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NT5224

Long(ish) flights?

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Folks, I'm posting this question in a moment of idle curiosity.

 

Our Recreational fleet is not known for comfort on long flights, and different aircraft have very different capabilities, but I know a few among us who have carried a pee bottle (metaphorically or otherwise) and flown quite long stages when going cross-country. So I'm interested to know whats been your longest flight in a RAA registered aircraft -both in terms of distance traversed and time aloft (endurance)?

 

I'd be helpful to know the aircraft flown to put the flight in context...

 

I'll kick this off and say my longest leg flying the Murphy would probably only be about 4 hours, which half empties the tanks. But its so slow that a plastic fantastic would probably have gone further in two hours!

 

 

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5 hours it a J230 and just made sure I didn't drink too much B4 hand. But on the trip I was flying with someone nearly half my age who probably had better bladder control and didn't seem to get uncomfortable in the end like me.

 

I think the flight was from Lightening ridge to Lismore ?It was a while back now and I'm getting forgetful in my old age.

 

In future if flying with my wife or a mate I plan on stopping every 2-3 hrs a least.

 

 

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5hrs is my longest time aloft, I was on what is normally a 280nm 3.5-4hr straight trip (home to the in laws) but there was a nice wad of fog and cloud on the direct path so I flew west to Coonabarabran where I stopped and reassessed my options then took off heading further west to coonamble before heading south (adding around 45nm to the trip). All in all it was six hours but I had stretched my legs at Coonabarabran which had taken me an hour from home.

 

That is in the Hornet, I normally cruise at 70-75 but this trip I was sitting on 55-60 indicated for a couple of reasons. I had to consider fuel burn and at altitude there was a 20knot headwind so I was only getting 50knots across the ground and at that burn rate I would have run out of fuel short of my destination so I ended up flying low 700-1000agl where it was bumpy but with not much headwind so my 55-60 indicated ended up averaging 55 over the ground which was enough to get me there with most of my reserve left.

 

5 hours is too long for me, 4 hours is half doable but a quick stop every 2-3 hours makes things a lot more relaxed.

 

 

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Melbourne to Childers with headwinds all the way was my most memorable over two days morning to end daylight ish. In a Lighting with extra 40lt that I wired into the system in the back.

 

Have never had a problem with pit stops on strips over 30years flying, also that's why diversions are also taught.

 

Truthfully - I admit to having many times over the years to just dropping down on a nice little grass strip without notice (or asking as it was not on any map) to water the grass.

 

Have NEVER had any problems with anyone and on the few occasions that people drove out to the aircraft at all times the guys were fine, totally understanding (as men are in this position) and offered anything, coffee, beer, scotch was brought out, (no cups) however with babies sipping cups out at 11.am at one point. Or you are welcome to stay the night and have dinner and a bed.

 

TRUELY THE AUSSIE WAY.

 

 

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Two of my longest flights in my Wire Braced Drifter, all at 50 knots through the air.

 

7.6 hours (just under 400nm) Boonah to Narromine with stops at Inglewood and Warialda, "Lynden" (15nm west of Gunnedah)

 

6.3 hours (265nm) "Lynden" to Boonah with no stops. (With my long range tanks fitted, I have 110 liters usable)

 

I have plenty of flights of over 4 hours.

 

Kiwi.

 

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My longest daily flight-direct, was 780nm, Warwick, Qld to Mareeba, Nth Qld. Flight was 8 hrs. A relief bottle is a must. Return flight was a lot more relaxed, took me 2 days:)

 

 

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My longest non stop flight was 5.9hrs. in my Wire Braced drifter. My longest trip was 2,010 nm. from "Lynden" to Longreach and return, via Ragland and Fraser island, also in the drifter and in company with Kiwi , another Drifter, a Savannah, lightwing and Jabiru.

 

 

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I used to fly from MKT near Darwin. 2 intrepid drifter pilots flew to the Birdsville races and back, took them a couple of weeks. They were suitably sun/wind burnt on there return. Legends........

 

 

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Does anyone have any suggestions on how to improve seat comfort for the longer flights.Sheepskin,wooden beaded seat covers,bike pants? a seat cover from the Airhawk company.What are your thoughts?

 

 

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I'm delighted at the response my question has prompted, and impressed at the flights that have been flown.

 

The Murphy is actually extremely comfortable in flight but what I've found does improve comfort after a few hours is taking my feet off the rudder pedals (I have full Cessna pedals), and flying with the stick. Obviously, if I get some turbulence, or a little yaw, they go straight back on to correct. Does any body else do this?

 

Alan

 

 

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I know some people who don't put their feet on the pedals:no way: (a not so subtle over exaggeration of nose wheel pilots:whistling:)

 

But on a serious note I also take my feet off the pedals to stretch on a longer flight, I can wiggle my feet past them and get full leg extension which is a glorious relief to the calves!

 

Of course this is not done at low altitude or in bumpy conditions 035_doh.gif.37538967d128bb0e6085e5fccd66c98b.gif

 

 

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I'm delighted at the response my question has prompted, and impressed at the flights that have been flown.

The Murphy is actually extremely comfortable in flight but what I've found does improve comfort after a few hours is taking my feet off the rudder pedals (I have full Cessna pedals), and flying with the stick. Obviously, if I get some turbulence, or a little yaw, they go straight back on to correct. Does any body else do this?

 

Alan

Yep I do. It helps if your aircraft rudder is set up to fly in balance at cruise speeds.

 

 

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I'm delighted at the response my question has prompted, and impressed at the flights that have been flown.

The Murphy is actually extremely comfortable in flight but what I've found does improve comfort after a few hours is taking my feet off the rudder pedals (I have full Cessna pedals), and flying with the stick. Obviously, if I get some turbulence, or a little yaw, they go straight back on to correct. Does any body else do this?

 

Alan

Sure and also use one foot swapping around eg stab left pedal with right foot. But tailwheel drivers are used to dancing.

 

 

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Does anyone have any suggestions on how to improve seat comfort for the longer flights...?

I sat in a pile of gravel, wriggled until comfortable, got out, lined it with glad wrap, poured in plaster...resulting in a cast of my backside. Using that as a mould, I made a fibreglass seat. Lined with 20mm foam it's very comfortable for hours.

 

 

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Take your seats to motor trimmer and get fitted with some shaped memory foam and highly suggest edged sides that slightly wrap you like a spoon (see below). Not like a car racing seat but fatter and heaven to sit on. Highly recommended by a mate of mine also who has a pre-existing back condition for long flights and turbulence.

 

Have flown his plane with it and the only problem you may find is its "that comfortable" you may want to take a nanny nap (but the plane has autopilot!! Smile before reply). Oh and it adds only 1.7kg from his standard seat. Suggest some RAA manufactures look at these comfy cruising seats are really needed these days.

 

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Don't hang your bum out the door no matter how desperate. I did once and heard a guy in a passing plane call over the radio "Hey you with the fat cheeks and cigar, get your head back in the cabin!".

 

 

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About 4 years ago I sold my Jabiru SK to a pilot in Wentworth which is just North of Mildura.

 

I took off from Frogs Hollow airstrip which is near Merimbula on the Far South Coast at 8am

 

with a full load of fuel, (65L) I also carried a 20L ferry tank of fuel on the passenger seat. This I was able to pump into the main tank as it emptied.

 

The flight took 5hours and 15 minutes.

 

At the end of the flight I had about 10 litres of fuel left, so used 75L.

 

I carried a pee botle but did not have to use it .

 

I bought a Jabiru J120 which I fly now.

 

Neville Jollands,

 

Frogs Hollow

 

 

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Sorry that's Michael Smith.......... Epic round the world trip ... his longest leg time wise was about 16 hours........

 

 

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Guest Andys@coffs

Flew Tully FNQ down coast to TVL, out the back under the step between the mountains and SW to Noccundra Hotel (650nm 5.6Hrs in a J230) overnighted and then to Adelaide next day (460nm, 4.1hrs) On day 1 stopped to top up the tanks at Aramac via Jerry's and almost immediately pushed on.

 

Since then 4.5hrs regularly for a few years Gawler to Narromine.....I have memory foam added to the seats but at the end of the day we travel for each hr in the plane about what it would take for 2.5 in the car....after 5hrs in the plane you very much feel like you've just spent 12+hrs in a car....or more

 

I am so looking forward to driverless cars that we can take as long as it takes but read a book or sleep while getting there.....preferably on brandish new 4+lane dual highway built to last 100+ years and smooth! Like all the new stuff around Coffs is, or shortly will be

 

 

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Well, my longest flight, recently was London to Singapore, a little over 12 hours and 5,846 NM. No, I wasn't piloting nor was it my aircraft 025_blush.gif.9304aaf8465a2b6ab5171f41c5565775.gif. However, I didn't need a pit stop for the entire flight though I was glad to find one in Singapore.

 

In my own aircraft, Cessnock to Holbrook into a 40 knot headwind so 4 hours for just 326 NM. I did take and use a bottle and it made my entry into Holbrook in difficult weather just that bit less dramatic. The Sling is the most comfortable light aircraft I've sat in or flown in and 4 hours in the seat was a doddle.

 

Very important safety message is keep hydrated. Your ability to concentrate and make good decisions and perform complex physical tasks declines rapidly as you get dehydrated. This was a lesson hammered into us by the professionals at motorcyle ride days at Eastern Creek. The big boys don't carry a camelbak for fun - it is critical to their good performance. By all means avoid diuretics like soft drinks and coffee but don't stint on water.

 

Take two bottles one at least with a large "mouth" like one of the Gatorade style bottles. You'll be very glad you did.

 

Also, I plan to get on the ground every two to three hours if possible. We do this for fun and spending 4 hours with your legs crossed does not sound like recreation to me. And making bad decisions is the reason for >80% of pilot fatalities.

 

 

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