Thursday, November 19, 2009


I am stopping here for the night, I am surrounded by thunderstorms and
decided to call it a day. I left Bathurst early and battled 30knot
headwinds most of the way, 69Knot ground speeds do not make me happy!

I was IMC for at least 3 hours today, the dust storms were something
else. The met office said they would be reducing visibility down to
6000M which is above the VFR minimum, but I know I was at 4500ft AGL
and I could not see anything. I tried climbing above them and gave up
at 9000ft as I had no performance left and it was still IMC. It was
over 40'C on the ground along the route, 45'C when I landed at Renmark
and still 43'C at 7pm when I landed at Whyalla. If it had been good
weather I would have pushed on to Ceduna, but I rang the Met office
(again the 5th time today) for an update and they painted a picture
that did not make me want to fly West at the moment. The storms should
all pass through overnight and then it will be clear sailing back to
Perth tomorrow. I'll have my fingers crossed as I sleep tonight
because the met office are suggesting we may get gusts of up to
45knots tonight and MGZ is out at the airport all by herself and there
are no tie down points anywhere. I chocked her and locked the controls
and filled her with fuel and anything else that was heavy and lying
around and pointed her towards the NW where the Met office predicts
the winds will come from.

I'm exhausted after a long day. I did not find the IMC flight
particularly stressful as my night rating gave me the skills to
navigate with instruments and fly on the Artificial Horizon, what was
bothering me was that the outside air temps were in the high 30'Cs and
the oil temps of MGZ where a needle away from the red line, I was
trying to use as little power as possible to maintain, but every so
often I would have to go to climb power to maintain altitude and I
know now that it worked out OK, but for a while there I was imagining
the air filter blocking up or the engine cooking itself. The funny
thing is I was worried about an engine failure because of the
inconvenience it would cause, I am a glider pilot at heart and the
whole time I fly I look down and see places where I could execute a
perfect out landing in an aircraft with no power.

Once I get back i can get my instrument rating and then I can
voluntarily put myself in similar situations legally!

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