Day 1 for Double Trouble in the Outback Air Race 2001

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Heading out to Alice Springs

We first have to get to the starting blocks, which involves getting the plane from Tyabb to Alice Springs.

We did the flight in four legs:

Here we are still fresh and eager before setting off
The cockpit contained more electronics than Neil Armstrong had at his disposal on the moon
And, as you can see, the cabin, in preparation for the various social functions, contains more costumes than a full scale production of Les Misérables might need.

In honour of this we have decided to apply a new title to the registration of VH-FWL. Instead of being called The Fowl, it will hence forth be the Flying Wardrobe Limited

Jens took the first leg to Mildura, which, typical for Melbourne, proved to be the only flight involving actual instrument flying. The view out of the cockpit was like this
You can view the movie to see how Jens coped with these conditions.
The weather improved gradually, which meant that Dirk flying the second and fourth legs always got better weather, less headwind, and in the spirit of an airrace managed to always put up better flying times, for which he took all the credit (as befits an inflated ego).

A somewhat more relaxed (or more professional?) Dirk can be seen at the controls over Central Australia

Best weather that Victoria has to offer (left) and the Flinders Ranges in South Australia (right)
A partial view of an (unusually) water filled Lake Eyre in South Australia's Tirari desert
As the weather improved, so did Jens' handling skills as can be seen in this clip of his landing at oodnadatta shows.
The Rodinga Ranges in the Northern Territory, South East of Alice Springs, bathed in late afternoon sunlight
We finally pulled up and parked the plane in the Air Race parking bay at Alice Springs airport Most of the other contestants had already arrived well before us and can be seen in the background. Of course, this did not stop us from claiming pole position in the line-up
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