Broome to Carnarvon


01/06/2008


We took a taxi to the airport and went first of all to the Administration building as we needed to know the code to open the security gate to gain access to the plane and refuel. The admin building was closed, and we sensed a problem. It was a Sunday and we would need to find someone who could give us access. The taxi took us to then general aviation side of the field and dropped us off there. We wandered around for a bit, with no-one in sight but eventually we spotted someone going into a hangar and we were able to convince him of our identity by showing aircrew cards and the keys to the plane. He let us through the hangar and we then had to find a refueller.

Refuelling was not as easy as hoped. The refuelling man was quite busy and told us he couldn’t attend to us for about an hour. He told us that there was a self-fuelling facility but it required a card and an account so we were stuck. There were two other pilots nearby and we got into conversation with them. Jeff was the owner of a Cessna 182 and Phil owned a Jabiru. As luck would have it they had an account and a card for the self-fuelling facility, and offered to help out by allowing us to use their card and pay them. This was a problem solved and we tanked up with 108 litres. We soon had the checks done and taxied out. Compared to yesterday, the air traffic was very quiet, and we were soon airborne after giving way to a landing aircraft.

The flight to Carnarvon was uneventful, and the terrain was much the same as the Darwin-to-Broome leg, continuing the impression of a vast empty land with little habitation, although there was more evidence of this near the coast. As we eared Carnarvon I called them on the radio, on what is known here as the CTAF frequency, which is a common frequency used by several airfield in the same area. The only reply was an recorded voice indicating that this was Carnarvon CTAF, so obviously there was no-one manning the radio. We carried out a careful approach but there was no evidence of any other traffic and we were soon on the ground, on a deserted airfield with one parked airliner and half-a-dozen light aircraft. There was so sign of any life. We were able to get out via a gate in the security fence but we needed to find the code so that we would be able to get back in the following morning. We eventually found a cleaner in one of the buildings but he couldn’t help. We were able to call a taxi and go to the hotel, deciding to leave problems of access until tomorrow morning. We had been told of this kind of problem by JJ in Singapore and now we could see the difficulties of using small Australian airports. We could of course throw our bags over the fence and climb over but this would not be the done thing.

Flight Data: 695 nautical miles in 4 hours 50 minutes.