Day 1 of flying in Arnhem Land… Well let me explain a little bit first.  For the first few days, I’m not actually doing the flying, I’m sitting in the right hand seat doing some navigating and paper work as I orientate myself around the area and all the procedures.  It’s easing me into it for which I am very grateful.  Another two days of this and then I fly ICUS (In Command Under Supervision) for a couple of weeks… usually about 20 hours, then it’s a ‘Check to Line’ flight and I’m kicked out of the nest if they’re satisfied I won’t land belly up.

Okay back to my first day in the plane… The first run of the day consisted of carting a body in a coffin along with one passenger from Gove to Elcho Island.  Apparently it was a fairly low key affair, with only about 15-20 or so people at either end and no sign of any spears or machetes to ward off the evil spirits.  There was a ceremony to see the body onto the plane, then another as the body was taken off the plane with didgeridoos and clap sticks and lots of whooping and such. I got a brief explanation about what it was all about, but I promptly forgot as the rest of the day filled my brain up with stuff I really must remember (you know, plane stuff).

The next flight was full and included a man in a wheel chair which was fun to try to work out where to put the chair after we had stuffed every baggage compartment full of passengers’ belongings.  It finally went with us after some rearranging, much to the man’s delight. We flew to Garrathalala, Cape Shield and Wandawuy.  I must admit, I’m not looking forward to having to pronounce airstrip names such as Dhurrpitjpi, Gamurruguyurru, Madjagadardt, or Ngukurr.

Anyway, home by 6:40pm, hang out with boy for 20 mins before he goes to bed.  Maybe him getting up at (now 6am ish) is a good thing as I can have some Daddy/Samuel time before I head out the door.

Well I must finish this post as I have to sort through my stuff and decide what I can do without next time (most pilots usually take way too much stuff the first few times).

Post Script: Thought I’d throw in a photo of our newly named car.  We are official Territorians now that we have our car registered and licences in the NT.  But much to my horror, the rego is cheaper in Victoria. Bah!

The funeral procession (I was trying to be discreet)

On final into Cape Shield

Renamed, but will always be "Quigly" to us.