My First Real Flight Report (21 images) INCLUDES AEROBATICS

Chief Captain
ceetee Chief Captain

I was offered to be taken up for a spin by a pilot named Wombat (aka Andrew Hope) around the city of Auckland in his American Champion Citabria aircraft- We had an amazing time!

Before I start my report, I would firstly like to thank Andrew for his outstanding level of generosity and for trusting me in the front seat of his aircraft, and also, all the guys in the NZAA Tower who let us fly along the runway 23L approach and low over their airspace, in a single engine prop, which apart from today is not otherwise permitted. I really appreciate the opportunity to see the airport from an angle I would have never otherwise have seen (I did not expect to see a front seat view of the approach to NZAA for a good number of years yet). Thank you everyone for letting me have such an amazing experience and inspiring me even more to work towards my eventual goal of being a pilot myself some day.

So, in this thread I have written up a little report about our flight, including 21 photos I took. They have been resized down to 800x600 pixels to load faster and have a file size of 3.17mb all together.

Anyhow, the story of my first flight is as follows:

I woke up nice and early and drove down to Ardmore Airport to meet up with Andrew at 8am. He showed me around his aircraft ZK-CIT, which is an ‘American Champion Citabria’. We both did the walk around inspection and the pre-flight checks, and he helpfully explained what and why he was doing along the way. As you can image, I had already learnt a lot of new things by the time we where holding at runway 21 ready for take off at about 5 minutes to 9.00am.

I was allowed to sit in the front seat which I was not expecting, as Wombat is a flight instructor and used to flying from the rear seat. This made the take off lots of fun forme as I sat in front of the windshield and watched the ground disappear below me.

The Citabria climbed at a pretty steep rate and with in seconds we where above the Papakura countryside flying the circuit around NZAR.

Andrew had arranged a slot with the ATC controllers at NZAA at around 9, but we where a little early so I had the pleasure of being shown a Touch-And-Go landing back on runway 21 at Ardmore. Wombat did the throttle and yoke while I got a chance to lower the flaps as I was in the front seat!

Once again we climbed out from the airfield, but this time we headed to the west towards Weymouth on the shore of the Manukau Harbour. Wombat explained how to use the radio and transponder and I got to tune into Auckland Tower who told us we needed to hold for a while as there was an incoming ANZ B1900D above us and a QF B767 (In the orange Australian Airlines colours) departing. We circled two times just east of Manukau city centre, then followed the runway 23L approach into Auckland International Airport.

I enjoyed this part of the flight so much, with my front seat view perfect to snap the picture you can see above. The invitation for this flight had all started when I asked if there where any pilots who flew this approach in RL (in another forum) who could possibly take a picture to show me what the approach looked like- and here I was actually being flown on the approach myself!

We passed over runway 23L very low at just a few hundred feet and I got to see the airside space of the airport, which was a unique perspective:

The weather was absolutely perfect for flying, without a cloud in the sky, great long range visibility and the early morning sun illuminating every building and object on the ground. Here you can see how much the bright blue sky, the lush green grass and the massive expanse of grey concrete contrasted together to make such a great perspective of the International terminal and apron:

Once we reached the 05L end, Andrew radioed the tower to let them know we where finished with our ‘operation’, and they replied by acknowledging our transmission and asking to see our photographs on the forums. Well here they are fellas! Thank you ever so much for working us in with the heavies 😀 With out your help I would have not been able to experience such a fun filled flight, nor would I have been able to take this photograph:

We where cleared to track north into the central city, and headed towards the suburb of Mangere leaving the airport behind. I found being up above all the hustle and bustle very relaxing and peaceful- something which was always attracted me to flying.

It didn’t take us very long to cruise over the suburbs, which looks so small and insignificant for above, and we where soon overhead ‘Eden Park’ rugby stadium, the home turf for the All Blacks when they are playing in Auckland!

The view from the Citabria was great with many large windows in the cabin as it is built for VFR. In fact, I wouldn’t mind being an aerial photographer for a living if I didn’t make it as a pilot, the feeling of flight and being higher above everyone else below is something nothing can ever replicate.

Soon we where crossing Auckland CBD that looked smaller than I imagined from the air. We approached the area from the south, and then banked right near the harbour bridge and followed the Waitamata Harbour east allowing me to get some nice photos from different angles:

We then headed over towards St Heliers where some of Wombat’s family live, keeping at an altitude of 1500 feet. All of a sudden, Andrew asked me if I would like to take the controls for a while- I just could not believe how generous and trustworthy he was! Anyway, I obviously jumped at the chance and carefully took the controls for myself.

I discovered that the main difference between real life and flying on a simulator is how much the controls react to your input movements. I learnt that in order to keep straight and level, you must make only tiny incremental adjustments to the yoke and rudder- and soon got the hang of it.

After this we crossed the Tamaki Estury and headed towards the neighbourhood I live in, Bucklands Beach. Due to zone restrictions, we could not fly over my actual house, but it was great to see the rest of my local area that I recognised:

We continued out into the Hauraki Gulf and made our way along the channel between Maraetai and Waiheke Island:

Again, Andrew very kindly let me have a go with the controls and I was instructed to climb up to 3000 feet… for some aerobatics 😀 😀 😀

Forget the peaceful views of the countryside, what we did next was lots more fun! I got to experience feeling lighter than air and the effect of a 3G force on my body as we rolled in and out of fancy manoeuvres. If you are a thrill seeker who enjoys riding roller coasters then you would have loved this as much as I did!

I recorded some videos, which I have converted to wmv format and uploaded here:

Please forgive the quality- I have shrunk them down a little to make them quicker for me to upload, and you to download. Also, sorry about the camera work- this was the first time in my life I have been upside down in an aircraft and I had no idea what to expect!

This part of the flight was definitely the most enjoyable. Thank you Wombat for performing these tricks and letting me experience them. I have to say it is 100x better than any theme park ride I have ever been on!

After lots of wing-overs, loop the loops, stalling and recovering and barrel rolls, it was time to head back to Ardmore. For a third time, I was allowed to take the controls on the way back to land. The little bumps caused by turbulence that we had encountered before felt completely ignorable after the aerobatics we just performed.

We where going to make a full stop landing on runway 21 sealed, but Andrew decided to touch down on runway 21 grass to give me an even wider variety of flight experiences today. The wheels rolled along the ground smoothly, and all of a sudden we where back at the hanger where it all started:

Thanks again to Andrew who gave me the most enjoyable experience I have had in years. I will never forget this day!

Cheers! 😎

Last edited by ceetee on Sun Jul 23, 2006 12:43 am, edited 1 time in total

Answers 15 Answers

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Pro Member Captain
Kareem El-Sadi (crosscheck9) Captain

Ah, Cheeky, that must have been a great experience. Glad you took the initiative to seek such an opportunity, and I thank you very much for such a detailed report, with all the pictures and videos. I felt like I was there!! 😀 Maybe one day, you'll take the aircraft yourself, and be completing loop the loops for people learning, like you were today 😉

Pro Member Captain
Sam (SamIntel) Captain

Well that sounds awsome! Glad you had fun.
Thanks for the pics and videos.

Pro Member First Officer
Wing-man First Officer

Excellent photos and videos 👍 well done, I like the roll vid. Drool

Pro Member First Officer
Canyon (NoWorries) First Officer

Freakin' Sweet!!!!!

If this were the simulator, what would we say? Great scenery add-on of Aukland, and those water textures are perfect! Your pilot texture could use some work though. 😛 J/K

That looks like it was a blast, I love the videos and the pictures are great!

Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain

I'm very glad you had such a opportunity to try out your wings.
It seems as if you have the time of your life and I don't blame you in the least.
Thank you for the story, video's and the excellent photos.


Pro Member Chief Captain
Greekman72 Chief Captain

I envy you my friend. 😉 Thanks for sharing with us this detailed report with these great shots and videos.

Congratulations Cheeky Punk Punk Punk

Chief Captain
ceetee Chief Captain

Thanks everyone- as you can tell I had loads of fun 😀

Just you wait untill you see what I do next weekend though... ❗ ❗ ❗

smithcorp Guest

Top stuff Cheeky! Jeez Auckland's looking green eh cuzzie?

Pro Member Chief Captain
Jonathan (99jolegg) Chief Captain

Wow 😳 Looks like you had a fantastic time 👍

Pro Member First Officer
Faucett First Officer

Great job CT, congrats!!!

Pro Member Captain
jarred_01 Captain

cheekytrolly wrote:

Thanks everyone- as you can tell I had loads of fun 😀

Just you wait untill you see what I do next weekend though... ❗ ❗ ❗

Fantastic stuff CT, some really fantastic photos and I cant believe you actually did the flight. Credit to the pilot and ATC at AKL for alowing it!

Any chance of a hint of whats happening next weekend?

Chief Captain
ceetee Chief Captain

Any chance of a hint of whats happening next weekend?

Well I can tell you it has something to do with "jumpseat" and "warbirds DC-3" 😉

Pro Member First Officer
spitfiresrule First Officer

Hey can someone say dej avu lmao I read your report in PPrune lol I lurk more than post but my name is the same Spitfires rule lol Good to know I am not the only teenager on those forums lol. It was a great report reminded me of the time my ouncle took me flying 😛
Spitfires rule

Pro Member Chief Captain
liam (Liono) Chief Captain

All I can say Cheecky is you are a lucky Censored Censored .

I'm glad you enjoyed yourself.

Wonderfull pictures and a nice looking bird as well.

BTW can you answer the following questions

What frames where you getting? you most of took a FPS hit entering the city?

What water add-on is that as I want it?

Where did you find the autogen texture for the house it looks life like?

Sorry I couldn't resist the temptation.


Chief Captain
ceetee Chief Captain

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