Flight experience from a favourite and long time student – Mike Webb

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This account of a nav comes from one of our favourite students – Mike Webb. Mike’s health keeps him from getting his solo wings so often Merit Aviation instructors are forunate enough to be his co-pilot on cross country adventures. This is his account of a recent flight. Over to you Mike!…

Our trip Moruya – Canberra – Goulburn – Moruya – 12 December 2016

Well that was a trip to finish my flying year with. Up the Moruya/Deua River to Araluen, Majors Creek and the VFR reporting point for Canberra at Mt Palerang. Palerang is a totally non-descript mountain to the west of Braidwood even though it is over 4100′ high.

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You can’t see it from the highway, but it’s a fairly convenient spot because it gave us a long run-in over the top of the Mills Cross radio telescope to line up with runway 30 for a touch-and-go in Canberra.

We were then told by Canberra Tower to climb to 5500′ for the rest of our time in the control zone until crossing Lake George on a direct course for Goulburn where we got the “leaving controlled airspace, resume own navigation” call.

Landed on the grass runway at Goulburn for a stretch and a pee-break.

Lots of potholes near Goulburn, exactly as there were last time I was flying in the area, so up to 7500′ for the run to the coast. From that height Pigeon House stood out quite clearly so we just flew towards it, over the top of the Bungonia Gorge. Even that high it was still a bit lumpy but not uncomfortably so.

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Passed over The Castle and Byangee Walls and reached the coast around Merry Beach, then headed for Moruya. From 7500′ our descent took 15 minutes (at a gentle 500 fpm) so I started letting down just a few miles north of Batemans Bay. I made the inbound call, and to some surprise was answered with “Foxbat 8589 and Moruya traffic, this is Striker 1, 18 miles south Moruya transiting north along the coast at not above 500′ altitude”. Striker 1 passed beneath us about 5 minutes later – a P3 Orion, probably doing 300 to 350 knots. Compared to my 85kts.

Joined downwind leg for runway 04 and headed back to the barn.

A lousy day for photography – down low where you can see things it was quite bumpy and uncomfortable, and up high where it was smooth there was a lot of haze and cloud around. Think there may have also been some fires out to the west, and as we had a strongish westerly at height (and a north-easter at ground level!) we were getting the results. Sky should start smoothing out by January/February though.

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Doing my homework over the weekend, I planned this out at 2h 46m (approx). Came in at 2h 48m. Can’t complain about that for a flight plan. Smug, and had a great, and very tiring, day.

Thanks Claire!