It was a quiet day out at the club on Sunday, which was a shame because the weather was glorious. No lift around, but still lovely weather for enjoying a bit of flying. Anyway, the instructor for the day, Dave, suggested I take the opportunity to get some of my endorsements sorted out in preparation for heading out cross country in the next few months.
We jumped in the IS28 and towed out to the Northwest off runway 32. Once airborne, I handed the controls over to Dave as he quizzed me on what paddocks looked good or bad for landing and the reasons for my choices. I had him move to an area that looked pretty good and then picked out a few individual paddocks to use. As we descended, one paddock stood out from the others as being perfect for an outlanding - it was a bit over 10km from the airfield, appearing to be about 1200-1300m in length and was pasture rather than crop. Running through the 5S's I decided this was the paddock to use:
- Size was good at over 1200m (can land in smaller fields, need a minimum of 600m for an aerotow retrieve)
- Slope was minimal with a very gentle grade from SE to a creek at the NW edge, the landing would be very slightly downhill but well within reason
- Surface was very good, solid if a little sandy; there were no harrowing marks, ditches or contour banks, and being a pasture there was no crop to worry about. All the adjacent fields were cropped with wheat or canola.
- Stock - there were sheep in the paddock, but they were all clustered at the far western corner; with a NW breeze our approach would be from the east and the groundroll would only be 100m or so.
- Situation/SWER - there were no powerlines (SWER - single wire earth return - a major hazard to outlanding aircraft) and the wind was a gentle nor'westerly. Approach would be over a low cropped field of canola, and the field to the south could be used in a pinch if it became necessary - it was cropped with wheat but the crop was very short.
|Location of field selected for Outlanding, 10km NW of YCUN|