Stick and Rudder

 

BNL at Narromine

2008

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Gloucester lane way
Inland laneway skirting Williamtown Airport

Gloucester laneway
Inland laneway skirting Williamtown Airport

Gloucester laneway
Inland laneway skirting Williamtown Airport

Gloucester laneway
Inland laneway skirting Williamtown Airport

Gloucester laneway
Dungog

Bylong Valley
Bylong Valley

Easter 2008 - Nat-Fly at Narromine NSW

Thursday am

Three aircraft, nine crew, all bound for Narromine over Easter.  Bill and I took off just after 8am heading for the inland corridor to Maitland for a fuel and comfort stop, then up the Hunter Valley to Sandy Hollow, west along the Bylong Valley and over Gulgong to Narromine, a distance of 286 miles.

First hurdle was the river of cloud in the corridor.  Reassured by Adam Booker, high above us in a Cherokee 6, that the cloud only stretched for 1 mile, we decided to proceed.  Yeh, Adam, 28 miles later, the cloud disappeared at Stroud Road where we were able to descend to the required 1000’.  The hills sticking out of the cloud on either side of the valley kept us on track.

Rest of the trip was uneventful, arrived at Narromine some 4½ hours later only to be snapped by Jimi on late final under the influence of a surprise wind gust. 

BNL performed like a Trojan.  Pilot and Radio Officer/Navigator were knackered but satisfied – our first big trip.  Pitched our tent, found something to eat and flaked for a hour or so.

Evening spent taking and drinking and waiting for food – the smarties ordered from the Glider Club and ate at 7pm, others waited for over 2 hours for their meals.  Actually slept well in our little tent.

Refuelling at Maitland
Refueling at RNAC Maitland

Landing at Narromine
Landing at Narromine

Camping at Narromine
Narromine - camping beside the wing

Camping at Narromine
Narromine - camping under the tail

Friday

Refueled for the Saturday return trip.  Wandered around the tents and the various aircraft.  It was hot and not conducive to energetic activity.  Saw another Jodel and a few interesting aircraft – otherwise it was a Jabiru love-in.  Evening was more of the same and quite windy – retired at 9pm and slept through again.

Snoozing under the wing
Snoozing under the wing out of the sun

hangared at Warkworth
Hangared at Warkworth for the night

hangared at Warkworth
Hangared at Warkworth

Warkworth
Going home - we thought!

Warkworth Gliding Club
Hunter Valley Gliding Club at Warkworth

Warkworth
Getting ready to leave Warkworth

Saturday

Up and ready to go by 8am.  Sat through the weather brief – not very good – then took off, retracing our steps over Gulgong and down into the Hunter Valley but, this time, dodging clouds.  By Denman, the weather was definitely on a downer so we watched out for airfields – just in case.  We managed to get to within 20 miles of Singleton when we were met by a wall to the ground of fog and cloud and rain.  Turned around with the intention of going back to the arab stud airfield near Arrowfield Winery, the weather hot on our heels.  In the turn we discovered the Warkworth Airfield and proceeded to land on what turned out to be a gravel drain.  Bent the undercarriage a little.

We were welcomed by a motley crew of glider pilots and families, all of whom were pretty downcast by the weather.  Their hospitality was second to none – we shared their food and wine, played Trivial Pursuit and bunked down for the night.

Sunday

Next morning was a little better.  Took off for Maitland after a very awkward taxi run due to the toe-out undercarriage.  Managed no further due to more of the same weather so landed there, settled BNL for another night, hired a car and went to the Heritage Boat Festival at Toronto where we stayed the night.  Had a slap up meal in the Toronto Yacht Club.

Monday

Back to Maitland, weather was thick as ….but miraculously cleared by 9.30am, renough for us to set out for home.  Won’t mention the taxi run and take off this time – suffice it to say that Bob from RNAC Flying School might remember it next time we see him.

Dodged cloud between Maitland and Tea Gardens then proceeded up the coast at 3,500’ with no further hitches, apart from the two engine hiccups over Wallis Lake and the loss of radio at Bonny Hills.

The return trip took 4.9 flying hours and we were glad to be home – stinky and tired but home.

Don’t think we’ll be rushing to fly that far again soon – the maintenance on BNL will see to that!

concentrating pilot
Concentrating pilot

South West Rocks Excursion, May 2008

South West Rocks South WEst Rocks
Look! Up in the Air! It's a bird! It's a plane! Yes, but not just any plane! It's a Jodel!

SW Rocks

SW Rocks
SW Rocks
SW Rocks
SW Rocks
SW Rocks
SW Rocks
SW Rocks
SW Rocks
SW Rocks SW Rocks SW Rocks
SW Rocks SW Rocks

BNL on an excursion to South West Rocks in May 2008

Photographs taken by Gregg Faulkner from his Sportstar

red line
Stick and Rudder
PO Box 284 Laurieton NSW Australia 2443
Ph: 02 6559 9953 Fax: 02 6559 7797 E: bill@stickandrudder.com.au

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