Briefly back in the jungle

Now back in the jungles of Malinau, it was straight back into the swing of things flying the subsidised schedule. Along with simply flying the Porter, I also flew with the company’s newest Porter pilot to help him get familiar with some of the airstrips of the area.

Approach into the new airstrip at Mahak Baru

As well as flying with the new guy, my bosses also wanted some information on the new airstrip currently being built at Mahak Baru. As it’s not complete yet, I didn’t land on it but went into the old airstrip and got a lift over to it. By air it’s less than a mile from the old one but it took us a good 10 minutes to get there by “road”. I say road, but it was more like a dirt track (well, it is in the jungle!).

Mahak Baru local with his pet monkey

Nothing unusual there but what did catch me by surprise was my driver, and his pet monkey. He was only a year old (the monkey that is) and was making some pretty strange noises on the drive over to the new airstrip. I couldn’t tell if he liked me or not but his owner was friendly enough.

Just another day in the jungle meeting new friends

The new airstrip looked in great condition and should drain well after the standard heavy rain showers were get here. It will certainly make operations much safer than the old one once it’s open.

New airstrip at Mahak Baru

After only three days in Malinau I got a phonecall I’d been hoping to get from my fleet manager. I was told to pack up all my stuff and head to the other side of the country to be evaluated for a new position in the company over there. If I pass, I’ll get to stay so check back soon as hopefully I’ll have some exciting news!

All my bags are packed but where will I go?
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. Where’s the guitar and bike? Can’t go without those with no radio or TV to entertain you in your off times.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Great pics, and I guess a great job as well.. I was wondering if you know of any strip near Tembak (around 3 hrs driving from Sintang). My friend and I will go to Indonesia, and I will be placed in Datah Dian, while my friend will stay in Tembak, but we would really like to see eachother, so we guessed flying would be the fastest way..

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