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We've planted some bananas in our yard in Nhulunbuy. In Milingimbi, we left before we saw the fruit of the trees. Hopefully we'll see some fruit this time. According to the man at the nursery, these were the last banana plants for sale in all of the NT until October. This because of a destruction order that came out from the government to destroy all banana plants in large areas of the Northern Territory. Apparently there is a disease they are trying to get rid of. We feel sorry for the banana growers.


René's desk in the Chief Pilot's office

René is back in the office. Full-time for now as there is a huge training workload to plan for this year. It's like a puzzle of a thousand pieces. René heads a team of seven part-time Training & Checking pilots with different authorisations and the plan will require training pilots with the right authorisations at the right time. For a typical pilot induction period, the involvement of four or five different training and check pilots is required during the various stages of the orientation period. The expectation is that we will get 12 new pilots this year, up to three at a time, which is very encouraging, but this also presents a massive training load. Besides this, there is a new aircraft type entering the program, a C208 Caravan, which requires special training as well for a number of pilots. The Caravan is meant to run a shuttle service between the main communities, carrying more passengers at a time.

 
The C208 Caravan being worked on hard since last year, at the MAF heavy maintenance base at Mareeba. It is planned to be flown up to Arnhem Land in April.

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