After the initial offer to join the Pilatus Porter fleet in August 2011, I was told I needed to get a tailwheel endorsement. To jump straight onto a Porter as a first tailwheel type would require a lot more additional training than my company was willing to front. So I booked myself up a Supercub course at Clacton Aero Club in Clacton-on-Sea in the UK who were fantastic and got me flying the Cub in no time. If you’ve never flown a Cub, add it to your list. It really is a wonderful aircraft to fly and I hope one day to go and play with one in some proper backcountry in the States (feel free to get in touch with any recommendations folks!).
Upon returning to Indonesia I went back out to Papua to learn to fly the Pilatus Porter with our in-house instructor and resident Pilatus Porter instructor, Sven Imsand. It took about a week and a lot of touch and goes to get confident in flying it, including landing on a few of the mountain strips of Papua which was a real privilege and finished with a DGCA (Indonesian CAA) check-ride to get the rating put on my licence.
Once I had the Porter rating on my licence I was sent up to a little village called Malinau in Northern Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo) where I then did some further strip training into the various airstrips up there. It was around about this time that I started this blog. If you’d like to read from the very beginning, I suggest you start with this post here on the Wet Season. Otherwise, please have a browse around and enjoy my Bush Flying Diaries!