Tuesday, November 17, 2009


I made it safely to Bathurst as planned. It was over 9 hours flying time
on Monday and another 8 Hrs today. I had crosswinds for the entire
route, but for the last couple of legs I had a ground speed of 130Knots
and it was nice to feel like I was moving at a reasonable speed. Despite
my initial fears that I would have headwinds eating into my ground speed
the whole way I found that at 7500ft the winds were making little impact
with MTW making her book figure of 117Knots at 75% power most of the way.
As far as the trip went it was fine. I had some very strong and gusty
winds almost everywhere, I knew I had to get out of WA ASAP as the
weather was forecast to deteriorate and I was lucky to get to Kalgoorlie
only having to dodge a couple of showers. Between Kalgoorlie and Forrest
I had to climb to 8500ft to get over the top of what looked like ominous
clouds of dust, raised dust in the area forecast. I spent pretty much
the entire trip up in the cool smooth air and only got hot and bounced
around when landing.
I thought the 25knot 45 degree crosswinds at Forrest were good practice,
but the willy willy that tested me in Hay was much more interesting. No
problem though, MTW has never let me down and I can only hope that MGZ
will inspire the same level of calm confidence that she has.

About 50Nm from Bathurst it started to get really rough and I was
bounced all over the place for the last 20 mins of the flight. landing
at Bathurst was fine but again quite a bit of work required as it was
gusty and turbulent.

After fueling MTW and tying her down I went to look at my new aircraft.
I was expecting a high hours line aircraft with great avionics and that
is what I found. I am sure that with a bit of polish and some paint she
can be made to look presentable again. The main thing is that she is
mechanically sound and she looks OK to me. Once I get her back to Perth
and I can have my LAME check her out thoroughly I will find out what I
am in for...

If the winds at altitude stay the same as they were for the trip here I
am optimistic that I can still get a reasonable ground speed on the way
back. I think I will stick with the places that I liked and plan for
some new airfields to replace the ones that got the thumbs down for one
reason or another. I am not sure whether I will be able to leave
tomorrow as planned, it might end up being Thursday after I have
delivered MTW to her new owner and then got my new wings ready to leave.

The weather looks interesting for the next few days. I should be OK to
deliver MTW to Bankstown tomorrow and if I can get out of Bathurst early
afternoon I should be able to get into South Australia and into the fine
weather the following day and then it is a clear run home. If I hang
around here too long though I risk getting trapped by the weather for a
day or two.

I hope my luck holds..

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