at , Brisbane, 4051 Australia
Australian seaplane adventures operate private tours by seaplane throughout Australia
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XWW recovery has gone well and just in the nick a time. Gordon and myself borrowed a friend\'s RV6 and flew from Brisbane to William Creek 900 Nautical miles in just 6 1/2 hours. Ben from Professional helicopter services and his Bell long-range which was being ferried from Melbourne to Ayres Rock, arrived William Creek at last light on 27th May about the same time as the rain started falling. The plan is to sling my XWW out first thing in the morning, (weather permitting) for anyone who doesn\'t know William Creek is one of the driest towns in Australia, lucky to get any rain at all. Especially this time of year. Anyway were up early the next morning to a constant drizzle of rain. Which were hoping hasn\'t affected the recovery site. The only luck I am having so far is that there is another helicopter on hand, Phillip Island helicopter services have a Robinson 44 out at William Creek doing some filming for a Tyre company. I am able to acquire their assistance for the recovery mission as well. Plan A was both helicopters to fly out set up sling and then fly back, however with the rain we opt for Plan B, the 3-D\'s.. That is David the helicopter pilot and David the copilot and me David XWW pilot. We fly out first to prepare the aircraft and set the sling ready for Ben in the long-ranger. We arrive at the site to find that strong wind over the last two months had blown the nose windscreen and half the dashboard of the aircraft off damaging wiring and instruments.. Bugger... Anyway no time to cry, we decided the night before not to remove the wings but to cut the fabric out of the wings to avoid any chance of XWW wanting to take flight again. Everything is ready just as we hear the long ranger arriving, just enough time to attach on the drogue which was a piece of rope tied to a bush hanging off the tail of XWW to keep it flying straight. Something we forgot to do last time. Ben carefully lifts XWW and everything is looking good, then heads for William Creek a trip of 55 Nautical miles. We clean up the site and get airborne shortly afterwards our feet are covered in sticky clay mud, we knew this was going to happen so we bought small garbage bags to put over our feet not to mess up the interior of the 44. We are soon airborne and catch up to Ben in the long ranger, he is travelling at 45 kn and XWW is travelling quite well although swaying around a little, we hang around long enough to take some photos and a short video. The three days then head to William Creek to prepare to receive XWW. Heading back the rain starts to get heavier. Back at William Creek a crowd has gathered the whole town is there all 12, and about as many tourists. The landing all goes to plan an XWW is now ready to have the wings removed and be loaded on a boat trailer that Vaun has purchased in Port Augusta. The rain is becoming more persistent we pack up and head to the pub for a beer and a meal. Won\'t get a better pub meal anywhere! The next day we hope to fly back to Brisbane and leave Vaun to drive the trailer with XWW undertow for the 30+ hours back to Brisbane. The weather has a different plan, we get to the airport and the heavens open up once again, let’s wait a couple hours and see what happens... by 3 o’clock we pull the pin and head back to the pub better luck tomorrow. The next day no change to the weather same scenario so back to the pub. Day five the weather finally breaks and Gordon and myself are airborne heading back to Brisbane, we fly over the crash site, to our surprise it is underwater. And the lake has about a 70% coverage of water. This is a very rare occasion when local rain fills the lake, generally the water comes down rivers fed hundreds of miles north of the lake. Normally the lake fills only every 10 years after major flooding up north. Anyway in the super quick RV6 we are home in six hours. With all the rain the roads in and out of William Creek have been closed for five days and only reopened today 2 of June. Vaun has left and on his way… 8.30 5th June Vaun has made it to my home in Brisbane!!! Super effort. So happy!!!