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True enough, after stumping up to the bar and asking the lady behind if her name was "Doris", she got me sorted and stowed in my room. I asked if I'd missed the fight tent or not and she said that I was just in time as they'd rolled in just before I did. Going to be an interesting night! Sure enough, once the sun went down, the lights came on and the call went out! Yes sir, you too can get some free denture work from these travelling professionals! Just another quite night in Birdsville! I think the big horse race is on tomorrow so good thing I'm clearing out tomorrow before the crowds arrive. ANOTHER late night. ANOTHER early morning. ANOTHER pounding headache. I really hope the Dak is ready for our next little jaunt. I checked my duffle before leaving the pub and the batton was still securely stowed so we were good to go. I went looking for Jeff at the main hanger just round the back of the pub. O.o "A full paint and spray in less a one day? Damn you work fast mate.", I said to Jeff. "What? I thought you knew what was happenin'?" "Nah, mate I just fly where they tell me to, was wondering why I had to drop in here on the way to Longy." as I scratched the top of my head. "Yea we got the order through the other day that you were coming through and we had to repaint her for her new home. You're on to Longreach yea?" "Yea..." "Well she's gunna join the other birds they got out there for the QANTAS museum idn't she. Ha! She'll look great next to that big ol' 747 they got there". "Yea I've seen it before.. passed through in a C-17", I said, hoping he'd be a little amazed "Yea right ay. Painted one of them up for a bloke in NZ last week. Look, anyway you gotta get goin' but if you need a new coat a paint for your bird, you bring her to me right." Apparently Jeff runs a roaring trade in Aircraft restoration. Who knew. Right so anyway, we (me and the baton) got lined up on the rwy and got on our way. Did see something strange though immediately after take off.... Must've been the annual Grey Nomad convention.... Anyway, that was Birdsville. Don't blink or you'll miss. And so I settled down for a lot more of the same really. I did get a little bit of green. Not much. Just a little. Came in a bit high so went for a go around. I'm not flying the C-17 so can't really do a tactical descent. Touchdown at YLRE. The marshal guided me around and got me to park right in from of the other two birds currently on display at YLRE and signalled me to shutdown and close up. Got the Dak all cleared and cleaned, hopped out the back and was greeted by another bloke who looked mighty familiar. Said his name was Goeff. "Ahh I see my brother did a great job with her." "Who now?" "Jeff in Birdsville. He's my brother. And before you asked, yes our parents were comedians", he said with a wry grin. I opened my mouth to say something, left it hanging for a bit and then shut my pie hole. He'd probably heard it all before. "Hope you don't mind, but we've got you doing a test flight tomorrow for us. We're looking at maybe getting some new regional jets. Should be a good little trip by all accounts and I'm sure you'll appreciate a couple of days on Hamilton Island before returning huh?" New regional jets? Sure, why not. Plane: Aeroworx MJ C-47 conversion for XP11 Livery: Personal conversion of (I think) @jankees QANTAS for the MJ C-47 Scenery: Ortho4XP and HiRes Mesh from JASA Photo: Courtesy of one of my work collegues from a recent 4WD trek up the Birdsville track P.S. I actually grew up in the bush (YNTN) and I remember the boxing tent making the rounds along with a few other carnies so we'd have our own town show cum fete. No, I don't miss it.
I awoke to sweltering heat, a headache the size of Manhatten and my alarm blaring in my ear for what seemed an age. Could have sworn I only had a couple of beers with Steph, but man is my head ringing. Whats the time?? 0600, ok so I haven't slept in too late. What's the temperature? 35. crap. gotta buy more water! I got up, grabbed my gear and checked out of my hotel room and got one of the bush taxi's to Connellan Airport where I'd been told I had a surprise waiting for me. I still had NO idea what bird I was going to fly but I'd managed to fly my way out of Asia taking little contracts here and there (Air Force kinda kicked me out after "loosing" the Spartan). This was not going to be any different. Well apart from what I had stowed in my duffle; Once again, the mighty baton had landed in my lap some how and I was entrusted to escort it on it's merry way. I had three contracts all up, one from here to Birdsville (might be in time to catch the fight tent), then on to Longreach and finally Hamilton Island. Been a while since I'd stopped off at YBHM so it'd be good to just laze on the sand for a while after this trip, though I might see enough sand to last two lifetimes going by my flightplan. At any rate, after buying the cateen's last slab of water bottles I was greated by this gorgeous beauty. Looks like I'm back in the DC-3 again. Well no complaints there! Looks like she's an old Northern Territory Airlines bird she might even have been one of the original Connellan Airways girls from after the war. They've certainly maintained her well enough. OK Well, time and the heat is a wastin' lets get her up into the air where it MIGHT be a bit cooler. Wasn't long and we were up in the air Can't say I'm not happy to say goodbye to Yulara. That light show last night was something else but all in all, the red outback is not my stick. Give me the mountains or the Atherton Tablelands any day of the year. And being this close to Uluru, I really couldn't help myself I just HAD to do a low circle around it. As we came around the back end there we saw the other famous rock(s) out here, The Olgas. No time for a flyby past those fellas though, it was time to start my climb and get underway. One last look behind and we're on our way guys and gals! You know, I have NO idea what this ridge is called, but when you're flying around and EVERYWHERE is just flat red sand, you tend to perk up a bit when we get a little treat like this. Now that I'm back in civilization, Uncle Google says that is Mount Conner Remember how I said it was flat and red. Yea.... Oh oh! Excitement, there's an airstrip! Pretty sure this is for some huge cattle station. In the middle of nowhere. More excitement! We've crossed over the boarder and are now in Queensland. No more red sand! Just more yellow sand...... I hate sand.... It's gritty and it's coarse, and it gets everywhere! Birdsville ahoy Capt'n. No bouncing kangaroos here, just a really nice easy landing. One of my best yet. Coffee and Brett'd be proud of me. I get the bird around the the main "hanger" and a bloke comes out, helps me shut her down and says "Strewth, we thought you weren't comin fella. Head into town there and ask for Doris at the pub, she's got your room sorted and we'll get the bird sorted for your trip t'marra." I give him a little eyebrow look at "get the bird sorted" but just shrug and go looking for Doris at the pub. Plane: Aeroworx MJ C-47 conversion for XP11 Livery: Personal conversion of (I think) @jankees NT Airways for the MJ C-47 Scenery: Ortho4XP and HiRes Mesh from JASA