Monday, October 4, 2010


Sorry its been a while since i last posted! I have actually had 2 weeks leave, which was well earned and deserved as far as i'm concerned. So haven't had a whole lot of photos to take or things to write about, in regards to flying at least.

Although my first flight back was down to Hooker Creek (south of Darwin 355nm), and returning in the late afternoon into Darwin, was my first proper taste of the 'wet season.' I was in and out of huge areas of cloud build up. I tried to avoid the big ones but sometimes its hard, and you just need to ride the bumps with the powers turned back. Anyway once visual there was a line of thunderstorms to the south of the field i had to navigate around (without weather radar, for those playing at home!) I was lucky in the sense i was able to see a tiny gap, where a semi-visible horizon was seen, so i made a bee-line for it before the gap closed. Worked a treat. Darwin at this point was being hit by torrential rain, so i was cleared the VOR 11 approach.

So anyway, i don't think i had done a VOR approach since my intial instrument rating test! I have done many ILS, which cover me for VOR recency, however not a VOR. I barely got visual at the minima, and finally a little to the right of my line of sight i could see the PAPI lights glowing through the rain. Once i selected full flaps and landed, the runway was completely saturated and another first on this flight, actually experienced aqua-planing and had very unresponsive braking.

So there is nothing like a 2 weeks break from work, and have an unfamiliar approach down to minimums to get you back in to gear. It is also one of those experiences that makes you confident in your ability, but also makes me realise how much there is to still learn. Flying piston twins in weather like that is no my favourite thing in the world, im also lucky i don't have icing conditions to deal with either. There is no mucking about doing an instrument approach like that, and for the life of me cant figure out why i didn't ask to do the runway 11 RNAV. Either way, it all worked out!

Anyway, i'll get some photos up soon of my holidays! Take care.

1 comment:

  1. Nice info Mike about the 402; nice airplane and wish I had more experience with them myself. Ah yes... fuel calculations. They're so important that my company doesn't allow us to leave the gate until we have a "hard" copy and have calculated a "fuel reasonable check." Nothing worse than running out of gas!