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Up and Away in our CT2K ... the trip


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We’ve just returned from a great first trip in CT-3841. Hope you don’t mind a bit of a ramble but let me share some of our experiences.


Go on, indulge me.


Flight plan done, weather checked and OK, baggage hold stuffed, fuelled to the 544 limit, DI done, excited wee passed, life jackets donned, EPIRB in place, knee board strapped, sarwatch arranged and the mandatory caps on. Ready to launch. 0950 June 14 and Charlie Tango is airborne. My wife, Gwen, and I had planned this trip for weeks, at last we’re off.


The plan was to track from our home base of Cooma-Snowy to Moruya then follow the coast to Newcastle (can’t get lost that way) with a possible stop at Wollongong if needed. So up we went, then up some more and some again to 7500 to give us plenty of air over tiger country (and it’s real rugged stuff) between Cooma and the coast. A nice tailwind saw us over Moruya at 5000 in 27 mins then turn toward Nowra. Anticipating the need to track the VFR lane through controlled air around Nowra we called the tower only to be told their radar was down and that the area was normal MBZ conditions. Darn, and we’d just fitted a transponder ready for the question “are you transponder equipped?†and we didn’t need it. There you go.


Our real reason for flying the coast was for the scenic value. Great value it was, we’ve never had such good views of so much coast, ever. It was simply beautiful … you’ve got to do it. And the best was yet to come.


Past Nowra, then Kiama, no need to stop off at Wollongong so on we went past Stanwell Park and on toward Port Hacking for entry to Victor 1. All the way from Moruya to Port Hacking was a gentle and economical descent cruise at 100kt IAS and 11l/h. Joining Victor 1 was a new experience. An early call to Sydney Radar to request flight following yielded a negative “due to workload†(darn, still no use for the transponder), checked Sydney ATIS for local QNH, trimmed off for 500 then settled back for magic views of Sydney from a couple of miles off-shore (thus the life jackets). Awesome stuff watching the big international flights dropping in overhead for landing at Kingsford Smith, they look sooo close. Just off Sydney Heads we collected bonus points … whales right under us.


Beyond Sydney we climbed to 1500 to continue the scenic flight past Central Coast (more great views) then over Lake Macquarie for our first destination. As part of our planning we were disappointed to learn that Aeropelican was closed but delighted to find a small private grass strip in the western suburbs of Newcastle at Wallsend. With prior permission this was to be our home for the next few days. It’s amazing how difficult it can be to spot a small strip in unfamiliar territory. There it is, snuggled into a built-up corner of homes and businesses, running 03/21, bordered by HT power lines to the West and Wetlands to the east and surrounded by trees along a third of its 740m length. Oh no, look at that sock, it’s almost horizontal straight across the strip. Down to circuit height, line up, oops there’s lift off those trees … come on, get down. No, go around. Second approach a bit longer and lower, still being lifted off the trees with a couple of pretty sudden bumps requiring quick reactions but down we go and on the ground at last. One of the owners was waiting for us who very kindly complimented on our landing in such conditions. That was nice of him, thanks Pete. Added to his kindness was the offer to put our “cute†little CT under cover in one of their still-being-built new hangars, another bonus.


Our visit to Newcastle was a return home for us (we moved away in ’88) so we have lots of friends and relis to visit. The plan was to head north again for an overnighter at Port Macquarie on Monday 20th and then on to Caloundra for a weeks holiday the following day. Part of our trip to Caloundra included a visit with Bruce Stark (Tecnam) at Southport. Watching the weather reports it was decided to delay a day to gain expected better weather north on the Wednesday. Good decision? Nah! On Tuesday the westerlies moved in with ferocity. So, we shall wait, and wait, and wait some more. The weather forecasts gave us some hope of the winds settling down by the weekend which they did, just as the rain moved in (no complaints here). Another look at the reports and we could see bad weather north and bad weather south. Now what?


Hang the holiday, let’s go home and wait for better conditions. Time for a new plan, head west of the Divide away from the coastal weather then over the hills to home. So, on 25th between showers we lifted off from a very wet and muddy strip (glad to have learned short-field work and very glad of a nice little craft that happily jumps off in 150m fully loaded), I think the onlookers were impressed. We tracked Maitland, Singleton, Denman, Gulgong, Wellington and Parkes. Our flight was mostly at 1000 to 1500 agl just below cloud, through bumpy air and ducking the occasional shower glad to see clear air and blue sky at Wellington.


An overnighter at Parkes where we met up with a couple of friendly locals from the aero club who, after admiring the lines of our “cute†CT, proudly showed us through their stable of planes before giving us a lift into town. The morning presented us with a steady 15kt wind straight down the runway. Up again but now in pretty smooth air at 5000 just above scattered cloud tracking Cootamundra, Tumut, Talbingo, Adaminaby and home. But alas, just past Talbingo and over pretty rough tiger country again we observed ahead of us cloud down to the ground. No way Jose, turn back and head for Tumut. En route we tapped into Canberra ATIS to hear that their local conditions sounded favourable if we chose to track around ACT for home. While at Tumut enjoying a hot cuppa with Pat Malone, we called home for conditions there with a fellow aviator and good friend, Adrian Menhennitt. No chance, fully overcast down to just 500 agl and drizzle. So, Tumut for yet another overnighter.


Ahh, Monday morning with still air. The plan now is to head over the hills toward Talbingo again for a look-see then if not safe turn back and head around Canberra for a lower, safer trip home. Bingo, what a beautiful sight. We climbed to 7500, again for plenty of air over the high country, to be presented with this wonderful corridor of clear, smooth air. Scattered cloud below us, high cloud above us, 8/8 low cloud west of us on the Snowies with snow covered peaks jutting through and 8/8 heavy weather moving in from the east. We are so privileged to see close up the awesomeness of God’s handiwork. Ahead we could see plenty of clear air below the incoming weather so we dropped to 5000 over Adaminaby and on to Cooma-Snowy for the final touchdown just an hour before the weather closed in. A magnificent finish to an eventful trip. And Charlie Tango didn’t miss a beat all the way.


Looking forward to going again, and soon. We highly recommend travel in your own plane, so if you have the time, go for it, it’s great. You know what would make this sort of travel more intresting? The opportunity to fly in “formation†with others and share the experiences. Any takers out there?




PS If interested, we have a few pics, just ask and I'll post a couple on this site to share.



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Great trip Paul, now it is your turn to make me drool! :star: We will make that formation flight (with regulated seperation offcourse :ah_oh: ) when my CT arrives - please post some pictures, did you take any of those 8/8's?



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Here are some of our pics from the trip, incl the Snowies. I had the pleasure today of flying to Tumut again to collect Adrian (mentioned in my trip story) for a lift back home to Cooma. Anyway, the trip home was again a delight, just like in the att'd photo, and the air was glass smooth ... hands free flying. You've got to do it one day.



















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Great photos! got any more?


also i am interested in this airfield at wallsend, i am living in the area now after starting a new job at BAE Systems at Williamtown, and im looking for a place to fly from thats is handy! i never knew this existed!!



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Hi ???,


Yep, lots of pics, but didn't want to bore people.


The airfield at Wallsend in located at the end of Creek Road and is operated by a group of private shareholders under the name of Wallsair.


For more info I suggest you contact Dave McDonald at [email protected] (I think he's the President). They are a great bunch and their facilities are pretty good andshowing signs of improvement each time I visit.


Have been there again this week. Just returned to Cooma today via coast ... what a great flight.





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You're really getting around Paul - hope you're not going to be warn out by the time my CT arrives for some dual flying. Yes, many more of those great photos - even create an album of your trips (click the album button on the menu across the top of the page).


Incidentally, I believe my CT is leaving the Ukraine next week. It will be trucked to Germany where it will have a final test flight before being boxed up in a container for the trip here



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Thanks for that, Im building a Cri cri, and will be looking for a place to fly from, and unfortuntaly i cant keep it at williamtown :( i will drop them an email and say hi!


and dont be afraid to post pictures! you can never have too many pics of flying in oz! as far as im concerned there isnt enough! i have plenty of pics or people flying in the USA, but not here! good to see the local content! and chat with Aussie pilots as well! so post more!



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  • 2 months later...

great pics. I have problems with reflections when I take photos, there is not enough room to hold a polariser in front of the lens, but I am still trying to fix the problem.





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