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Thruster Ferry Flight: Orange NSW - Ballarat Vic


Guest OzChris
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Guest OzChris
[COLOR=#000000][FONT='Times New Roman']My partner and I had been looking for a genuine Recreational Aircraft for some time now...one that would truly embrace all that Recreational Flying stands for. It was decided that the choices would be a Drifter or a Thruster. Both, even though similar in many ways, are very different machines, offering both positive and negatives in different areas. In the end we decided on a Thruster - and as it turned out it is a Gorgeous Blue TST-E Model, powered by the ever reliable Rotax 582 DCDI liquid cooled engine (not the blue head). [/COLOR][/FONT] [CENTER][IMG]http://recreationalpilots.com.au/user/gimage/5726-3_350_263.JPG[/IMG]   [FONT='Times New Roman'][COLOR=#000000] The Rotax 582 Engine on our Thruster[/COLOR][/FONT][/CENTER] [LEFT][COLOR=#000000][FONT='Times New Roman']The Aircraft in question was located in Orange NSW, some 400nm from where we are located. So one early morning I traveled into Melbourne Airport for the first Qantas flight to Sydney on a B767RR, and then on to Orange with Regional Express on a Saab Fairchild SF340 twin Turbo-Prop Aircraft. Arriving in Orange at around 10am and on schedule. I was eager to see this Thruster that I had heard so much about and seen so many pictures of...and I was not disappointed when I laid eyes on her. For a twenty odd year old bird she was not bad, not bad at all...[/COLOR][/FONT]  [/LEFT] [CENTER][IMG]http://recreationalpilots.com.au/user/gimage/5067-3_350_263.JPG[/IMG]   [FONT='Times New Roman'][COLOR=#000000] Thruster 25-0249[/COLOR][/FONT][/CENTER] [LEFT][FONT='Times New Roman'][COLOR=#000000]I gave her a good going over and took her for a test flight before finally doing the deal and parting with the cash...She was worth every cent! [/COLOR][/FONT]  [/LEFT] [LEFT][FONT='Times New Roman'][COLOR=#000000]What a beauty! [/COLOR][/FONT]  [/LEFT] [LEFT][FONT='Times New Roman'][COLOR=#000000]I just could not wait to take her home...I was keen to get going and to get to know her better on the 400nm trip back home. [/COLOR][/FONT]  [/LEFT] [LEFT][FONT='Times New Roman'][COLOR=#000000]Weather was favourable with 5 - 10kt tail winds for the next 2 days forecast, so things were looking great.[/COLOR][/FONT]  [/LEFT] [LEFT][FONT='Times New Roman'][COLOR=#000000]After a thorough briefing and going over with the old owner, I had the engine purring and taxiing for my first leg to Cowra - leg #1 = 40nm.[/COLOR][/FONT]  [/LEFT] [LEFT][FONT='Times New Roman'][COLOR=#000000]I Left Orange (Just out of Orange) at around 1pm, just before some rain storms came in, tracking for Cowra with the weather conditions in front absolutely smooth and almost perfect. The Thruster handled like a dream! It was only a short leg, but I just could not fault her. I kept a keen eye on the EGT's (Dual) and the CHT, but they were reading well within limits, with very little movement throughout the flight. [/COLOR][/FONT]  [/LEFT] [LEFT][FONT='Times New Roman'][COLOR=#000000]Landing in Cowra I was a little nervous - I hadn't had too much experience landing Thrusters, how was she going to behave? I had already done 3 or 4 circuits with the previous owner on bitumen, but what about dirt and grass strips, I thought? As it turned out, bitumen is apparently the most difficult surface that you can land the Thruster on, so if I can manage that I should have no problem on Grass! And true that was...the landing was precise, smooth and very controllable right through to stopping. I was more than happy with the performance and handling so far...albeit 1 hour of flying! Fuel burn to YCWR = 13lts - Flight time 40 min.[/COLOR][/FONT]  [/LEFT] [CENTER][IMG]http://recreationalpilots.com.au/user/gimage/img5242kh2_350_281.jpg[/IMG][/CENTER] [CENTER][IMG]http://recreationalpilots.com.au/user/gimage/img5245zr6_350_280.jpg[/IMG]   [FONT='Times New Roman'][COLOR=#000000] Arriving in Cowra (Photos courtesy of Glenn[/COLOR][/FONT][FONT='Times New Roman'][COLOR=#000000])[/COLOR][/FONT][/CENTER] [LEFT][FONT='Times New Roman'][COLOR=#000000]It was a little overcast and humid in Cowra, which was quite a contrast to the temperature at 2500' in the open cockpit! The wrap around wind screen does a great job at keeping the wind away from the occupants, but none the less, it is cooler - nothing that a jacket cant fix.[/COLOR][/FONT]  [/LEFT] [LEFT][FONT='Times New Roman'][COLOR=#000000]At Cowra, I was welcomed by my good friend Glenn - the owner and admin of The Aussie Aviator[/COLOR][/FONT][COLOR=#000000][FONT='Times New Roman'].[/COLOR][/FONT]  [/LEFT] [LEFT][FONT='Times New Roman'][COLOR=#000000]Glenn drove me into town to the fuel station to top up my jerry can with unleaded fuel. I made sure that my fuel tank was full at each stop, as well as a back up 20lt jerry can that sat on the pax seat for any unforeseen emergency. It was great to have Glenn drive me, as the walk would have taken quite some time![/COLOR][/FONT]  [/LEFT] [CENTER][IMG]http://recreationalpilots.com.au/user/cimage/img5267ob0.jpg[/IMG]   [FONT='Times New Roman'][COLOR=#000000] Preparing for my next leg of the trip[/COLOR][/FONT]   [FONT='Times New Roman'][COLOR=#000000] (Photo courtesy of Glenn[/COLOR][/FONT][FONT='Times New Roman'][COLOR=#000000])[/COLOR][/FONT][/CENTER] [LEFT][FONT='Times New Roman'][COLOR=#000000]As soon as I had eaten, drank, stretched the legs and fully refueled I was set to go again, next leg was onto YCTM - Leg #2 = 60nm[/COLOR][/FONT]  [/LEFT] [CENTER][IMG]http://recreationalpilots.com.au/user/gimage/img5249ik9_350_280.jpg[/IMG][/CENTER] [CENTER][IMG]http://recreationalpilots.com.au/user/gimage/img5294kj8_350_280.jpg[/IMG]   [FONT='Times New Roman'][COLOR=#000000] Departing YCWR [/COLOR][/FONT]   [FONT='Times New Roman'][COLOR=#000000] (Photo Courtesy of Glenn[/COLOR][/FONT][FONT='Times New Roman'][COLOR=#000000])[/COLOR][/FONT][/CENTER] [LEFT][FONT='Times New Roman'][COLOR=#000000]Again the Thruster was performing faultlessly - I was having the time of my life flying over some of the most beautiful country in the world! Unfortunately I had trouble with my camera and the pictures that I took did not end up being saved to the memory card...which is a real shame![/COLOR][/FONT]  [/LEFT] [LEFT][FONT='Times New Roman'][COLOR=#000000]Landing in YCTM was a little more challenging as I encountered my first cross wind landing in a Thruster. With no problems at all she settled down on the grass strip and was quite obedient to any inputs I gave her to stay straight with center line (OK, well there may have been a slight deviation...nothing a bit of rudder didn't quickly fix :] ) I was by this stage of the flight more than impressed with this amazing old bird...we were starting to get to know each other quite well, and I was more than impressed![/COLOR][/FONT]  [/LEFT] [LEFT][FONT='Times New Roman'][COLOR=#000000]It was a 6klm walk to the closest fuel station and back - so that took a bit out of me! I sure didn't need to go to gym after that!! 20lts of fuel gets very heavy after a couple of k's! Pepsi MAX certainly helped, as did the chocky bar ;] Fuel burn to YCTM = 19lts - Flight time 60min.[/COLOR][/FONT]  [/LEFT] [LEFT][FONT='Times New Roman'][COLOR=#000000]It wasn't long and I was airborne again - this time setting track for YHBK...Leg #3 = 73nm[/COLOR][/FONT]  [/LEFT] [LEFT][FONT='Times New Roman'][COLOR=#000000]This was to be the longest leg of the trip and probably some of the most beautiful country side I have ever seen! This was a planned flight of 90min allowing a 30 min reserve of fuel (10lts). This worked out to be just about spot on with a Flight time of 87min - Fuel burn = 30lts[/COLOR][/FONT]  [/LEFT] [LEFT][FONT='Times New Roman'][COLOR=#000000]I arrived at Holbrook on schedule at around 45 minutes to last light, so I was more than happy with the progress of the trip so far![/COLOR][/FONT]  [/LEFT] [CENTER][IMG]http://recreationalpilots.com.au/user/gimage/Airpark_400_205.JPG[/IMG]   [FONT='Times New Roman'][COLOR=#000000] Holbrook Airfield (Photo Courtesy of HULC)[/COLOR][/FONT][/CENTER] [LEFT][FONT='Times New Roman'][COLOR=#000000]On arrival at Holbrook I was met by the president of the Holbrook Ultralight Flying Club - Bryan Gabriel. A very friendly and accommodating person who couldn't do enough for me. He arranged for the Thruster to be bedded down for the night in a hangar, and even took me into town to get fuel and some dinner at the local Truck Stop...I enjoyed one of the BEST hamburgers and chips that I have ever had there! Accommodation was arranged for me at the airfield, which was more than comfortable, giving me a well deserved sleep after a big day![/COLOR][/FONT]  [/LEFT] [LEFT][FONT='Times New Roman'][COLOR=#000000]First light and I was up and ready for departure...this time for YCOR.[/COLOR][/FONT]  [/LEFT] [LEFT][FONT='Times New Roman'][COLOR=#000000]Leg #4 = 50nm[/COLOR][/FONT]  [/LEFT] [LEFT][FONT='Times New Roman'][COLOR=#000000]Some amazingly picturesque flying from YHBK - YCOR, I thoroughly enjoyed every second of this trip so far. The Thruster was performing without fault and so easy to navigate at these slower speeds, giving ample time to really look around and enjoy the awesome surrounds. With the open cockpit sides and amazing visibility of the Thruster - it truly was a delight to be flying around some of the most breathtaking scenery in.[/COLOR][/FONT]  [/LEFT] [LEFT][FONT='Times New Roman'][COLOR=#000000]Fuel burn to YCOR = 18lts - Flight time of 50min.[/COLOR][/FONT]  [/LEFT] [LEFT][FONT='Times New Roman'][COLOR=#000000]Here at YCOR I didn't have to refill the jerry can so I just topped up the aircraft tank from the jerry can and departed for Falcon Hawk Flying School near Benalla - I knew it was only a 30 min flight and fuel was available to purchase there, so that saved me a bit of a hike into town with the trusty fuel can.[/COLOR][/FONT]  [/LEFT] [LEFT][FONT='Times New Roman'][COLOR=#000000]Leaving YCOR for Falcon Hawk, the winds started to pick up slightly (as forecast)...but at least it was mainly a tail wind![/COLOR][/FONT]  [/LEFT] [LEFT][FONT='Times New Roman'][COLOR=#000000]32min later and 10lts of fuel burn I arrived at my mate Jim Cuthills place - Falcon Hawk Flying School. Jimmy is a Thruster man and is the owner, Level 2 and CFI there at the school. A slight cross-wind landing at his place with no problems for this Thruster to handle at all - it sure was nice to catch up with him for a coffee and a chat. Jim also did a thorough inspection of the aircraft for me, which put my mind at ease quite a bit, as he gave her the two thumbs up![/COLOR][/FONT]  [/LEFT] [LEFT][FONT='Times New Roman'][COLOR=#000000]Leaving Jim's place I tracked straight for Shepparton where I refueled and quickly moved on to the 7th leg of the trip to YBDG.[/COLOR][/FONT]  [/LEFT] [LEFT][FONT='Times New Roman'][COLOR=#000000]Leg 7 = 50(odd)nm[/COLOR][/FONT]  [/LEFT] [LEFT][FONT='Times New Roman'][COLOR=#000000]It started to get fairly thermally between Shepp and Bendigo...but true to form the Thruster rode the waves with gentleness and complete control at all times. Still more than impressed with this amazing aircraft! [/COLOR][/FONT]  [/LEFT] [LEFT][FONT='Times New Roman'][COLOR=#000000]Arriving at Bendigo saw me landing on RWY 35 with a 15-20kt headwind - virtually no ground run at all. Felt like I was landing in a helicopter...[/COLOR][/FONT]  [/LEFT] [LEFT][FONT='Times New Roman'][COLOR=#000000]In Bendigo I was looked after by a very friendly chap in the RAAus club there, who lent me his fuel card (for cash) so that I didn't have to walk into town for fuel. This was the 1st leg that I was using AVGAS on, so it was going to be interesting to see how the R582 would respond to it. As it turned out, it didn't seem to make any difference that I could detect - she ran beautifully, as she had from the outset of the trip.[/COLOR][/FONT]  [/LEFT] [LEFT][FONT='Times New Roman'][COLOR=#000000]Leaving YBDG was again like taking off in a helicopter - with the 15kt headwind there was very little ground run to speak of...this Thruster is one well behaved flyer! Virtually hands off flying all the way, with just a little input needed in the gusts and turbulence. This Thruster is very well balanced indeed![/COLOR][/FONT]  [/LEFT] [LEFT][FONT='Times New Roman'][COLOR=#000000]It was now the final leg of the trip...YBDG - YBLT[/COLOR][/FONT]  [/LEFT] [LEFT][FONT='Times New Roman'][COLOR=#000000]Leg #8 = 55nm[/COLOR][/FONT]  [/LEFT] [LEFT][FONT='Times New Roman'][COLOR=#000000]I had a 20kt tail wind all the way on the home leg giving me a ground speed of around 75 - 80kt's - this made for a very fast final leg (for a Thruster anyway;] )![/COLOR][/FONT]  [/LEFT] [LEFT][FONT='Times New Roman'][COLOR=#000000]My family was there to welcome me home - it was quite an emotional experience seeing the airport in the distance, finally home after so many hours![/COLOR][/FONT]  [/LEFT] [LEFT][FONT='Times New Roman'][COLOR=#000000]I lined her up on RWY 36 with a 15kt headwind again - she landed with no problems nor hesitations.[/COLOR][/FONT]  [/LEFT] [CENTER][IMG]http://recreationalpilots.com.au/user/gimage/P1060161_500_375.JPG[/IMG][/CENTER] [LEFT][FONT='Times New Roman'][COLOR=#000000]Finally have our new bird home and locked away in her new hangar...it was an experience that I will never forget ferrying her from Orange NSW - Ballarat Vic. [/COLOR][/FONT]  [/LEFT] [LEFT][FONT='Times New Roman'][COLOR=#000000]Some amazing memories and quite an adventure! [/COLOR][/FONT]  [/LEFT] [LEFT][FONT='Times New Roman'][COLOR=#000000]I'm sure that there will be many more adventures to come in this Thruster TST-E...[/COLOR][/FONT]  [/LEFT] [LEFT][FONT='Times New Roman'][COLOR=#000000]Total flight time was approx. 8 hours [/COLOR][/FONT]   [FONT='Times New Roman'][COLOR=#000000] Fuel burn was approx. 150lts & 3 lts of 2 stroke oil[/COLOR][/FONT][/LEFT] [CENTER][IMG]http://recreationalpilots.com.au/user/gimage/P1060137_500_333.JPG[/IMG]   I love my Thruster [IMG]https://www.recreationalflying.com/xf2/xf2/uploads/emoticons/001_smile.gif.2cb759f06c4678ed4757932a99c02fa0.gif[/IMG][/CENTER]
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Guest OzChris
Great report Chris. Glad to see you still thrustering about Ballarat and enjoying every minute of it.

yeah - there is nothing better than a bit of thrusting of an evening...oh woops, you said Thrustering :redface:

 

 

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yeah - there is nothing better than a bit of thrusting of an evening...oh woops, you said Thrustering :redface:

Ohh dear, how did I know you were going to say that :rolleyes::tongue:

 

 

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Guest Darren Masters

Nice report Chris thanks for sharing 001_smile.gif.2cb759f06c4678ed4757932a99c02fa0.gif How's she going now? Your report makes me miss my Thruster even more:frown:

 

 

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Guest OzChris
Nice report Chris thanks for sharing 001_smile.gif.2cb759f06c4678ed4757932a99c02fa0.gif How's she going now? Your report makes me miss my Thruster even more:frown:

Thanks Darren - I bet you miss your Thruster! I would hate to have to sell mine!! I have fallen in love with her 001_smile.gif.2cb759f06c4678ed4757932a99c02fa0.gif

 

She is going great Darren - no problems so far. I have adjusted the carbies for Ballarat climate and altitude, played with the mixture and adjusted the prop...gave her a service (gear oil, plugs, filters, coolant change, etc) and she is running sweet as!

 

Im hoping to get up later this arvoe if the weather is kind 001_smile.gif.2cb759f06c4678ed4757932a99c02fa0.gif

 

 

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I had heard so much about and seen so many pictures of...and I was not disappointed when I laid eyes on her. For a twenty odd year old bird she was not bad, not bad at all...

I gave her a good going over ......before finally doing the deal and parting with the cash...She was worth every cent!

 

What a beauty!



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I just could not wait to take her home...I was keen to get going and to get to know her better

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After a thorough briefing and going over with the old owner.. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great story Chris, If you cant get it published in Pacific Flyer..,,,you could try Picture Magazine!001_smile.gif.2cb759f06c4678ed4757932a99c02fa0.gif001_smile.gif.6386dc7a3bee1687774534e35ad7aba8.gif001_smile.gif.2cb759f06c4678ed4757932a99c02fa0.gif

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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