Annual Club Competitions Day 1 - Sept 3 2005

The first day of the 2005 Waikato Aero Club competitions dawned a slightly foggy but otherwise fine day. Wind was variable at 3 knots. Today the club had 3 competitions, bombing (like last week), forced landings without power and circuits. I turned up to the Aero Club about 9am and had a clipboard thrust into my hands and was told I had been "entered" in the defective pre-flight competition. Quite a simple test, the sneaky instructors go out and "break" an aircraft and send the competitors out out to find out what is wrong with the plane. I had to preflight a Piper Arrow ZK-FWS, something I have never done before. I only found about 8 things wrong with it, so I know I missed a whole lot of stuff.

Then it was on to the bombing, which was exactly the same as the previous weekend so I won't go into it. I didn't do as well as last weekend but I got to do a dumbell turn back onto finals. I did all the downwind checks in the descending turn as well as lowering flap, and I nailed an absolutely perfect landing, stall warning buzzing momentarily before the mains touched down. I was and am still very proud of that landing.

One thing out of the ordinary that happened was our head CFI taking off by himself in our C 152 Aerobat. We had a handheld band scanner tuned into the tower frequency so we heard him request clearance to 3000 feet overhead the field. He then proceeded to drop a roll of toilet paper out the window and then ducked and dived around cutting the streaming roll of toilet paper into pieces. It looked like a wild ride from the ground but the paper ended up well and truly shredded.

The next competition was the forced landings, which I decided not to enter because I still haven't got them totally sorted out yet, and a formal competition is no way to practice them. It was tough because they had to do a grid landing at the end of the glide approach. A slight 1-2 knot tail wind didn't help matters and two of the guys who are good pilots DQ'd (disqualified) because they landed outside of the landing grid.

The circuits weren't very easy because the tailwind added heaps of groundspeed that was almost impossible to wash off. I nearly clipped the small artifical brush fence they erected at the threshold as an obstacle on the first one and only just landed inside the grid on the second pass. The circuits weren't pretty either. Oh well, better luck next time. Back tomorrow for more fun.