Archive for May 2010

Ready set go

YWVA competition on 23 May, considering this as a good opportunity as a Pilot to practice the skills needed for emergencies and a great chance for more navigations NAVS I was glad to join the Warnevale Pilot competion.

Around 0730 I called YWVA to check the local conditions as cloud we had some cloud and rain in Sydney and fortunately someone answered at YWVA and confirmed the conditions as scattered cloud above 4000ft and nil wind, With similar reports at YSBK, it was ready, set, go! for the YWVA Competition. I departed YSBK from 29R at 0740 and had a nice climb and journey till we passed just north of Gosford on a heading of 013M. I descended a little to 1500ft to keep clear of the cloud but that was not going to be enough as ahead was a heavy path of showers and cloud. The fun and mid-air maths calculations, otherwise known as navigating, was to begin. I enjoy maths and love flying so the low and heavy cloud ahead was a welcomed challenge and I hoped and expected we could overcome the obstacle to ensure the YWVA Comp went ahead.

With a heading of 013M it necessary to divert west away from the clouds and we turned to a heading of 283M which was the obvious path. I continued for 3 minutes before turning back to a heading of 013M to track parallel to our original heading. Once we were clearly past the cloud base I ‘recorrected’ my track by turning east to a heading of 103M.

Having originally diverted west for 3 minutes and having nil wind it seemed an obvious calculation that we should track 103M for another 3minutes before picking up our original flight path. Almost to the second of the 3 minute correction I found YWVA just 1nm away. YWVA was in clear view,  in what could be described as a simple maths calculation of which as pilots we call ‘navigation’. Being found of maths, I was impressed the right angle diversion away from and return from the cloud base got us to the exact location we needed to be.

The YWVA Competition involved a short-field take off, an instrument climb and manoeuvres, followed by a forced landing to a landing on the runway, then a touch and go with a circuit at 500ft, then a spot landing to a full stop. There were only minor interruptions to the competition due to isolated clouds and showers although the taxiways at Warnervale were affected by overnight rain. Ensuring the aircraft was not bogged taxiing to and from the runway was as much a part of the competition as the event itself.

Having just come off an international flight I expected the wait between competing and the return Navex back to YSBK was going to prove boring, but is was nothing of the sort. A terrific group of competitors made the day pass with relative ease before I returned to YSBK in time for last light on a trouble-free flight.