Five pilots arrived with mixed emotions, the weather forecast looked poor from Adelaide to Cairn eastward for most of the next week. That was frustrating after hearing the stories of the last seven days of 100+ km and PBs for all over 200 km, from pilots who on the previous years trip were happy with 50+ km flights.
Day one was local then weather closed in, after much investigation we decided there may be two days flying available around Dalby, eight hours driving north!
We did fly each day, but it was never guaranteed, sometimes we drove 100km to line up better weather. Tom and Phil flew PBs on day three. After that Jan was on another level, landing at a pub to wait for us to catch up.
Jan generally landed on sunset and waited in town for us.
On the final day as the last pilot climbed out, driver for the day Rob said to Tom ‘the sky looks good’, to which he replied with feeling ‘It’s F’ing Awesome’.
All was well with the world, Jan was up ahead chasing 400, cloud streets were lining up everywhere, the wind was blowing down the road, the landscape was stark, scrub to the eastern horizon to the east, a wall of storms on the western horizon. Apart from the road you had to look really hard to see any signs of civilisation, homesteads were far apart and were just a house and a shed.
The storms to the west did eventually close down the day, this was driving out of our farm stay the next morning.
Flying is just part of the trip. The camping is an adventure, each night is different, this trip had a night in the front yard of Zane’s Aunt, the Injune tourist park to freshen up, a couple of nights bush camping, and courtesy of Jan’s charm the last night was a farm stay in a 4 bedroom house.
At the same pub we meet the captain of the Jandera paddle wheel vessel, which was built by Phils Dad ! He gave Phil a key and we went for an inspection on the way home.