The Tasman crossing

Now that we’ve had a couple of nights’ sleep after a fairly full on rush from Perth we can divulge a bit more about the flight from Lord Howe.

Peter, the local aviation historian and Rachael, Border Force, bio security and several other roles, met us early with good advice on getting away in one piece. The airfield and approaches are very turbulent at times and our small aircraft felt very insignificant against the huge cliffs. The departure went well and Lord Howe slipped behind us as we slowly climbed to 10 000 feet. 

Every half hour we swapped over fling the aircraft and every 100 miles calculated fuel and time to Lord Howe Island, Norfolk Island Cape Reinga and Auckland. At first we had a headwind, then a steady tailwind built, just as forecast (thank you JOMOC and the Australian Bureau of Meteorology). We saw just 2 ships on the whole journey. We were out of radio range for most of the trip, so we relayed messages through airliners, Velocity 110 and Cathay 189; thank you both. 

Eventually we could see the surfline and the welcome hills of NZ. Another hour south and we were over Auckland. Landing at Auckland International in 30 kts of wind was hard work, but thanks to the team at Sky Care we soon had the aircraft tied down on their front lawn. Thank you all. 

1035 miles, 8 hours, 45 litres of fuel remaining, happy team, made it!


Chris Pote