Carnarvon to Perth


02/06/2008


Breakfasted at the motel and made our way to the airfield. (The motel had turned out to be surprisingly good with regard to food and we had enjoyed an excellent meal the previous evening). When we reached the airfield there was no sign of life but we spotted a refueller behind the fence and spoke to him. It was our lucky day once again. He told us that it was a public holiday today (Monday) in Western Australia but he had come in to refuel a charter plane that was due to arrive shortly. That was the good news. The bad news was that there was a 50 dollar call-out fee because it was a public holiday. Ah well, you can’t win all the time. He gave us the code to gain access and refuelled us with 160 litres of AVGAS. He was also kind enough to allow us to use his computer and telephone to get the weather and file the flight plan.

We were soon airborne – there was no traffic and no-one manning the radio. We simply transmitted our intentions on the CTAF frequency and took off. We were soon in touch with the regional controller (Melbourne Centre handled this area) and flew the route at 5,ooo feet to allow us some good views of the territory below. There were a few clouds around but not enough to spoil anything. The forecast had indicated the possibility of some showers along the way but we didn’t run into any.

Most of the route was within sight of the coast and there were more signs of civilisation here than on the flights from Darwin and Broome. Pretty country but still sparsely populated away from the coast. I had no instrument approach charts for Perth Jandakot – for dome reason they were either missing or not included in the package that I had purchased just before leaving the UK. But I had purchase the Australian ERSA book which gave all the information necessary to make a visual approach. So we changed flight rules from instrument to visual after we contacted the Perth radar controller. He was interested in our flight when we gave him the British registration and we had a brief conversation about where we had come from and where we were going. It turned out that he had flown into Duxford, England in the past, and Duxford is about 3 miles from Romeo Tango’s home base of Fowlmere.

We were soon transferred to the Jandakot controller, made the appropriate calls at the appointed reporting points and landed on Jandakot’s runway 24L. We taxied to the flight centre where I had made arrangements to have the plane serviced, and there was my school and university pal Tom with his wife Ann . They were accompanied by their family and grandchildren so it was quite a reunion. Tom and I have kept in touch over the years – his career in gold mining has taken him to South Africa, Canada, USA and Australia but we have always managed to meet up regularly somewhere, either back in Scotland or elsewhere in the world.

Left Romeo Tango in the care of the flight centre and headed off to Tom’s place for a few days rest.

Flight Data: 470 nautical miles in 3 hours 20 minutes.