Phuket and the return journey
One morning I merrily descended the steps to go for breakfast followed by NaRuk, but she suddenly stopped... I had been oblivious of a snake about to cross the path betweem me and her!
Harmless I think as long as we don't corner it... I pulled out the camera, but before I could get the proper shot the lens fogged up as airconditioning met Phuket humidity.
The holiday mood stopped Monday morning after I awoke at 04:00, and was out the door at 05:00 to take NaRuk to the airport along the twisty tight uphill downhill road to the airport for her 06:25 Nok Air flight back to Bangkok.
The Monsoon storms abated and the weather was fine the morning after I picked NaRuk up from the airport after her late night arrival.
I have not been on
a beach holiday since 1966 when I recall being on the
Normandy beaches, catching sunburn.
But here I am in a
bit of paradise known as the Anantara Layan Phuket
Resort, and I began to relax, I went swimming, and I went
out on a kayak.
The RV9A doesn't
have a good short field performance and the uncut grass
will slow the small spatted wheels on this cruising
machine, and so this will be a solo departure for me.
The RV9A used
2/3rds of the runway. I see 2,290 RPM from the IO-320
engine on takeoff, but small wheels are a drag!
Once on course it
was an easy flight to Surat Thani at 3,000 feet in good
Light aircraft are
always second to airliners, and so I waited for the Ch.com A320 to taxy out before I started the
ATC routed me south of the airport, all the way to Rayong before circling me back to land on runway 18 at 16:18 after 2 hours and 8 minutes in flight..
At U Tapao we added 50 litres of fuel which filled the left tank, and put the right tank at 3/4. I could have opened and paid for another fifty litre tin, but that would be a waste of 30 litres of fuel.
My night stop was at Alasdair and Gill's in Jomtien; cocktail by the swimming pool followed by home cooked dinner.
The porridge was
runny this morning and so I thickened it with muesli,
followed it up with yoghourt, croissants and honey, and
washed it down with tea.
I fed the Ford Ranger pick up truck with a fill of diesel fuel and delivered it to Phuket Air Park for 10:00 am.
I filed a flight
plan to Surat Thani, and I phoned Phuket Tower to obtain
The 140 degree
radial put me a long way off track.
Onward fuel supply
was a problem.
After Prachuap I requested 7,500 feet on course for U Tapao for the long crossing of the Gulf of Thailand.
U-Tapao to Nok
Alasdair decided to
join me for this flight north to Chiang Mai, and I was
happy to have his company.
I kept an eye on
the fuel consumption. There was just over 30 USG in the
tanks, but I worked on 28 USG usable.
I wear a pilot
shirt for my journeys in Thailand, they do not appreciate
I went into the
Thai Navy flight operations office and filed a flight
Takeoff was at
09:24 from 18 at U Tapao with a right turn to follow the
coast to Bang Pakong which is the first point on the VFR
route northbound east of Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport.
Bangkok ATC handed
us over to Oscar military who ruined my flight planning
by steering us 310 degrees for a while. I asked for 4,500
feet enroute and this was approved.
With a Cessna 172 going in
the opposite direction and only 1,000 feet and 20 Nm separation
between us, Phitsanulok cleared us direct to Nok aerodrome...
Select VTCY and press DCT.
The clouds built up as we approached the mountains in the north, but there were plenty of gaps and it was an easy flight over the high ground while comparing the yellow and red terrain warnings with the topography outside.
Landing at Nok was at 12:27
after 3 hours 3 minutes in the air, and 20.6 USG showed as used
(18.6 Nm/USG, 20.6 mpg US) at 130 knots
I dipped the fuel tanks, L = 30% R= 25% (18/18 when full).
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