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I'm starting again my Australia tour from where I left in February, a few days late on the southern hemisphere spring. After New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, and most of South Australia, we are now going to fly west to Western Australia.

I still have a few miles to fly in South Australia, as I left my last plane in Cleve YCEE in the Eyre Peninsula, west of Adelaide. This is were I pick up my new "horse". The stages will be slightly longer as we will leave now the most populated regions, and I decided to go for a faster airplane. I chose a superb Lancair Legacy painted with the australian colors. Its 310hp engine will allow cruise speeds around 220 knots. I will make other choices for local tours and country dirt strips.


This first stage is going from Cleve YCEE to Ceduna YCDU. I have chosen to go at sea and fly over the Pearson's Islands on the way. The flight will be around one and a half hour.




For a "Welcome Back", visibility is average, clouds around 5300ft will allow for a 4500 ft VFR flight, and I will have a 20 knots westerly wind topping at 35 knots at my flight altitude. Better tighten the seat belts ! Both runways are built for these dominant winds, the take off is on a 26 and landing on a 29.




After a half hour, I fly over the MTP VOR and leave the coast.




For those who wouldn't know this nice plane, a quick shot of the office in action... I appreciate to be back to joystick flying, after all these years spent in combat flight sims, although I got used to the yoke in the meantime.




Overfly of Pearson's Island, a place known for scientific research, for sport fishing and to be the home of the Rock Wallabies.






After a right turn I soon get back to the coast and the long beaches.




Next step is flying over the airfield and town of Sneaky Bay.




In the end comes a jumpy approach to our destination ( thanks Accufeel...) with 20 knots of wind 30 degrees from the left of the runway. Back to emotions right on the first flight ! I trust Otto the pilot until 3 nm from the runway threshold and take over.




Finally, it's like riding a bicycle, you really never forget. The sensations and reflexes come back and I'm even surprised to make a rather soft landing right in the middle...  To the parking where I stop near a plane of the Royal Flying Doctors.




I will relax at the Ceduna Foreshore Hotel, with a nice sea view.





Edited by Corsaire31
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Tuesday Oct. 4 : Will you have some more desert ?


The plan for today is to cross the border with Western Australia and land in Forrest YFRT, an airfield lost in the middle of nowhere built for the refueling of trans-australian flights. A 297 nm and 1h20 flight, with a little hook to go see a point of interest on the coast ( Fowler's Bay ).




Unfortunately the reality will be a little different as the visibility conditions and a low layer of clouds will force me to file a direct IFR flight. After waiting some time to see if the weather would clear up, I decide to leave early afternoon, knowing conditions will get better on the way.




The first half hour is a flight between two cloud layers, seeing nothing from the landscape.




The weather starts to clear up after I fly past the point of interest, won't be for this time !




I can see enough now to notice the changes in ground colors as I fly by one of the several country dirt strips on the way.




The typical reddish colors of the outback are there, although we can still find some patches of green in this early spring.






Visibility is now very good as Melbourne control guides me to the runway 36 at Forrest. Almost no wind left and I can make a no-stress landing.






I will have to spend the night in one of the cottages the airfield management operates for people wanting to stay overnight.


More on the airfield : http://www.airwaysmuseum.com/FRT - WAA hangar guest house 1.htm


Forrest is a small settlement ( 20 people ) and railway station on the Trans Australian Railways. Forrest is on the longest stretch of straight railway in the world, at 479 km (298 mi).

The airstrip at Forrest was the overnight stop on the first scheduled passenger air service between Perth and Adelaide from 1929 to 1934, operated by West Australian Airways. The 18-room hostel provided a restaurant meal "worthy of any city hotel".

Forrest was named after Sir John Forrest, the explorer who became the first Premier of Western Australia.



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I suppose it is, I have the whole OzX freeware stuff installed. If you go to the airfield page I linked, you will see it's like the real thing.


The country dirt strip on the way is also OzX freeware I guess.

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Wednesday Oct 5 : Green, the color of hope !


Today we are back to the coast with a 362 nm flight which will take us from Forrest to Esperance, via the Caiguna VOR  ( CAG 112.5 Mhz ).




Weather is totally clear, 17 knots of wind at 340 and 32 °C on the ground on this early afternoon. After taking off from runway 36 and turning west, I call Melbourne control for flight following. Under the plane you can see the railway track, the station and the few houses around, and the airfield.




And we get some more desert !




The first signs of civilization come after 45 mns as I fly over the VOR in Caiguna.




Australia is full of contrast, a few minutes later I fly over a large swamp area ! all this water evaporating lowers the visibility.




One hour after overflying CAG VOR, I am on finals on runway 29 at Esperance, for a greaser landing.






I'm all alone on the parking, but I can find a taxi to drive me to the Esperance Motor Hotel.






Esperance is a town of Western Australia, on the Southern Ocean coastline.  Its major industries are tourism, agriculture and fishing. 


French explorers are credited with making the first landfall near the present day town, naming it and other local landmarks whilst sheltering from a storm in this area in 1792. The town itself was named after a French ship, the "Espérance" commanded by Jean Michel Huon de Kermadec. Espérance, is French for 'hope'.


In 1802, British navigator Matthew Flinders sailed the Bay of Isles, discovering and naming places such as Lucky Bay and Thistle Cove. Whalers, sealers and pirates followed, as did pastoralists and miners, keen to exploit the free land and cash in on the gold boom in the gold fields to the north.


The area of the Esperance townsite was first settled by the Dempsters, a pioneer family of scottish descent, in the 1870s. A telegraph station was opened in 1876, although the formal gazettal of the townsite did not occur until 1893. The town jetty was also built through the 1890s, following the discovery of gold in the eastern goldfields region.



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Thursday Oct. 6 : Gold rush !


I'm now flying north to visit the town of Kalgoorlie - Boulder and its gold mine. A short flight, under an hour, going through Norseman YNSM and its NDB on 347 kHz for security.




The wind is back with 17 knots from 300°. Visibility is good, we have 19°C on the ground and some clouds around 5000 ft. I will stay underneath at 4500 ft and it should clear up on the way. Take off at 13:30 local.






I fly again over the swamp areas, and there is more and more water as we close on Norseman






After flying over Norseman, I cross the lake Cowan






I'm in the outback again guided by the KG VOR and during the approach of runway 29 at YPKG I fly close by the gold mine, the Super Pit, which is very close from town.




A cool short stage, I taxi the plane to one of the parkings.




There are several luxury hotels in Kalgoorlie, but I choose the York Hotel for its architecture.




For the people travelling by train from Perth to the east of Australia with the Indian-Pacific, Kalgoorlie is the last town before crossing for almost 1000 km the Nullarbor desert.




PS :  This report has been written listening to the Scorpions ( 2011 concert in Saarbrücken on Youtube ) which I (re)discovered in depth yesterday watching on TV the doc movie : " Scorpions : forever and a day " These guys are good guys, they had an incredible life "on the road" and still punch a lot of energy on stage - singer Klaus Meine and rythm guitar Rudolf Schenker are both over 65 - another proof that loving rock and roll keeps you in good shape ! :)


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Another cool leg with a picturesque accommodations at the destination.


Thanks also for the nostalgic rush and a Scorpion Ear-worm...I had a buddy in the USAF that was a Scorpion's Nut, I can still picture Terry rolling his eyes back in his head while playing air guitar along with Scorpions ever time they came on the radio :D ...a group of us went to see them during their Blackout Tour at the Seattle Center Coliseum  September 9th  1982 ...i have all my old concert tickets saved, it's probably in a storage chest in an attic somewhere. Good Times!

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Tuesday Oct 11 : Heading west !


After a long week end in Kalgoorlie ( mainly due to the soccer World Cup qualification games ;) ) it's time to get going again.


The original plan was to get back down to the southern coast and fly to Perth via Albany and Augusta. The weather will force me to change it, as the southern coast is under low clouds and the visibility is low. I decide to fly directly west from Kalgoorlie-Boulder towards the regional main city. The first stage will have me fly one hour to Cunderdin YCUN via Southern Cross YSCR. Both airfields have NDBs.




The wind has turned east ( 95° ) and will push me. Take-off is from runway 11 at 13:30 local and we fly again by the Super Pit before turning west.






At halfway I fly over Southern Cross airfield.




A straight cool flight, I get at Cunderdin on time after going down to 2700 ft.




Downwind leg to runway 5 at YCUN (*), wind is still east at 7 knots.



(*) Another nice airfield by OzX team.


Under my plane, you can see on the parking a large Lockheed P2 Neptune water bomber.




On finals for runway 5, a bit high ... :)




I park near a rare bird, a PZL-Mielec M-18 Dromader. Developped together with Rockwell, it's a breeding of an american agricultural plane ( Thrush Commander ) and polish radial engines.

They have been used in this region as water bombers but on the other hand the airfield is situated in the lands of the Western Australian College of Agriculture. So I don't know for sure what is the use of this particular plane, I will have to find out.  ( After research, VH-NID is the registration of one of the water bombers based on Jandakot airfield in Perth - my next destination )




The Cunderdin YCUN airstrip was build early in the Second World War and was designed as a RAAF flying school base. In the later stages of the war, the airstrip become known as the No 25 Squadron, which was used for operating Liberator bombers. The airstrip is now owned by the Shire  and it is run, and maintained by the Gliding Club of Western Australia.


I can't resist to spending a night at the Ettamogah Hotel and Pub.




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Wednesday Oct 12 : Going to town !


This morning a short hop ( a half hour flight ) to Jandakot YPJT in the southern suburbs of Perth. The wind will be NW on arrival and I make a flight plan for a direct approach on the secondary 900m runway 30.




During the taxi to runway 23, I pass by the P2 Neptune we saw on the picture yesterday.




At 10:15 local the weather is clear, visibility is outstanding, I climb to 4500 ft.




Ten minutes later, I fly over the first hill I see since I left Cleve.




Further I'm back over "tiger country" and some clouds have appeared. I start to slowly descend to my approach altitude of 2100 ft.




I reach this altitude as I start to fly over the south of Perth, airbrakes will be extended shortly after. In the end, Jandakot tower sends me landing on runway 24R.




The final approach is a bit sideways with 11 knots of wind 70° right from the runway heading.




And the ground control finds me a parking place on this busy airport.




The airport provides a base for essential service organisations such as the Royal Flying Doctor Service, Department of Environment and Conservation Forest and Bushfire Patrol, Fire and Emergency Services Authority of Western Australia and the WA Police Air Support.

Over 65 businesses employing 900 people operate at what is Australia's largest GA airport. In addition to ten flying schools for both fixed wing and rotary operations, three flying clubs, large maintenance, avionics, spares, instruments, electrical, aircraft sales, banner towing, aerial survey and photographic businesses are present. These include Airflite, a large defence contractor and Fugro the world's largest aerial geophysical survey company. There are also a number of charter operators which provide flights for the fly-in fly-out staff of remote mining companies.


Picture of the Air show from Australia Day 2016




I will stay there some time to explore the Perth region.

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Information for those who follow the trip : 

The combination of a few things to finish at home before winter ( trim the hedges, repaint the shades, ... ) and a couple of Champions League evenings - plus an interesting Liverpool-Manchester U on Monday ! - make me think I will be staying around Perth until at least Thursday. 

Brisbane is still far away, I hope to be there by March/April ! :)

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Who said being in retirement must be boring ? :) 

I will have to put more time in some real life activities this winter. I tried to figure it out during the week end but I can't find a way this year to squeeze in the 3 daily hours I need for flying this adventure and making the report. So I have to put in on hold for some time until things clear out.


In the meantime I will fly 2 or 3 times a week on my AH companies to keep my virtual flying license. ;)

Thks to all who followed my previous adventures ( Aeropostale, Amazonas, Australia part 1 ), reading your messages has helped me taking these to their end.

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