Melbourne to Longreach – a single pilot flying adventure

Ever since getting my Private Pilot’s License I’ve flown plenty of cross-country navigation trips. I’ve flown around New South Wales a fair amount, and more recently around country Victoria too, discovering new airfields and meeting new people along the way.

But apart from one trip a few years ago when I flew from Sydney to Milawa and stayed overnight, I’ve never done more than a day trip from my homebase airport. Out and back in a day, actually usually just in a morning. Seemed like a bit of a waste of a pilots license.

Earlier this year I passed my Instrument checkride and just prior to that got my certification to fly a Cirrus SR20 – an awesome IFR machine, healthy cruise speed, really comfortable, a lovely plane to fly.

Cirrus SR20
Expensive chair – the Cirrus SR20 that I’m flying from Melbourne to Longreach and back

I kinda figured that this all put me in a really privileged position, one that I’d worked hard for over 10 years, and it was really my duty to use these skills I’d acquired to properly get out there and see Australia.

So for the last few months I’ve been planning a trip to Longreach, the home of Qantas, to visit the Qantas Founders Museum and learn about our pioneering aviators. Plus to see the impressive range of aircraft located there including the Boeing 747 jumbo jet and Boeing 707.

Qantas Boeing 747 that I snapped at Sydney’s Kingsford Smith Airport

As well as the flight itself, I’ve also set myself the challenge to film the whole trip and daily vlog my way up and back. I’ve always enjoyed making movies, I love flying and travel, so it made sense to document the journey and share it on my YouTube channel.

Episodes 1 and 2 covering the planning phase are already live, you can watch them here:

Longreach Episode 1 – The Plan

Longreach Episode 2 – The Gear

 

Follow the Longreach adventure

I’d love to have you follow along with the trip, there are a few ways you can do this:

  1. be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel – Stefan Drury to watch the daily vlogs. There will be plenty of flying content with GoPros in the aircraft and air traffic control audio as I shoot approaches and fly through controlled airspace.
  2. I’ll also be live tweeting updates and posting live flight-tracking details on my Twitter account @stef747 so you can follow the flights live via GPS tracking from the cockpit
  3. And I’ll be posting photos from the trip on my Instagram account, stef747

The route

Check out Episode 1 – The Plan for full detail on the route I’m taking, but in a nutshell it’s:

  • Day 1: Melbourne Moorabbin – Parkes, NSW
  • Day 2: Parkes – Charleville, QLD
  • Day 3: Charleville – Longreach
  • Day 4: Qantas Founders Museum @ Longreach
  • Day 5: Longreach – Bourke, NSW
  • Day 6: Bourke – Griffith
  • Day 7: Griffith – Moorabbin

I’d love to hear your thoughts on my adventure, or if you have any questions about the trip, drop us a line in the comments, or tweet me @stef747, or send me a YouTube message… take your pick 🙂

Looking forward to having you along for the ride.

Stef

 

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