My journey back to the airplane this time was a long one, but eventually I was back in Australia where I had left N9953H. However, the flying this time would have a major difference; I wouldn’t be in N9953H, as he was out-of-action with engine problems and grounded while it was being rebuilt. Although a major blow, it was better to discover this in Sydney that pretty much anywhere else on the route, and certainly better than discovering it in flight!
There were no American registered aircraft available for me to rent, and the Australian aviation regulator CASA had such complicated procedures for validation of my licence, not to mention unhelpful staff over the phone, that there was no way to get an Australian licence in time to rent an aircraft. In the end, I was able to find an Australian Cessna 206 to rent; a stretched, 6 seat version of the C182, and a young Australian pilot to fly alongside me and make things legal from a paperwork point of view. Being joined by my brother and 2 friends, the 5 of us all met up and prepared to explore Australia.
The day by day write-up of the Australia section of the trip can be found below.
- Australia, Days 1 – 3: Albury NSW to Brisbane QLD – coming soon