AOPA Kimberleys Air Safari Underway

, Places to Fly, Member Fly Away UpdatesAOPA Kimberleys Air Safari Underway

AOPA Kimberleys Air Safari Underway

August 15, 2019 By Kreisha Ballantyne
And they're off! KREISHA BALLANTYNE catches up with the AOPA Kimberley Air Safari participants. Images by Dianne Fielding
The AOPA 2019 Kimberley’s Air Safari has taken off! A total of 13 aircraft, comprising of an RV7, 3 Cessna 182s, Sling2, Tiger AG-5B,  Cherokee Six PA32-300, Cessna 172, two...

The AOPA 2019 Kimberley’s Air Safari has taken off!

A total of 13 aircraft, comprising of an RV7, 3 Cessna 182s, Sling2, Tiger AG-5B,  Cherokee Six PA32-300, Cessna 172, two Beech A36s and two Lancairs IV have departed from various locations, meeting in Katherine on Saturday.

Departing from Bankstown was Andrew Andersen and crew in his C182, Glen Hughes in the RV7, Chris Muller in the Cherokee Six and Carolyn Perry and her husband in the C172. Mark Muller and crew are joining the safari from a private strip in Darwin in their C182, while Jennifer Graham and crew departed from Essendon in her Beech Bonanza. Gary Burns, owner of Hangar House, departed from Mudgee, while Daryl Jones departed from x the Sunshine Coast – both in their magnificent Lancair IVs.

Most of the teams met up in Barclay Homestead on Friday, before coming together in Katherine on Saturday to mark the official departure point of the trip. All aircraft departed ahead of the nasty cold front in the south east, avoiding conditions which would have certainly kept them on the ground.

AOPA Kimberley Safari 2019 participants all meet up for the first time in Katherine having a dinner to make the start of the safari.

Sunday night feature activity was the Nabili Dreaming Sunset Dinner Cruise –  a candle-lit three course dinner against the magnificent backdrop of the Nitmiluk Gorge.  Monday saw the groups split: a third headed to the Bungle Bungles and the remainder to Home Valley Station. It was an early departure for those going to the World Heritage listed Bungle Bungles, in order to make the Cathederal Gorge guided walk at 10:30 am. Fortunately, the group took advantage of the border crossing into Western Australia, where they gained 1:30 due to change in time zones.

Condobolin aeroclub

For those travelling to the iconic Home Valley Station, departure was more leisurely, with a possible fuel stop on the way at Kununurra. Home Valley Station is located close to the mighty Pentecost River, at the foot of the majestic Cockburn Range. The two night stay provides an opportunity to enjoy the ultimate outback experience, exploring the landscape on one of the five self-guided walking trails that starts from the station homestead. For fishermen (and women) there is also the option of a fishing charter with a fine chance the catch of the day being a barramundi.

Departing Broken Hill Airport for William Creek

Stay tuned for updates as the group progresses from Home Valley and the Bungles Bungles to Derby and Cignet Bay, and then on to Drysdale River Station.

Departing Bankstown Wednesday, VH-JZJ and VH-CDK from the AOPA Australia office. Chris Muller, Jack Hammer, Dianne Hammer, Mike Parry, Carolyn Parry, Ted, Colin Jones.
After a good night rest packing up VH-JZJ for a days flying to William Creek
Lakes to the east of Forbes Aerodrome.
Crew Selfie – VH-OPA – Andrew Anderson, Kerrie Allsop, Mike Allsop
VH-JZJ Crew photo before leaving Bankstown. Carolyn Parry, Mike Parry, Dianne Hammer.
Departing Forbes to Condobolin for first refuel

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Kreisha Ballantyne

Kreisha’s experience across various sectors of the aviation industry reflect her passion for general aviation. In previous editorial roles at AOPA Australian Pilot, Sport Pilot and AirSport, Kreisha has had the privilege of flying in – and writing about -a multitude of aircraft types, from a powered parachute to a PC12. Kreisha is currently a feature writer for Australian Flying magazine, as well as CASA’s Flight Safety Australia. As a private pilot, Kreisha has experienced an incredible array of aviation adventures, including flying solo across Australia in heels and lipstick to influence young female pilots; wing-walking on a vintage Stearman; flying in New Zealand, the UK, the USA and Austria; and interviewing a diverse and incredible cross-section of aviators. Now in her tenth year in the industry, she is delighted to continue her passion for writing about aviation as one of AOPA’s new digital editors.

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