LAKE EYRE SAFARI–SAFE PLANNING CONSIDERATIONS & REGS
Please consider all the points below when planning trips like this (e.g. into designated remote areas):
1 .Pilot-in Command qualifications….If you are not independent L2, the club’s safari leader must take responsibility for your weather briefings and S.A.R. arrangements. Your best bet here is to fly in close company (visually and/or radio).
2. Each aircraft must carry a written weather appreciation which is current and relevant to the track you fly. Beware Casa ramp check!
3. S.A.R. …know/use the nearest available Flightwatch frequency (see ERSA) or maintain close company and carry each others SAR …be sociable on ,say,122.7……but remember to change to CTAF at around 10 min. fly-time from destination A.D… If you carry radio, calls are mandatory
4. Each plane must carry ELT, ELB, or EPIRB in a designated remote area (or carry and be able to use HF radio).
5. Radio …..whilst on chat channel, can one a/c also listen out on area frequency for traffic and the like….and relay to the group. Please remember that position reports/inbound calls go:
- who you are talking to;
- who you are;
- where & how high you are and
- your intentions.
6. Maps (current) must be carried in each aircraft…WAC & ERC. AUSPCA is really valuable too. A current ERSA should also be carried….even if modified for the trip. Beware Casa ramp check!
7. A working Compass and timepiece….mandatory.
8 GPS fantastic but never mandatory….confirm everything on your map. On your track lines, mark times as landmarks are reached or time intervals completed…you never know when the GPS or its batteries may fail. Knowing time and distance to run is everything!
9. Weight and balance calculations should be made and acted upon. This has to be right for safety’s sake.
10. Where possible carry light spares, universal tools, oil, glad wrap and zip ties for emergencies.
12. Don’t forget tie-down gear and canopy cover…light ones!
13. When Lake Eyre is wet –it’s big. Consider safe gliding distance to land.
14. Airfield knowledge….know its: runway length and direction, surface, condition, elevation, special procedures, permission, land phone availability….as well as FUEL availability and limitations.
15. Know TAS (which is IAS + 1.5% IAS per 1000’) as this helps with calculating wind speeds at different altitudes.
16. Calculate glide distance to run at the end of each leg (i.e. when to switch off and glide in….fun and saves money).
17. Securely immobilise your parked aircraft. Add canopy and sign indicating that a/c is so immobilised!……Beware CASA ramp check!
18. Carry first aid, emergency rations and water….just in case! (I used to have trouble when Carol enjoyed her in-flight snacks especially the yogurt covered muesli bars!).
19. When you arrive expect a huge number of aviators to be there too…..each with a different idea on how to conduct their ops and which frequency to chat on. Casa people, showing concern, may have a notam promulgated which outlines a unicom frequency to use in the Lake Eyre vicinity….it may be found with NAIPS weather or phone and ask the briefing office (1800 805 150)
Making the above considerations will do no harm to your flying reputation……promise.
Have fun…fly safe…have more fun…..