Tuesday, September 4, 2012

TRIP REPORT – Local Gladstone Joyflight – Rutan Long-Ez – VH-LEX

TRIP REPORT – Local Gladstone Joyflight – Sunday 5 August – Rutan Long-Ez – VH-LEX

Shane T has sent through a report about what he described as an "awesome morning" flying over Gladstone in the locally owned Rutan Long-Ez VH-LEX.  During a recent Sunday morning meeting at the Gladstone Aero Club, the owner of VH-LEX, Hugh, approach Shane and asked if he would interested in going for a flight.  It was a pretty easy question to answer for Shane!

VH-LEX is powered by a 118hp 4-cylinder Lycoming engine which can propel the aircraft to an average cruise speed of 150 knots with endurance (including reserves) of approximately 8 hours.

After a pre-flight check - engine oil, fuel and a visual inspection of the aircraft - it was time to climb aboard, strap-in, test communications, and start the engine.

After taxiing along the runway, it was time to power-up and we quickly became airborne after reaching a modest take-off speed of 65 knots.

After intially heading in a Southerly direction, we banked left, and started flying in a Northerly direction, above the Gladstone Harbour.

We continued on this route until we reached the huge LNG project, and spent some time inspecting it from the air.  It was a stunning day for flying - truly spectacular!

After some sight-seeing over the LNG project, Hugh turned us on to a heading that took us towards the ocean side of Facing Island, before turning onto a Southerly direction (above the ocean) towards the twin-township of Boyne Island / Tannum Sands.

During this part of the flight and while cruising at 3000 feet, Hugh decided to practice a stall manoeuvre - which was successfully done reaching 60 knots!

After some sight-seeing above Boyne Island / Tannum Sands - of which the Aluminium Smelter (BSL) and Red Mud Dam could easily been seen - it was time to head back to Gladstone Airport and prepare for landing.

During our flight, Hugh commented that VH-LEX holds a total capacity of 190 litres of fuel in 2 x 95 litre tanks, and has an average fuel burn while at cruise speed of 24 litres/hour.

We touched down at 65 knots - the same as our take-off speed.

The canopy of VH-LEX was opened while we taxiied back to the hangar - even managed to grab a picture of the (empty) terminal!

Shane would like to thank Hugh for the very enjoyable flight in the Rutan Long-Ez, VH-LEX.  As an aside, Hugh is the co-owner of Central Queensland Distributors.

Central Queensland Distributors is Australia's premier online wholesale and distribution company. For more information, you can access their website HERE

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