Sunday, July 25, 2010

All downhill from here: Armidale to Sydney

On the fourth and final leg of our round trip from Sydney to Brisbane I was flying and didn't take any pictures. Thanks to Chris and Dennis then for the photos and especially for the one right below, which deserves some explaining.

There is only one taxiway connecting the apron to the runway at Armidale. We had just finished our run-ups on the apron when a QuantasLink Q400 turboprop called inbound on the CTAF frequency. Rather than wait on the apron and taxi our way around him, always a risky affair, we waited at the holding point for him to land.

After he landed we entered the runway and backtracked to the threshold of runway 05, while the Q400 was backtracking the runway from the other end in the direction of the taxiway. We made all the required radio calls and then some so at all time the crew of the Q400 knew what we were doing. The photo was taken as we were already lined up for departure and holding and the Q400 was still backtracking.

From Armidale we followed the New England Highway to Tamworth. Tamworth tower was very helpful in helping us identify the visual navigation landmarks to transit their airspace. Once back in Class G airspace we kept following the Hunter valley past Willow Tree, Murrubundi, Scone, Muswellbrook, Lake Liddell, Singleton, Cessnock, Maitland and reached the coast again at Lake Macquarie.

From there we tracked for Brooklyn Bridge for the VFR lane southbound, reported inbound at Prospect and landed on 11C at Bankstown. Total time 10.4 hours, 4.8 hours northbound and 5.6 southbound. The longer return leg of course a result of our little scenic flight around Brisbane.

The photo above really speaks for itself. This was a tiring trip that left a smile on my face for the whole week after. Intense and demanding because of the failure of the GPS unit right at the start, and also a lot of fun thanks to great company and a good mix of familiar, formerly familiar and unknown places.


sylvia said...

These posts have been inspiring. When I first did my PPL, the whole point was to fly to interesting places that I wouldn't otherwise go to. Now you've got me thinking about where I want to go next (hmm, and how)

Julien said...

Thanks Sylvia! Look at the bright side of things: now that you've sold your beloved Saratoga you have a lot of airplanes to choose from. You now can choose the airplane that fits the mission, no longer the other way around!