03 May 2013


I feel as though this week has been successful aviation-wise for me.

To begin with, I reached my 600th hour milestone in my logbook at the weekend. This also coincided with 100 hours logged since the end of December 2012, all of which were parachute drop flights or ferrying the company aircraft around the North Island. Considering the average flight to altitude and back is a .5 load, this equivalates to approximately individual 200 sorties this summer. However, there were plenty of hop & pop low level flights (see video) included in that time period, which only wound up .2 or .3 on the tacho depending on altitude, so realistically that 200 figure is actually a little higher.

I'm aware to other full time GA pilots, 100 hours is nothing- but for a relatively small company with a roster of three pilots, I'm happy that I've actually been paid to fly rather than paying to fly, be it directly from my pocket or from a student loan! The 'view from the office', to pull a well used aviation cliche out, hasn't been bad either. I know I've posted plenty of video's lately, so for a change, below is a collage of cellphone snaps from my summer of fun.

Achievement number two was sitting and passing the annual Crew Competency Check required for Part 115 operations. This also counts as a BFR, and was something I was glad to get out of the way. I haven't really done any handling practice (stalls/max rate turns/forced landings) out of the scope of a fast climb to altitude and back for many months, but thankfully I could remember the basics from the countless hours of practice drilled into me as a student at Ardmore.

The CCC was done from Kerikeri airport, and I was taken over the Whangaroa Harbour by the testing officer. I have to say, it's incredably scenic there, with plenty of steep sided limestone cliffs dropping into a calm and clear sheltered bays. Due to the range of elevated terrain around the waters edge, I think it's actually more spectacular than the nearby Bay of Islands- yet I've never really heard anyone mention the location before. Well worth taking a detour over if you're flying in the area anyway!