The AN-2 Experience

Tell us what happened.

The AN-2 Experience

Postby Ryan Hothersall » Sun Oct 25, 2015 7:15 pm

There are only two Antonov An-2 Colt aircraft flying in Australia, VH-CCE which spends most of its time in either Queensland or Victoria.

The second one VH-YNT is based in Darwin.

Getting back to VH-CCE, the yellow beast, was coming over to the Jamestown Air Spectacular to be held on October 18 2015.

Jamestown is a small town about a 2 1/2 hour drive north of Adelaide, South Australia.

While it was here there would be joy flights operated on the Saturday before the show on the Sunday.

Three flight times were available, 1:00 PM, 1:30 PM or 2:00 PM.

With a keen interest in Soviet and Russian aircraft, I had to go on this flight. A mate, Trevor was very keen to go as well.

Flights were A$90 each and lasted for 20 minutes.

So after booking our seats via the website, http://www.an2.com.au, we were all set.

After driving up to the airstrip at Jamestown and not seeing the An-2 there, I started to have a sinking feeling that it wasn't going to show up.

Few other aircraft seen while waiting.
ImageCJ6-VH-NNJ by Ryan Hothersall, on Flickr

ImageCJ6-VH-NNJ-2 by Ryan Hothersall, on Flickr

ImagePittsS1-11X-VH-PVX by Ryan Hothersall, on Flickr

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However it did arrive approx 1:00 PM, so we would be going but not at the scheduled time.

So after they got their stand etc set up, we paid our money and signed those waiver forms (some call them 'blood sheets') that basically say 'if it crashes don't blame us'.

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Dad then thought bugger it, I've come all this way so I'll go too. Dad usually doesn't fly in the smaller aircraft as he usually feels a bit queasy.

It would be a little while before the flight, so we're allowed to go and have a closer look at the aircraft.

There were also two Nanchang CJ-6s being used for flights too.

It is a lot bigger than I thought. Although I did see an An-2 many years ago at Blackpool, U.K., I couldn't get that close to it, so didn't appreciate how big they are for a single engine aircraft.

The one I saw at Blackpool. Must admit this one looked better in a camo scheme than plain yellow.
ImageAntonovAN2-LY-MHC by Ryan Hothersall, on Flickr

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Back to the yig yellow one.

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Eventually boarded approx 2:40 PM. Brief explanation where the exits were etc.

There was no assigned seat, so first in gets the best seats. Nine seats in three rows with a single seat, aisle then two seats.

I was sat in the second row on the single seat side, Trevor was behind me and dad was in the window seat in the first row.

Was quite cramped, but for a flight of 20 minutes, wasn't a problem.

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Once started, the engine wasn't as noisy as expected, but had the characteristic radial engine sound but what was very noticeable was the pneumatic system which operated the flaps, brakes etc. when the flaps or brakes were operated, there were loud hissing and whooshing noises. Being a tail dragger, the brakes were used a lot while taxiing.

ImageAn2-VH-CCE-38 by Ryan Hothersall, on Flickr

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So after a long taxi to the other end of the runway, the engine was run up to take off power, and after a short roll we were in the air.

ImageAn2-VH-CCE-51 by Ryan Hothersall, on Flickr

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To be continued.
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Re: The AN-2 Experience

Postby Ryan Hothersall » Sun Oct 25, 2015 7:52 pm

Part 2 in flight.

Was fairly smooth in the air with an occasional bump here and there.

Once we were in the cruise we were free to get up and visit the flight deck etc, some did, but I decided that once buckled in I would stay put until we had landed, as I thought it would be my luck to end up on the floor. Dad and Trevor were thinking the same.

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Our path took us around the surrounding area, over the town of Jamestown, and we landed about 20 20 minutes later.

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Legroom. Acceptable for this flight.

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To be continued.
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Re: The AN-2 Experience

Postby Ryan Hothersall » Sun Oct 25, 2015 8:23 pm

Part 3 landing.

Wind was a bit gusty during the landing, so it was a bouncer, once on the ground, taxied back to our parking position.

ImageAn2-VH-CCE-128 by Ryan Hothersall, on Flickr

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Once there, the engine wasn't shut down straight away, but left to idle for a couple of minutes to cool down. surprised passengers were allowed off with the engine still running.

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Most people got off, but myself and a couple if others stayed inboard for a little while and had a chat with the pilots.

The lady who was sat in front of me flies a Cirrus SR-22 light aircraft and she said the An-2 looked quite primitive and intimidating compared to the high tech SR-22.

So after that headed back to their bookings tent.

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various shots of me posing in front of the aircraft.

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Off on another flight.

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If there were t shirts etc for sales, would have bought one but there wasn't.

So overall was well worth the drive to get there and the A$90 each for the flight.
If you get the chance to do it, do it.

The An-2 was one of those aircraft I thought I would never be able to get a flight on, and to do it locally was even better.
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Re: The AN-2 Experience

Postby J Anderson » Mon Oct 26, 2015 2:48 pm

Pauli is an A330 pilot with virgin and a really good operator and nice guy
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Re: The AN-2 Experience

Postby Ian Gains » Fri Oct 30, 2015 6:17 pm

Nice Ryan. I had the chance to fly on an AN-2 in 2009, for a similar amount of $, and it was a hoot. Certainly a step back in time, & easy to see why so many of these versatile, strong aircraft were built.
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