How my day started…
• Print out and check weather. Note that we have to put on extra fuel for an alternate for Milingimbi all day.
• Daily the plane in the rain with my umbrella. Ian took a photo, said he’d never seen anyone daily a plane with an umbrella before.
• Find out that the last person to fly this plane left only 130lts of fuel in the tanks, so I have to refuel before I begin. Thanks a lot … er… Jason…
• Find out that I have to fly the other pilots schedule as well as my own as he has brakes working on only one side of his landing gear.
• Do first flight, and stop on way back Elcho for next pick up at Maparu. Find out that the passengers left on an earlier plane with another company.
• Do next flight, then on to Nyinyikay to pick up my next lot of passengers to take back to Elcho. The schedule just said PU 1330 Full load. No name of who was flying out. When I got on the ground, I quickly figured out that I was helping to fly a film crew back to Elcho Island which consisted of about 13 people and a heck of a lot of stuff. Then after a few introductions, Ray Martin put out his hand to greet me. I didn’t recognise him for a few seconds, which was probably fortunate, because it saved me from saying something stupid like “hey, I know you!” while he was listening. So it turns out that he is one of the passengers going and eventually ended up on my plane while the other plane took some of the gear. Turns out, Ray ended up being my co-pilot, donning a headset and listening to me prattling away about all sorts of stuff. I must say, I was impressed by his easy going and down-to-earth demeanour and friendliness.
The crew said that they were filming a documentary for SBS about Indigenous Australians. Anyway, film crew take loads of stuff. There were 5 plane loads, and the last one I took out, were 2 passengers and 225kgs of equipment.
Anyway seeing as I’m an old hand now at flying celebrities about, perhaps they can use MAF (or me, rather) to fly Prince William and Kate and George out to the beautiful Elcho Island.