Saturday, May 28, 2011

Western Wandering

Perth was the main destination this week with two nights being spent in the hotel there, with some local W.A. flying in between.

I managed to hire a bike from the usual place (About bike Hire) and get a Swan River loop under the wheels. The loop goes via Fremantle and is about 50km, which I can seem to knock out in about one hour and fifty minutes. It is very flat for that 50km! I was pressed for time so no stopping for photos this time around. Rest assured, the view hasn't changed much since the last time I did the ride but it was very nice nonetheless to be out in the fresh air.

A relatively easy two sector day was rostered and we turned up at the appointed hour to do our "thing". The company's newest aircraft was at Perth domestic terminal after completing our first business class service from Sydney and was recomposing itself for the return service.

The launch was very well received by those lucky enough to partake in the action and more can be read about it here.

Perth traffic.

We made our way up the west coast for a port that would be a first time visit for me. It amazes me how busy these small airports have become with the mining boom. Twenty years ago when I flew around in this part of the world in light aircraft a one hundred seat jet was was the regular service to a select few destinations. Now one hundred and eighty seat jets fly into every town and quite a few mining airstrips as well, just carrying mining crew.

The WA coast looking out over Kalbri.

Port Hedland terminal.

After a few more days of criss-crossing the country it was nice to be coming home. We passed these guys on the second last sector. No matter how many time I see it, I find it hard to comprehend how accurate satellite navigation is these days. In the middle of the outback, an hour into the flight we pass exactly centreline to centreline at about 1670km/h closing speed. You can appreciate why it is vital that we are at the correct level i.e. at least 1000ft vertically apart, otherwise the result would be unthinkable.



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