NEW ZEALAND CHALLENGES AN AIRLINE PILOT
“You OK, Honey?” I asked immediately after the 172 had taken a respectable shot of turbulence. The Cessna responded with a quick 30-degree roll to the right before I could correct.
After a second or two of silence, my wife replied over the intercom, “Yeah, I’m fine.” Even though she was seated directly behind me, out of my field of vision, I knew she was gripping her seat cushion with both hands. Carol has been subjected to far worse rides in our own airplane, but I felt bad.
Did the turbulence foreshadow our flying over the next eight days? Although I read the electronic brochure and had marveled at the stunning snowcapped photos of Flyinn’s adventure (flyinn.co.nz), a bit of naiveté was involved. Certainly, mountain flying would only be a small part of the experience, with the rest of the tour over mostly benign New Zealand countryside spanning the magnificent South Island. Right? Wrong.
Matt McCaughan, owner and operator of Flyinn, chief flight instructor, tour guide, sheep farmer and all-around delightful guy, grinned with a twinkle in his eye. He apologized to my wife in his calm but enthusiastic New Zealand twang, assuring her that he would do his very best to avoid such encounters. I was almost convinced. And quite frankly, Matt made good on his promise — well, with a little bit of help from the wind gods.
Before our engagement with Flyinn, my good friend Jay and I were required to send pilot experience information and complete New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority forms. The purpose was to obtain the equivalent of an FAA Private Pilot License (PPL). In addition to an FCC Radiotelephone Operator Permit (which I haven’t possessed for years), we were required to present copies of our FAA licenses and medical certificates. And we were asked to show evidence of a “type rating” in a C-172, which for me involved a search through dusty logbooks. Jay owns a 172, so he was a bona fide, current type-rated pilot.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
Sudden Surprise Trouble
What the FAA taketh away, it giveth back.
LIFE IN THE AIR: Living the Dream
The journey from M X to CFI
Doc, David, Herb and the Cops
A once-in-a-lifetime B-29 flight
WHEN THE MUSIC DIES
VFR FLIGHT INTO IMC
WE FLY: FLIGHT DESIGN F2
AN ALL-AROUND ALL- COMPOSITE TREAT
What works on one airplane might not work on another.
THE FLYING STATION WAGON
Blame for the 737 Max
The FAA designee program is too big to fail.
Leaving the flight deck amidst a pandemic
An Aviation Mentor
Why it’s so important
FLOYD'S KILLER COP MARKED FOR DEATH!
Experts warn rogue lawman won’t leave prison alive
ROYAL FEUD BY THE NUMBERS!
Mixing mystic arts to explain the pain
Scientist creates first human-ape embryo!
COVIDIOT TED LEARNS TRUTH THE HARD WAY
Now, even after battling the virus, he’s still refusing to get vaccinated!
ROSEANNE OUT FOR REVENGE!
Plots TV comeback three years after fired from sitcom
NANCY REAGAN WAS A HOPELESS ADDICT!
First lady couldn’t say no to pills!
Road repair sweetheart blown away on street
TIGER AFFAIR DROVE ME TO DRUGS!
Ex-love exposes golfer’s cruelty
GHISLAINE MAXWELL'S PHOTO NIGHTMARE!
Shocking evidence she doesn't want sex crime jury to see
HARRY HIT WITH ROYAL DIVORCE ULTIMATUM!
Furious Charles explodes after rebel son shuns grieving queen’s 95th birthday!