Monday, March 5, 2018

Here is a write up of the RAANZ 2018 Fly-in at SD from the CHB Team

Good to see ya Awl.--

The following is a report from Ross Hatfull and Derek Simmons:
Early WX watch showed a reasonable window for Friday Saturday and Sunday morning of the weekend before the incoming cyclone Gita to safely get to Stratford and home again. On Friday at 2.30pm CHB and KPP vacated to the southwest heading for  Stratford via the gorge, and later in the day JDP taking a more direct track via the Norsewood gap, with a west/north westerly breeze showing a ground speed of around 60kts at times we waffled our way towards Stratford, with 2.1 hrs on the hobbs we were touching down in  Stratford, with a full gathering of all manner of flying machines that had arrived before us. The furthest came from just west of  Invercargill and the bravest travelled from Auckland on their weight shift trikes, we were made very welcome by thousands of very loyal flies, (they stayed with us all weekend), and the team from Stratford Aero Club. After registration of around 35 aircraft we headed for the bar in the club house. It was a very social evening. We had  fish and chips or pizza for tea before been delivered to our motel for the night. We were collected again at 7.15am for a 7.30 am  continental and cooked breakfast. Dining facilities were set up in one of the hangars. They were not going to let us starve. Then at 10am was a briefing of our itinerary for the weekend , firstly was the bombing , spot landing and then a navigation course, and after lunch for those that were interested, a trip to NP to fly in the Catalina and to view other aircraft in Brett Emeny’s hangar. Weather conditions were  marginal with a northerly breeze and low cloud, a few participated in the bombing and spot landing, but no one from Ypuk and no one at this stage had attempted the nav course. After the lunch break those that wanted to fly to NP casually headed off. We and others took the mini van. We had a guided tour around NP before arriving at the airport. Once we had all gathered at NP, sixteen of the group took the first flight in the Catalina, still in marginal conditions, and enjoyed approximately a 20 minute flight around the area. The second group were stopped at the holding point in a solid shower of rain. They returned to the hanger and disembarked. With that flight postponed we then made our way over to the next generation Toy shed of jets and vintage air craft with  Brett Emeny giving us a comprehensive report on his Vampire, identical to what the RNZAF used, with its plywood fuselage, 18oo litres per hour fuel consumption, and at full noise 40mins to empty the tank capable of 530mph. The other interesting craft was a L39 Albatross Russian jet.  This aircraft was designed by flying instructors and built by engineers. It is very easy to dismantle into three sections for maintenance and had several safety features like the flaps which will not work out of the speed range, and will beat up your ears if you forget to put the wheels down and it burns a modest 800 litres per hour. Both these units were immaculately presented and both fully operational.  The hardest part in flying them  was the radio work because of the speed they travelled, they could cover the ground at 5 miles a minute. With a break in the weather we meandered back to the Catalina and the second flight got under way. They were treated to a Yak flying in formation on their wing tip. We then dispersed back to  Stratford and to the bar set up in the hangar with a beer in hand we sat and watched a formation flying display over the airfield by four Sonerai aircraft. That wound up a very enjoyable day with a bbq tea, prize giving and a slide show of the Reno air race, and by about 9.30 most were leaving and been delivered back to their motel. We were collected again at 7.30am bought back to the airfield for breakfast and from there the assortment of aircraft slowly dwindled away in the nor/westerly breeze to Kerikeri in the north and west of Invercargill in the south and several places in between, we arrived back in CHB in 1.6hrs to find the airfield over run with gliders preparing for their week. Next years RAANZ gathering is to be held in Manapouri, now there’s a mission to look forward to.                  

Thanks Ross and Derek. It was a great weekend and very pleasing to have more than just Wendy and me to represent CHB. Hamish Ross and a student from Hastings and Ken McKee, also from Hastings/Napier came over for the day on the Saturday. Great to see them. This is the national annual fly in for RAANZ. Most if not all Micro pilots in HB are affiliated to RAANZ. 

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