Bigglesworth Posted December 16, 2008 Share Posted December 16, 2008 Righty-o I'll start this trip report off with a bit of background.... I learnt GA nav when I was 15 (and passed the theory quite nicely) So I know all that ded-reckoning stuff using both sides of the wizz wheel. And using TAFs and ARFORs..... I learnt Rec. nav, when I was about 18, and pased that fine. I like that style: listen to the forecast on the radio, then point in the rough direction you want to go, find a mountain that in your track and go up to it and around it. Simple. Anyway, so far, with 30.9 hours in my lovely Cheetah, I still haven't been on a nav anywhere where I don't know the area. But this changed when a girl I know moved across the mountains to Tocumwal....... so I had a reason to fly somewhere. So to cross the mountains wasn't really a good idea, especially since that epirb I bought hadn't turned up yet. Neither had my aircraft grade compass. So I had a bottom end e-trex GPS, and a $2 compass. (I also had a handheld backup compass) Thats was good enough for me. But I still wanted to go around the mountains, and around Canberra. I first tried on Saturday, but I got stopped at Moruya by some of the worst weather I have flown in. And the fact that Caroline would be busy on Saturday anyway. So there was a break in work, and a break in weather, on Monday. Get to Frogs Hollow in the morning, do a good pre-flight, top up with 98 premium and tie a 20 litre spare in the back compartment. Alls good, wind is strong, but in my direction, and the forecast says dropping. Take off and head towards Moruya, plenty tailwinds, a bit of cloud, medium turbulence. The GPS shows a maximun GS of 149kts, and when at (just under) 5000 feet it could climb at 1400fpm, with full fuel, spare tank and one small pilot. Anyway it was no fun on top of the clouds, so I went back down. Got to Moruya, turned inland, could see the hill near Braidwood, went straight to that across the mountains. And the wind dropped off, which was good of it. I had been as far as Braidwood before, but from then on I was in new territory. But I had my flight plan drawn up. Well, actually I had the maps in front of me with a couple of lines on them, and a rough idea of their lengths. For VFR I don't need more than that. So next point was Lake George, staying low under controlled airspace. Then on to the only big town I could see which was Murrambateman, By now I had noticed that the GPS was doing roughly what it should be, so I thought I could trust it for short periods of time. I would rather trust my $2 compass, and it was doing a good job, but I paid about $150 for the GPS and wanted to get my money's worth out of it. So I let the GPS take me to Tumut. Last airport before Tocumwal, was thinking of stopping for fuel, but the gauge was showing enough, and since its a sight line, it had a hard time lying to me. Now the fun really starts....... I sent Caroline a text saying "at 5000 feet over Tumut, eta Tocumwal in 1.5 hours" I never did log the time, or work out the eta as a time. I always kept track of intervals, well sort of; I had the cd player going the whole time, and worked them out in the number of songs, using an average of 3.5 minutes per song. Luckily I didn't listen to Alice's Restaurant........ 18 minutes I think...... Anyway, Caroline texts me back saying "um, I'm in Shepparton today" Great......... Grab Ersa.... Shepparton, yes, has airport, not controlled, not security controlled. Fine, can't change flight plan because it might touch Albury (I think) controlled airspace........ Text back "call you from Toc when I stop for fuel" So for Tumut to Tocumwal there is approximately no markers for a reference....... I can picture the GA pilots looking down every 10 minutes and saying " absolutely nothing on the map, and absolutely nothing down there; we're on course" If the GPS went out there, I would have had to turn south until I find the Murray, then follow it westward to Tocumwal........ *DELETED* Anyway, the airport was deserted except for a glider doing something unproductive and needing a powered plane, then coming back to say how much better it is without motors. Silly as a pushbike........(the greenies haven't got to me yet) Anyway, no way to get fuel without a Mobil card, the contact numbers in the Ersa were not answered, so I checked I had enough for Shepparton, finding 20 or so litres, I rang Shepparton...... got a message saying number is disconnected...... retried using 03 before the Ersa number..... got answer that fuel is easy to get. Fine, told Caroline I'll be in Shepparton in about 15 minutes, and left this *DELETED* town, and headed south..... Who made these bloody roads? Corners are the fun parts of driving.... not 50kms of dead straight thumb_down Anyway, get into Shepparton airport, I've been in the air 4.1 hours and I put 54 litres of fuel in the tank..... thats 13 litres an hour...... the GA bloke who sold me the fuel looked jealous......... Jealousy is a sin folks. Anyway Caroline still hadn't found the airport, her sister who was with her had lived in the area all her life, but no idea where it was. And all I could say was "I could see 2 roads to the south, its on the westmost one" And she was like "where's south?" Anyway got to see her for a while eventually. Actually not very long, but the plane has the same attraction, so I didn't really worry :) So from there back home. I looked at the map and realise I could go under the remote area, and it would be quicker...... Set up the GPS, drew some lines on the map, asked a passing pilot of his opinion since he would know the area better than me, but it turned out he was a chinese student pilot from the west. He was friendly, and liked my plane, so he was a good bloke, but had no idea about the route I planned. Not that I could really understand him, even less his radio calls. Anyway so DCT Shepparton to Mt Baw Baw....... Anyone done this? One word: don't I've attached a few photos of what Mt Baw Baw is like...... just imagine about 60nm of it...... Its that sort of creepy feeling that if anything goes wrong...... there's no-where to land, and nothing down there. then you start thinking about how this was a last minute idea, and being VFR outside remote area, no flight note was lodged.........so I would be looked for many 100s of nautical miles away....... So I said a prayer for a safe flight, and put Dire Straits on to take my mind off the danger. The former was 100% effective, and the latter a bit less so. [ATTACH]6951.vB[/ATTACH][ATTACH]6952.vB[/ATTACH][ATTACH]6953.vB[/ATTACH][ATTACH]6954.vB[/ATTACH][ATTACH]6955.vB[/ATTACH] But I was happy to get around Mt Baw Baw, even if I had to seak between about 700 feet cloud ceiling...... then the ground dropped away under me, and a short time later........ GRASSLAND.....:thumb_up: I stayed at the foot of the ranges from then on, although I went back into danger area near Delegate, and was wondering what it would be like to try a forced landing on the Snowy river....... Thank God I didn't have to, and thank the Straits that I kept a calm mind and had all my emergency procedures running through my mind.... just in case. After Delegate it was plain sailing back to Frogs Hollow. For a grand total of 7.2 hours. I will have to put a cruise prop on, this climb prop is too slow. Anyway..... it was a lovely day, and I got back home (3/4 hr drive from the airstrip :( ) and found the epirb and the compass, waiting for me. Talk about timing. Anyway now I know I can get around it......... But don't try Shepparton dct to Mt Baw Baw unless you have faith in either your plane or a powerful deity. I have faith in both, so I was right. I still don't want to do it again in a hurry. Looking at the map, Frogs hollow to Tumut via Eucambene looks a lot less remote, just a bit higher. I'll try that next time. Might also try letting the welcoming party know I'm coming in advance. So, for a first solo nav, I think ~660Nm wasn't too bad. Especially when it cost $103 to refuel in Shepparton, and will probably be $50 of BP98 over here. I'll have to arrange premium fuel over there. Oh wait, straight line, just over 2 hours, it can do it in one tank, especially if I fill the 20 litre reserve in in Tocumwal. Long live recreational flying...... and a plane called 'Cowboy Up' You gotta Cowboy Up When you get throwed down Get right back in the saddle as soon as you hit the ground you've heard that the tough get going when the going gets tough round here what we say is Boy, you better COWBOY UP BTW, Caroline is only a friend, and it was the flight that mattered. I still call it a good day :p Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Create an account or sign in to comment
You need to be a member in order to leave a comment
Create an account
Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!Register a new account
Already have an account? Sign in here.Sign In Now