Skymaster Flying in Northern Australia
Contributed by Bruce and Alison
Brown. (Click picture for larger.)
Bruce and Alison Brown write:
Note the red soil. We make the airstrip ourselves
by carting red soil from nearby pits. The red soil is about 2 ft
below the soft sandy topsoil. It washes away after a couple of years
and we need to re-make our strip. Both my wife and I fly VH-CPJ
which we purchased from USA (Oregon) about 4 years ago. It was ferried
out to Australia for us. We had a Horton Stol kit and engine fire
extinguisher system fitted before it left the USA. Two new engines,
paint job and a new windscreen have since been fitted. I can advise
the American registration if anybody is interested.
We have a farm in the remote north of Australia and our closest
town and post office is 100 air miles away. It sure is good having
those two engines while flying over "tiger" country.
We do use our Aircraft to go into town which is Broome WA (I
believe the WA is here is Western Australia. -Ed). This is the
centre for the eleven farms which constitute the Australian cultured
pearl industry. It has been a pearling town since 1895. We also
use our aircraft to visit another cattle ranch we have which is
850 miles south of us at "Shark Bay". I guess unlike America
between our two properties there are only 4 towns. The largest has
a population of about 13,000 people, not too many alternate landing
places in this country although there are a number of unmarked dirt
strips on cattle and sheep ranches that we pass over. This is the
area of Australia of large ranches ranging from 200,000 acres to
1,500,000 acres in size. So our aircraft is used for business mainly,
but like most people we love flying the 337.
Australia's CASA has now posted an alert on the flap
cables however due to your site I was aware of it months ago.
Thanks. Keep up the good work.
Bruce & Alison