In Coolangatta


16/06/2008


Checked the weather on TV in the morning. Slight improvement but not enough to make me rush and try to get off today. Made further checks on the internet by logging into Air Services Australia, with whom I had registered on arrival in Australia, and did a route check on their system. Winds had moderated a bit but still windy on Lord Howe Island. The official information for YLHI (Lord Howe Island airport) is that there can be severe turbulence on the approach and pilots must consider this in their planning and plan for a diversion to a mainland airport should this be necessary. As a diversion to the nearest airport at Coff s Harbour is 315 nautical miles, it is a good idea to get the planning right and make sure there is enough fuel on board. Also called the met office and had a briefing from them, which indicated that there could be a steady improvement through today, so tomorrow looks like a real possibility.

As the flight from Gold Coast is about 450 nm and a diversion is 315 nm, then Romeo Tango needs to have enough fuel for at least 900 nm before starting out on this leg. I made sure that the tanks were filled yesterday so there will be no problem with this distance. The Mooney is a very economical plane and could do this easily on standard tanks. I have long range tanks fitted which give me even more flexibility.

Took a taxi to the airport and met Liz from yesterday. I got airside to the plane and sorted out some of my gear and charts. As lunchtime was approaching Liz offered to take me back to town as she was going that way. I am a lucky guy. In town, spent some time searching for ink cartridges for the printer that was purchased in Singapore and was eventually successful. Spent some more time updating the blog to bring it bang up to date (at last..!). If I have the energy, will try to send off some more photos tonight as I realise that most of you readers would appreciate that.

Fingers crossed for tomorrow’s weather.