Earlier this year, local aviator and business owner, Terry Purcell of Purcell Engineering, travelled to Wollongong, NSW to pick-up the company's new acquisition, Cessna 210N VH-KTE.
When I first sighted VH-KTE, it was clearly evident the aircraft had not only been immaculately maintained by the previous owner / owners, but now Terry's true pride-n-joy. In fact, I would go as far as to say, I have never personally sighted a Cessna 210 presented to such high standards as VH-KTE.
Furthermore, I asked if the plane recently received a new paint job. Answer ... NO ! Apparently still coated in the original paint.
Manufactured in 1981, VH-KTE was originally powered by a Continental IO-520, 6-cylinder engine however was retrofitted in 2007 with a Continental IO-550, 6-cylinder engine. Needless to say, the slightly larger powerplant provides improved performance. It was equally interesting to learn VH-KTE has the legs to fly from Gladstone to Melbourne without making a stop.
After taking a few photo's of VH-KTE and enjoying a chat with Terry at the same time, my sons and I were kindly invited to climb aboard for a local flight. Needless to say, we didn't turn-down the opportunity !
With all necessary pre-flight checks complete, we were soon airborne off RWY10 with intentions of tracking in a northerly direction for Curtis Island which will first take us over the City of Gladstone and Gladstone Harbour.
Upon reaching Curtis Island, Terry banked the plane to track us along the northern coast (ocean side) of Curtis Island which also provided an opportunity too take in the sights of Yellow Patch.
Reaching the more northern stretches of Curtis Island a short while later, Terry altered course to have us track back toward Gladstone while following 'The Narrows', a river system that seperates Curtis Island from the mainland.
A few minutes later, Gladstone came more clearly in view and soon we were observing some of the local industries including the LNG gas plants, Cement Australia, Yarwun Alumina Refinery, stored coal deposits waiting to be shipped overseas and associated wharfs.
Despite an unexpected albeit moderate wind gust at the final moments before touching down, Terry made a smooth landing back at Gladstone and before we knew it, were taxying back toward the general aviation hangars.
Shortly after hoping-out of the plane and taking a few more happy snaps, VH-KTE was pushed back into the hangar and secured until it's next flight. As it happen to be, that was to Emerald and back the very next day.
On a final note, Air Queensland.blogspot would like to sincerely thank Terry for not only allowing us to take photo's of such a terrific little plane, but invite my sons and I along for a local scenic flight, a truly wonderful Sunday morning indeed.