Tuesday, April 10, 2007

While we're talking about "interesting" situations.... this is my propeller de-ice boot after a night flight in bad weather. At some time previously, the boot had been struck by a rock or something like that, and the two layers of metal had been compressed together to cause a short. It happened that the first person to use the deice boots was me, and of course it happened in cloud at night. We had a real shower of sparks going, and the prop looked like a pinwheel. The doctor in the back noticed the sparks going down the fuselage past his window! Fortunately nothing more serious than a couple of hours fixing it the next day, but it could have been much more memorable if the boot had delaminated and caused an imbalance with the prop. That could easily have neccessitated an emergency landing (at night, in bad weather!). It pays not to dwell too much on some of these possibilities though....

Cracked windscreen

A little while ago, one of our pilots was taxying at Yalata Mission after a clinic, doing his checks and preparing for takeoff, when suddenly the windscreen shattered. As you see here, it is laminated and was therefore completely safe, but it nevertheless caused some worry at the time. I guess it was just the heat of the day and perhaps the movement of the aircraft that caused it. It is not the first to do this, but thankfully it is quite rare all the same.

The aircraft was flown back without passengers, at low level and unpressurized just in case the outer layer shattered too - this would cause the entire window to cave in of course. Fortunately, nothing more serious than a warm and bumpy trip - and a good story to tell.

Sunset at Port Augusta

Just one of the many beautiful sunsets here in "the bush". These photos were taken a couple of weeks ago when we had a lot of dust around and they certainly brightened up my day at the time...

More wildlife

Since we're talking about wildlife.... here are a couple of visitors we had a few months back. Walking along the airport access road - dad and chicks. I've not seen so many chicks before - I thought they just had one or perhaps two at a time. As you can see, they didn't worry too much about me clicking away at them. They just wandered about like they owned the place. I'm told by those that know, that this is the FATHER of the chicks, and that the mother probably would have left him just after laying the eggs. He's had to keep them warm until they hatched and rear the chicks now, while the mother has gone off looking for another mate to do it all over again.... not too certain about Emu morals!!

Just imagine KFC serving up Emu drumsticks.....