Browsed by
Author: Katamarino

Round the World – The Pacific, Part 3

Round the World – The Pacific, Part 3

After a restful night’s sleep I woke up to a breakfast of leftover cheese and donuts. I couldn’t sleep in too long because Ken and Ruth had arranged for Wendy, a reporter from the local Pittsworth Sentinel, to come and interview me about the flight. As well as providing some exposure for the flight and the African Promise charity, this would bring some attention to the Fig Tree venue. Wendy and her dogs arrived right on time and we spent…

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Round the World – The Pacific, Part 2

Round the World – The Pacific, Part 2

Arriving back at Sydney International before 6am in the morning, I made my way north to Maitland airport via metro, mainline rail, and taxi. Planey was waiting patiently in the hangar, just as I had left him. With a few final goodbyes to the folks at the Newcastle Aero Club I was soon on my way south, starting off a few days of local flying in Australia before it came to the final departure from Brisbane. I stayed just inland…

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Round the World – The Pacific, Part 1

Round the World – The Pacific, Part 1

I touched back down in Sydney in late May. This was my first time visiting Australia in the winter and although it was chilly, it was certainly nothing like the winter temperatures we get in the UK. It’s a huge country though and further south, or later in the winter, temperature can drop significantly. I was hoping to be well on my way to warmer climates before then! The first couple of days were spent preparing Planey for the next…

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Round the World – Australia 3, Part 8

Round the World – Australia 3, Part 8

Morning at Mungo Lodge was just as beautiful as sunset had been the night before. After breakfast in the restaurant and a very short stroll back to Planey we set out once again. With the sun at our back we headed west towards the mid-size airport of Wentworth to pick up some much-needed fuel. As I pulled up to the fuel pump I was initially concerned that fuel might not be available; there were a couple of workmen busying themselves…

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Round the World – Australia 3, Part 7

Round the World – Australia 3, Part 7

After breakfast Lee provided a lift back out to the airstrip in the Landcruiser and I pre-flighted Planey. I had been relived to see that no donkeys had interfered with him overnight. The weather was once again perfect and I was airbourne en-route to my first planned fuel stop at Kulgera. After passing a couple of thousand feet in the climb I was able to get mobile phone signal so I phoned ahead to the roadhouse at Kulgera to confirm…

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Round the World – Australia 3, Part 6

Round the World – Australia 3, Part 6

Although I would be staying in Manjimup for two nights, my first task the next day after a breakfast of hot chocolate and a donut still took me back to the airport. There I was meeting the president of the flying club who had offered to help me refuel, and I was planning to perform an oil change on Planey during the same visit. Both of these tasks were accomplished straightforwardly, and I returned Planey to his parking space and…

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Round the World – Australia 3, Part 5

Round the World – Australia 3, Part 5

By the next morning the rain had ceased. The hotel laid on the shuttle bus back to the airport. Driving across the river, the impact of the previous day’s rain was already obvious; sand bars which had had swimmers lounging on them the day before were now entirely submerged, and the speed of the river had picked up remarkably. It would not be long, just a matter of weeks, before this bridge was washed away entirely. A pilot was pre-flighting…

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Round the World – Australia 3, Part 4

Round the World – Australia 3, Part 4

The various Darwin “Big Things” are quite widely scattered around the city and its surroundings; a rental car is really the only practical way to get around them. After breakfast in a coffeeshop, the “Budget” location around the corner provided a little white SUV for the day. I planned a route around the big things, starting with the furthest away, then working back towards the city. First stop; the “Big Jumping Crocodile”. This is located an hour’s drive outside Darwin…

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Round the World – Australia 3, Part 3

Round the World – Australia 3, Part 3

There was still one “Big Thing” to see before departing Tully, and this was the Big Golden Gumboot, just a five-minute detour on the way back to the airport. The region around Tully is renowned for heavy rainfall, with regular flooding, and the Golden Gumboot is a nod to this reputation. Situated in the middle of town, overlooking the sugar mill, its height of 2.9 meters (25ft) is a nod to the highest recorded annual rainfall back in 1950. A…

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Round the World – Australia 3, Part 2

Round the World – Australia 3, Part 2

There was heavy rain all through the night, loud on the tin roof of AJ’s home. I didn’t sleep well, worrying about the state of the runway and whether I’d be able to depart as planned. By the time I arrived at Luskintyre on the Monday morning Rhys already had the cowls off and the oil draining for the oil change. Water was running down the taxiway, but the ground was firm and Rhys told me the surface should be…

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