Flying

Outback Takeoff

It was my first flying job—the one you dreamed about having all your life. The one for which you strove, saved and worked so hard, and it was finally real. I had to leave my native New Zealand and move to the Australian Outback to get it, but that just made it all the more exciting, away from the familiar and out into the vastness of that huge sunburned country.

I was based on Elcho Island, off the north coast of Arnhem Land, about 200 miles to the east of Darwin. To say it is remote is an understatement. No roads, no shops, one radio station and one TV channel. At least we had a paved runway. Most of the airstrips

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