Online flying the Porter

It has been a week or so that I have been  flying the Porter now.

The first day I can say I was pretty nervous, I was confident I could fly the plane safely, but there is always a feeling that I am forgetting something or may do something wrong. After a thorough pre-flight I called for boarding, there was no going back now. I loaded in the pax and set out for my very first solo flight in the Porter. It was a rush!

The day went by pretty quickly as I slowly settled into the idea that I would be now flying this machine for hopefully the rest of my career in Susi Air.

I have done 7 days of flying so far, mainly the normally Perinitis routes and have done 2 coffin charters. The flying out of Merauke only gets nice once I reach my first destination and beyond, the view for the first 45 minutes is nothing to write home about because of the ever growing palm plantations. After a hour though the landscape really changes and it becomes very wet and swampy, bright green fields are cut by black rivers which make for a spectacular view. The forest also becomes more dense, with a lot more bird life and things to see. The strips get a little smaller and a few that I go into are grass, which can get very slippery if wet.

That I think has been the biggest challenge so far, landing on a wet grass runway, with a plane that I am still getting used to, takes up every ounce of concentration I have. Braking actions pretty much gets reduced to zero and I have to rely on reverse thrust to help me slow down. Keeping the plane straight on a slippery runway is also no walk in the park, but so far I have managed, but I do know that I dare not get complacent as I am sure it will bite me in the arse!

I have also learnt that tar runways in a Tailwheel plane are very unforgiving if you do not land straight. I have had one not so straight landing which almost caught me out, I managed to keep it on the runway and walked away having learnt a very valuable lesson. I make sure they are straight now!

Another change that I am getting used to is flying single crew again. Particularly on the longer flights I do miss being able to have a chat with the person next to me. To fix this I have loaded my phone with many podcasts and plenty music to keep myself entertained. It also give me plenty time to think.

On my last flight to Suru-Suru, a grass strip close to the mountains, I was gifted a chicken by the village. I can imagine that this is quite a great gesture by them as this could feed a few people. I gratuitously accepted the gift and had a companion for the rest of the days flying😉 The cock had been given to me in a cardboard box with a hole on one side where he could stick his head out of, it was a pretty funny sight! I decided to keep him in the garden behind our house only to regret it a few hours later when he decided it was a good time to crow and 0130 in the morning. I promptly gave him to one of our ground crew the next morning. I didn’t have the heart to eat him, so better give him away. These little things that happen are why I love flying in this part of the world!

Well internet is still down here, I will get this one out as soon as possible. But for now it is almost the beginning of a new week and new adventures!

Flight time for the week:

27.2 hrs

Route:

Day 1 – WAKK to KAM to EWE to KAM to WAKK
Day 2 – WAKK to KAM to EWE to KAM to EWE to KAM to WAKK
Day 3 – WAKK to ABG to WAKK
Day 4 – WAKK to KAM to EWE to SUR to EWE to KAM to WAKK
Day 5 – WAKK to KEP to ABG to KEP to WAKK
Day 6 – WAKK to KEP to WAKK
Day 7 – WAKK to KAM to EWE to SUR to EWE to KAM to WAKK

4 Comments on “Online flying the Porter”

  1. Cheers, Mike! I ‘m sure things will get easier for you, since time goes on and you’ll get used flying the Porter. Meanwhile, don’t forget to add some proper subtitles to your photos, as you used to do, and to give us the airstrip s’mores names, along with their idea. Thanks. Enjoy it and stay safe.

  2. Thanks for sharing. Saw a video of a SA chap on YouTube and recognised the accent of a felloe South African instantly. Started following you. Love your videos and content. Hope to see many more in future.

    1. Thanks Bryan, glad you enjoyed it:) I haven’t put out much content lately, but plan to change that.
      Cheers,
      Mike

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.