Culverden and Stephen Fields fly-away

Today is just perfect. The club is doing a fly-away 😊

Flying to Culverden, were there’s a nice long strip followed by a visit to Stephen Fields farm strip.

So yes I met up with Paul who I was flying with at 11, and after the briefing we took off and flew over Okuku pass and into the valley were Culverden is.

I made myself a A4 copy from the VNC chart so I could orientate myself. Glad I made that.

Just before we left Rangiora, I also saw Terry my instructor. He told me to have a really good look around going there, note the strip altitude etc. I will be flying there soon with him as part of my training and if it goes well, will fly solo back !!! 😊

OK, Culverden airstrip altitude is 600ft. So the circuit is 1600ft, and joining at 2100ft, left hand circuit.

Below the airstrip just East of Culverden. Photo made by Roy. We ended up having 31 planes on the ground here, wow, that’s a lot!!

Paul’s plane JFA, also a Kitfox 🙂

The short leg going to Stephen Fields (Paul was piloting) was amazing, low through the valleys.

Below a video I made, following the Hurunui. As I am moving the camera around a bit, you might have to move your head a bit but it will give you a nice impression what it was like:

At Stephen Fields strip it got really cold, and started raining. So we decided to go back home.

Paul gave me “the keys” and told me to take the pilot seat 😊 I did most of the flying from the passenger seat during the first leg, but this is even better !!!

We were going to try to fly back along the coast, with all that cloud coming in.

In the end I was glad we did. That was amazing, navigating under the clouds and around sometimes. Really felt I was flying. At one stage having to dive down as we suddenly flew into one big white cloud. Wow, lots of white stuff !!!

Back in Rangiora I joined the circuit and landed. Not easy in a different plane (Paul’s). So i did one more circuit, but same issues…. That’s ok, next time i will be flying my own training plane KNZ.

Yes, was an amazing afternoon !!!

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.


Cross country flight to Forest Field

Did my first “little cross country” flight.
Duncan, member of our club, lives at Forest Field (NZFF) organized a brunch.

I wanted to take this opportunity to fly only 20 minutes or so from NZRT where I am getting my lessons to this local airstrip, 4km away from our home. I am hoping to move my Bleriot into a hangar here sometime in the future.

With Dave my instructor on holiday, I had to organize another instructor. Luckily Tony from our club wanted to go to the brunch and didn’t mind coming with me, giving me directions, and teaching me a few more things.

All week I have been keeping an eye out on the weather, didn’t look good. Definitely not a nice High pressure system around. The forecast was for Southerlies, with a Nor-west  and all sort of other bad things you don’t want….

But I wanted to take this opportunity so had to live with the turbulent air. Wasn’t to bad but still a bit to much for my liking !!!  🙂

So this morning I picked up Tony and drove to the club airstrip to hop into my club plane JOR. Below you see the full 22 min unedited version of my trip to NZFF.


Below is the edited version of my first cross country flight to the airstrip FF, not far from my home:

  • Flying over Cust with cloud rolling over the mountains, with Nor-west turbulence’s.
  • First sight of FF on the left at 1500ft AGL.
  • Turning into the circuit at 1000ft AGL.
  • Stretched circuit flying over the dairy farm just behind our house, with our house later on amongst the Manuka just to the left of the nose of the plane.
  • On finals, landing at Forest Field


Oh yes what I learned :

– With turbulent weather, when pushed out of balance, don’t use ailerons to level the wings. Use the rudder to continually correct direction and nose back into the “wind”. This is leveling the wings, so that’s good 🙂

– The other thing we did is return into the circuit from the non traffic side. This is basically the same as returning from the traffic side, but you skip the entering at 1500ft AGL bit, and enter the circuit via the cross wind leg. When you do this you can see all the traffic in the circuit really well, so a safe entering method.