Test delayed: Andrew Leighton from Banora Point will have to wait a little longer to get his wings after rain delayed his final examination for his private pilot’s licence.
Test delayed: Andrew Leighton from Banora Point will have to wait a little longer to get his wings after rain delayed his final examination for his private pilot’s licence. Cathy Adams

Weather dampens pilot’s wings

YESTERDAY’S drizzly weather conditions, which are predicted to carry on through the weekend, have caused both disappointment and success for one pilot-to-be.

Andrew Leighton, who had hoped to attain his pilot wings yesterday after four years of on and off training, was bitterly disappointed when he checked the weather conditions at 5am.

After a succession of sunny days, grey clouds and poor visibility invaded the skies over Lismore and put an end to Mr Leighton’s practical pilot’s test.

The 48-year-old Banora Point resident has been learning to fly at the Northern Rivers Aero Club Recreational Pilot Centre in Lismore and had plans to sit his pilot’s test.

“I didn’t sleep much last night and when I checked the weather forecast at 5am it was poor visibility and thunderstorms,” he said. “It was a bit of a blow, but we will take it as it comes. I am pretty nervous, but they have trained me well.

“We are hoping for a window tomorrow morning as it is looking like it my might clear a little, but if it is the same as today I’ll just have to keep waiting.”

Despite the delay, Mr Leighton has still managed to pass one part of his pilot’s test due to his ability to assess the weather correctly, chief instructor Bill Kiernan said.

“Part of the testing requires him to get the weather from the bureau and assess whether it is right to go or not,” he said.

“He passed this part of his test by saying that it was not good to fly. If he had said yes then I would have failed him on that part.”

Mr Kiernan said poor visibility, thunderstorms and low-lying clouds all hindered the ability to fly.

The Bureau of Meteorology predicts Mr Leighton might be waiting a little longer for his wings, with isolated showers and gusty wings forecast along the coast and a top of just 22 degrees in Lismore today and the same for tomorrow.



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