Thursday, 28 March 2013

Flying away

Hamilton is an extremely busy airport. CTC make up quite a large proportion of movements, but there's also a couple of other flying clubs, several Air New Zealand shuttle flights a day and the occasional military aircraft. I've even seen a 737 doing (very large) circuits there. It can end up being quite difficult to actually fly in the circuit at Hamilton!

Because of this, CTC elected to send me and 8 others from my course on a 4-day "flyaway" to Whakatane, which is a quiet uncontrolled airfield on the east coast. By the time we went, I'd completed 5 flights - basically covering climbing, descending and turning. By the end of the week I'd have completed 9 more flights, including my first solo and a whole bunch of solo circuits.

Downtime

Between flights 2 and 3 I had a whole week off. I didn't really expect this, but since it has been beautifully sunny and warm for the whole time we've been in New Zealand I managed to go sightseeing with a bunch of the guys from the course.

There are a huge number of things to do and see in New Zealand, and there's still loads to see and do within driving distance of Hamilton. These are the things we've done so far - there's quite a bit, so this is a monster update. I doubt if there's much here you couldn't get from a Lonely Planet guide though!

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Touchdown!

After 5 long months of ground school, I've finally arrived in New Zealand to begin the flying phase of my training. I'm here until October and when I return to the UK I'll have gone from essentially zero flying hours (gliding hours aren't good enough ;-) ) to having a commercial pilot's licence and being able to fly the two-engined DA42, give or take.

I've also had my first flight that counts towards my future licence...