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Cowboy Up, and inland


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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"




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........




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.........keen.gif.9802fd8e381488e125cd8e26767cabb8.gif 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.




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.




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













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AHLocks, remember that Biggles was just a make believe character in stories intended for children and Captain W.E. Johns wasn't even a captain.


Bigglesworth, I don't think you were at Mt Baw Baw because if you were you would have seen the green paddocks of Gippsland which is within gliding distance.



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Admin comment to all:


Recreational Flying (.com.au) does not condone the actions or the attitude that has been portrayed here by Bigglesworth.


Statements like "Listening to the radio and go flying" is ridiculous and the fact that the aircraft may not even have been registered is a very deep concern.


Recreational Flying (.com.au) has a responsibility to the new upcoming pilots that what they read here on this site is done in a manner that will help and assist them to learn and experience flying in the most professional and safest manner possible.


At the same time we also like to, through the exchange of information with each other on our experiences when flying, help the experienced pilot in any way possible as flying is a continual learning experience.


Posts like that made by Bigglesworth here in this thread, whether it is real or not, whether it is just sensationalism or a desire of recognition or not, do not fit within the first objective of this site.


However, what does fit is the desire of this site to help pilots like Bigglesworth that even after 3 accidents as he has had in the 30.9hrs as stated, to learn more about how to fly professionally and safely if that is at all possible.


Bigglesworth, please, a final plea, listen and learn from others on this site otherwise we will unfortunately need to take action by way of a ban to ensure anyone coming to this site does not get the wrong idea about being a recreational pilot from a singular person that is not a good representative or ambassador of the industry.



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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........

I hope that Mr Worth is, indeed, just trying to wind a few people up, as if the above is REALLY true, he needs to revisit his cross country practices (or get a bit more).




If he thinks there is nothing between Tumut & Toc, he mustn't be looking out the window. Try for the Hume Hwy (although I know that in places it is only a 4 lane expressway under construction), try for "The Rock" which only sticks up to about 2000 ft, or have a look for a heap of small towns.




Mr Worth should try a nav between Toc and Hay without a GPS and he will see what a lack of ref points is all about .......... but there are still enough to get reasonable checks.




That Caroline seems to be a pretty smart girl.




PS ... Will Mr Worth please also advise what time he plans to arrive at Narromine next Easter, so that I can plan accordingly. (And as a Nav-tip for that trip ..... if you get to the Qld or South Australian border you have gone too far).



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Oh alright Ian,


ban me and and delete the post, its the only way......


first a let me say a couple of things. Please.


How come as soon as I open start typing people start getting annoyed..... I emailed the same all my friends and they didn't seem to think it was anything special. For me.


Anyway, one by one.....


Mt Baw Baw......


Definate nav reference on that, didn't need the gps to tell me that one, I stayed to the west, and was beside it.


The clouds touched it at the top.


As soon as I passed it it opened up, but those photos were taken just before it.


@Captain I take it you have flown that route? Enough waypoints to Henty. After that one road looks like the next, and there are plenty not on the map.


The Hydro Scheme is a good waypoint, if you know what it looks like........ there's also the town of Saversnake, again, its good if you recognise it.


Easy enough to Ded-reckon navigate, and I would have been able to. But I was being lazy,and would have used intentional error navigation.


Lighten up guys.....


I knew there would be a bit of trouble, but not that much.


Come off it, in safety terms:


My nav skills were equal to a failed GPS. In fact I hardly used it as it was, except on the one leg.


The path was over good ground, until around Mt Baw Baw, and if anyone knows how I could have know this was horrible area, let me know. Please. I thought I stayed out of remote area.


I had a good reserve of fuel the whole time


and a good reserve of time.


What have I missed.


Oh well 114_ban_me_please.gif.0d7635a5d304fa7bdaef6367a02d1a75.gif and you might as well delete this.


PS, as for listen to the radio and fly......


Does everyone out there really get a TAF/ ARFOR before every flight?



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funny thing is , i remember doing navs back in the early 90's and late 80s using nothing but a map, watch and compass, GPS hadnt been invented yet. and VOR's wernt very accurate until you got to within a few 10's of miles.


sounds to me Bigglesworth was flying using the lost art of Dead Reckoning! you reckon correctly, or your dead.



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I spelled it 'ded' short for deduced on purpose......... :P


Actually I was using pretty much pure map reference navigation. I don't know its real name but I call it leap-frogging.


Thats why I like lots of features, so I always have a permanent reference.


they were all short legs, with a backup plan e.g. steer a bit south to hit the river on the east side of town.


Or a bit east to the coast, follow that to something identifiable.


I did pass my PPL theory with 88% at 15...... I'm not entirely stupid.



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as for listen to the radio and fly......Does everyone out there really get a TAF/ ARFOR before every flight?

For someone like you, flying over an area that he is not familiar with, across the great divide and into a different ARFOR, I say it is ESSENTIAL.


And try NOTAMS too. Eg Toc can sometimes be closed while explosives are loaded into a twin out in the middle of the field. Sure it mostly happens early, but not always.


Yes I have flown that area a few times. Did you not notice "The Rock" and Rand and the white stockpiles at the Kaolin mine + the town (and restricted airspace) at Oaklands, and the town of Berrigan, the dam at Yarrawonga, the rail lines with numerous easily identifiable silos, and the Riverina Hwy? Or were you texting Caroline and listening to toof-toof music.


While you take the line that the rest of us should "lighten up", perhaps you should consider "serious-ing up".


Or is this really just a wind-up/joke and you actually do follow half reasonable practices?


I hope you don't get banned as there is a lot to learn here.



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I did pass my PPL theory with 88% at 15...... I'm not entirely stupid.

And if the posts here are correct, you have had 3 accidents in 31 hrs flying ........ so you are ??????? (and it is not just "unlucky", I suspect).



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@captain Caroline happens to be one of the few people who call me "sensible and responsible"


Few people call me this, but they're the ones who know me the most.


It always annoys me, because deep down I know its only too true. 049_sad.gif.af5e5c0993af131d9c5bfe880fbbc2a0.gif


Hey, how about I meet you some airport on the weekend, thats if I don't have to work (depends on the timber supplier), or the weather turns bad (depends on God).....


might be interesting to have a chat.



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[email protected] Caroline happens to be one of the few people who call me "sensible and responsible"

Few people call me this, but they're the ones who know me the most.


It always annoys me, because deep down I know its only too true. 049_sad.gif.af5e5c0993af131d9c5bfe880fbbc2a0.gif


Hey, how about I meet you some airport on the weekend, thats if I don't have to work (depends on the timber supplier), or the weather turns bad (depends on God).....


might be interesting to have a chat.

No worries mate. If nothing else it is sure to be entertaining in one way or another.


Or better still, come to Narromine next Easter and the rest of the blokes & blokettes can be part of the fun, too.


On a different tack, have you ever considered that your insurance company might hang onto copies of your tales of derring doo, to process as part of your next claim?



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I just checked again........


draw a straight line from Tumut to Toc.... The Rock is about 12nm to one side, Oaklands ~7


Berrigan is also ~7,


Riverina Hwy, of course. Just where was I on the highway, or was that that road I passed earlier, and were those 5 houses a town? Don't laugh, you find Tanja (near Merimbula) its marked on the map, but you really need to know it to identify it, and even then you aren't sure.


I don't trust small towns after flying over that.


Look forward to meeting you.....


PS, I never believe in insurance. I actually carry 24 hour accident cover, I need it for work, but apparently they don't pay out in cases like light plane crashes.


Darn, looks like I might not be banned, I was already looking forward to telling my mates that I got kicked off an ultralight forum for being unsafe.........006_laugh.gif.0f7b82c13a0ec29502c5fb56c616f069.gif



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@turboplanner So you believe me now? :)


Hey anyone noticed that while everyone has been saying I've been reckless and whatnot, no-one has yet put there finger one on real wrong doing?


Or at least not one major unsafe issue.


Sometimes my writing 'talent' goes the wrong way......


Re-read taking out all the superfluous words/phrases.


It was a nice flight, nothing went wrong, except a change of route. I picked up all waypoints, and got home with plenty of fuel and plenty of daylight.


And a warning to other pilots that the area between Shepparton and Mt Baw Baw is not designated remote, but that won't help you if you go down there.


Sound better?



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Nah, it's not as 'ripping' a yarn.


Still reckon you were takin' the piss out of a few....006_laugh.gif.0f7b82c13a0ec29502c5fb56c616f069.gif


Oh yeah, you were using "pilotage". Flying from land mark to land mark. The story is that that is how Jeppsen started. Writing down routes and then publishing them.





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It's all in the way we word our stories. I can make a circuit story sound like the world nearly came to an end!

Fair enough point, Brent.


But to take your example, if your circuit story included words of derision like "Does anyone really do a pre-flight check on every flight?" or "Does anyone really stop before entering the runway?" you'd expect a bit of a reaction, wouldn't you.


If your "ripping yarn" was disclosed as a work of fiction @ the start, then that might be a different thing, but this site and most of those that populate it are attempting to also promote "recreational aviation" as well as having fun, and I believe that anything that depicts recreational pilots as the cowboy sector of aviation needs a level of supervision or critique.


I'll leave it to the viewers to evaluate whether Mr Worth was just being a colourful author or whether he carries his pallette over into his flying ..... but I reckon that Caroline has him all worked out. She wasn't in Toc, couldn't find the airport in Shepp, her phone might have been out of range and the dog probably ate her homework.


By the way. You've been around. Do you, like BW, only navigate with a map by what you fly directly over the top of? I find that looking out to the side for a few recognisable features to be really useful, even up to 12 nm, or is that just me?



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Bigglesworth's story should have been posted in the NES (Never Ending Story). I think it's a great work :thumb_up: and I enjoyed reading it. BUT I did apply the above scenario. :big_grin:


We are all different - we see things from different angles. Biggles mate, Ian owns the forums and is solely responsible for it's content - no matter who posts the story. Any flack will land at his feet. 051_crying.gif.fe5d15edcc60afab3cc76b2638e7acf3.gif


I think you have a real talent for story telling 018_hug.gif.8f44196246785568c4ba31412287795a.gif - I bet you could make a trip to the corner shop sound exciting and cavilier. 006_laugh.gif.0f7b82c13a0ec29502c5fb56c616f069.gif You're a young man with a bright future. Give us older folk a little leeway as we tend to take things a bit more seriously (comes with age and experience) :black_eye: and we want everyone to fly safe. :thumb_up:


So the verdict.


Great story - I loved it, :heart: as did a lot of people.


Please post in the NES next time (might get the Captain, Palexxxx, Planey and me (OilOnTheWatersPete) up and running again)) 024_cool.gif.7a88a3168ebd868f5549631161e2b369.gif:):big_grin:040_nerd.gif.a6a4f823734c8b20ed33654968aaa347.gif







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“@turboplanner So you believe me now? "


Well yes and no; let’s look at the good part first


You were giving us a lesson spelling dead reckoning weren’t you.


I understand it started as Deduced Reckoning, was abbreviated to Ded. Reckoning and evolved to the current phonetic dead reckoning.


And that’s what you were doing, sort of.


You found the leg from Shepparton to Mt Baw Baw didn’t have anywhere for a landing in case of a malfunction and warned other pilots – good, there are several planes, vehicles, and walkers out there who have never been found. You can pick this up to a degree from a careful study of the WAC Chart.


Next trip to Tocumwal, I’d recommend flight planning via Latrobe Valley Airport, Maryknoll, south west of the Dandenong Ranges to Yan Yean Reservoir, Kilmore Gap, Shepparton, Tocumwal.


Slightly longer but a lot more opportunities weather-wise.


Kilmore Gap is the Victorian Pilot’s bolt hole through the Great Dividing Range to the better weather, and the conditions at the gap are usually publicised, or picked up from other pilots en route.


It is possible to just mooch along looking at this route, then that route, going from town to town bit by bit, but not filing a flight plan has three problems:


(a)It usually means you haven’t studied the route in the calm of the kitchen table.


(b)It often means you run out of fuel or daylight at the wrong time.


©No one has the faintest idea of where to look for you, and a green plane is pretty hard to see.


An Amendment to Flight Plan is just so easy to do on radio, and is a massive benefit if things go wrong.


If you squeak through with 700’ between cloud and terrain, you’re not flying legally, you’re not in VFR.


Many people experience a deterioration in the weather from a single direction, which allows them to turn around.


Some people get caught between two storms and manage to find a bolt hole in time.


Just a few people have the bad luck to find that cloud has dropped all around them; most of them don’t survive.


All these cases are routine weather events.


So the VFR rules try to give you an even chance by ensuring that you have enough visibility to see it coming.


The Tumut – Tocumwal leg seems to have drawn a lot of flack, particularly since you were in sight of one of the most distinctive landmarks in Australia.


I agree the first part of the leg is difficult, and would require more study in the planning stage to pick up land marks a bit further out.


By using 10 minute markers it’s a bit easier to see where you should be and that helps.


Also, if you had to call a Mayday in this area unexpectedly where would you tell people to come to – the 10 minute markers help here too.


One of the main reasons its not legal to fly on GPS is the good chance of a power failure.


If this happens and you don’t have markers you’re back to reading from Map to Visuals instead of visuals to map. Get an instructor (to navigate) one day and fly for half an hour without reference to GPS, map or compass (make sure the instructor is navigating), then take the map and see how long it takes you to establish position, remembering that sometimes five minutes is critical.


You mention you like lots of reference points, and of course that makes dead reckoning more accurate.


So Adelong should have been reasonably easy with power lines to the north and a converging road to the west.


I’ve found in western NSW and other wheat belts that wheat silos are worth flight planning to because its so easy to relate their position to the town.


You should have been able to pick up Henty by the three power lines and silos and then identify that the road was the Olympic way. Oh and of course looking out to the right at The Rock in the medium distance.


Rand was also obvious because of the silos


Its often a good idea to flight plan your track with deviations to suit land marks, rather than straight lines which you are going to waver off anyway.


Ian would have good cause to be concerned about your comments on Tocumwal people, which I assume reflect your frustration at the second rate refueling facility. Some of them are recreational


Flyers, and it doesn’t pay to accuse people of things without evidence.


I do have reservations about people who listen to Dire Straits while they are flying, although to a degree its not much different to two people talking on the intercom. It does reduce your opportunity to pick up small malfunctions early in some cases, such as the hiss of an exhaust pipe which has just cracked and is going to gas you within the next half hour.


I know you can land on your feet like a cat, but be careful that others less skilled read what you say and think they can do it too otherwise congratulations for the good bits, and more work needed on the others.



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Fiction & humour.


If that is what it was, then put it in the appropriate section. If you are trying to get banned to add to your "fame" then get it over with quickly.


To those of you who hate our reputation being sullied in the press,( and don't we go On about that) don't be surprised if some extracts of these posts are used as "evidence" of the way we operate, and how dangerous we potentially are. Fairly inappropriate when we are expecting airliners to accept "US" in controlled airspace, in the near future.


Don't encourage him for heavensake Nev..



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