A beautiful morning with a 10 knot tail wind forecast, we fueled up and blasted off to a salute from the Captain of a Rex Airlines Commercial flight who had just arrived prior to our departure.
Climbing out over Port Lincoln township and Bay with the islands and gulf ahead of us was breathtaking. The islands looked uninhabited however were fenced and stocked with sheep. How did they get there? Sarah asked. On a ship or boat of some sort, we answered and then she couldn’t imagine sheep loading onto a ship. Climbing to 5,500 ft we settled into a 110 knot groundspeed with the York Peninsular some 30 nautical miles (50 kms) and Kangaroo Island visual beyond that. Turning at the tip of York Peninsular we picked up Adelaide approach on 124.6 who vectored us across to Kingscote (regional town for K island). The island looked like New Zealand with its hedges and rock walls as wind breaks and fences for the properties. The island appeared intensively farmed with lots of small paddocks. The coast line varied from cliffs to tiny white beaches.
Overflying Kingscote we were cleared by Adelaide approach past Penneshaw and back to the mainland for an approach into Hunt Field, just 12 mile south of Adelaide city. A wind turbine farms dotted the steep hills on the southern tip of the mainland. After the almost smooth country side of Kangaroo Island, the hills looked rugged and almost devoid of bush. Further up the coast small towns were dotted in breakaway country. Closer to Adelaide there was a newly developed golf course estate which led to a private marina on the coast.
Another superb descent at 120 knots, glassy smooth air and a panoramic view of the Adelaide foothills and city led us to Hunt Field. An extremely challenging approach in turbulent cross wind conditions over tall trees and into a short dirt strip kept Kevin on his toes and me with my eyes shut. To our amazement the local aviators stood clapping as we emerged from the Stinson. We had been invited in by Ivor Paech to view his collection of Yak 52, Stearman, Chipmunk and Tiger Moth. We were warmly welcomed and joined them for a lovely salad sandwich lunch.
Airborne and with a fresh clearance we were guided towards the city and on to Parafield where we had heard that the local Aviation Museum was holding an open day. On landing we were confronted with some 50 + aircraft and 2,000 or more spectators who flooded us with interest, questions about the aircraft and took multiple photographs. The organizers presented us with a plaque for attendance and filled our tanks with 120 litres of avgas FREE!. Unbelievable.
Marc Michelle a friend of many years, greeted us warmly and as so often happens we were flooded with offers of assistance in overcoming our transponder problem. The transponder had failed on the first outbound leg of our trip from Perth and was needed for our entry in controlled airspace – mainly Avalon. Being Sunday no workshops were available however plans were made to acquire a new transponder from David Ford Avionics at Adelaide Airport the next morning after liaison with MicroAir in Queensland.
Bob Jarrett the Museum owner kindly housed our Stinson for the night and we were met by Kev’s sister Robyn and her number 2 daughter Elise.