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A Spcial Christmas


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Christmas Day dawned and along with it the realisation that we’re alone for Christmas with nought to do. All of the kids and grandies off doing their own thing, so what now. Hmmm, let’s see. I know! One of our daughters is also alone in a new environment and just starting a new job. Weather checked, decision made, bags packed, ham sandwiches for Christmas lunch, plan submitted, CT pulled out of the shed and we’re off. Tassie, here we come.


Yeehaa, what an experience. If ever you’re of half a mind to cross the Bass Strait, go for it. It’s a lot of water but really the individual legs between islands are quite short and not at all scary.


We headed off from Cooma in pretty ordinary weather of sct cloud high enough to allow our planned 5500 alt but very bumpy air. After about 40 minutes of silence on the area frequency we called “Centre, Charlie tango 3841. Could we have a radio check please?” “I have you all fives.” came the reply. “Thanks. It’s been so quiet I thought we may be off-line.” to which he replied “Yeah, isn’t it great?” Seems like everyone else was home doing Christmas stuff.


As we approached the coast cloud increased to overcast and lower with occasional drizzle but much smoother. Into Yarram for a comfort stop and ham sandwiches. What a surprise, three of the local aviators Jim (chrisag), John and Webbley were waiting to welcome our arrival. Nice touch guys and just when you should have been home for Christmas lunch … definitely a highlight of the trip indeed.


Off again to head across the Strait. Flightwatch gave glowing reports of better weather with sct cloud base at 3500 and winds from our right not affecting our progress much at all. We had planned crossing at 9500 for plenty of height but decided to hang under the clouds. After all, I’m assured that Rotaxes don’t stop, right chrisag ;). The crossing was brief and a real pleasure with great views and a helpful watch from Mel centre monitoring our progress with SKED reports every 20 minutes ... and the Rotax didn't miss a beat, phew.


Soon enough we were cleared for a straight in visual to Launy 14R and to a wonderful welcome by our waiting daughter. And isn’t she thrilled that we dropped in to make her Christmas special. And all it took was 4.7 hours and 70 litres, really surprising.


Back home today leaving Launy at 0700, a quick orbit over our daughters home to wave goodbye, over the Strait at 8500 before dropping to 2500 just before the coast to slip in under the cloud in readiness to land back at Yarram. More friendly greetings and then off for the final stage back to Cooma getting the CT back in its shed (4.2 hrs and 60 litres later) just minutes before a thunderstorm dumped its load on us.


All in all, a wonderful three days.


Happy Christmas everyone. I just hope you’re day was as special as ours.







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Guest JRMobile

Paul, Great report - Im impressed and will put that trip on my to do list. Well done and all the best for 2008.


Ps love the bass strait post card ;)





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Paul well done, being a Tassie boy its my dream to one day do the trip over the wide river in a light aircraft. one day I'll get there.


Thanks for the report.



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Guest Graham Lea

Very very nice!


I guess you have a ppl as you were cleared for the straight in into Launy...


Out west NSW you can go for a long time with no calls to or from center..


Feels weird at 8,500....


Good on ya!


Graham Lea



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