Monday, September 30, 2013

Into the Valley of Death

I've been on another ferry trip the last few days.  It was supposed to go on Wednesday but kept getting delayed, as the previous aircraft broke half way home, and the company can't have two aircraft 'off line' at once.  So we couldn't leave Brisbane until the previous aircraft arrived back.  That meant it was Saturday before we got going.  

9.1 flight hours later, we wound up in Port Hedland.

I got lots of photos of our route between Alice and Port Hedland.

All of the same highly unoriginal theme.  Clouds, namely cumulonimbus.  They weren't particularly large ones, but we were up at 25,000 and couldn't go any higher, and they were still above us by maybe 5,000ft - so we had to do lots of weaving.

There's a picture of the weather radar there just for interest.  All of the little yellow dots are cells - and that is with the radar tilted up, at half strength.

At least it gave us something to do.  Along the lines of cannon to the left of them, cannon to the right...

Or perhaps the song Clowns to the left, Jokers to the right, here I am stuck in the middle with you... or something like that.

Port Hedland was uneventful, except for having a bed full of ants, but the second room was less infested, although still not particularly clean.

Day two had us operate Port Hedland to Selatar, Singapore, and took about 6.5 hours if I remember rightly.  5.5 hours of sheer boredom with 1 hour of actually working to finish off.

Equatorial crossing.

We managed to be lucky with clear skies most of the way, but about one hour to go, it all got interesting.

This picture is taken about 90 miles from this build up... which means it was sorta big.

Did I mention that our airframe de-icing system chose this point to fault?  

Given the tropical temperatures, we only had to descend to 16,000ft to escape icing conditions - glad it happened late on in the flight as it adds about 150kg an hour to our fuel burn !  (from about 500kg/h to 650kg/h in case you care). We were also very empty which helped !

We still managed to land in Selatar with a comfortable fuel reserve remaining.

Having spent yesterday in Singapore doing very little (I wasn't very well...) we flew back overnight on the Etihad red-eye flight, and it is so nice to be home.

Tomorrow I am supposed to be off doing a Gladstone overnight but am hoping that I am given a day off instead!

At the pool in Singapore.


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