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Wollongong today


Matt
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Woke this morning to the fanstastic weather that had been forecast. The challenge: where to go? After a few options were discussed and debated over breakfast and the winner was a trip across the coast to Ulladulla then coastal through Nowra up to Wollongong for lunch. From there we'd head home to Canberra via Camden if we had the time.

 

Having refuelled from our last trip (back from Melbourne on Monday) we taxi out to runway 35 behind a QANTAS 737 and Dash 8. Taking off we climb into clear skies and head to the coast where the cumulus is starting to build.

 

Clear of cloud we descend into Ulladulla and start our trip up the coast and over the beaches at 1500'. Plenty of folks out on the beaches today with many in the water enjoying the warm weather and cool water. It's remarkably quiet in the air with not another aircraft seen or heard until we near Kiama where a lonely Cherokee is heading south. My inbound call to the Wollongong CTAF seemed to wake everyone up and the quiet turned to talk as aircraft all around and on the ground made their presence known.

 

Approaching overhead Wollongong airfield I notice quite a number of aircraft parked around terminal and restaurant building...then notice they're all the same and look very familiar. Joining downwind for runway 08 we're overhead a Cessna Caravan taking off runway 34 to take some very mad people up very high to jump out of a perfectly serviceable aircraft...I'm sure that makes sense to someone :confused:.

 

Touching down with a little less flare (either really, flare or flair) than needed I'm kinda glad there's a slight rise in the airfield and my less than perfect landing wouldn't have been obvious to the audience in the restaurant...which included the pilots of the 7 PC9s parked outside - yep, the Roulettes were there.

 

Not only were the Roulettes there for lunch, there was also a big party going on and the place was packed! We manage to find a table for two outside in the shade where we find the Roulette pilots sitting around having a feed. We also find some other Canberra flyers who have also decided to enjoy lunch on the coast, including a fellow CT4 owner (not flying it today, also has an Aerostar) who actually purchased our CT4 and 2 others (on behalf of a syndicate of guys) at the auction in 1993 - it is a small world!

 

So what were the Roulettes doing there? Well other than having lunch, they were waiting to perform a display at the parachute championships at Picton. For a bunch of guys about to go out and do an aerobatic display they sure did have a decent feed! :;)2: G-suits must do more than just fight G forces, must help keep your stomach in one place :).

 

Having waited about an hour for a toasted sandwich, we down our lunch and a bottle of water and then it's time to head home...about the same time as the Roulettes prepare to leave for their display. So out we walk to the tarmac with the Roulettes each of them peeling off the group to their PC9...and we say farewell and head to the CT4...which got some curious glances from them.

 

I can never figure if looks from current Air Force pilots when seeing civilians with ex-Air Force aircraft are those of curiosity, pity or jealousy...having spoken to a few at Edinburgh at the airshow it appears pity is the common reaction 006_laugh.gif.0f7b82c13a0ec29502c5fb56c616f069.gif...most have memories of some of their most stressful flying being in a CT4 at the beginning of their career in the Air Force.

 

We preflight the CT4 (which is sitting in the middle of the 6 Roulette PC9s) in unison with the Roulette pilots, strap in and taxy out in front of them...feeling a little anxious and in awe of their job and aircraft....wonder when the PC9s will go to auction...and wonder if Kaz will be happy sitting in the back ;).

 

The clouds have built up around the hills near Wollongong and we take off and track south to be able to climb clear of cloud and be able to get over it to get home. The trip home is uneventful, we hear the Roulettes take off behind us and the 7th "spare" PC9 head back to East Sale as he's not needed today.

 

Turning toward Canberra from the Shellys NDB east of Goulburn we get the current ATIS which confirms the cloud we can see as well as some showers under some very developed cells to the west...thankfully not near the airport. The ATIS also advises of moderate turbulence below 10'000 feet and just as we finish writing down the ATIS in smooth air and joking about the "turbulence" we start to hit the bumps...spoke too soon!

 

Cleared to Canberra we're tracked south a bit to be clear of some traffic departing Dick Smith's airfield at Gundaroo...must of been a bit of a fly-in there today. From Bungendore we track to join base for runway 30, cleared visual approach then landing I make a much better landing effort than Wollongong and taxy to the grass parking...to find a familiar looking CTSW parking in our spot...rude bastard! :) Ian's original CTSW 24-4466 is an irregular visitor to Canberra, we've seen it here a couple of times in the past 6 months.

 

Unfortunately we didn't get to drop into Camden as hoped, the extended time at Wollongong waiting for a feed and commitments to make it home to Canberra by late afternoon meant we had to defer our visit to Camden to another weekend...seems we've visited every one of the "local" airfields except Camden....we'll get there one day...promise Mazda :)

 

Attached are some of Kaz's pics from today...I can't claim any of these.

 

Cheers,

 

Matt.

 

Clouds-3.JPG.3d606fbfe3b051b04689e7249cc52aa2.JPG

 

Ulladulla.thumb.jpg.3add07d75a7e15182fde80d89162fc77.jpg

 

Coast.JPG.f1dca6e7c2ee266beeedde16eb527356.JPG

 

Roulettes-and-CT4-1.jpg.a9bf720e422a7b6819ee3b9f0f40ef32.jpg

 

Roulettes-and-CT4-2.JPG.0c65f94bcb2f99cad228becedfa964e3.JPG

 

Clouds-1.JPG.51a883c5a125f216fab1c232bd296c1c.JPG

 

Clouds-2.thumb.JPG.dc6948916345e382a260e99932cbf430.JPG

 

CT4-and-CTSW.jpg.b62e3f83d0c41d51ea157b3957bd3f24.jpg

 

CTSW.jpg.8fc65804e54f9c49e1cef11ec24fc46d.jpg

 

 

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Guest Howard Hughes

That explains noise overhead this afternoon, was heard to mutter "what the fox hat"?

 

Said to the missus "that sounds fast and low", now I know the answer!;)

 

 

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Guest pelorus32

G'day Matt,

 

great report - as usual.

 

wonder when the PC9s will go to auction...and wonder if Kaz will be happy sitting in the back ;).

You don't want one - Corrosion - with a capital C, which is why they are up for replacement. Apparently Australia bought the cheap ones - with no corrosion protection.

 

Regards

 

Mike

 

 

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Guest Flyer40

Of course I'm one of those people who looks up at every aircraft that flies over. But I remembered yours from the sound.

 

I heard you before I saw you and my first thought was "geez that thing has some grunt, sounds like a bonanza". Wasn't expecting to see a CT4. Must be the six-stack exhaust.

 

 

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Hi T87, all of the HARS fleet was on the ground when we arrived at Wollongong although it looked as though some of them had been out and about earlier. Would have been a great sight to see them all together in the air.

 

 

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Yes we are very fortunate to have these aircraft and still keep them flying.It's all to the volunteers who roll up and the generous donations from the Public and Businesses around the country. Cheers T87 [but I'm still looking forward to getting the 601xl kit]

 

 

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Sounds like a great day Matt! No wonder you didn't make it to CN. I heard the Roulettes around on the radio. The aerobatic club open day at CN was a bit of a fizzer with only a few people turning up. There were a couple of Pitts S2As, a couple of Giles, plus the resident Camden aircraft - i.e. Pitts 12, Pitts S2B & S2C, Tiger Moths etc.

 

 

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