Feilding to Auckland
Barbara and daughter Fiona drove me to the airfield and we said our goodbyes. The last few days had been all too rushed, but I felt refreshed and ready to move on.
The forecast was not brilliant, with a relatively low freezing level and cloud along much of the planned route. At Feilding I found Athol, an experienced local pilot to whom I had been introduced earlier in the week and he was very helpful in discussing the situation. A decision was made to fly above the cloud, at 9000 feet, in order to avoid icing problems, and this worked fine. The flight to Auckland was about 2 hours, and I could see a lot of snow in some areas below. Thanks for your local knowledge, Athol, it was much appreciated. Thanks also to the local flying school at Feilding, as they helped me with filing the flight plan and advised me on the local departure routines.
It was initially an instrument approach into Auckland International Airport, but the last few miles were in excellent visibility. This was really the only convenient airport from which I could depart for Tonga, my next destination, because of the need for customs and immigration formalities.
My stay in Palmerston North had been all too brief, but I now felt that I was on the move again.
Flight Data: 238 nautical miles in 2 hours 0 minutes.