First of all, if you are reading this and a pilot and looking for a job, Susi Air is Hiring!
Anyway lets get into it!
It has now been almost 4 months of flying the Pilatus Porter and I have amassed 160 hrs on the machine. I can happily say it has been the best decision I have made in regard to the direction I want to go in, I am loving it! I have, which I am sure you have noticed, been very slack with keeping this blog updated. This is for many reasons, the main one being is I have been setting up a new business doing surf charters to the Mentawai islands (Check it out HERE), but that is mostly running now and I can commit more time into the blog and hopefully a weekly video (but no promise).
The flying has been amazing. I have had my moments of complete fear and adrenaline, all of which I managed well and have come out learning more. I am getting more confident and am able to bring the plane in at a lot lower speed, this helps for the landing particularly on wet short runways. I am also just learning to use my feet a lot more and keep the plane in balance at all times, although I still find myself having to check the ball just to make sure.
The thing I do miss is the company, as much as I like flying by myself it can get pretty lonely on the longer legs, anything over 30 min can be pretty slow. So to combat this I have a few things I do. First is music and podcasts, I always update my podcasts with at least 10 episodes that I can listen to throughout the day, my favourite being Radiolab and the music is just from Google Music which I just update every now and then. Another way to keep busy is to chat to the other planes from our company if there are any in the vicinity, we have a special frequency that we use and which I use a lot. Lastly if there is someone off for the day in the base I convince them to come for a ride, we try not take passengers in the front right seat, mainly for the safety issue, so a lot of the time there is space for another pilot to just hop in and come keep me company.
On the lifestyle side I have been moving between two bases, Merauke and Malinau. There are positives and negatives with both of them but on a whole really not bad. The people that are permanent at both are really nice, so it makes the tour easy and enjoyable. My days are also not very long, most days I am finished before lunch time and at least 3 hours before the Caravan guys, this gives me plenty of time to work on other things or just rest:)
The flying in Malinau is by far better than Merauke, this is mainly due to the strips. Malinau has some beautiful dirt strips which I fly into every day which keeps it all very exciting and challenging. Merauke on the other hand has the scenery, bright green marsh lands with dark rivers crisscrossing in between, but I am here more for the flying, so Malinau wins:)
That is it for now!
Until next time,