The US Air Force have a song that starts "Off we go in to the wild blue yonder.” However, in Arnhem Land there are times when it is not blue but it is definitely wild! Like many tropical regions, Arnhem Land has a defined rainy season and when it comes, it comes. The weather can go from dry to instant deluge and then back again all within the space of a few hours. Then at other times you get up with the rain, sleep with the rain on your roof, and then it is there waiting for you when you get up again! And don’t think light rain either- this is the instant flood variety where the gutters are swamped!
Times like these are a real challenge to flying both from a logistical point of view and also of course for those who are actually braving the elements. For the MAF ground staff things can get hectic quite quickly. First of all there is the call from the base to tell you that though it may be fine & sunny where you are, where they are they can’t see the end of the runway! That’s always frustrating as the passenger waiting to fly is looking at a sunny sky and can’t understand why you don’t want to take off!