Aliens into the sky

Aliens into the sky

Thinking on my flight from Cocos into Port Hedland


Port Hedland was my first ever time in continental Australia.

It is somehow, an isolated place, a link to the world, from the inside of the earth itself.

Huge amounts of minerals are extracted underground and exported mainly into Korea and China. A full industry is installed there, and everything is related with.

A huge port, it is said the biggest in the world for that purpose, is plenty of gigantic cargo ships, some around 200 meters long. Height are about 20 or more levels building.

Minerals are loaded fast, but there are so huge, that it takes an eternity to have the job done.


Step by step, the ship starts sinking, and sinking, until the full load is complete. I feel really astonished with the engineers that design so long and heavy ships, that easily can have their center in the middle of the sea swell, without being broken in halves

For me, staying at Port Hedland, a weekend where everything is closed an with no car, left few options: rest and walk.

A few hundred meters from the hotel, was a small spot where people expend hours relaxing and fishing. It was funny to see a couple of Chinese people catching many fishes, and while the other, just kept trying.


One was a local guy, using so big hooks, that only huge fishes could bait it and get caught.

He told me that some small sharks have been fished there, and also…crocodiles !!!!


It was funny to meet many spaniards at the hotel restaurant. Most were from Bilbao area. Nice people! They were related with the maintenance of a train that carry the minerals. I had to tell them that I didn´t have ¨los ocho apellidos vascos¨ !

The next day I was invited to stay with them at the beach, but I had to do so many things with the computer that I had to decline their kind offer. Thank you, guys!

It was time to leave, and I prepared myself for an early get up. The room telephone rang at around 7 am…. I was wondering who could it be.

Carol was ready to pick me out into the airport ! That was very kind and nice ! ( thank you again, Carol !).

So some 45 minutes later, I had everything packed inside my bags and my stomach !

Once at the airport, everything was straightforward, but I took some time to refuel.

Some Australian airports use special refuel cards, like Air BP, Shell, Mobil, but I didn´t have any of those.

The local refuel guy, Shane, was not returning finally from Perth, so he had Michelle to take care of me. They were going to provide their help charging their own card and them having me to pay them that amount.

As Michelle was busy refueling airliners, Polar Aviation ( a training pilot school and Charter flight enterprise) was ready to provide me also their card. They were indeed very kind.

When I was loading the airplane, Michelle arrived with her truck, and told me she was then available for my avgas refuel.

You have to pay me $55 for that card help….

I was really surprised, and also all the ones I told about later !

Also I was concerned about my VHF radios because they were having a strong background noise, so communicating during the light was hard. Squelch was useless, so I started with my brainstorming.

Was I not using the squelch properly?

Were the headsets plugs dirty or rusted?

Was the aircraft loaded with static because of the HF radio trailing antenna?

May be some exhaust deposits where at the antenna and somehow avoiding the proper reception?

So I checked everything and tried to fix those.

But I had no chance, the strong back noise still came back.

Fortunately, flying in Australia is easy. Most of the northern airports are not controlled, and use a CTAF frequency. Flying VFR just ask to contact in that frequency for the other to know ( easier to see and avoid). Also the pilot can listen to Melbourne or Brisbane frequency, but it is not mandatory ( as I have been told). So I was able to have the volume low, and as I had my sat phone number inserted in my flight plan, I could be easily reached by any controller if the need arose.

I turned left after take off and entered the huge, red, flat central Australia.

Good weather and nothing else ! Just a few open sky mines at the beginning.


The red land had a kind of parallel lines, I would say, aligned with the east to west direction. That was present all my route into Uluru Ayers Rock. It is so spectacular, that no compass is needed for navigation.

I really would like to know why it is this for. Geology is something that makes me wonders about our incredible Earth.



Discovering it (sorry for you, walking guys) is only possible from a flying ship.

So many features are in sight, so many fancy forms, so many magic ones, altogether impossible to realize from the ground.

My VHF 2 radio failed:  It started to turn on and off by itself. I removed it from its tray and cleaned the contacts with the rubber of my pencil, but no way to have it back operative.

Later, when some 15 gallons where left in my external left wing tank, the engine sputtered again !!!

Definitively, the new vent was not working. I had had the prevision to carry much more fuel, so it was not a big issue until…..landing. The weight at the end of my left wing was to be felt during the approach and landing, even emptying my left main wing tank, to minimize that weight effect.

It was time to descent and see if I was able to see kangaroos or camels. I was told that they were close to water areas, but also told that only at sunrise or sunset….

I approached the martian ground and explored for those three legs mammals or the hunchbacked ones . But no way.

The lakes are salty ones, so those were not the ones for those animals survival.

It was hot down there, some 37 C, and it was not comfortable for me, and as I didn´t feel much power in the engine,  I decided to climb again, but higher than the altitude I was having before.

Miles and miles went going back under my short wings, until the massive thermals developed.

My RV8 was climbing better than a glider !

1000 ft per minute up and down, with highly changing indicated speeds.

Then, the big surprise….

I was able to see an alien message pointing to a remote galaxy. I was unable to understand the message, but sure that they were telling about the horrible Australian flies, or just the expensive price of the hotels around.


Soon again, red stuff and only thing to do was just keeping going and going.



Love is also present in the desert. It was written there, and of course, I dedicate it to Paula:


Theeeeeen, some hours later, the first rocks appeared slightly right of my course. They became bigger and bigger.

Finally, there it was, the Rock.

I would wait to the next day before approaching it. Landing at Ayers Rock airfield, into runway 13, and pointing into it, was a wonderful moment.


Just the heavy left wing broke the dream. I had to fight the landing and put all my senses into that job. I was not looking for kiss landing, just or a safe one.

The result….here I am !

Engine stopped, canopy opened, and flies attack !

If I was complaining about Port Hedland flies, the ones are Ayers Rock were forming a bigger army.

Those flies are small, they are agile, responsive, not the silly ones we have in Spain, or the one I shot down in Egypt.

I have to improve my fighter technique to shoot them down, not an easy task.

The security man arrived next to me, with its 4wd. He was having a net protecting is head.

Welcome into Ayers Rock !


One Comment

Schneider_p / Oct 26, 2016 11:55 am / Reply

Dear Michel, I was thinking about giving you advice about the VHF when you mentioned it first and talked about a corroded elevator ball joint.
Did you look at the BNC connectors of the antenna cable? Might have corrosion as well or a crimp issue.
Just an idea, cause I replaced my radio 2 weeks ago due to 8.33 issue.
Abrazos, take care my friend!!

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