Follow my journey as I embark on an adventure to serve as a pilot with Mission Aviation Fellowship. I am currently based in Mareeba, QLD, Australia.

Sunday, 19 January 2020

Visiting Ingham

Ingham is a town about 3 hrs' drive south of Cairns. According to my dad it's named after a distant relation who moved to the area from England in the 1870s. Anyway since I had Friday off and was going to be heading down to Cairns for my annual pilot medical check, I thought I'd continue on down and spend a couple of days checking it out.

Apart from the name it's pretty much like every other small Queensland town... but it certainly was weird seeing 'my' name everywhere!

Driving through Innisfail.
Somebody should tell them it's time to take their Christmas decorations down!

Mangroves and Hinchinbrook Island

Wallaman Falls, about an hour's drive from Ingham.
The tallest single-drop waterfall in Australia (268 m)

A rainbow in the waterfall

Main street in Ingham

Tropical weather driving back to Mareeba

Thursday, 16 January 2020

The wet season has arrived

Last night we had our first decent thunderstorm, with some very welcome rain!

BOM rain radar image from the thunderstorm passing overhead Mareeba

Sunday, 12 January 2020

New toy

Just before Christmas we received a number of large crates... Last week when I arrived back at work, there were four guys busy putting the contents together - our new Redbird 3D motion flight simulator!

There will be a dedication sometime in February - stay tuned...

Christmas presents for the FTC


It's beginning to look a lot like a flight simulator...

Thursday, 9 January 2020

Christmas holiday (NZ)

I took the opportunity over the Christmas break, while the FTC was closed and flights back to NZ were reasonably accessible (compared to any of the other MAF programmes), to go back to Wellington for a couple of weeks. While this wasn't an official ministry partnership trip, I did make an effort to catch up with a number of people. My parents hosted an 'open house' for anyone to drop in and say hello, and I gave a short presentation at my sending church, Calvary Chapel Wellington.

It was kind of weird being back - although everything was familiar, I didn't have a 'home' to go to (since my house is now being rented out) so was staying with various people and living out of a suitcase. I guess I am still in that 'transition' phase, where you've got a foot in each of two cultures and places. Interestingly, on returning to Cairns and driving north out of the airport towards Mareeba, looking at the hills I felt at home.

I used to joke that 'Home is where your fridge is' - that doesn't apply so much now that I have a fridge in NZ and a fridge in Australia! But I've come to realise that home is being in God's will. And for now, that is in Mareeba.

Going for a bush walk with some friends from church

Family day out at Nga Manu, Waikanae

Nothing says 'summer' like watching a game of cricket at the Basin Reserve!

Speaking at my sending church, Calvary Chapel Wellington

Departing Wellington early in the morning

Friday, 20 December 2019

Film shoot

Last weekend I was asked to play the part of 'female pilot' in a MAF promotional film shoot. It will be a 1 minute video that follows the life of an engineer.

Watch this space for the final product!

On set (i.e. in the MAF hangar) with Dave Walmsley, engineer and future film star

Wednesday, 18 December 2019

Student success

My student Kori passed her PPL (private pilot licence) flight test yesterday!

Here's a photo of her with Marcus Grey, who was her flight examiner.

Friday, 13 December 2019

Arnhem Land ferry flight

Earlier this week I was given the job of flying a GA8 from Mareeba, where it had been in for maintenance, back to its home in Gove, the main base of MAF's Arnhem Land programme.

This was a journey of 813 nautical miles (about 1500 km) - longer than the North Island and South Island put together!

Video available here.

My route shown in red on the MAF aircraft tracker, v2track

Loading the plane with cargo the day before

Departing Mareeba, 6:45 am

My cargo included a staff member's bicycle

First refuelling stop: Normanton

Cloud starting to build up along the coast, Gulf of Carpenteria

Second refuelling stop: Borroloola (about 40C on the ground - much cooler at altitude!)

Pretty patterns at Limmen Bight River estuary

Birany Birany - a typical airstrip and community that MAF serves in Arnhem Land.
Note the cloud buildup in the distance

MFX home again!

I made it!

Thanks to favourable winds (up to 30 kt tailwind at times) I arrived in Gove around 3:00 pm, having left Mareeba at 6:45 am. Two short fuel stops en route and a total flight time of 7.5 hrs.

There's a chance I may get to do other flights like this next year... watch this space!