Maintenance flight

Our Pilatus Porter’s require maintenance every 100 hours and the one here in Sumbawa has run out of hours. The nearest company maintenance base is nearly 500nm away in Nusawiru, Pangandaran on the south west coast of Java. Nothing for it but a ferry flight then!

Lombok Airport (only 6 months old!)

From Sumbawa, my first port of call was Lombok to refuel and grab a bite to eat. Nice new airport here, just a shame they’ve built it in the middle of nowhere!

I always prefer to route direct from A to B when doing ferry flights but Indonesian ATC doesn’t quite get the idea of a VFR flight and insists on you following airways and way-points, even though you can be too low to actually be on the airway. Another annoyance is the Air Force taking a large chunk of airspace from south east Java’s skies for themselves, forcing me to route to the north of Java and the wrong side of the mountain ridges. At least the weather was being kind for this trip and offered not only relatively clear skies but also a cheeky little tailwind which cut the whole flight time to just over four and a half hours.

The distinctive nature reserve off the coast of Pangandaran

I got to Pangandaran late afternoon and caught the start of the sunset which was rather pleasant. I left the aircraft in the capable hands of our engineers who would be rather busy for the next few days by the sounds of what was required to be done during this inspection.

Pilatus Porter undergoing it’s inspection

Rather conveniently, the company’s VIP Cessna Caravan waiting for me at Nusawiru when I arrived. Ok it wasn’t actually waiting for me but the timing was perfect as it was on an empty leg and heading back to Jakarta. So I hopped on in search of the “civilisation” of Jakarta (I’m using civilisation in a comparable way to Sumbawa here).

I’m not much of a party person so other than browsing malls and eating, there’s not much else to do in Jakarta whilst you’re waiting for an aircraft to come out of maintenance. The dangerous thing is you end up spending money to fill time:

My new guitar, an Epiphone EJ-200

I couldn’t resist upgrading the old Yamaha I’ve been carting around with me for the last year so opted for the above. Should keep me entertained on those quiet days when not flying.

Matt Dearden

Matt Dearden

English born professional pilot, writer, blogger and columnist. Currently flying the Pilatus PC-6 Turbo Porter in Papua, Indonesia.

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2 Responses

  1. Just arrived to PND 😉

  2. Matt Dearden Matt Dearden says:

    Back in Sumbawa now. I was a little late getting this post up!

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