In which I fly a Cessna 172, do a city orbit, go to the RAAF Museum, fly around Port Philip Bay and experience momentary weightlessness.
Today, I met up with some friends from interstate (also pilots) and we all went for a fly around Melbourne. Jodie has an RA-Aus licence, Jeremy is a flying instructor and Tim has soloed in motor gliders. So, basically, we were four pilots going on a flying adventure!
Our plan was to fly from Lilydale to RAAF Williams base Point Cook to visit the RAAF Museum, then back to Lilydale.
We all met up at Lilydale where we had hired a Cessna 172 – India Sierra Delta (VH-ISD).
After Jeremy went for a few circuits with one of the Lilydale instructors and everyone managed to find headsets, we went out to the plane.
Excitingly, I was given control to fly the first leg to Point Cook (YMPC). As Jeremy is a flying instructor it was fine for me to do the flight and log the hours in my logbook (ended up logging 0.5). The Cessna is quite different to the Jab (obviously) – there is a yoke rather than the central stick, the throttle is on the right, there is a mixture control and (happily) the seats move. After we all got sorted, I taxiied us to 18R. It was very odd trying to get used to the brakes being on the floor rather than the central handbrake, quite a few times while taxiing I accidentally applied the brakes when trying to make rudder inputs. It was also strange having my left hand on the yoke and right hand on the throttle.
I did the takeoff and found it very hard to hold the nose down after takeoff to reach 80kts. It seemed to take a lot of force to keep the nose down but it was a little easier once I worked out where the trim wheel was. We started tracking to the south west, towards the city. Jeremy dealt with all of the navigating and the radio calls, leaving me to just do the actual flying.
When we reached the city, we politely asked ATC if we could do an orbit of the city and received clearance. It was amazing to see the city from the air, we were only at 1500ft so it was just fantastic. I still can’t believe I’ve flown over the city!
After the city orbit, we followed the coast around to Point Cook. The RAAF base where the museum is located has 3 runways, two bitumen and one grass. We were landing on a bitumen runway (my first landing on bitumen). We overflew the airport and joined the circuit for runway 17. I was in control for the approach and landing with a slight bit of help from Jeremy – just some suggestions of when to add power and a bit of help with the flare. I think I didn’t do too badly with the landing considering a Cessna is quite different to a Jab. It also didn’t help that I was flying with my left hand with my right on the throttle (the opposite to usual) which made things feel very different. Overall I’m pretty pleased with my flying and landing though, considering all the differences 🙂
We parked at the base (had to put the nosewheel in the little white box painted on the ground, but I think I managed it pretty well) and went into the Museum.
I’d definitely recommend the Museum to anyone nearby or flying in, lot’s of lovely old planes and entry is completely free. Some of the planes –
When we were wandering back to the Cessna, we saw a Douglas DC-3 doing circuits and I managed to get a few photos.
Our original plan was to fly back to Lilydale from Point Cook but we were all hungry and thought that there was a restaurant at Tooradin Airfield so we decided to head over there. This time it was Jodie’s turn to fly.
We flew around the bay, past the heads and over to Tooradin. On our way we passed over Jodie’s parents house and did a few steep turns over the house. It was a gorgeous day for flying, the bay looked awesome.
We landed at Tooradin, only to discover that the restauraunt is shut for renovations (sigh). We did manage to get some chips to hold us over until we got back to Lilydale though!
The next leg, for Tooradin back to Lilydale, was Tim’s turn to fly. During the flight Jeremy took over for a moment and did a quick climb then quick dive which created momentary weightlessness which was pretty awesome.
We flew back to Lilydale, I reminded Tim and Jeremy about the displaced threshold on 18 and we landed.
5231 was sitting outside, so I took the opportunity to (finally) get a photo with one of the Jabs I fly!
Overall, it was a great day, flying around Melbourne and I’ve now got my first flight logged in a Cessna!