From the President
Well another year is nearly over and I guess we are all looking forward to a bit of a rest. Although we are only half way through our club year it feels like a full year. I would like to thank the club committee and the club members for making the club year so successful . We have achieved a lot this year even though it has been fairly quiet .
We have had a few good social events of which some were well attended and others not . We have decided to buy another aircraft and this is now coming together well .
We have had an accident free year but still a few unnecessary mechanical mishaps.
The club continues to grow with membership around 125 at present and everyone is in good sprits and are optimistic about the future.
For those that attended the RAANZ AGM it is apparent that CAA is determined to get the accident rate of light aircraft down to much lower levels that at present.
We must all adapt to any changes that may come along locally at our field or nationally as RAANS and CAA dictate change on us. Let us not forget we are a lucky few that can take to the skies when ever we like and fly mostly unrestricted . When things go wrong we get noticed. The aim of the game is not to get noticed. That means a clean slate and don't rock the boat. Make constructive comment through the correct channels is the way to go as CAA and RAANZ will listen to us . Gentle pressure can pay dividends.
At the RAANZ AGM we had the pleasure of listening to John Jones , the CAA Director, his message was simple. There are too many accident in light aircraft.
97% of air movements in NZ are by airlines but 97% of accident are in the 3% of other movements being agricultural, light GA sport and recreational. Not good figures. CAA aim to reduce this 10 fold before 2010. We can help by being professional in what we do while working in with other aviators with a common goal of enjoying a safe fun pastime.
There was an excellent turnout to the AGM 50+ delegates turned up which is unheard of for such an event . At least 15 planes came from the NI. This is a credit to those guys who think nothing of crossing the 'ditch'.
You will be pleased to know we have a greater presence on the RAANZ executive this year with myself and Brent becoming members. Another unheard of event was that there needed to be an election of officers ,4 nominations and 3 positions. A long time was spent deciding what needed to be done according to the constitution.
A word of thanks from our club must go to Nick Key who has worked away for the last three years in RAANZ . A lot goes on behind the scenes that we do not appreciate but sometimes only criticise. If it was not for the hard working exec team of RAANZ we would not be able to do what we do . RAANZ promise a more efficient turnaround with ratings, exam results and general administration functions.
I have put forward the club's name to host the RAANZ annual flyin in February 2006. This should be around the end of the month. Keep a look out for details.
Probably the most exciting event for a while is the fact that the club has been allocated an area of land at the NW end of the field with which to develop the future look of the club over the next few years. We have room for two major sized hangars and space for around 12 good sized hangars for members to build. We will develop a plan over the next 6 months for the land and submit it to the council. The road will be sealed very soon , this will happen as money has been approved for this.
The airfield committee has been busy finalising codes for construction and positions of future hangars. They are very aware of encroaching subdivisions and are setting the field up to be protected from future intervention by non aviation people having a say in what happens there.
So what's been happening out there?
Welcome to new members Dave Small , Roy Waddington , Christine Oliver and Ray Corbett. I hope you get into your flying . Get hold of Brent and he will advise the best instructor to suit your timetable.
A big Congratulations to Noel Vallance on gaining his CPL. He has worked his butt off this year to get the qualification which he hopes to use to fly Trikes commercially .
Thanks also Noel for the donation of all of your text books. These are in the club library and are for every one to use. Look after them .
Wayne Woodward has bought a Bantum from the coast. He and Brent flew it back a few weeks ago on a trouble free 90 minute flight. Wayne seems very pleased with it and is clocking up the hours.
Rod Webb has bought Wayne's Z-Max but I am not sur if he has flown it yet.
After 17 years of watching and waiting Dave McPherson has soloed in his own plane!. Yes the newly complete Karatoo is now in the hands of Dave who is rapidly clocking up the hours. I watched him land it on Monday night after an hours flight and he greased it in like an old professional . Well done Dave you have done well and I expect you would like to thank Paul , Mike and Brent for all the effort they have put into the project. A full report follows in this newsletter.
Mike Flemming has built a new hangar block next to Pat Scotter's and boast a great viewing tower .
It is with great regret that I have to report the passing of Mick Holland on the 29th (his birthday). Mick has been around the flying scene for many years and has always been a real personality . He will be sadly missed by all who knew him especially the old guard like Peter Dyer. I only knew Mick for a few years ,although I knew of him and his exploits in the motoring and bike fields, and he amazed me with his positive outlook and great memory. Our thoughts are with his family at this time .
The RAANZ AGM was a great success for our club and I thank all those who helped run the day.
Ivan Campbell and the Fisher Tiger Moth are about to take to the air. By the time you read this the Tiger will probably have flown. Ivan has made a magnificent job of the Tiger and it is a credit to is perfectionism and dedication to getting thing right .Well done Ivan we look forward to you first touch down at Rangiora.
Ivan and Sandra hosted the group from the RAANZ AGM for afternoon tea . A cake was baked especially for the occasion by Simon Sheffield It must have been a great cake as it did not last very long . Thanks Ivan and Sandra for a great afternoon.
Keith Dekkers has been seenlow fling his new Trike around the hangers to run the engine in . But Keith it will fly much better if you put the wing on!!
Here are a few shots of the progress.
Painted and assembled
Kiwi Karatoo Klub
On Friday 25th September I went solo in KTP 17 years 9months after my first solo in the club “Raja” (mirage) back in 1988. The funny thing is it was almost an anti climax. After waiting so long for the time when I would be able to fly my own aircraft, when Ross said, “I am getting out now, you can go on your own”, it was sort of ok lets do this. I deliberately didn't spend a lot of time thinking about it at the end of the runway or else I might have chickened out, although I doubt it, but I figured that the getting back on the ground has always been the bit I have the most trouble with so I will get in the air and sort the rest out later. That first circuit went so fast. I had no sooner done my radio call, the down wind checks, and then the ground was coming up to meet me. The first landing wasn't a greaser but passable. If I could do all my landings like the second one I would be very happy.
They say that your first solo is the best landing you will ever do, if that is the case it is just as well the Karatoo is built strong. The first solo that I did all those years ago, after the third attempt I managed to touch down. Touch down implies that it was a soft landing, but even when we stopped bouncing it wasn't soft. We only stopped because the left gear leg broke and dug in, but I did walk away from it. We had to carry the “Raja” back though but eventually it flew again.
I have to say that I am very happy with the choice of Karatoo as my aircraft. Originally I was keen to get something like a Bantam or X-air. But Ngaire, my wife, is not over keen on the lighter side of the microlight scale (even though she has flown in a quicksilver) so when Mike Small showed me the fuselage of the Karatoo, I though yes that would be an ideal “Farm Tractor”. So the KKK (Kiwi Karatoo Klub) was born, and the rest as they say is history.
I owe special thanks to Mike (project manager) for getting me into this project, for doing the test flying and helping me fulfil a dream, to Brent Thompson for the propeller, cowling and work on finishing the plane, and especially to Paul Woodley whose superb skill and workmanship has produced an aircraft that I am proud to show off, and now fly.
It has now done 50 hours but I am sure that the next 50 will not take so long.
See you in the air
The Man and the Machine