G'day! and welcome to my blog's new home. I'd like to say a big 'cheers mate' to Clay for building me such a fabulous new house.

Here you will find my articles and blogs from the sky documenting my aerial adventure across Australia, and sometimes - when I'm very lucky - around the world!

Lots of airyplanes, plenty of new shoes and hopefully many undiscovered places.

Blue skies,

Monday, March 9, 2015

Passing the Stick...

Hot the on the heels of a week at Avalon, I barely had time to recover from the av-frenzy before it was my turn to tote the baton. My friend Andrew, owner of Banktown's finest C182, had offered to lend me his aircraft in honour of the relay and arrived at Essendon on the Sunday to hand over the controls (and the cushion!) 

Landing at Mallacoota

Having caught up with baton-wielder Peta Denham Harvey at Avalon, I knew the suspected the arrival at Mallacoota might be a little later than the projected 13.00, on account of the first leg being flown by four ladies, each stopping at a different port to hand over the marvellously hand-crafted wooden baton, and iPad provided by AvPlan.

The Vic girls arrive with the baton

Having landed at Mallacoota at lunchtime, just as the wind swung round to the gravel runway - 07 - I took the time to relax and enjoy a tour of the town, courtesy of local couple Peter and Wendy (who provided home made muffins). The Vic girls touched down at 16.30, shortly after the arrival of two Falcos from Merrimbula, piloted by Neil Bourke and Ian Newman. 

Kristin hands me the baton

Handing over the AvPlan iPad

After a whirlwind of photos, it was a race against the light to get to Merimbula, hand over the baton to Belinda Baulch on behalf of Jan Goodhew. After another round of media, and a wonderful welcoming committee (special thanks, as ever, to the Frogs Hollow Fliers for their generous donation) we took of and pointed the nose towards Bankstown. Weirdly, Nowra was still active, and even with a direct to Ulladulla, the elements won when I ran out of light near Wollongong. 

Handing the baton to Belinda in Merimbula

A VFR pilot without a current night rating is always prepared (a dollar for every time I've been caught short at YWOL due to wx!) and it was a no brainer to tie down the 182 and hop in a cab for a direct to Wollongong's Novotel. As I touched down on the blissful hotel bed, I was reminded that the finest bonus of flying a 182 is that I always have a spare pillow - feather at that - should I ever get stranded in a regional hotel.

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