Wednesday, 21 March 2007
CO-PILOTS RAVINGS DAY 1
CO-PILOT’S RAVINGS OF DAY 1
MUNDIJONG TO KALGOORLIE
Well I don’t really know what I expected. I hadn’t slept well for the past 3 nights so getting up and ready a 5 am was just on auto mode. The past mornings had been perfect but you guessed it… a S.W.er which meant taking off towards those power lines! So with the wonderful efficiency of the Carrs we loaded our personal luggage and ourselves into their car whilst Kevin took off solo and “fairly” light for Serpentine Airfield. Kev’s mate Clark Rees just HAD to join us in his Tiger 44 BTP and they flew down together in beautiful clear air to await the vehicle arrival.
We were so going to miss Pixi – she came down in the car with us and Harry held her tight whilst we climbed aboard and flew off into the sunrise…..Well - late sunrise 8.30 am.
The trip to Merridin was sunny, uneventful with Sarah working away on the laptop alternating with dozing. I too put my head down and almost dozed. The white fluffy clouds below us were so pretty and the Lady just purred along at 3,500 feet.
Landing at Merridin amongst the Southern China Training aeroplanes was non-eventful except for the dual arrival (ours….. only 2 bounces). We cleaned her oily belly, refueled, enjoyed a cup of coffee from our thermos and our morning tea. Quite a lot of interest was shown from the instructor pilots who came over for a chat and took photographs. Sarah and I struggling to answer the “Important” questions like what engine is it (blank) h.p., range, (blank) etc. I had known those things just a few days ago when we had the info board manufactured for the Avalon Airshow – but could I remember? No. Kev came to the rescue and faith was restored in the family who were happily flying across our huge nation in a beautifully restored Grand Old Lady.
We departed Merridin much later than anticipated. Much hotter now and the planned flight level was to be 7,500 with 15 knots of tail wind. The sky was dotted with 4/8s fluffies and the sky turned lumpy and unenjoyable for me. Kev loved the challenge. However my trusty air-band kept any nausea at bay so I concentrated on the scenery. I watched Southern Cross slide pass my window with the first sighting of deep open cut mines. (Hi Joy! – How could she live and work in that town I thought to myself?) Dear Sarah had put her head down and was fast asleep. I couldn’t even get to the camera in fear of waking her up. We checked headings, maps, listened to air chatter and generally kept myself interested in the flying so that the 400 ft lifts and sinks would not upset my stomach. Finally on the horizon we could see the pit heads and dumps announcing the city of Kalgoorlie/Boulder was close by. On a fairly fast descent from 7,500 feet - 123knots at one stage, we went into the circuit area to see a commercial airline parked at the terminal. We felt mighty small by comparison. Unfortunately for Sarah she awoke to the arrival descent and all the turbulence made her violently airsick. I felt so much for her. It was usually me.