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Accross Oz


Guest J430
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Just done a trip from Townsville-Mt Isa-Alice Springs-Ayers Rock-Leonora-Perth.

 

What a great trip accross a lot of not much......but worth doing if the opportunity is right.

 

Whats the chances of crossing the most remote and desert country and having rain and the divert around a line of storms that must have been 50+ miles long!

 

Was a blast, will post some pics when I can in the trip section, but as for a small NAVEX this was up there!

 

J

 

 

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Sydney to Perth

 

We flew a Jabiru across to Perth last year for Red Bull.

 

http://planofile.com/map.html?pOfId=0a95de12-ddf0-59ba-ba85-ff7e38447120

 

Weather was from hot clear days with dust devils, a dust storm that kept us at Boulia for a day, to thunderstorms with lightning creating grass fires, and a day of low cloud.

 

BTW, did you know that you don't get charged a landing fee at Ayers Rock if you are there for less than 1 hour.

 

Cheers

 

 

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That is interesting. The fee is not that big a deal, its not cheap but given the service levels it was fine. We were also lucky to have had a car from someone we knew at the airport so we could do a lap of the rock on the ground.

 

You sure did some big days of flying there. What size Jab? We were doing 160kts (V Tail Jab:laugh:) so a little quicker than my J430.

 

J

 

 

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We went across in a small Jab, 2200, one with 65L fuel. With two people it's even smaller.

 

We stopped at The Rock just long enough to get fuel and something to eat. It was interesting because once you leave the airfield side you are out with the general public. But if you want to get something to eat you have to go though security. I forgot I was carrying a knife on me and had to hand it over while I grabbed a bite. They gave it back to me after I passed out through security, on my way back to the plane.

 

We did laps around The Rock by air, lots of pics.

 

We were cruising at 90Kts, burning around 12 l/hr. Reasonable tailwind on the way back.

 

We made it back from Perth to Sydney in 2 days. Since we took quite a few days to go Sydney to Perth we decided to see if we could fly across Australia in 2 days. That's around 10 hrs/day of flying.

 

Scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms for the first day of the return trip. We ran into a big thunderstorm around Border Village and were held up for a while, but still made it to Nullabor Motel before sunset. Then we had to pass the thunderstorm on the second day 049_sad.gif.af5e5c0993af131d9c5bfe880fbbc2a0.gif

 

Cheers

 

 

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Thats what I call a keen trip. Well done!

 

I thought 3 of us in the Bonanza was doing it tough!!!006_laugh.gif.0f7b82c13a0ec29502c5fb56c616f069.gif We had space, lots of fuel, 3 x GPS moving maps, integrated PC with Internet when coverage was available, Autopilot, VOR and ADF.........all IFR capable, and yet when you are in such a remote place with storms and not many diversions available.....its all pretty much a level playing field. Back to Basics. Fly VFR and be able to see the storms and not blunder into them, navigate accordingly and economise your fuel burn. All makes for great challenge and a great trip.

 

No doubt you had as much fun as we did.....maybe more, becaue it lasted longer!!

 

Either way its a great way to see the countrry.

 

J

 

 

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We had 3 GPS's, only 2 with moving map though.

 

We also had a PDA with Bluetooth/WiFi for Internet, but not much chance to use it. Interestingly, Border Village had Internet equipment, but access was down at the time we were there. It would have been handy as we could have pulled up the radar for the thunderstorm we were trying to avoid.

 

At least for most of the trip there was either flat ground or a deserted road to land on if things went wrong.

 

It was an interesting trip, a challenge for planning & re-planning, I don't know how many times I recalculated arrival times for different airfields and check against last light for those locations.

 

We were cruising at 90Kts IAS for most of the trip.

 

Look at the trip, http://planofile.com/map.html?pOfId=0a95de12-ddf0-59ba-ba85-ff7e38447120 or http://planofile.com/flightPlan.html “My Trips†-> “Sample Events†-> “RedBull 2006†for more detail. This isn't the GPS log, but the times are correct and tracks are pretty close, and all cruising alts set to 5000'; we were using this for family/friends to follow our trip when we were doing it. I updated the times during the trip, but I haven't gone back to put the GPS log on there.

 

Saturday we started the day with headwind for the first leg, this immediately put Longreach in doubt and we had to start considering staying at Charleville. Luckily headwind decreased during the day and we made Longreach about half hour before sunset.

 

Sunday was a day of playing on the 747 and other Longreach things.

 

Monday we were suppose to get to Alice but ran into bad weather and got stuck at Boulia. This meant staying at Boulia and not Alice for the night. It also meant that we had to replan somewhere to stay on Tuesday and probably Wednesday. The indications were that weather in Perth was bad in the afternoons, so we needed to arrive Perth early afternoon. We could get to Ayers Rock without much problem. We needed to refuel at Warburton and could get accommodation there, Leonora was probably a bit far to go in one day. The interesting part of this is that Boulia was a great place to stay, surprising for a town in the middle of nowhere.

 

On Tuesday, if you look at sunrise time on the map, we took off from Boulia not too long after sunrise. No headwind, cool. Some tailwind to Ayers Rock. We decided to stay at Warburton for the night since we weren't going to make Leonora, especially with the headwind on that leg. Now Warburton is the opposite to Boulia, we stayed there but I wouldn't recommend it. But it did put us in a good position for arriving Perth on Wednesday, weather permitting.

 

The good thing on Wednesday was that we had a nice tailwind, instead of headwind. This meant we could head towards Leonora and then peel off towards Kalgoorlie based on fuel calculation at the half-way point. That is, fuel calculations based on fuel on-board at that point, not tail-wind prediction. This saved us some time since we would have had to go to Kalgoorlie for a refuel after Leonora anyway.

 

We arrived Kalgoorlie in good time but had a flat tyre after landing. After fixing the tyre, we had spare parts for the trip, we set off for the final leg into Serpentine. There was a bit of tailwind on this leg as well, which was nice after having lost time due to the flat. We arrived Serpentine early afternoon, and there wasn't any bad weather there at all. Don't know what the met guys were talking about.

 

A few of our legs could would have been marginal in a very strong headwind with our fuel capacity, so all flight plans had detailed fuel calculations on them. We updated regularly along the route to get an early indication of any concern, but the weather Gods gave us tailwind on our legs of concern.

 

It was interesting to see how much nothing there is in the middle of Australia.

 

Certainly a trip worth doing, but expect that nothing will go as expected.

 

Cheers

 

 

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Thanks for the description of the trip accross the centre. Hope to do it next year so the information was appreciated.

 

Peter...it was lucky you managed to avoid having to get fuel at Leonora as I was there late last year and AVGAS is only available in 200L drums and you have to buy the whole drum! Very expensive if you only need 70 or 80 litres.

 

Fortunately my destination was a sheep station where they had some avgas available, otherwise I would have had to return via Kalgoorlie or arrange to get some Mogas from a service station at Leonora.

 

Regards

 

Dave

 

 

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My brother investigated the refueling at Leonora, he didn't mention buying a whole drum; maybe that was a surprise waiting for me. Though the refueling at Nullabor Roadhouse cost twice as much as anywhere else.

 

That was a good thing with the Jab, we could always add mogas if we had to.

 

All the waypoints shown on the map are places we refueled, except YBOV and YCDU. This was for a 65L, 2200 Jab.

 

Broken Hill to Dubbo is was very long, and boring leg. That one needed an autopilot.

 

Cheers

 

 

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The CEO of the local council was very kind to give us a ride to the hotel etc.....good value when you consider the fuel cost.

 

He explainedthey are in the process of getting pump fuel shortly. The BP pump is JET A1 and BP have no interes in a tank for AVGAS, the coucil wants to do it because selling drums is too much hassel for them and customers.

 

J

 

PS Going back to Perth this weekend to get the second half of the trip done!

 

 

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You would think that an out-of-the-way place like Leonora would be idea for a swipe-card bowser of some kind. Maybe people don't fly that way often?

 

Your way to do the trip is the best way; do some, have a break, then do some more.

 

Is this a return trip?

 

Cheers

 

 

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Not sure its the ideal way to do it, it involved 3 tickets back here and also back to Perth.....it was not planned this way.

 

Will be Esperence - the Bight-Nullabor Roadhouse or Forrest, then Coober Peedy, Birdsville, Longreach and Townsville.

 

Provided LAME's get it all sorted by weeks end!

 

J

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sounds nice. I take it you've completed the trip by now.

 

I'll have to do north-south some time. So far I've only been across east-west and back.

 

Coober Peedy to Birdsville looks like a nice leg. I think I'll have to start planning another Australia trip now.

 

Cheers

 

 

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YCBP to YBDV is a nice leg....long haul, and worth a deviation to the east over Lake Eyre and I want to do that when its in flood one day. Just watch out for the Woomera Restricted zones though east of YCBP.

 

As for diversion planning etc I can believe especially with small reserves the calculations were a plenty. We were spoiled, the moving map link on the PC, and Jepp FlightDeck takes a lot of that stress away as you constantly have a list and distance and time to the nearest alternates, even if they are 240 miles away:ah_oh:

 

I want to do a trip up to Cape Yourk one time, so maybe that will be on the cards for next year.

 

J

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

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