Dave Jacka

Natfly, flight planning, CASA, Spidertracks & the OWC Charity Gig!

NATFLY at Temora, 29-30th March

Natfly is the largest recreational aviation event in Australia. I was planning to fly to Natfly at Temora on Thursday (28th) but the weather was lousy; rainy & cloudy, so I few up with Josh on the Friday (29th) instead.

When Josh & I were landing in Temora, it was pretty exciting – there were about 10 planes in circuit & I had to avoid someone cutting in & I had to do a “go around”. It keeps you on your toes! I had Josh scanning the sky, pointing out where all the planes were, so I could concentrate on flying the plane. It was beautiful blue skies & we got a great view of the Natfly setup while coming in to land (see pic below).

 

Josh & I arriving at Natfly, Temora

I was expecting to see a lot more people & displays – it seemed fairly quiet this year. We had the OWC static display that comprised of my plane & some posters. The Friday was so busy that I found it difficult to get time to get something to eat! But the Saturday was much quieter.

Josh & I at the OWC static display at Natfly.

OWC support plane pilots, Bob & Michael, ferried Josh & I between Temora & Griffith, where we stayed overnight with support pilot, Gordon & wife Bronwynne. We flew in one of the aircrafts – a Piper Lance – that will be one of the two support planes on the Around Australia trip. It was actually quite nice to be a passenger for a change. I could look out the window & enjoy the view. It gets along a little better than my jab!

 

My view from the Piper Lance.
Michael was pilot (left) & Josh (right) getting some training from Michael.

It was great to spend time with the OWC guys. Michael spent all day at the display with us on Saturday – which was a big help as I had to head off to give a talk, with Josh assisting. I found out when I got back to Tooradin, that I won an award on Saturday for “Most Innovative Design”.

It was a good flight back until we hit the ranges & it took awhile to find a gap between the clouds & the mountains to get through, back to Tooradin (see below).

 

On our way home – from Temora to Tooradin. Finding the gap in the clouds to get through!

It was a great weekend & always good to have an excuse to go flying. My wife, Linda, stayed at home this Easter weekend & chilled out with the pets & a good book.
Flight Planning

I can’t believe we have just 19 days to go! I took the whole of last week off to solidly work on the fine detail of the flight planning for the 21 legs around Australia.

Plenty of flight planning!

The most complicated parts are up the east coast. There are a lot of controlled & restricted airspaces that I’ll need to avoid. It takes time to work out the best route. I need to be fully prepared with all the information at my fingertips so I’m spending extra time now putting all the flight information in spreadsheets to make my life easier when I’m flying solo.
CASA Approval for Exemption… Update

Still waiting?… Looking doubtful of any exemption. Running out of time. My flight planning is now planning for having to fly around all controlled airspace.

I was really only wanting this so I could fly into Cambridge in Tasmania as all other airstrips near there can be quite risky if the conditions aren’t right. We purely wanted this exemption for safety reasons.
Spidertracks & Real-Time Tracking

We now have a way that everyone can see in real-time where my plane is while on the trip around Australia. Chris Dixon from Thomson Aviation has kindly loaned us a Spidertracks tracking unit for the duration of the trip. Thanks heaps to Thomson Aviation & thanks Chris for your ongoing support!

Me & Chris Dixon

I did a good test run with this up to Temora & back. It worked really well. We will have the webpage up shortly so it will be ready for the start of the flight on 29th April. How cool is that! It will be great for the school groups who will be following the journey!
The OWC Benefit Gig

Heard about the benefit gig?

Come along on 20th April from 5pm onwards at the Empress Hotel, Fitzroy North.
There will be 4 great bands & it will be a great chance to get together & there will be items for sale, a raffle & more.

All profits raised will go toward helping the OWC flight. Be there or be square!

Over & out!

Dave

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