Geoff Cooper, aka Spinco, an Air New Zealand 777 pilot whom I met on the PPRuNe forums was ever so generous in offering me a ride in the Warbird Dakota Society DC-3 from Ardmore Airport this morning!
We met over at the NZ Warbirds headquarters at 10:15, and then drove right across the taxiway over to the control tower where the beautiful aircraft was sitting, parked up waiting for her flight. First of all Geoff filled out some forms, with my name going on the “crew” list.
Then we started walking around the aircraft doing the pre-flight checks, when the co-pilot for the day, discovered some of the local boy racers had been siphoning the high octane fuel out of the wing tanks! As you can guess, Ardmore is not a very secure airfield even though it is the busiest in the country, and because of this we needed the fuel truck to come and top the Dak up, with enough juice for today’s flight and the return journey to Hamilton where it will be undergoing maintenance next month.
After about 30 minutes, we clambered aboard and I was allowed to sit in the jump seat right up in the cockpit which gave me a brilliant view. We taxied to runway 3 and took off smoothly, and climbed up to 1600 feet heading east over the Clevedon River.
Soon we where overhead the Hauraki Gulf, in roughly the same area I was taken for aerobatics last weekend by Andrew Hope, and after passing the end of Waiheke Island, it was time to do some steep turns- up to 60 degrees if I remember correctly:
I was not expecting to feel so much G-Force in the DC-3 but the camera felt really heavy as I took these photos: (I am not complaining though- the feeling of flying like this was awesome)
After a quite a few turns, we headed back towards land, flying back along Clevedon River and joined the downwind leg for runway 3 at NZAR again, and began our descent for a touch and go, which went extremely smoothly.
No sooner than we where down, we lifted off again and climbed up to 600 feet, joining the downwind leg again. This time, Geoff simulated a fire emergency which the other pilot, Adrian had to recover the aircraft from. We made another touch and go, and I swapped seats with another lucky youngster on board and snapped some shots out the window, as we did a flyby and yet another t&g before completing the circuit again and then made a full stop landing.
I had so much fun once again, the feeling of being airbourne that I had been looking forward to all week certainly satisfied me (for the time being ). I would just like to thank Geoff one more time, you gave me an experience I will never forget, and inspired me even further to live my dream and train to become a pilot.
Very Nice picture. I hope I get an opportunity like that someday.
The chance of a lifetime and you took it, good for you. I envy you that flight.
Beautiful shots - you've been very lucky recently!
You are always give us some great stuff dear Cheeky.Thank you
I envy you my friend
haha you lucky bugger
was it a bit loud?
Absolutely fantastic, CT!!!
Great experience and nice photos. Thanks for sharing. I've flown on two commercial DC-3s and both were interesting experiences.
I loike dc-3s there my favorite of alll those types of aircreft that would be a flight id wanna do
was it a bit loud?
When I took my headset off, I could not bear the noise in the cockpit
Gees CT, what are you up to next weekend?
Fantastic shots and looks like you had an excellent time, definitely wish I could have the experience. Yep steep turns are a fantastic experience in a GA plane, but when you do it in a DC-3 of all planes, that's something magical.
Thanks very much for the report and photos!
Gees CT, what are you up to next weekend? Laughing
I am actually going for a flight in a C172 I have never been in anything so new, which will be great with the duel controls