Last weekend was the 'Great Plains' Fly-In at Ashburton. I had planned to fly the GP One there to show it off at this annual SAANZ (Sport Aircraft Assn NZ) event.
But the weather didn't play ball. I waited for 4 days, but along the east coast it was blowing a gusty 25 - 40 knots sou'west all the time. Everywhere south of Christchurch had a SIgMet warning for severe turbulence!. Even experienced southern pilots gave up and drove there in their cars. After the 1st day of the event had passed, I decided not to go. Very disappointing to miss this chance to promote the GP One.
The next day before I went home to Invercargill, I flew at low-level north-east to Kingston. With a brisk southerly airflow pushing across the Takitimu Mountains, it was very turbulent in their lee. However it was surprisingly smooth further inland, so I climbed up and had a nosey into the upper end of the remote Nevis Valley (the non-control zone route to Central Otago).
Wanting to avoid the 'potholes in the sky' and get a smoother ride home, I tried to follow the windward side of each mountain range.