Narelle kindly drove us all the way to Bankstown Airport. A huge journey across town through areas not known to any of us. Kev was also in search of upper cylinder lube and needed to locate the product. Not an easy journey and it took hours.
She was fascinated by the plane and climbed aboard for a photo or two before we finally got clearance and departed Sydney skies heading north. Just out of the field and in the general light aircraft corridor, it was difficult to navigate our way through unfamiliar landmarks. I had woken with a headache and it became worse as I tried to concentrate. Sarah and I traded seats and I rested on the back seat to try and ease the pain.
We tracked via the Entrance and then up to West Maitland before trying to locate Luskintyre - the mecca of tiger enthusiasts in Australia. After cruising around the beautiful Hunter Valley for about 10 minutes, there it was - a beautiful all over grass field with a yellow tiger sitting on the green grass. WHAT A SIGHT!!!
Jeff Kubank's newly restored Tiger
While Vicki, still suffering from a shocking headache, put her head down for a nap, we caught up with the guys and explored the museum and hangars. After a cuppa with Ray we saddled up for the run to Port Macquarie. Vicki’s headache had eased, thankfully, although not gone!
This entailed a flight up a beautiful mountain valley to Gloucester through the Williamtown airforce restricted access lane at 1000 and then 1500 feet. Absolutely magnificent scenery!!! Then up over some rugged country (spectacular) and on down to Port Macquarie.
Our descent into PM was superb with dead-smooth air and not a sound from the radio despite our numerous in-bound calls. So we slid around for a base entry onto 03 as the sun set to our west over the mountains. To our amazement as we turned final at 500 feet we were confronted with a twin on short final at the other end of our runway!! An instant go-around also found a large commuter sliding downwind for a landing on 21 – so we flew wide and joined down wind for 21 following the RPT.
It seems the pilot heard all our transmissions but for some strange reason we did not hear them and were un-aware of their presence until it all happened. Exciting what! A post landing discussion with the RPT pilots soon clarified things and all was well.
The usual tie down, de-oil, tidy up etc. and we were offered a lift from a hire car operator, Terry. He had a lovely green Alexander parrot on his shoulder (Charlie) who chatted to us on the trip whilst we located a Motel with vacancy. A very pretty town, P.M. is settled on an inlet and very touristy but a delight with friendly people and lots of eye pleasing sights.
After a great meal at a Chinese restaurant we walked back to the motel, planning the next day’s flight and settling in for the night.