July 21, 2007


Just a short entry, but a happy one to say that yesterday I passed my end-of-New Zealand-phases flight test and am coming home next week! The flight itself went really well, it’s the first time I’ve come back from a flight test feeling really good about it. There were one or two little points which could be improved upon, but generally I was really happy – it was pretty relaxed and everything went really smoothly. If there was one thing I could be a little bit annoyed about it was making too big heading corrections on the final stages of the NDB approach right at the end of the flight, but I was told the flight overall was really nice and I was obviously feeling really relaxed and enjoying IFR – which I am!

So that’s it, no more flying in NZ for me – from here it’s onwards to Bristol for 2 weeks of hardcore studying (again), a week of exams further down the line and then after that it’s on to finishing the course and getting the CPL/IR at Bournemouth.

On Thursday night we did the night flight up to Auckland. I’ve uploaded some pictures to Facebook but for readers who don’t have access to them, here’s a few of my favourite ones. Photo and video credits to Shaun who came along in the back seat.

Night take-off at Hamilton
You can’t see a great deal on this video because it’s dark, but the view of the runway mid-way through is pretty cool, as is the view of the airport terminal down to the right hand side once airborne.

Night landing at Hamilton
Turning on to final approach for runway 36. We’d just done an NDB approach down to MDA and then circled left. Having not flown at night for ages I misjudged how high we were above the runway, flared too high and dumped the aircraft down a bit hard but it wasn’t too bad.

Me about to get in CTL for the flight

Ice lights – these are fitted to the outboard sides of the engine cowlings and shine on the wings so we can check for ice at night.

Turning – under radar vectors for the ILS 05R approach at Auckland. The back-to-front cap has a flap on the front that folds down and stops me seeing outside, thus simulating IMC. The screen up in front of my face serves the same purpose.

Auckland International at night

Arriving back – my favourite picture, I love the light on this one. Taxiing back on to stand after refuelling.

- 3 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Wilby


    21 Jul 2007, 09:38

  2. Congratulations on completing your training Ben!

    21 Jul 2007, 12:04

  3. Haha cheers to both of you… although Chris it’s not completed yet, it’s sort of the end of the beginning! Still got another 8 months or so before they let me get my hands on a jet!

    21 Jul 2007, 12:53

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For anyone still remotely interested, it’s back online. I’ll start updating it again soon-ish. For those of you who haven’t visited before and have found your way here via Google – and I know there will be some, because of the e-mails I’ve received in the past – I hope the entries about my flight training course are useful and informative. Over the next few weeks I will bring it up to date with what’s actually happened since I gained my CPL/IR in January 2008 and qualified on the Airbus the following May.

Enjoy reading.


Any views expressed anywhere in this blog are those of mine, and mine alone.

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