Category Archives: Flying

Air journey debriefing

Lessons learned from my flight from Sydney to Tennant Creek, Cairns, and back to Sydney: *  Carefully check the power setting and wind conditions.  The headwind on my first leg, which was the longest of the whole trip, left me … Continue reading

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Clouds are closer than you think

In the morning we flew from Rockhampton to Bundaberg, with a refueling stop at Gladstone.  While on the ground at Gladstone we approached the pilot of the regularly scheduled airplane, asking about the weather ahead. The pilot wasn’t helpful.  He … Continue reading

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“Don’t take your eyes off that road!”

As we were about to enter the squall, we spotted a road beneath us.  The flight instructor said, “Take the airplane down to 300 feet, and follow that road.  Don’t take your eyes off that road!” Losing visual reference without … Continue reading

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The long gray curtain

I thought it would be a great experience to fly along the Australian east coast and get a good aerial look at hundreds of miles of the Great Barrier Reef, so I decided to fly south along the Australian eastern … Continue reading

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Clouds block our descent; we are lost

After about the right amount of en-route time had elapsed, the coast range loomed ahead of us.  My altitude would take me above them.  Ahead of me, east of the coast range — clouds were backed up against the hills, … Continue reading

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Remote area, off course, bad radio

After completing my work near Tennant Creek, Mother and I flew east to Cairns, Queensland, on the Australian northeast coast, with a refueling stop in Mount Isa. The Department of Civil Aviation had designated the country east of Mount Isa … Continue reading

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A geophysical airplane crashes

On my first morning in Tennant Creek, the roar of a twin-engine aircraft woke me up.  Suddenly I had a fearful premonition: ‘It’s going to crash!’ It seemed an unreasoning fear.  The engines sounded strong and full-throated.  I don’t know … Continue reading

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‘High and hot’ into Tennant creek

The airport at Tennant Creek was asphalt, and long enough to handle the Douglas DC-9, the smallest jet aircraft in scheduled commercial service in Australia.  A short distance from the end of the runway was a cliff several hundred feet … Continue reading

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Mother goes flying with me

While Mother was in Sydney with us I got a consulting job near Tennant Creek, Northern Territory (see an earlier post about my experiences there), and another near Cairns in the northeastern part of the continent.  It seemed sensible to … Continue reading

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My final check ride

When I was ready for a limited license, the chief flight instructor, a former World War II fighter pilot named Clem Atkins, Took me up for a check ride.  With a limited license I could take passengers on flights, but … Continue reading

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