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Turbulence


Russ
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Ok, this time of the yr, the heat etc are starting to build. Xcountry excursions late morn to late arvo can/ do get ugly.

 

Generally.........if one gets to 7....8....9000 ft above ground, can life be more kind.

 

Depart sparrows, get that height, and get a much better outcome...........generally. Planning NQ to Darwin in coming weeks.

 

Cairns, Burketown, coastal Boroloola,direct Darwin.

 

Thanks....

 

 

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I haven't flown up there, and don't have any personal experience, but one of my instructors operated in the Darwin area and said the best solution was to fly early in the morning and be down on the ground before the heat and afternoon storms.

 

 

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Mmm

 

If I can possibly get you to change your mind ..........

 

I'm based in Cairns and our touring group "Secret Men's Business" have done the same track and similar ones multiple times over the last ten years.

 

The bad news ... Turbulence yep you are right about it and sometimes its really bad.

 

The option you suggest of flying high is fine except from about July-August till the beginning of the wet there is also almost continuous very dense smoke haze across the entire northern half of Oz due to bush fires. So at high levels you are almost flying IFR the whole time. You honestly can not see the ground from above about 5000 ft and often from even below that. I did a trip there one year in September and was at tree top height for hundreds of miles due to smoke IMC above that.

 

The next thing is you still have to go up and come down. In summer/ dry season you get haunted by willy willys ( dust devils) on approaches. Theres a lot of wrecked aircraft from willy willys.

 

The turbulence is worse in the afternoons but can kick in as early as late morning.

 

On top of they are now getting ridiculous temperatures ( Darwin today was looking at 35.) Borooloola and the other gulf places are probably well over that. That makes for very uncomfortable temps for flying and lift characteristics etc.

 

Now is also bird season at borooloola. The galahs come in from the surrounding areas because of the dry weather and love to hang around the airport. Mate of mine hit about a dozen out of a flock on a hundred or so on short final once. The hawks usually get out of your way unless they are occupied with aiming at a galah. :-)

 

And this time of year is usually the dry but every now and then the wet comes early and you could get a cyclone while you're there.

 

We, long ago, stopped planning any NT trips after about June or July.

 

 

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Following up:

 

Just had a look on the Katherine weather radar (8 pm Qld time) and there are rain patches all over the place. At this time of year that's usually the tail end of the daily afternoon thunderstorm build ups. So looks like the afternoon storm season has kicked in as well ( usually starts October November and runs through till the wet season kicks in properly - maybe December, maybe January and maybe even later.

 

Well the good news is that that often settles the smoke haze but doesn't help much else. Still stinking hot from about mid morning and still thermally late morning and worse after lunch time.

 

I wouldn't do it myself. Save it for after the wet next year. Plan on about May through July/ August.

 

 

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Yep I agree on that. When I was flying helicopters I would be wondering what the plank-wing guys were bitching about. Then I got a fixed wing licence and started the same lower altitude stuff in a jabiru. Wow. Stuff you never noticed in a Robbin became very bad turbulence.

 

 

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