Wednesday, February 11, 2009

PowerWater Run

Im back with another post, this time about the PowerWater runs. PowerWater is the main supplier of electricity and water in the Northern Territory. They are also responsible for the quality of the water in the smaller communities. This is where my company comes into it. We are chartered to fly to the communities once per month to collect water samples. These are reasonably big runs, around 5 - 7 hours per run and there are 4 different runs.

I have only done 2 of these runs. They are fairly easy to do, as all you need is a big esky to put the samples in and continue to the next stop. The paperwork is also easy too!
I have no idea where the photo below is taken, but its a suitable intro to the flight! Its very rare to land at a sealed strip. Makes it fun i guess, but i get weird when i have to land on bitumen these days.

So i have included a few more photos to tell the story for me. To start with, i will say that we had a lot of rain in the preceding few days, so 2 of the strips were closed and also my refuelling stop was underwater! (I found this out once i overflew the strip of course - So i punched on forward, knowing fuel would be marginal, but still legal if i continued)

This is a photo of the Canteen Creek community. Im pretty sure i was on finals for runway 16. Its largish community for this region! There is always a lot of freight to this community when we do the mailruns.

So here is a photo of the Canteen Creek Strip. Again, im not sure how or when i took this, but you get an idea of it. It may look like just a rough dirt strip, but its actually very well maintained and can handle a lot of rain. The people are usually friendly too!

Here is a photo of my ride today! This C210 has the most hours on it in Australia, and possibly the world. Just over 25,000 hours! Pretty amazing this plane still flys - let alone flys straight. But despite the derelict paint, its actually a great machine. Flys decently, has a good autopilot and doesnt struggle to get good speed. It is weirdly tail heavy though, so you need an extra 5 knots in the landing. Otherwise it will sink - FAST!

Onwards to Warrabri. This little box is where they put the water samples. Sometimes they will come out to meet me and hand the samples over, other times they are stored in these metal boxes with an ice brick to keep them cool in the desert heat.

I snapped this shot of the Stuart Highway. Its the main highway between Adelaide in the south and Darwin in the north. Covers around 2500km. Very well maintained and i followed it from Warrabri, to Burrow Creek, to Ti-Tree and then back to Alice Springs.

And finally i return to Alice Springs. My house is located in the cluster you see in the foreground. You can see the MacDonnell Ranges in the back ground running left to right. Behind them is the Airport. Further to the right of the photo is the only prohibited area in Australia, known as pine gap. Its some US military installation.

Anyway, i'll keep it short and sweet. Regards!

1 comment:

  1. Flying Yuendumu - Alice must just about scrape the edge of that prohibited area. How close is it to that route?