On the 28th of July 2019, after only recently getting my private pilot’s licence renewed after a 4 year flying break, I decided to take my girlfriend flying to Wilsons Promontory in a rental Cessna 172SP for the first time.
It was definitely one of the most fulfilling private flights I have ever experienced. Here is a short 1 minute summary of our flying adventure from Instagram:
The adventure began at Moorabbin airport where I checked the weather and determined the weather was textbook perfection — a cloud base of 4,500 feet and zero wind! Perfect for taking passengers that need to be “eased” into flying in very small planes.
The flight plan was really basic. Depart Moorabbin for Wilsons Promontory, via French Island and Inverloch township, then return back to Moorabbin. All up it was a 2.4 hour flight.
Here is an extract from one of my flying charts with our flight plan highlighted in yellow.
Our Flying Journey
Departing from Moorabbin was very straightforward. I was given a clearance to take-off on runway 35L where I made two left hand turns to intercept track to the South East (highlighted track above).
It was a really nice take-off and definitely one of my favourite phases of flight. There is something about “full power” on a runway that feels really amazing!
Shortly after take-off and making two left turns, I tracked directly to overfly French Island at 3,500 feet. Personally, I prefer flying low to the ground because you are able to see more detail of the ground.
In this photo, we are tracking to overfly French Island at 3,500 feet. Of course, there is no auto pilot! It is all flown by hand 🙂
Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) Testing
In aviation, “Electronic Flight Bags” are referred to electronic reference to everything a pilot needs that is paper-based.
During this flight, it was an opportunity for me to test my new Samsung Tablet A with Ozrunways installed. I paid $250 AUD for this tablet and $159 AUD (per year) for an Ozrunways subscription. Lastly, I needed to buy a prepaid 4G sim from Telstra for $150, valid for 6 months.
Essentially, this tablet has all of my paper maps, guides, and references, all available electronically. It also accurately represents the GPS position of the aircraft and other critical flight information like groundspeed, track, altitude, and much more! It is extremely accurate!
You’ll notice that I am not even using my aircraft-mounted GPS. I am almost certain that Ozrunways is light years ahead of the out-of-date GPS mounted in the instrument panel of the Cessna.
After overflying French Island, I continued tracking toward Inverloch township — a really stunning seaside town in Victoria with distinct sand bars and a huge stretch of beach which hugs the Australian coastline.
Inverloch is a distinct landmark on my aviation chart and very easy for pilots to find and navigate to. I also wanted to show Robyn the stunning sandbars surrounding the township.
After overflying Inverloch township, I made a slight heading change to intercept my flight planned track to Wilsons Promontory.
Wilsons Promontory is easy to spot with mountain peaks surrounded by puffs of cloud. I just kept those mountain peaks referenced on the nose of the aircraft, and sat back and enjoyed the journey.
In the photo below, you’ll see a vast amount of the Victoria countryside with patches of wind farms, and Wilsons Promontory popping out from the horizon!
One of my favourite photos of the spectacular Victoria landscape that I took which I can never get sick of, is this.
How awesome is that? Those rippling green pastures continue on for as far as the eye can see.
I’m told that Wilsons Prom is a perfect weekend escape for hiking! I’ve never been there except overflying it. It’s also the southern most tip of the Australian mainland!
I can definitely say that — from the sky — it is one of the most picturesque places to see.
To give Robyn the full benefit of the experience, I decided to fly clockwise around this stunning landmark.
Here is a photo I captured of Robyn with the backdrop of Wilsons Prom. Robsie took the rest of the photos 🙂
Can you see a lighthouse that juts out from the coast? Here is a close-up.
Just amazing! Even as I write this article and collate these photos — I’m even inspired! This is exactly what the Australian coastline looks like around Wilsons Prom.
After a nice casual clockwise cruise around this stunning landmark, it was time to start flying back to Moorabbin.
On the way back, I decided to change heading and show Robyn Phillip island — a famous landmark known internationally for the Penguin Parade and the Grand Prix.
In the photo, you’ll see a small bridge which links Phillip island (top left of photo) with the mainland — the only access to this popular landmark.
Again the coastline is stunning and something that Robyn really enjoyed seeing. It is hard to see how beautiful the coastline is without a nice zoomed-in photo. Check this out.
The clear demarcation of the blue ocean and green pastures with a defined cliff face is something quite special. I’m glad Robyn captured it as I haven’t yet mastered the skill of videography and piloting 🙂
After a quick flight over Phillip island, I decided to track back to Moorabbin and finish off our flight.
It was our maiden flight together and one that Robyn thoroughly loved. I’ve now convinced her to come exploring with me on future flying adventures across the Australian skies.
For this flying adventure, I compiled a short 6–7 minute video that will take you on a journey as a passenger with us to Wilsons Prom. You will get to see what we saw.
I tracked back into Moorabbin via Carrum for runway 31L. I don’t often get a chance to land on this runway so I enjoyed a different approach.
Robyn also loved taking a billion photos of my approach to land.
One of the most memorable flights I have ever done! It was also absolutely fulfilling to take Robyn (who is from South Africa) flying over the Australian landscape.
There is no better way to see the vast countryside of Australia then from a Cessna 172!
I cannot wait to take her over more isolated deserts here in Australia, but will require taking some survival equipment with us.
Thanks for joining us on our adventure 🙂
Originally published at https://www.bradnewton.tv on July 31, 2019.