Long road back to Wamena

Well, it’s been a long time since I have done any proper bush flying (about a month to be precise!) but things are slowly working out for me as I find myself back in the bush pilot’s paradise of Wamena. I’ve actually been back in Indonesia, after my holidays, since the beginning of the month but for various reasons I am only just getting back to proper flying duties. Below is a little map of where I’ve been over the past couple of weeks and as you can see it’s been a rather convoluted journey to get back here to Wamena:

Route from Jakarta to Wamena

Route from Jakarta to Wamena

Arriving into Biak from Jakarta at the beginning of the month, I was tasked with flying one of our Porters from there to Sentani. This time of year we always get strong westerly winds which made the near 300nm trip much shorter than usual, coming in at only 1.8hrs which is blood good for a Porter!

The following day in Sentani, then flew that same aircraft to Tanah Merah where it was swapped out with an aircraft from Merauke which I then flew back to Sentani for it’s regular 100 hours maintenance inspection. I then sat in Sentani on standby for a week awaiting my next task which finally came last weekend.

So I then flew a different Porter from Sentani to Nabire where it was expected I’d be flying from for the foreseeable future. And those strong westerly winds made the 300nm trip last just over three hours. Thankfully I had some company as a fellow pilot from our Caravan fleet was hitching a ride. Sadly, due to ongoing contact negotiations, there’s still no flying from Nabire though. Despite this, I was told to wait there on standby, just in case, for a few days but finally I was told yesterday to take the aircraft up to Wamena and remain there for now. As there was some cargo to take to Mulia (see below), I dropped in there on the way across to Wamena. It was great to get to fly along The Freeway from Nabire again amongst the mountains.

Two new scooters via airmail delivery to Mulia, Papua

Two new scooters via airmail delivery to Mulia, Papua

So here I am back in Wamena and set to fly from here for the rest of the month. But that’ll probably all change again tomorrow!

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. bulan says:

    Matt, why did they buy motorcycle? Why don’t they ride horse? Isn’t the land there mountainous?

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