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Moorabbin to St George

Jeff Gordon

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Returned last Tuesday night at 4.30pm from the Big Ugly Bastards Birthday Bash in St. George Qld. Plane flew beautifully all the way with 5 days flying. Tassie Maule-driver, Paul Boland was a great help with loads of sage advice from a 35 year pilot to a 5 minute pilot.


Heading up North with 30k knots headwind and making only 75k ground speed was longer than expected and we put down in Walgett for the night. Not the most desired location, but dinner in the Sports Club was most illuminating as we don’t think there was a sportsman in sight…just plenty that watch it! On the way up we diverted from Griffith to Narrandera for refuelling as it did not have a north south runway and I didn't want to risk the crosswind landing in that strength of breeze.



Early start next day and all good on arrival in St George, with a hairy crosswind landing at the airport…that showed some unique flying skills in front of my mates! An afternoon boat cruise and fishing expedition on the Balonne River and the Riverland Restaurant that night could not have been better with many speeches and a little too much BWS inbibed and BSHT expleted methinks!



Took off due West at lunchtime next day to Cunnamulla then a refuelling stop at Thargomindah.



By 3:30pm we were dropping into the Noccundra Hotel airstrip for the night…taxiing right up to the pub. Met some interesting people there including a 60 yr old Byron Bay hippie who was going to walk the Simpson Desert , but after two days had to be rescued by his daughter, as well as Clinton an Aborigine who told us a story about the fear snake, the scourge of the Cooper Basin. Apparently it coils up like a spring and pounces in you from as far away as 2 metres and is a very aggressive biter! Sounded just like my first wife!



Early start next morning had us into Innamincka Township airstrip and then overhead the Cooper Basin



before arriving at the Lake Eyre. then down the Eastern side for a refuelling stop at Marree.



From Marree we climbed to 4500 ft for a spectacular flight over the Flinders Ranges before putting down in Hawker for the night.



Big night at the Hawker Hotel Motel with (x) pints of Coopers Pale Ale and Pepperjack Shiraz to wash down the very nice Rump Steak. Then next day to Mildura for fuel and then to the dreaded Kilmore Gap with rain showers etc closing in.



Had a few diversions out of Bendigo dodging rain showers and thought we may have to put down in Mangalore, but managed to get through to Kilmore between the showers.



Good going through the Gap, but had some fun finding Academy, a reporting in point for Moorabbin Airport. (just getting a glimpse of the Bay here in this pic…but on track)



Into Moorabbin after 25 hours flying in sun, fog, headwinds and rain showers but no, bones planes or rules broken!


I learn heaps of flying lessons along the way but feel that my first big test is over and now feeling a lot more comfortable in the plane.



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