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  1. Here we are at Umbu Mehang Kunda Airport, (formerly Mau Hau - much more exotic than its new name). This has to be one of the most unexciting flights in sector 2! Howabout 3 three screenshots? Take-off, cruise, and landing? (You will wish you had said yes). Looking at the maps, this flight was going to be point to point over 510 nm of water: So I added a couple of waypoints, 1 for a rest break near to Seringapatam Reef and 2, to deliver supplies to a remote island called Browse Island where the lighthouse keeper was running short of rum. There after I was going to head for Cape Leveque on the Aussie mainland and then on to my destination, Broome International: It’s a nice morning, I still had bells ringing in my ears after Chuck’s air display yesterday and his departure later in the day. He had forgotten to hand over the baton so flung it out of the cockpit in my direction whilst posing in a hover for a while. My Pigboat was still in the shop after leaving its nose gear on the runway during a rather hard landing by the ferry pilot. It was going to be ready by lunchtime: We had a couple of passengers coming along for the ride which was welcome news as it would help break the mesmerising monotony of the Wasp engines. Checking the loading sheet and manifest I see we have a doctor emigrating to Aus, a flight attendant who comes with the aircraft, her son, and two crates of rum. We were well short of MTOW so range will not be an issue today. Having spent an hour greasing nipples and dipping sticks, the Catalina was ready. Our passengers and precious cargo were making their way to the aircraft. I could make out an older man with grey hair (no relation!) and a familiar outline of the flight attendant, in fact the closer she got, the more familiar she became… it was Sharon! She introduced her son Otis (who!?) he seemed strangely familiar, but I didn’t give it a second thought. I think Sharon has some explaining to do? We loaded the cargo and ate our lunch comprising of local fish (caught only this morning), Lychees and a chocolate muffin, all washed down with some camel’s milk. Blurrrgh. After coaxing the engines into life, I checked the weather enroute and it is going to be balmy, but it was starting to get hot and humid here so I was keen to get us under way: I we were off the tarmac less than halfway down the runway, but with hardly any cargo I am not surprised: Our first sector started over land which is a mostly low hills, with village settlements, Sumba is like a poor neighbour to Bali: After nearly an hour we were leaving Sumba, I was pleased to leave the island and the humidity behind. We were well set up on our cruise, our GPS was showing us the way but we had no autopilot, the Pigboat had a tendency to drift left of course if unattended, even with rudder trim: It's a couple of hours into our flight and I was starting to feel a bit nauseous, the clanking and drone of the engines was making my head spin. Luckily, Sharon had noticed and called Dr Rumack for help, the following unfolded: Surely we were doomed? (and don't call me Shirley). As Dr Rumack dragged me from the cockpit, Sharon jumped into the driving seat and with a quick scan of the instruments started to pull back on the column: Now this turned out to be one of those moments that will pass into annals of ATWC history! Sharon, who was always the bridesmaid, not the bride, revealed that she is, infact, a very capable pilot, albeit a bit rusty. What's even more amazing is Sharon is also an undercover British spy and her real name is Steph. And that's not a coincidence, we have seen her in the challenge before. I just knew there was something about her, now with her cover blown, all pilots must vow to keep their silence, Putenfeld is a ruthless man and he hates being crossed by a woman. Sharon had this well under control and we headed to our scheduled stop at the reef: We killed the engines as we were coming to a stop: I was awoken with a jolt, those smelling salts made me want heave (again): After half an hour I was ready to fly again, Sharon recounted her past 10 years and how Otis came into her life, like the Beckham's first child, he was named after the place he was conceived .. (eh?) We were underway, still about 250 nm to go. That extended stop had set us back a bit: Heading set east exactly on 090 we were headed for Browse Island: Our navigation was sound, the island is ahead: This is an odd place and has has a listed airfield, ICAO YBWS, runway 9/27 length 9 metres! We can actually land on the reef: We've dropped off the rum and had a quick rest break. Time is pressing on..: Next waypoint is Cape Leveque on the mainland: We find another island on the map with a lighthouse and it's exactly on our track, so we make for it: There's no airfield here but quite a few buildings, the light from the lighthouse guided me in: Hello Adele Island. We gave it the Mutley flypass chopping up a couple of seagulls on the way. My pleasure! Ok, no more messing about, we head straight for Aus: As we pass YCLQ overhead, the ATWC airshow hits Australia! Screenshots are going to be tricky to see after this one, we press on, 201 degrees towards Broome: After another 40 minutes we have Broome in sight: Called in our approach, civilisation at last: After an uneventful landing, we are directed to our parking position. Who would believe it? A man with a broom sweeping the apron..at Broome! Checking out an extract from the log, total flight time 7.3 hours. Sharon Steph, Dr Rumack, Otis, and me depart to the pilots lounge with the baton. After a couple of hours of chat, food, and a small libation, Steph stores the baton as she is rostered to take it onto Ayres Rock. I am worried for her as I have my suspicions about the man with the broom? Sim: P3Dv4.1 A/C: Aerosoft Catalina with repaint by jeansy WX: REX Texture Direct / AS for P3D Scenery: FTX - Global / VECTOR / Australia Region / Broom International Airport (Not that you could see it) With acknowledgement to the makers of Airplane! The Movie.
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