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Recreational Flying Fly-in @ Camden Haven: The Matt & Kaz Report


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Got up bright and early on Saturday to a glorious morning in Canberra - crisp blue sky, no clouds and -4 degrees. The forecast for the route across to Wollongong then up the coast to Camden Haven looked pretty good. Flight planning done, bags packed, rugged up and off we head to the airport...to be greeted by a CT4 that didn't appear to have much in the way of orange paint...that'd be due a thick layer of ice covering everything! After an hour of scraping ice, pouring warm water (we did think ahead a little) and rotating the frozen aircraft in the sun, it was finally free of ice and off we went...only about 30 minutes behind schedule. (no pictures of ice-laden aircraft...Kaz's hands were too frozen to operate the camera :))


Headed across to Wollongong at 5500' in the most perfect conditions, clear blue sky, no wind and not a bump to be found. From 5500' we slowly descend with the CTA steps down to 500' for Victor One. Sydney weather was good and not much in the way of smog at that time of day on a Saturday so the view was fantastic.




Continuing up the coast we climb back up to a more respectable 1500' for the rest of the trip. We haven't been any further north up the coast than Manly before so it was a new experience travelling up this part of the coast.


As we neared Newcastle we were astounded by the number of bulk carriers laying of the coast, obviously a bit of a bit of a backlog due to the recent weather up that way...I think Kaz counted over 70 ships as we approached the most famous bulk carrier in the country...



Despite having been here for a while now, the attention it draws is amazing, there were helicopters, trikes and a few other lighty's in the area as we went passed as well as a line of cars that stretched back into the Newcastle CBD.


Heading further up the coast we pass Williamtown RAAF Base and the impressive sand dunes in the area then head inland and a direct track for Camden Haven. Just on 2 hours after we left Canberra we approach Camden Haven and overfly to head up to Port Macquarie to top up the tanks - ours and the CT4s :).


As we leave Port to head back down to Camden Haven we're overtaken by Rod Hall in one of his Strikemasters (lucky bugger has a couple of them!) as he also heads down to put on a bit of a display for those on the ground. From all reports by those on the ground it was a very impressive display...looked pretty good from 1500' too as we orbited waiting for the display to finish.


Onwards to Camden Haven and this jem of an airfield crammed in between some impressive looking hills and surrounded by trees...not a strip for the faint hearted!



After landing on what feels like a bowling green with 3 inches of foam under it (no excuses for a bad landing here!) we taxy into the little cove by the river and park...our 'warbird' looking a little out of place amongst the other 'recreational' aircraft.


As we were hoping, Gregg and Sue had brought our old baby down for the day and we had an opportunity to bond again and introduce Dimples to the new member of our family...they seemed to get along ok :)




Spent the afternoon meeting some of you and talking plenty of aviation. Went for a quick flight locally with Gregg...who's now in the market for a CT4 006_laugh.gif.0f7b82c13a0ec29502c5fb56c616f069.gif


Rolling down the green...



There were quite a few different aircraft on show...not the usual Jabiru festival you see at fly-ins these days.


Here's what Ross (Slartibartfast) was drooling over and has on his shopping list...



Here's the aviation equivalent of a Monster Truck...these tyres were definitely overkill for this strip!



After an afternoon of talking, talking and more talking...we all headed up to Port Macquarie to gather at the Hastings District Flying Club for an information session by CASA, some great food, a few good yarns and wise words from Rod Hall...oh, and more talking...accompanied by a few ales of course :)


Up early again this morning and out to Port Macquarie airport to fuel up for the days flying and head back down to Camden Haven...in company with some of the family...



Arriving at Camden Haven for Day 2 of talking ourselves to sore throats, a couple of us were convinced that this was a Warbird fly-in and we were going to have more CT4's on show than Jabirus :)




Not only does Rod Hall own a couple of Strikemasters, he also owns a CT4 which he uses for adventure flights for those that can't afford a money-burning flight in the Strikemaster. I thought going from a fuel burn of 16L/hour to 40L/hour was a bit of a leap...can't imagine footing the bill for 1200L/hour of Jet-A1!


After some more talking, coffee and shopping in Ian's tent (I can't resist a bargain...that's me, not Kaz 006_laugh.gif.0f7b82c13a0ec29502c5fb56c616f069.gif) we say farewell to Gregg, Sue, Rob (small furry ballast that sits on the parcel shelf) and Dimples before we make our way home



The planned trip home was a reverse of our trip up, down the coast to Wollongong then direct to Canberra...that was all going pretty well until we were heading southward along Victor-1 looking at a wall of very dark grey sky and rain just south of Jibbon Point. After listening to Sydney and Bankstown ATIS again without a lot of hope of it clearing up we turned 180 degrees and headed back up the coast as the weather north of Sydney was pretty good. We went backup up as far as Gosford then tracked across to Bathurst...climbing up to 8500' to get over some cloud and a fair bit of tiger country. Got to Bathurst and clear skies again where we stopped to top up tanks again...yep, both ours and the CT4s :)


Departed Bathurst and head south for Canberra with the weather only getting better as we get closer to home. ATIS for Canberra advises CAVOK with a variable wind at 3kt...can't ask for better conditions.


Flight times for the weekend: Canberra to Camden Haven - 2.1 hours. Camden Haven to Canberra (via Sydney then Bathurst) - 4.0 hours.


I don't have any GPS tracks yet...spent the evening getting the photos sorted and typing this post...will edit the post later to add these in.


Kaz and I would like to say a VERY BIG THANKS to Ian and all those involved in making this weekend happen. It was a great opportunity to meet some of you for the first time and catch up with those we've already met through this forum. As I said to Ian this morning, this forum not only provides some great entertainment, information and shopping, it also provides the opportunity to meet like-minded people who we would probably have never met if not for this forum. Thanks again Ian, we'll continue to support and promote the forum and look forward to the next fly-in...wherever and whenever it might be.




Matt & Kaz.


PS: The Canberra Clan needs to figure out a way of meeting in Canberra, I think there were 6 or more of us from Canberra and Cooma area who flew all the way to Camden Haven to catch up!



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I absolutely loved the sounds of the CT4! sounds a little bit more powerful then my 503 screaming away just an inch behind me head!


Great photos! and your description of the strip is spot on! made taking off in the vampire an interesting experience!



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Great story and pics guys.


After picking my way down the coast between showers, stopping in at Taree to check out the Cheetah hangar and refueling, we (Mike was catching a lift) taxied down the strip to continue the odyssey. When it started raining I decided that was enough taxiing and turned and took off from there. That's how close it was. Dodged more showers all the way to Warnervale, got a shot of the Pasha Bulker then hi-tailed it inland for a bit (didn't get it), got around that shower and snuck into Warnervale between parachute drops and topped up again. Realized about here that I was not getting back to Cooma in the remaining daylight (did I mention the delay in Camden Haven because I left the master on overnight? Doh!).


Dropped off Mike and left him in the tender care of his wife Sue. Thanks Mike it was a pleasure flying with you. Headed south again, undecided between The Oaks, Mittagong or Goulburn for the night. Transpired that Hoxton Park was the only option due more nasty stuff scattered around Sydney.


So here I am on Darren and Emma's computer enjoying their wonderful hospitality and getting to the bottom of the story of why Darren didn't come with me.


All night he has been saying "I should have gone, I should have gone".


Thanks again to Ian for a great event. To those who missed this one I can only recommend you make it next time. It was great!


Lots of friendly people, plane talking and awesome fires keen.gif.9802fd8e381488e125cd8e26767cabb8.gif





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Guest munch

Info on the Fly-in


Thanks guys, I've been hangin for someone to post about it all weekend being stuck on the ground as I am, it was a great read. I look forward to reports and piccies. ;)



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Guest David C

Thanks for the great trip reports . Fantastic photos Matt , you are blessed to have such a talented co-pilot as Kaz . Good to see our old mate Gary Morgan made it too . Did he have his 84yr old co-pilot David Archer in company this time ?? , he is such a character that one . Ross , I know what you mean about Darren , I had " I should have gone " all day Saturday , I will add my bit now and say " I should have gone also " . Watch out next time , for I am sure that we will both be there ..;)..Thanks again ..


Dave C



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Guest JRMobile

Great story and wonderful pics - thanks for sharing with us!!011_clap.gif.c796ec930025ef6b94efb6b089d30b16.gif


I will admit to being a little green with envy:yuk: as we were socked in all weekend (and still are, 12.30 Monday) and could not get out. Oh the joys of Northern NSW .


Maybe next time the weather gods will behave.


Cheers JR



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Great Story, Great Pics and Paragraphs! ;)


You beauty - text that is easy to read - take note all users please -


We find text hard to read when it goes on and on and on and.......049_sad.gif.af5e5c0993af131d9c5bfe880fbbc2a0.gif





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What a great weekend !


Thanks Ian. Great to meet the crowd in person.


What a great spot to have a fly in !


The venue on Saturday night at the Port Macquarie flying club just hit the spot too.


Looks like a few of us didn't get home.


Ian took one look at the weather and made the right choice.


Stablartifast - well no doubt he will post his own story.


I overnighted in Bathurst, then got to within 9NM of Goulburn before I had to call it a day.


Yes, Darren, you should have gone !









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A load of good posts and photos. A pity I couldn't get there but in a way it was better that way as there was no chance of a return flight on Monday and Saturday was miserable, in fact it has only just cleared up today.



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