23 November 2016


Hi there again - long time no post, eh?  I haven't done as much flying as I would have wished this year what with work, home, overseas trips and weather.

So, I was a little daunted about the airspace changes around Hamilton which came into force on 10 November. I had been to the pilots meeting at the club a few weeks ago which was very informative but there's nothing like the real thing, yes?

Monday 21 November:

So, today's little exercise was to take ZK-WAM up for a few circuits and then exit the control zone for a short local flight and then return using the new procedures.  

The weather was perfect. The high winds of Sunday had ceased and it was a variable 5Kt wind at ground level. Visibility was quoted at 25Km but there was a lot of haze (it is Hamilton, after all!!).

I won't go into the details of the airspace changes but suffice to say that the VFR departure and arrival procedures are now runway dependent.

Having arrived at the club bright and early at 0815 I checked in at the desk where instructor, Mandy asked me what I was doing, sent me off to preflight and said she would give me a quick briefing before I went.

So briefing done and off I go from runway 18R (the short GA runway parallel to duty runway 18L). Well, no problem with the circuits; nice landings including a near perfect glide approach (why can't I do that for competitions?, Grr!!). 
So, on the third downwind I requested a 18 West departure which was duly approved with the right turn after takeoff instruction given after "cleared touch and go" on finals.

Off to the West at 1200' or below calling clear a lot sooner than before (the control zone has been "shrunk") and switching to the new common frequency for the Raglan CFZ. After a position and intentions call I climbed to 1700' turning North to be about 2 miles west of Temple View, my reference point for the return on a 18 West arrival. There was another 172 around heading in from Raglan way at 2000' so I decided to stay at 1700' (I didn't see him until he was on a short final ahead of me - hazy weather and white painted aircraft!).
Just west of Temple View I called the tower, got a clearance for the 18 West arrival and, despite having to stay at 1700' until early base leg got down for a pretty good landing on 18R runway.

Mission accomplished with no real dramas. Next step: an East departure, maybe to Tauranga where there have been similar airspace changes.

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