Saturday, August 28, 2010


So was wondering does anyone still actually read this blog? I know the old man does, but am just curious?

Anyway, i get stuck for ideas to post about, so if you do read it, please leave comments on aspects/photos of my job you would like to see more of.

Regards, Mike

Friday, August 27, 2010

Dugong, Groote Eylandt

Did an overnight on Groote Eylandt, and they put me up at the Dugong. Was definately one of the few perks general aviation has to offer. Generally accomodation for us bug smasher pilots is limited to a donga, with rattling aircon, bugs and no clean linen! So definately a nice change.

Anyway, was flying 3 doctors running a cardio clinic at some of the local communities and clinics. Had a nice dinner with them last night and now im waiting in the room to head back to Darwin. So i thought i would post a few photos of the surrounds. Enjoy.

There you have it, the Dugong!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Coyote Mine

I did a big flight to Coyote mine last friday. Was good night hours, and readers of this blog will know how much i love flying at night! Coyote is right near the Granites and Tanami mines, which are right in the middle of the Tanami desert. Coyote is in Western Australia, just over the border from the Nothern Territory. The distance was roughly 470nm each way from memory. It was about the length as flying Darwin to Tennant Creek.

Sunrise after taking off from Kununurra.

A very rough idea of how much in the middle of nowhere this flight was!

I departed as early as i could to maximise the night hours, and flying west made meant sunrise was later than expected and was able to log 2.5. (Basically i need 100 night hours command, co-pilot or ICUS to qualify for the ATPL licence, and im getting really close to that now). I departed at 4am, and flew the leg to Kununurra for extra fuel. I took full fuel (737 usable litres) out of Darwin, and refuelled to full tanks at Knx for the leg to Coyote. I did the GPS/DME arrival into Kununurra as it was still night. Arrival to Kununurra was cool and the bowser is right near my old work. Was kinda cool seeing all the new hire pilots getting the airvans ready for the 6am scenic flights to the Bungle Bungles. (Western Australia is an hour and a half behind darwin. So from memory it was roughly 5am when i landed in Kununurra.

A view of the Bungle Bungles on the way down to Coyote. They are roughly 110nm from Kununurra.

The flight to Coyote was good. I had 192kts groundspeed on the way down at 9000ft. On the return leg at 7000ft i had a similar speed. Total flight time was just over 5 hours. Basically the charter was to pick up a worker who needed to connect to a midday flight back to Brisbane. Coyote is serviced by my company every Wednesday by 19 seater Metroliners. When i left Darwin at 4am, it was around 20 degrees. At Coyote at 8am, it was roughly 8 degrees on the ground. I didn't have a jumper so i remained in the plane for warmth!

The mine itself. i flew over it and near the accomodation there so they knew i'd arrived and joined a downwind runway 25. It had a slight tailwind, but it was better than landing directly into the sunlight.

This is a picture of the strip. Its about a 20 minute drive from the mine site to the strip.

Cheers for reading, Mike.