End of an era: the last month of IndoPilot

For those of you who know me, the following news won’t come as too much of a surprise. For the rest of you reading this, it just might. There is no easy way to say this so I’ll just cut to the chase:

September 2016 will be my last month flying in Indonesia.

I’ll just let that sink in for a moment.

After nearly seven years out in Indonesia I have achieved far more than I ever intended to. I came out here with the intention of staying for a couple of years to build up some hours before heading back home to Europe to go and fly for one of the airlines. However something happened when I got to Indonesia; I fell in love. I fell in love with the people, the flying, the Pilatus Porter, Papua and the madness of living in one of the world’s last frontiers. It has been an absolute blast but if I’m honest I have been yearning for a bit of normality and, more importantly, a new challenge for a while now.

But don’t worry, I have not gone off to an airline but something much more interesting and in keeping with my flying experience. I did flirt with the idea but I have lost count now of the number of seasoned airline folk I have met who have all tried to put me off the idea for one reason or another! The main thing for me however is I will be able to come back home to the UK now. This will allow me to establish that more normal life I have been yearning for whilst still doing some interesting and challenging flying. I will also be able to get back into the UK GA scene and of course do more warbird flying with the Catalina. And as an added bonus, it will be nice to have passengers who wear a few more items of clothing!

The Future

I will be combining this blog with my personal website http://mattdearden.co.uk to continue to keep a diary of my adventures so don’t worry, I’m not going to abandon it. I’ll also continue to write my column for Flyer Magazine for the foreseeable future and I might even get roped into giving a seminar or two on my adventures, so keep an eye out for that(!) In the mean time however, I will stay active on Twitter and Facebook and bring you my last few weeks of flying in the world’s last frontier here in Papua, Indonesia.

Happy looking locals posing with the first aircraft to land on their new airstrip

Happy looking locals posing with the first aircraft to land on their new airstrip

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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18 Responses

  1. Jerry says:

    Just to say a big thanks for all the posts from Papua. I am sure that there are many others like me who have greatly enjoyed the photos and videos, and who have enjoyed sharing the highs and lows and the adventures. After 7 years a change will be good, so all the best for the ‘new’ career. Thanks again for the great posts. Smooth landings.
    Jerry

    jeritilley.wordpress.com

  2. Jorge says:

    Hi Matt. For quite a long time when I think about how rich could be a pilot’s life, I don’t think about stock investments or bank accounts, even though these seem to be the main thing that counts for an airline pilot. Your name has become one of the references about how my targets should have been focused when I started flying. Today as a senior captain on a major mid east airline, I hope I can keep reading your blogs and those from pilots who were able to fullfill a dream with real stick and rudder skills. Dreaming is priceless. Thank you.
    Jorge

  3. Novi Otten says:

    Good luck Matt and enjoy your next adventures! 🙂

  4. sue says:

    Thanks Matt for the many hours of enjoyment you have given to people who follow your blog. I had a feeling the end was nigh for flying in Indonesia. I was particularly interested in the finding the ring and subsequently the descendents. I hope your new job gives you the challenges you are craving. Can’t wait to see what that is good luck to you and thanks.

  5. Alex Van Steen says:

    Thanks for the ride! You’ve allowed me to hang in there with you and see so much more of Papua and its people than I ever would have on my own. You are an engaging writer. All the best on your next adventure.

  6. Dave Warren says:

    Hate to hear that you are leaving Indonesia, I have thoroughly enjoyed reading about your adventures there, but I can also understand that it is time to move on. That time has come for me as well. I am an A&P/IA/and Private pilot. I am working on returning to Alaska. It has been ten years since I have left there and am longing to return. It is such a beautiful place, and like you said about Indonesia, I feel that it is also one of the last frontiers. Best of luck to you in your new endeavors! I will be looking forward to seeing what you are up to in the future.

  7. Joel Johnson says:

    Thanks mate! It’s been a blast for many of us, and we wish you the very best in your relocate 🙂
    Cheers!

  8. Jeff RIVIERE says:

    Dear Mr. DEARDEN,
    I wanted you to know how much you made me dream. And I discovered the PC6, my prefered aircraft with the TwinOtter
    Please keep the good pilot’s life ans stories, and take care of yourself.
    Best regards from Reunion Island
    Jeff

  9. Joe and Yolanda Rivera says:

    Matt, thanks for the great blog, pictures, and videos. You have inspired many to Aviation, and I pray for your continued success in your career.

    Blue Skies, Mate!!

  10. Hey man, good luck on your next quest, thanks for the reports you made and all the flying tips, that is precious.
    Cheers from Brazil.
    Miguel.

  11. Jerzy says:

    Hi Matt,
    For several years, growing in me a passion for aviation.
    When I found your blog, I knew that my life did not go in the right direction. Your videos and photos helped me forget about the difficult moments in my everyday life. And the music, fits perfectly.
    Thank you for these wonderful pictures. I wish I could like you to experience the adventure.
    I wish you with all my heart good luck in this new stage of your life.
    Sorry for my English.
    Best Regards from Poland.
    Jerzy

  12. Annemiek van der Corput says:

    It’s been awesome following your adventures in Papua. You stood out head and shoulders in the TV series, which is how I discovered your blog. It was obvious that you cared about the people you served and enjoyed learning about their culture. Your job was much more than just a paycheck and a way to get hours. And I’m so thankful for the time you took to share your experiences with the world. How else would we have learned about these fascinating people. It was a rare glimpse into a world otherwise hidden and unknown. Thanks also for the stunning visuals! I bookmarked your website and wish you all the best with your new adventures.
    From California, Annemiek

  13. brez says:

    Ah man sad news, but can dig it – thanks for a great ride..

  14. Marco says:

    good luck man! greetings from Italy.

  15. Adam says:

    Matt, it’s been great following your adventures and getting a peek into the fantastic frontier world through your eyes. Wish you all the best in your new challenge and may you find happiness in the “more normal” life back in UK.
    Blue skies mate!

  16. Congratulations on all your achievements over the past 7 years of flying in Indonesia Matt, and all the best for your flying future, where ever that may take you. I first came to know of you in the Youtube “Suzie Air” episodes, and have been following your exploits on Twitter ever since. I can understand why you fell in love with the Pilatus Porter, they are such a robust utility aircraft, the working man’s Cessna 208 Caravan.

    Thank you for sharing all your adventures in such an open and honest way, and I look forward following you via your website.

    Cheers, and Blue Skies.

  17. xavier says:

    merci pour tout depuis si longtemps .

  18. irra says:

    Dear Matt,

    I only found about you this morning through an article on CNN. Somehow looking at the clip of you flying the Papua people was a very indescribable feeling for me.

    Terimakasih, Matt for your dedication through those years. Salah satu masalah di Papua adalah transportasi and you’re one of (not so many) people helping this problem.

    Saya sedikit terharu melihat rakyat Papua tersenyum di pesawatmu. Walaupun hanya beberapa menit, saya yakin itu sangat berarti buat mereka. I’ve never been to Papua and I’m willing to do so in the future. Orang Papua terkenal sangat murah senyum 🙂

    Terimakasih, Matt. Good luck in your future endeavors.

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