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Cessnock Fly-In Report

Cessnock Fly-In Report

Cessnock Fly-in Report

Cessnock Airport – March 9, 2019

Due to postponement of the Mudgee fly-in on March 9, because of forecast weather conditions, as a plan B it was decided to arrange a lunch in the vicinity of Cessnock airport.   It was thought the weather might be slightly better going to Cessnock, as well as avoiding the need to cross the Blue Mountains with a low cloud base.

Four aircraft decided to make the journey:

  • VH-CDK a Cherokee 6 – Chris, Geoff and Ted
  • VH-NRL an Archer 2 – Randell and David
  • VH-JZJ a 180 HP Cessna 172M – Peter
  • VH-PQK a Warnervale based Cessna 172 – Michael and George

The weather forecast on the day suggested the “poorer” weather was most likely going to be in the Cessnock area.  Of course, it ended up being the opposite.  At Bankstown, around departure time it was grey skies, courtesy of a high overcast and plenty of low stratus in the training area, but not too bad for the GA lane.  An on the spot report from Warnervale suggested a ceiling of 3500 to 4000 feet.

So on the basis of this, the Bankstown VFR aircraft VH-CDK and VH-JZJ decided to attempt the trip, while VH-NRL went IFR.  All aircraft made it to Cessnock by midday.  Here, the consensus was to have a bite to eat and a cup of coffee at the Wine Country Cafe located near the airport entrance.

After a pleasant catch-up for an hour or so it was time to head back.  The high overcast made conditions look a lot grimmer than what they really were.  On leaving Cessnock there was a significant shower just to the east of the airport, which fortunately was not near the track to Brooklyn Bridge.

On approaching the Bridge, the Bankstown ATIS was 3000 feet overcast and 2000 feet scattered.   Looking down the Hawkesbury, Barrenjoey Headland was quite distinctive so there were plenty of options to wait it out for the lane to clear if there were any issues.  In the end the landing was quite uneventful with VH-JZJ and VH-CDK landing together on runway 11 left and center, with VH-NRL on IFR following not long after.

In summary the day turned out to be a bit of a pilot outing, where quite a few decisions needed to be made on the viability of conducting VFR flight.  While, obviously it is more enjoyable flying CAVOK, the less than perfect flying conditions is good experience in testing pilot judgement.

Chris Muller

The aim of AOPA Australia Flying Events is to provide members enjoyable GA experiences at wonderful Australian destinations.  The flying events calendar can be found at

https://aopa.com.au/events/member-fly-aways

Would you or your local Aero Club or Flying Group like to participate in our annual calendar of Fly-Aways and Air-Safaris?

Each year the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association of Australia organizes an exciting calendar of member fly-aways and air-safari’s to some of Australia most iconic and spectacular locations.  Aero Clubs and Flying Groups are all welcome to take part!  To join your club or group, please contact:

Mr Chris Muller
Flying Events Coordinator – AOPA Australia

Mobile:  0412 129 162
Email: chris.muller@aopa.com.au

Mr George Higgins
Flying Events Coordinator – AOPA Australia

Mobile:  0422 157 991
Email: george.higgins@aopa.com.au

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