bleriot early in the new year. Let’s aim towards this.
    It seems to me (from what I have heard) that what you need to know to gain is an understanding of slow speed flight, and the Kit-Fox is perfect.
    Ive asked Evan to check you out in the KIt-Fox before you solo the Bleriot and he is very happy to do that.
    Let’s make it happen.


  3. Wish I had your technical ‘nouse’ to document my flights! You’re going great Gert. Well done. Enjoyed your report.

Leave a comment