Can you spell "frustrated"?

It was a matter of so close yet so far. The weather in Hamilton and New Plymouth was not ideal but was within tolerances for sitting my flight test. Another student was coming along as well, he got to sit in the back while I flew and instructor Maree looked on. She decided we should head out west to the coast and track south along there. The enroute weather had said scattered cloud down to 2000 feet amsl and we needed low terrain to get under it.

We got as far as Kawhia harbour before we had to turn inland and track under good weather. Almost all of a sudden we became 'temporarily uncertain of position' so we read from ground to map and figured out a reasonable location of where we would be. I radioed our position but about 2 minutes later the visibility deteriorated to the point Maree instructed me to turn back to clearer weather. About then we heard another aircraft out of Hamilton tracking VFR to New Plymouth via Taumaranui so we headed towards the the main rail line which we would intercept and follow south. We got to Taumaranui and the visibility was down to ground level south of us in a line as far as we could see. Maree then said that we would have to divert back to Hamilton. I radioed this to control and then about 2 minutes later we heard the other aircraft report in and declare they were returning to Hamilton as well.

We hurtled back to Hamilton at 125knots indicated and I made a south arrival and a decent enough landing on grass 25 and we taxied back to the aero club.

I try to take positives out of every flight and it was my first divert and my first cross country flight into marginal weather, and I got to log 1.7 hours of dual cross country time. I felt most sorry for the other student who got to sit in the back for the whole flight but he said he learnt a lot from the flight too. I guess next time he'll get to fly and I get to sit in the back.

Comments

Aaron Martin said…
I know what you are going through, I had to cancel my flight test about 3 times before I finally got to do it, and even then I had to stop half way through the test to wait for some rain to pass before continuing with the test!
Good luck with the test when it finally happens, I am also a Waikato Aero Club member so will hopefully see you out there one day.
Oshawapilot said…
Have you made it through yet, or is the weather still not playing nice?
Euan Kilgour said…
Test has been rescheduled for July 4 (thats July 3 for you folks on the wrong side of the date line). Of course, the weather since June 21st has been perfect for flying but probably will turn for the worse the day BEFORE the test.
Euan Kilgour said…
And true to predictions, the weather turned bad the day before. It has again been postponed to the 7th, and the weather forecast looks favourable.