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.