New Zealanders Jabiru takeaway
NEW ZEALAND pilots Tim Holland and Ross Crawford must not like paying for freight.
“Earlier this year, we decided to upgrade our fleet and Jabiru aircraft were ticking all the boxes,” Anita Holland, wife of Tim and co-owner of a New Zealand flight school, said.
They decided to buy a brand new J230 and near-new J130.
But instead of freighting their cargo from the Bundaberg warehouse back home, they embarked on a 13-hour journey last Friday across the Tasman that Jabiru Aircraft business manager Sue Woods described as “not for the faint-hearted”.
Funnily enough, Mrs Woods said the costs saved in ‘postage’ were almost equalised when Mr Holland and friend Mr Crawford, a former Air New Zealand captain, had to fork out for safety checks, certifications, emergency equipment and tracking technology prior to their flight.
It was the second occasion a Jabiru had made the journey, and their J230 and J120 are now the first light sports aircraft in use as training birds in the land of the long white cloud, after the category was given the official all-clear last week.
“Not many people would attempt the journey in a single-engine craft because it’s just you and the water; there’s nothing to land on,” Mrs Woods said.
The fact that Mr Holland cannot swim made the journey even more interesting.
Their packing list included satellite phone, two life rafts, a Spider Track (a satellite tracking update system), two GPS devices each, flares, life jackets and an additional personal locator beacon.
The pair had three stop-overs on the journey before landing on their home strip in Tauranga.
“Both planes performed well, meaning New Zealanders will have the confidence in them after seeing what they are capable of,” Mrs Woods said.