Back in the air
It was good to be back in Darwin. I made my way out to the MK T airfield and prepared my aircraft for its first flight in 6 months. Needless to say, I took extra time and care to make sure that everything was fine. Before I left Darwin 6 months ago, I ensured that the battery was out of the aircraft and recharged as well as made sure that the carburettor bowls had been emptied by running the aircraft to a stop with the fuel turned off.
This little bit of departure preparation plus the fact that I use 98-octane fuel provided me with an almost immediate start when I cranked the engine over.
A slight wind change meant that the active runway direction changed, as I taxied toward 07.
There was an aircraft in the circuit on final so I turned around to match the new circuit pattern and that gave me a chance to have an extended warmup of the engine prior to takeoff.
With an abundance of caution. I carried out a number of circuits with touch-and-go landings just to make sure both the aircraft and myself were fit for flight.
Comfortable that I was good to go. I tracked over Humpty Doo towards Gunn Point via Coolalinga.
I also flew over Howard Springs and the old Inpex workers camp, now renamed to something like the “resilience centre”. In the last few weeks, it has been used to house folks from remote communities affected by the flooding that the Northern Territory has experienced. I saw a few people walking on the pathways between the demountable accommodation huts but not much else.
During the worst times of the COVID outbreak, it was the isolation facility that hosted many people returning from overseas.
To be honest I was keener to see the lush green of the Howard River floodplains and the coastal strip of Gunn Point, which is one of my favourite places to go for a flight.
I wasn’t disappointed. The variety of greens combined with the number of birds and expanse of water offered a scene similar to some of the visions I had experienced in South America.
This time of year in the Northern Territory, when the wet is coming to an end and the dry season beckons with its dragonflies and strong winds is the best time to take photographs and video. The countryside is lush and green and the bushfires have not yet started which create a haze that can only be removed with the dehaze tool in Lightroom.
Just a short video of me trying to take selfie with my phone while flying over the Howard River. I do not recommend you do this at home or in the air as one gust of wind could result in tears. You will note that I kept the camera below the windshield because I have scared myself in the past when a gust of wind has almost ripped the phone out of my hand.
The main photo for this blog post is in fact the one that I went to the trouble of taking on the phone.
Before I arrived at Gunn Point I was treated to an extra low tide which exposed the massive numbers of sand bars that can ruin a fisherperson’s day.