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Melbourne to Moruya, in Winter?


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Hi everyone, we're looking to do a trip to Moruya to catch up with friends when this Vic lockdown ends.

I have 2 routes in mind

 

Lilydale - Mansfield - Corryong - Adaminaby - Moruya

 

Lilydale - Latrobe Valley - D353 VFR corridor - Bairnsdale - Buchan - Deddick Valley - Delegate - Bega - Moruya.

 

Both routes cross and equal amount of Tiger Country. Both routes take me across designated remote areas for about 50km.

Route 1 is more direct, but would require crossing the Kosciuszko range, ground level 6500, so I'd want to be 9500amsl for that section

Route 2 would allow me a lower altitude most of the way, but would still require some height over the Deddick valley and on to Bega. From Bairnsdale to Bega I'd be looking to be at 5500amsl.

Flight levels will be dictated by cloud levels/density and terrain

 

How much of an issue is the freezing level, given that i'm going to stay clear of cloud. The Sportstar does seem to have a good cabin heater.

If the weather looks remotely iffy, we'll drive.

What else do I need to consider? 

I'd appreciate advice from others who have flown across the range in winter?

 

Ross

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Less than 2 weeks ago the freezing level out that way sorta Melb to canberra route was forecast to be just 3500 feet.

I suggest you talk to some GA IFR pilots about airframe icing considerations and avoidance.

Also, not only do Mexicans need to get out of lockdown, NSW will need to open up for you too. Currently effectively closed. Don't plan for their restrictions to end the minute ours do.

Plan B: Remove all markings and colors from the airframe and stay below 50 feet, and wear a tinfoil hat, you should be fine.

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Generally I would not tackle that high country in winter. A run around the coast might be manageable if you can wait for the right conditions. Ice can build up in a very short time. Nev

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..and looking after the aircraft is an important consideration : )

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Posted (edited)

I've been watching weather patterns, comparing to GAFs, winds aloft etc.  trying to get a better understanding of what weather I'm looking for. This mornings forecast made going over the highlands look very do-able - Freezing level >10000ft and only scattered cloud at 8500ft.

 

Typically, when the weather is good (like the last few days), the forecast freezing level along the coastal route is lower, 4000-6000ft, where the inland route is >8000ft. It does seem to be that the freezing level is pretty much at the level I'd want to be at on either route.

 

And cloud levels are typically lower along the coastal route. I'd be looking for a forecast of Scattered cloud or less to go.

 

The other option is go north of Canberrra under the 6500ft step and come back down - it's only about 15mins more than Route 2. This route would also give a lot of alternate fields if the weather was not as good as forecast and avoids designated remote areas.

Edited by RossK
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Yes, you might be able to take on some fuel at Tumut (or even stay overnight if needs be*) then go a bit further north where the Brindabella ranges peter out, hang a right, drop in for a cuppa and chin-wag with Dick at Gundaroo, cut over to Braidwood, thence Araluen and down the Deua River Valley to Moruya. Sounds like a lovely trip if the WX gods cooperate.

 

*    http://www.tumutaeroclub.org.au/content/accommodation.html

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Posted (edited)

Ross, since that is "my backyard " :

I have looked at the path (2) a few times, and flown it (as passenger) from  Latrobe Valley - D353 VFR corridor - Bairnsdale - Buchan - Deddick Valley - Delegate -canberra 

 

(summer months) if any sort of easterly blowing.  which is most afternoons after lunch.- There is regularly cloud on the range preventing VFR path to the coast

 

A westerly in winter is pretty good for drying everything out getting down the coast no problems. 

That's unless you get the high sinking too far (south) and generates an easterly.

 

- glen.

Edited by RFguy
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Ross, of course, I was referring to the south coast NSW.

But for going to Moruya from Latrobe Valley...
---If you go Deddick Valley, that's TWO lots of rough country to negotiate- the Snowy River region and then getting over the GDR to the coast.   There are alot of way points in that route. The loss of a single one will be turning back !

 

I think taking the coast all the way around would be a good idea. Yes, I know your TAS will be in the TOILET at 3000' but hey, nice views and plenty of places to land.

 

 

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The coast will have the more moist winds from the sea (maritime) nor easters most times. Lately it's been from the S/SE Moist with clouds being an issue on those days Winds from the west are dryer. North of Canberra you have the Cullerin Ranges and at the wrong time no place to be.. I don't think the disparity in freezing levels you have monitored is typical. New  Zealand just copped a 1 in a 100 years heavy rain and flood event. .Low pressure troughs bring the cold from far south.High pressure areas  are associated with clear nights bring frosts and descending cold air from high altitudes. When precipitation occurs due rising ground  the air descending on the other side is warmer. Nev

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I'm hesistant on the full coastal route as there are sections where your only option would be the beach.

The route up the Deddick valley is pretty remote, but has the advantage that the only contraint is the 10000ft VFR limit - which gives me a fair amount of airpsace from the ground level.

I am leaning towards the route around the north of Canberra though; no remote areas, considerably more landing options if needs be and plenty of alternate airstrips. The only constraint is the Canberra Class C steps, but 3500ft is a reasonable height AGL and I could always deviate further north to the 8500ft step. This route also gives me the option that if the weather is breathtakingly good, I can shortcut across to Adaminaby and then on to Moruya.

At some point in all options, I have to get across the coastal ranges into Moruya. I'm thinking that a planned stop at Tumut or Corryong, to strech the legs, go to the loo and check the weather ahead is going to be a wise idea.

Hopefully we get out of Vic lockdown soon and NSW eases border restrictions, and then the weather co-operates.

If/when when i go, I'll do a trip report.

 

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Maybe plan and rehearse a few options.  Sounds like you can pick and choose your day, so that will help. A think a beach is still easier to land on than steep forested timber. 

 

Corryong to Adaminaby ?  There are a few Snowy-Hydro strips in the rather unforgiving territory. . I would be tracking  over them  You might be able to rehearse those in FS2020 if they are there.  

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I am by no means the expert, but I have found it handy to use a web tool https://www.geo-fs.com/ (with the 10 euro HD option)

 

I'm not much of a gamer (hence no FS2020), so I mostly just use the "autopilot" to fly my proposed route, at the altitude I expect. This enables me to watch the satellite imagy and moving  navigation map to get more familiar with the various landmarks and circuit on approach to unfamiliar airports.

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Posted (edited)
23 minutes ago, SGM said:

cheap lockdown flying!

 

Edited by SGM
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