Saturday, October 12, 2013

Leaving Ayers Rock, arriving Broome

Saturday, 12.10.2013, 07:43 local time,

Ayers Rock has a time zone offset wich is not in multiples of a full hour (UTC +9.5). Australia is one of few countries with such unusual time zones. How complicated is that?

D/SA 20131012, 00h13

Below us: In the background is 'Lake Amadeus', terrain looks like terrain in and around Namib, NAM.

We are airborne in Ayers Rock, we have a distance of 650nm to go to Broome. Thats about the distance between Johannesburg and Cape Town. We have estimated flight time of 04h29 hours and we have a time gain of 1,5hours. We adjust our watches. Very peculiar, looking at my watch it is now 06h10, just now it was 07h40. And we have strong headwind 50/60 knots, and a good outside temperature of minus 10 deg Celsius. We expect the wind to change in our favour in approx 1 hour. If not we will come short on fuel. I am very pleased we are above ground and not above the Atlantic or the Pacific. And we are in clouds now, have not had that for a while.

Since a few days PuF and FSW, (Flight Service Worldwide) have had negotioations with Ragoon in Myanmar regarding landing and parking for 3 Days. What had actually been agreed on and confirmed is now being thrown over board. Just like that. We are not surprised, already while obtaining our visa for Myanmar the country left an impression of handling matters with difficulties and all was complicated, tense and with a wary,  suspicious and non-relaxed attitude. Now what?

Yesterday we heard that our permission to land in Ragoon, Myamar has been withdrawn. All negotiations have failed. They say: there is not enough parking for 9 aircraft, sorry, they will allow max 2 aircraft. Full stop. As we had in Petropavlosk, Russia. Again, all the hotel accommodation in Ragoon is fully paid for and not refundable. Some of the bigger crews have also booked and paid tourist guides and/or tours. For sure they will not get one cent back.

The crews had an emergency-briefing yesterday and the situation was discussed and different options investigated. The outcome: the group will split up. The two smaller aircraft, us with our Silver Eagle, and Johannes and Wolf in the Mooney, because of their limited reach, wiil fly to Ragoon, which is going to be difficult enough. The other aircraft will fly into Mandalay further north. Now new permissions will have to be obtained for all, but that is not all; we are sure we will have more surprises waiting for us. In a few days we will know more.

We are still in clouds and ice is building up slightly. Now and then we can look thru the thin layers of clouds, the terrain, "Great Sandy Desert, Western Plateau",  still looks like Southern Namibia or the Kalahari. 

On the left of the plane we see our own shadow on a cloud layer, beautiful.

Wind has improved, and worsened again, we have 00h56 to go and we had a second breakfast in the meantime. Some nuts, apples and the tiniest Blueberry Muffin we have ever laid eyes on, taken from the breakfast buffet and a small orange juice.

The outside temperature has increased to 0 deg C, same altitude. We were just informed of the temperature at destination: 35 deg C, it is not 10h15 yet. The terrain below us changes now, more rocky, not as sandy anymore. And we see the first 4x4 tracks. Still no farms, we are 00h20 min out of Broome. No roads, no farms, 80 km out of town and nothing ...

We see coastline now, 14 minutes out. 10 min out, the beach as far as we can see, is too beautiful, still no farms houses or roads. Now one intersection.

Now a Double Road

5 Houses on the edge to the sandy area which is 2km wide, then water

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