May 2008 Posts

DC3 Trip

On Anzac weekend 2008, the club hired the Pioneer DC3 for a day trip down to the Ashburton aviation museum. One reason being that as the base was soon to close and the DC3 operation being transferred to Ashburton, it seemed to be one of the last opportunities to take such a trip from a historic military airfield. At $125 per head for a 100 mile day trip including lunch, there was no trouble filling all the seats on the plane.

The day started off calm with a low 600ft cloud base that covered the whole area that we intended to fly. However, after several hours of wandering the Wigram museum, Ashburton informed us that the cloud was lifting. Takeoff was a couple of hours late but no one seemed to mind. A smooth and very pleasant trip down to Ashburton cruising at about 1000ft gave a good view of the southern alps and Canterbury plains through a patchy cloud base a few hundred feet below our flight path.

Lunch, aviation museum (with an ex Falklands war GR1 Harrier jump jet) and the rail park was great. A nearby hanger had several YAK aircraft, an 18 and 55. The trip back was clearer with less cloud and you could just see our flying field before the descent into Christchurch. A great trip!!