The SHORTEST runway I’ve ever landed on


600 metres that’s like six 100-meter
running tracks now there’s a better way to… The runway we’re taking off from
today Moorabbin okay that’s 1,200 meters so that’s twice as long taking off on a
runway twice as long than the one which I’ve got to land. Now okay some of you experienced pilots
out there might be fine with this and a lot of you bush pilots the people who
fly in the outback who like land on beaches and all sorts of awesome things
like that you guys will be fine. You’ll be like ‘600 meters that’s massive’. But I
don’t fly a bush plane I fly this quite high performance fast SR22 and whilst it
might like going high and fast sometimes it doesn’t like going slow and grass so
yeah we’ll ending on a grass strip today. 600 metres. But this is actually quite a short
flight the strip we’re going to is only around 15 minutes away from
here in Moorabbin. I’m actually gonna go visit an old friend of mine if you’ve
watched the channel for a while the person I’m gonna go see today, and the airplane that he flies I reckon they’ll be pretty familiar to you. Echo Yankee Zulu Southern Sun. Southern Sun, Echo Yankee Zuel. How are you Michael? All good mate, was that you that just flew over? Negative I am five miles to you currently to your North East at the moment. Okay no worries got it so sorry that was someone
else just by chance. Yeah but look absolutely take your time, do a circuit have a good look at it but I think you’ll be happy when you
get here. Yeah let me do a circuit I’ll do a right-hand circuit for
two three then I’ll let you know what I’m gonna do. Yep and just remember
absolutely no pressure just you know make sure you comfortable. Yeah Roger
that thank you mate, appreciate it. All else fails I know Avalon very well
I could get a cab from there. All right well there’s the airfield. Tterrain ahead
pull up pull up pull up pull up pull up pull up pull up Well that terrain warning is annoying. Echo Yankee Zulu Southern Sun. How you feeling? Yeah feel alright those trees
are pretty tall at the end but I was high on that one and I’m gonna try
another one and yes here we go but yeah I’ll see how we go. “Underspeed” All right perfect. Michael! Okay I told
you you’re watching as we were coming in that I was gonna meet someone
you would recognize if you’ve watched the channel. Last time we spoke and I
think the last video we put together was your round-the-world trip? Oh yeah
that would make sense. A little bit pensive coming in here because it’s the first
grass strip I’ve landed Echo Yankee Zulu on it was actually fine it’s actually
quite a long distance. You pulled up by halfway yeah so we’re gonna have a quick chat. But the other thing that you’ll probably
recognize if you have watched the previous video with Michael is the other, the real star of the story is , no-one wants to see us it’s the planes! Yeah she’s the one who did it. This story that we want to tell you
about this starts almost exactly a hundred years ago almost exactly (phone rings) sorry… Because almost a hundred years ago the Australian government they set up
something called the great air race and the idea was to see if it was possible
to fly an aircraft from the UK to Australia. Prime Minister Billy Hughes
his challenge was the first Australians to fly a British aeroplane, was all very parochial back then, to Australia would win 10,000 pounds. So Keith and Ross Smith two brothers settled on a Vickers Vimy which was a
bomber from World War two it actually went on to be the first plane to cross
the Atlantic and it was a quite a suitable plane. It was a twin-engine
quite large but it was an open cockpit. They weren’t the first plane to leave
but others crashed unfortunately a few people died but they ended up being the
first ones to make it all the way back to Australia. They landed on December the
10th in Darwin but one of the most interesting things on that flight is not
only did they manage to fly all the way to Australia but as they left England
someone handed them a bag of mail and said now if you get to Darwin pop this
in the post, so that became the first airmail to actually come to Australia. I
didn’t know that part. It was not just a big news in Australia it was big news
all around the world and I’ve got something to show you. Have you? Yes.
You’ve got props! This is the March 1921 National Geographic and this trip was
such a big deal that the entire issue is dedicated to
this trip. I’m going to retrace this trip picking up a new plane soon, the new
Southern Sun, and I’ll fly out of London and not only will I follow the route but
I’ll take as many of the same photos that they did that I can. Michael’s
recreating this leg so it’s not just us standing here. Ah yes that’s true! Yeah, which
is huge we don’t want to under play that component. So Michael will be flying from
London back to Australia I was going to say again but you haven’t done
it that way before? No you went from Australia out to London. My first time flying eastbound. Another part of this story is where you come in. Wrigley and
Murphy were two aviators who set out from Point Cook to meet the Smith
Brothers when they landed in Darwin. You’re going to retrace that
flight. That’s my part of this whole exercise! So whilst the Smith Brothers
were flying down and arriving in Darwin on December the 10th, Wrigley and Murphy
who are flying up which is the flight that I’ll be recreating they were flying
from Point Cook in Melbourne which is only about 25 miles in that direction. Up
to Darwin to help kind of assess potential landing sites the best routes
that should be taken and just kind of almost breaking the ground for the Smith
Brothers and everyone to fly then on from Darwin… The idea is, oh it’s I hope
you’re playing along at home… So I fly from Point Cook over a couple days up to
Darwin, meet Michael when he arrives there on December the 10th, and then
there’s another leg. But I reckon let’s save that one because there’s a big
event it’s going to be announced in the future around retracing that trip…
Can you tell he works in the film industry! Do you like that cliffhanger! Now flying up to Darwin in December any
of you who know a little bit about Australia and aviation and maybe
especially meteorology, now that’s wet season! You got any tips? Look what I
found on the way home on my circumnavigation I was flying through
that part of the world quite late in the season but the thing about those storms
you get lots of cells but you can see them very clearly ahead. What I tend to
find up in that part of the world is you’re more likely to see the cells and
off in the distance and you know you’ll see some big nasty stuff but you kind of
see it coming and you can either go in you know land somewhere or often just
divert you know 10 15 miles around it. So my advice would be have plenty of fuel.
What are some of the things that you have to contend with with your flight
then so you’re going you’re covering much greater distances than I am. The
longest leg I’ll be doing is about 1,200 miles so that’s not too bad that’s
shorter than what I had to do with Southern Sun and also… I was gonna say what was
the longest you did in this? 1600 nautical miles 1600 nautical I just
think about that for a second. At 80 knots!
Any other tips from a seasoned pilot? Well look seeing you land in a couple
hundred meters on a grass strip tells me that you’ve got that side of the plane
down but you know I think the long flights are an interesting one. So you
know first thing you need to get yourself a red bottle. And then I noticed
you don’t have an opening window so you might need a bigger bottle! Take lots of
small snacks that you can eat along the way so that you feel comfortable and be
patient. You know the great advice that Burke Mees isthe legendary Grumman pilot
out in the Aleutian Islands you know he said to me just just be patient. If
you have to stop for two or three days you’ll get there. You know people fly
commercial pilots fly all over the world in bad areas all year round but they
just have to be patient. So apply that patience and you know don’t if you’re
going to be late it doesn’t matter. And you are the first visitor
to Roswell Airstrip. Do I get a badge or something? Or a plaque? How about
you sign the hangar. I can sign the hanger let’s do it! I’ll do that next
time I come back. See you in Darwin.
Okay see you on the 10th.

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