Another week has come and gone, it feels like time has been flying by lately and I am running out of time in the day.
This week in numbers:
2450 nm (Roughly)
3550 L of Fuel (Roughly)
If you look at it by the numbers for a whole week it is just over half of what I used to do when flying the caravan, but by no means am I complaining about that. I am in Malinau which is in the Northern part of Kalimantan, it is a beautiful area once you leave the town and has pretty fun flying. As a base it is not one of my favorite, but that is another story.
For the week the flying has been pretty good. Our schedule here is the same every week, with the exception of catch-ups or charters being requested. I have 9 destinations that I fly to during the week and always start the day in Malinau. See the map above for a little more info.
I have had a couple days when flying to Binuang and Long Layu that have been pretty slippery, but it adds to the challenge of it all. If you follow me on Instagram I post a lot of stories where you can see the condition of the runways for the day. If you don’t, follow me here.
Every now and then I stay a little longer at the strips to have a Kopi (coffee) with the locals and just a quick chat. Doni, Binuangs manager, invited me for a coffee on Monday and gave me these very interesting fruits to try, they have the texture of a mango and the taste of a passion fruit. I love them, but the other pilots are not huge fans. These little rest are part of what makes this flying so great as I get to see a little more than just the runway:)
I had a small incident with the Malinau Tower on Tuesday. I got in trouble for taking off before “Operating Hours”, which is a ridiculous 08:00 Local time, and not getting clearance. It was a bit of a surprise for me as I am used to the South African way of things, and there you just treat it like an unmanned field. (correct me if I am wrong) Anyway I requested the documents so I could see for myself this rule that they have in place. The only reference to it is in local Airnav Law which states that I need to hand in a request to the ATC to take off before the operating hours at least one hour before departure time. This seems a like silly little bit of bureaucratic bullshit, but what can I do.
Otherwise I had a very wet and slightly slippery Long Suleh to deal with on Thursday. I was only able to descend from right above the runway where there was a clear hole that I could see the terrain. I managed to get in without any problem and just had to keep my turns nice and tight as to not fly into any low lying clouds. When I shut down there was not a soul in sight. The rain had kept the people away. After about 5 minutes people started appearing from the valley below and helped offload the plane. They told me that there had been flooding down in the village and that they were having to wade through knee high water. I took the time while more passengers made their way up form the village to the plane to walk to the bottom of the runway and see what I could see of the flooding. I love how the rain makes everything a little more vibrant and really made for a pleasant walk. I was given a couple pineapples and was then on my way without incident.
That has been pretty much it for the week. I am busy uploading a new video from Long Nawang as we speak so please go have a watch (HERE) and give it a like, if you don’t want to miss any future vids hit the subscribe button as well!