The view from PA-38 ZK-WAC as we passed just to the North of Masteron, en-route to Hastings, with PA-28 ZK-KAT in the distance. Photo: Ady Foot
Submitted by Gareth Humphries, Student Pilot at Wellington Aero Club
I took part in the Hastings fly-in late last month, and as someone still early on in my aviation journey it was a lot of firsts for me. My first fly-in, of course, but also my first time at any GA aerodrome outside of the Wellington area, my first time in a Cessna 172 and definitely the first time I'd been up before the sun to go flying.
The effects of the early start quickly wore off, as we took off about 30 seconds after MCT and were greeted by a stunning sunrise. The next hour thirty-five was spent flying through the early morning mist of the Tararua ranges, and hearing a cacophony of position reports, as planes from all directions converged on Hastings together.
We slotted in with the other traffic and touched down as one of the last planes to arrive (we won the spotprize for furthest distance travelled, so that isn't as embarrassing as it sounds).
We got in too late for breakfast, but not too late for coffee, the awarding of the aforementioned spot prizes and a field of exotic planes to walk amongst and look at (some more exotic than others!). We spent a bit of time enjoying the wonderful club rooms at Hastings, but were a bit peckish after our long flight and it wasn't a hunger that coffee and exotic planes could satiate alone.
One of the good things about having Simsy as a CFI is that he knows all the best cafes within walking distance of an aerodrome nationwide! It wasn't long before a plan was hatched and we assembled our Squadron for the short hop over to Waipukurau for an early lunch (and another few firsts for me - first time I've been to Waipukurau, and first time I've flown somewhere for lunch).
After that we flew back to Wellington and were back home early afternoon - having done the round trip in the same time it would have taken to drive one way, and with a much better view! All in all a great experience, and one I'm definitely looking forward to repeating - though maybe somewhere closer next time so we don't have to skip breakfast.
All student pilot-members of the Wellington Aero Club can sign-up on fly-aways and visits to other clubs. If that sounds like a great way to spend a weekend day and you’ve not flown with us yet, you should contact us today.