Returning from my cross country - The full story

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Returning from my cross country - The full story

Postby speedbird » Tue Dec 12, 2006 11:30 pm

Hi everyone

I finally arrived at the boom this afternoon after my 10 day long cross country. I had one heck of a time and want to share my story with you all. For those who read my previous thread, this was my first flight to the coast and the first time i flew further than 200nm from the boom.

Well, it started of exactly as planned on the morning of the 2nd. Armed with my maps, nav logs, stopwatch, cx2 and a shitload of baggage including my little tent etc, i flew down on my first leg to Gariep. The flight was quite smooth up to Bloemfontein, from where it got a bit bumpy. Upon landing at Gariep Lood phoned me and i got a quick glimpse of his Robin! (Can't believe he is selling it...) He drove me to Waschbank Lodge that is situated right next to the orange river. Lood was very kind and bought me lunch. For anybody interested in flying to Gariep...., you can't go wrong with Waschbank Lodge.

After a good night sleep i had an early start the next day and routed for Mosselbay. I almost got lost on the leg between Beaufort West and Oudtshoorn and couldn't find any reference points on my map, nor on the ground! Luckily the ancient gps of the aerie kind of saved me.... The decent into George over the Outeniquas was awesome! Breathtaking scenery greeted me on the other side of the mountain, and i felt like one of the luckiest guys alive. ATC at George routed me along the coast for Mosselbay and i was amazed at how the Cherokee performed at SL. I cruised with a TAS of 125kts! (I'm used to 110kts up here). I slept at the airfield that night and went to Hartenbos the following day with the shuttle.

After five days of camping and packing up in heavy rain i was supposed to fly to East London on the 9th, but due to bad weather i was stuck for another 2 days in Mosselbay. Luckily i met an ex SAAF pilot at the airfield (Hein van Niekerk) on the day i was supposed to depart who told me i could stay with him and his family at their seaside house in Dana Bay. Very grateful for the offer, i took them for a flip over the house and out to the bay.

Yesterday on the 11th i the weather finally cleared in the PE, EL area and i was on my way again. Routing low level along the garden route was just spectacular! After 3.5 hours of flying and 2 days behind schedule i landed at East London. The airport itself is quite nice and i especially enjoyed the approach onto rwy 11! loansharkblv picked me up at the airport and showed me around Slummies. What a great city and a chilled atmosphere. We had a great dinner that night and i must thank loansharkblv and his wife for their hospitality!

I took of this morning at 10:00 from EL and flew over the office block of the shark for a pic. Apparently i was a bit high :oops:, but at least i have a pic now of the aerie in flight. I've got no words to describe the scenery along the wild coast! Again i routed low level (approx 400')coastwise for FAVG. I took loads of pics on this leg and i enjoyed the remoteness and freedom of the area. After fighting a strong headwind (TAS 130kts, GS 85kts) for 3.5 hours i arrived at FAVG where i met another avcommer, Papa-G. I refueled, had some lunch, filled my flightplan and of i went, this time for the boom. A pretty uneventful 3 hours followed, but it was still enjoyable. Switching over to 120.6 for FAWB was like music to my ears. I was cleared to land rwy 11, and in some way it felt kind of good to be back at home.

So after 17.8hrs of flying, 1500nm and 10 days later i am back in Pta. It was an experience that i will stay with me for as long as i live. I met lots of new people, learned lots of new skills, and found out first hand how the aviation community cares for one another!
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Last edited by speedbird on Wed Dec 13, 2006 7:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Stassiebal » Wed Dec 13, 2006 12:03 am

Brilliant!!

That's what it is all about!
Glad you enjoyed the trip.
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Postby buccaneer » Wed Dec 13, 2006 12:57 am

Stassiebal wrote:Brilliant!!

That's what it is all about!
Glad you enjoyed the trip.

Mooi skoot Ferdie!!!
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Postby Airmadd » Wed Dec 13, 2006 5:54 am

Well done.
:smt038
great Pic's 8) 8)
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Postby Chris » Wed Dec 13, 2006 6:14 am

That's what flying is about. Well done!

Also to the loanshark who went to a great deal of effort to make sure you were ok when the bad weather blew in.
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Postby loansharkblv » Wed Dec 13, 2006 6:22 am

No wonder it took you soooooooooooo long to get here Speedbird..... I think I have found the problem - If you where routing from Mossel Bay to here I think that the dam is on the wrong side (see S5000045.JPG).

It has been a long time since I have seen a smile that big - Well done Ferdi, I hope you are going to be here for the aircraft washing weekend..

and another pic from your attack run :wink: or was that just an un-coordinated turn?




Don't make me blush Chris :oops:
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Postby Beacon1 » Wed Dec 13, 2006 6:29 am

Well done Speedbird!

Sounds like a wicked trip! :D
For those who believe in fairies,roll another one. As for me.... I'd still rather be flying :)
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Postby speedbird » Wed Dec 13, 2006 7:27 am

loansharkblv wrote:
and another pic from your attack run :wink: or was that just an un-coordinated turn?



Mmmm, can be the best of both...., tried to lose a bit of altitude to make a lower fly past, but alas i was still a bit high...

Here's some more pics.
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Postby loansharkblv » Wed Dec 13, 2006 7:29 am

Well done on the landmarks there speedbird - 2 out of three ..... now where is the suspension bridge for a full 3 points.... :D
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Postby papa-g » Wed Dec 13, 2006 7:59 am

Wow.....Ferdie, that must have been an awesome adventure..!!!

I take it that you had no more hassles when re-starting the motor for take off.

(Guy's this has to be one of the oldest Cherokees flying in the country...!!!!....I am sure this little aerie can tell many a story..!!!!)

Glad you arrived safely, and be sure to carry on meeting AvCommers all over - (Ferdie is one helluva nice youngster..!! - make the effort to meet him as well..!!)


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Postby Snoopy » Wed Dec 13, 2006 8:09 am

Lovely shots Speedbird, great to see someone enjoying flying so much...thanks for sharing the trip with us...

Like the colours of the Piper too...
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Postby speedbird » Wed Dec 13, 2006 8:17 am

Thanks for the pics loansharkblv and papa-g. Just a pity i couldn't keep my eyes open on the one shot :oops:

Yup, i started with relative ease for my last leg. The engine cranked a bit and then fired up. I must say Ray from the maintenance is quite an expert on those aeries. I think that's a 1960 something Cherokee....? She certainly had better days, but she did the job :D
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Postby Al » Wed Dec 13, 2006 8:27 am

Congrats Ferdi,

Sounds like it was an awesome trip! =D>
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Postby wWw » Wed Dec 13, 2006 8:32 am

Very nice Ferdie...... 8)
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Postby dilligaf » Wed Dec 13, 2006 9:28 am

Great story - you makes us jerlous....
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