Continuing my hour building in Australia, I decided to fly to Bendigo Airport through controlled airspace to gain some experience of being told what to do. I took VH-TXD, which is a Piper Archer, slightly faster then the Warrior but not as quick as an Arrow. The Archer has very poor climb-out performance but is very efficient in the cruise.
It was a sunny Friday and the overall weather was good for flying, however having light winds can reduce visibility greatly. Good visibility is in excess of 10Km. The weather in February in Australia usually boasts high pressure systems. It’s just Melbourne that can experience 4 seasons in a day, so it’s important to read the weather very carefully.
The picture below is somewhere northwest Melbourne. The small features such as the stadium are sometimes highlighted on a map and can help a great deal with navigation.
Bendigo is situated to the northwest of Melbourne in Victoria.
I have posted the picture below, of sweet chilli crisps, not because they are so tasty but because it demonstrates high pressure trying to escape at 7500ft.
Flying small planes can be tricky at times when your solo. Even though there was two of us on this flight I managed to loose maps at the back. This plane I would say is luxurious, offering leather seats for a training aircraft is not something you find that often. My seat even had a fury cover, very comfortable!
Below is a picture of a wind sock. It inflates into the direction of the wind and allows the pilot to determine which runway is the appropriate runway to land on. If the wind sock is flying into the south that would suggest the wind is blowing from the north and the preference would therefore be to land into the northerly runway. If there is one available! It may well become a crosswind landing! The sock on the ground looks very big, from the air it can look fairly small and you must know where on the aerodrome the sock is sitting. Of course you wouldn’t need to check all this if the airport had a tower to pass you relevant airport information.
Upon landing at Bendigo, as I have done during my initial training way back in 2008, there is nothing to do. Except get sun burnt. I’m sure the town offers something.
A picture of the tail of VH-TXD.
Inside TXD, which also has TCAS! I have never ever come across a trainer that incorporates a Traffic Collision Avoidance System, very cool and very useful around busy airspace.
Me on the starboard wing of TXD.