When will people treat the Outback Seriously

Submitted: Monday, Mar 28, 2016 at 22:48
ThreadID: 131953 Views:5234 Replies:25 FollowUps:70
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Good Evening All

Not sure if this has made national news or not, but an Adelaide Doctor has walked 70 kilometres in Ouback South Australia after he fell ill and had to land his plane on Lake Eyre. It took the Doctor 18 hours to walk from the downed plane to William Creek . Now if the Doctor was carrying a sat phone or PLB help would have arrived a lot sooner and it is very lucky he made it safely to William Creek.

I ask this question, what would have happened if the Doctor became that ill and collapsed, his body may have never been found.

It is yet another case of "thinking" there would be mobile phone coverage. Will it take another death to make people aware that it is no Sunday drive in the outback and as a bare minimum, all people should be made to carry a PLB for their own safety.




Cheers and keep safe in the Bush.



Stephen
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Reply By: TomH - Monday, Mar 28, 2016 at 22:53

Monday, Mar 28, 2016 at 22:53
Why didnt the plane have an emergency locator beacon. I know they arent compulsory on small planes but as you say they would be sensible to have
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Monday, Mar 28, 2016 at 23:00

Monday, Mar 28, 2016 at 23:00
Hi Tom

How many hundreds of thousands of dollars are small planes, yet the very small fee of under $300 dollars and the Doctor could have had a PLB that would fit in his pocket.

The old saying of it will never happen to me could have cost the Doctor his life.


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Stephen
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Reply By: Paul E6 - Monday, Mar 28, 2016 at 23:22

Monday, Mar 28, 2016 at 23:22
There may be more to the story as yet untold.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 07:28

Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 07:28
Hi Paul

That's all that was reported last night.

But surely there must have been some way of the Doctor to make a radio call to someone in the outside world?

To walk thst distance in that country was a feat in itself.


Cheers


Stephen
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Follow Up By: Life Member-Doug T NSW - Sunday, Apr 10, 2016 at 08:15

Sunday, Apr 10, 2016 at 08:15
An Aircraft radio has many frequencies designated to the air band, the radio in the plane should have been able to contact a Qantas or any other International Airliner flying in the vicinity, English is the standard world air industry language.
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Reply By: garrycol - Monday, Mar 28, 2016 at 23:28

Monday, Mar 28, 2016 at 23:28
Or why didn't he declare a Pan or a Mayday with the aircraft's radio?
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 07:30

Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 07:30
Hi Garry

That will be one question that the authorities will have to ask the Doctor.


Cheers


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Follow Up By: howie - Thursday, Mar 31, 2016 at 22:28

Thursday, Mar 31, 2016 at 22:28
probably because fiddling with the radio is one of the last things on your mind when you're plummeting towards terra firma.
you fly the aircraft to stay alive.
but if he was flying in that type of country without a personal PLB at least, he was very lucky (and could be classed as stupid).
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Follow Up By: garrycol - Friday, Apr 01, 2016 at 11:51

Friday, Apr 01, 2016 at 11:51
Well no. For a starter the aircraft was not plummeting towards the ground - was a precautionary landing for medical reasons.

Perfectly doable.
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Follow Up By: Baz - The Landy - Friday, Apr 01, 2016 at 12:20

Friday, Apr 01, 2016 at 12:20
The golden rule that was instilled on me in my early days of training, and which held me in good stead during an emergency…

Aviate – Navigate – Investigate – Communicate (in that order).

How far you get through those four items will depend on how much time you have or the circumstances you find yourself in.

We can only speculate on whether it was doable in this instance, but I’m sure with the fullness of time questions around the why, how and why not, will be answered.

Cheers, Baz – The Landy
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Follow Up By: garrycol - Friday, Apr 01, 2016 at 13:51

Friday, Apr 01, 2016 at 13:51
For sure if the plane was falling out of the sky but the guy was going through a precautionary landing - a pan or a mayday is not an ongoing conversation - even if he was not able to get a position out, a pan or a mayday would get authorities moving.
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Follow Up By: Baz - The Landy - Friday, Apr 01, 2016 at 15:27

Friday, Apr 01, 2016 at 15:27
Garrycol...

I guess it is a bit like stories of the little gnome that lives at the bottom of the garden, unless you are there in person to witness and experience it, you’ll never really know…

But I’ll throw this out there – how do we know that he didn’t put out a Pan Pan or Mayday Call? VHF Communications with Flight Services in remote parts of Australia is problematic and will depend on where you are and the height you are flying at.

This is the reason why RPT Aircraft (and others) are equipped with HF Radio, to enable communication whilst on the ground, or whilst at low level in the circuit area.

And I’ve noted a comment or two on a SAR-watch on the flight, whilst it would make perfect sense to have one on remote area flights, there would not necessarily be a requirement for him to have one, or for that matter to even lodge a flight plan – this would be dependent on the category of flight.

Now, where is that gnome?

Good weekend, Baz



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Follow Up By: Life Member-Doug T NSW - Sunday, Apr 10, 2016 at 08:25

Sunday, Apr 10, 2016 at 08:25
Here we can see the flight path of QFA6 · "Qantas" Singapore Changi to Sydney , today Sunday 10th April at 8:23 EST, This aircraft should be contactable from the ground .

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Reply By: Notso - Monday, Mar 28, 2016 at 23:28

Monday, Mar 28, 2016 at 23:28
Fell ill, landed his plane then walked 70 kilometres for help, now that's an interesting headline!
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 07:24

Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 07:24
Hi Notso

Yes it was on the news.

I thought that to walk 70 kilometres he must not have been that I'll.

The next question...will his plane now be another piece of junk to rot very slowly away on Lake Eyre?


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Reply By: Been-Everywhereman - Monday, Mar 28, 2016 at 23:44

Monday, Mar 28, 2016 at 23:44
Something is wrong with that story. Fell ill but could walk 70 kms. Like others said, prob more to the story yet!
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 07:21

Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 07:21
Hi

They were my thoughts, yet it was on our local ABC TV news last night.

I thought it was very strange to have to make an emergency landing, yet still was fit enough to trek 70 kilometres.


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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Wednesday, Mar 30, 2016 at 12:05

Wednesday, Mar 30, 2016 at 12:05
This extended march after feeling so ill has me intrigued too, Stephen.

Have had the occasional bout of "food poisoning" during my years in the bush, and though they are often of short duration, one certainly doesn't feel like doing a marathon afterwards.

A few years ago, I got bogged twice in 2 days, firstly in my Landcruiser ute, and the second occurrence, in a grader. First arvo, I walked 15kms and did it easily. The next day, had to march over 20kms to get to my ute. Even with ample water, that was a real struggle, and my aging "stinkers" decided they'd had enough too, so did the last few kms with badly blistered feet.

Methinks the doctor may be fitter than he appears. Perhaps the SAS might call on him for some extra tips in endurance situations? :-)

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Reply By: Malcom M - Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 07:06

Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 07:06
What happened to the planes radio?

Sure this isn't another urban myth?
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 07:18

Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 07:18
Hi Malcom

No urban myth I am afraid.

They interviewed the Doctor on the news and Trevor Wright from William Creek.

Trevor was pushing the "no Mobile Phone " issue yet again.

Cheers



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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 08:13

Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 08:13
There are plenty of alternatives.

Bludging on an emergency to get his own agenda published.

The cost would be phenomenal and then we will have then wanting mobile phone coverage for the Simpson.

And I am in Canberra and can't get the NBN. My god!!! a plane may crash.

Phil
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Follow Up By: Bigfish - Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 15:29

Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 15:29
The mobile phone is a true necessity out there. How else can the yuppies send selfies to others..

or a phot of what they had for beakfast....Grrrr
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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 16:06

Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 16:06
Nice one Boris.

Phil
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Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 16:32

Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 16:32
VHF radio is line of sight, so he would have had to find another aircraft in the air in the vicinity to communicate with, but that should not be too difficult and all jets monitor the emergency frequency.
He should also have a current SAR watch that would have activated if he became overdue.

Cheers,
Peter
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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 17:03

Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 17:03
Exactly. This part amazed me.

Phil

PS Just for interest. VHF will bend some but not a lot. From Canberra, I have spoken to Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland on 144Mhz (VHF). I used the ionized trails of the big jets as a kind of "mirror". It was a common Sunday morning schedule between hams.
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Reply By: vk1dx - Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 07:24

Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 07:24
From this article he was an Adelaide specialist. Sounds like he wasn't even a regular. Familiarity breads contempt. Hmmmm He said that he got food poisoning in Coober Pedy and had to land.

It didn't sound like he was an "outback doctor"

Both articles that I read, said that "the lack of phone coverage did not help". No mention of anything like an EPIRB, beacon or satellite phone and what happened to the planes radio. Left at home with the laptop was it!

Methinks there isn't a lot of knowledge behind the high IQ.

Phil
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 07:38

Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 07:38
Hi PHIL

The Asian Doctor worked out of the Royal Adelaide Hospital and thought that there would be mobile phone coverage in the event of trouble.

Why did the Doctor not do his homework and realise that he would be flying over very remote country and all safety issues must be fully covered.

If it was his plane or not, he would surely should have to had in place a flight plan including what to do in an emergency.


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Stephen
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Follow Up By: TomH - Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 08:24

Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 08:24
Hmmmm.

One word in Stephens reply provides more info than all the news articles.
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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 08:26

Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 08:26
Which word? Was it "thought"; ie he assumed something. That can make an .... out of anybody.

Phil
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Follow Up By: TomH - Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 15:55

Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 15:55
No but starts really early in the alphabet.
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Follow Up By: Michael H9 - Friday, Apr 01, 2016 at 19:41

Friday, Apr 01, 2016 at 19:41
Adelaide??
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Follow Up By: Life Member-Doug T NSW - Sunday, Apr 10, 2016 at 08:31

Sunday, Apr 10, 2016 at 08:31
Yep that word hit me right between the eyes,
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Reply By: Baz - The Landy - Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 09:29

Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 09:29
What this and similar incidents in the outback highlight is that there is a broad and general lack of understanding among many Australians and visitors to our country of the remoteness and lack of facilities, including communications, in many parts of the Australian bush and outback...

Noting, you don’t have to go far from one of our capital cities to be in an area considered remote!

Many are accustomed to living in an age where communication is instantaneous with an iPhone in-hand, a 7-Eleven store can be found on every other street corner and a petrol bowser just down the road.

And whilst it is sometimes hard to understand why some people don’t take some basic precautions and preparations, let’s not lose sight of the fact that within the EO community we are mostly “preaching to the converted” – most of us have an understanding of the outback and the difficulties one can be presented with once you pass the “city limits”. Especially when it comes to the provision of services and facilities city dwellers might be more accustomed to.

For some, they simply don’t know what they don’t know – education is key and thankfully resources such as ExplorOz and the collective knowledge of contributors hopefully make information more accessible for those looking to travel into remote areas of our continent.

As to the person involved in this incident – I’m glad he has survived and maybe he will become an advocate amongst his friends and peers for better preparation when heading into the Australian Outback.

Cheers, Baz – The Landy
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 19:14

Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 19:14
Well said Baz
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Reply By: MUZBRY- Life member(Vic) - Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 10:53

Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 10:53
Gday
I always thought that food poisening passed in about four or so hrs. A good poo and all is over. Why not use his doctor skills .
And will anyone be able to take off with the aeroplane, or is it ankle deep in what the doctor should have done.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 19:19

Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 19:19
Hi Muzbry

One thing is for sure, if he did not mess himself before it landed, he sure would have the moment that he hit the lake surface that would have looked sooooo smooth, only to find himself now deep in the proverbial.




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Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 12:40

Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 12:40
The definition of a Specialist is a doctor who knows more and more about less and less.

In 2004 we were travelling to Alice Springs before doing the Madigan Line. Turned off the highway to camp at Redbank Waterhole. Came across a guy walking towards the highway carrying a 600ml water bottle. Said he was bogged and had his family back at the car. Drove him 6km back to his hire car, let some air out of his tyres which were at 45psi and helped him on his way. He was also a specialist physician from Adelaide. Maybe we could add something to their curriculum!
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 13:40

Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 13:40
Hey Phil,
Tell your "Specialist" that joke when he is discussing your compelling surgery. I'm sure he will be very amused! lol
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 19:24

Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 19:24
Hi Phil

It would make you wonder just how good they are if they can not use common sense if real life situations like that.


Cheers



Stephen


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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 20:05

Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 20:05
Hi Allan,
2 months ago I retired after 28 years as a Specialist Anaesthetist - part of my job description was to crack jokes that take the mickey out of the surgeons you work with :-)
I can understand that a specialist physician might be a great doctor and a competent pilot but not understand what things are like in the outback. Hence the comment that a specialist knows more and more about less and less.
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 20:18

Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 20:18
Gday Stephen, and great post BTW.
"It would make you wonder just how good they are if they can not use common sense if real life situations like that."

Yeah thats right. If an Anaesthetist or an Intensive Care Specialist made that error of judgement, I'd be really concerned. But a Specialist Renal Physician spends their day keeping people's kidneys going and managing them when they slowly turn off. Not many decisions to be made on the spur of the moment. But I have a deep respect for what they do and it doesn't surprise me that the guy landed on the edge of a lake that he didn't know was a black boggy mess under the surface. As for the lack of preparation and emergency communications.... who knows what he had. I suspect he had an EPIRB but was too embarrassed to activate it.

The other interest titbit is that the people who died on the Halligan Bay track one summer when they bogged the troopie with full pressure in the tyres were also doctors.

Many of my travelling companions are doctors and they are most prepared travellers you could meet. But maybe thats part of being an Anaesthetist?
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 20:18

Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 20:18
Err..... Phil,

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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 20:53

Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 20:53
Haha Allan - egg on face is a bit harsh - go easy on yourself.
I can be pretty obscure with what I post. I take full responsibility for not explaining myself.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 21:26

Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 21:26
Hi Phil

Thanks again for another great reply.

One that that I find very strange is that every time there is an issue out near William Creek, Trevor is always on the TV and Radio pushing the "No Mobile Phone Coverage" and peoples lives are at risk. Even if there was a tower in Williams Creek, there would be little chance of it working 70 Kilometres away. You only have to go to Coober Pedy and phone coverage is lost within less that 20 kilometres of the town, or does Trevor want Towers spread every 20 kilometres through the desert at a cost of millions of dollars to taxpayers.

When will people start to be responsible for their own safety and take things seriously when in remote areas.



Cheers



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Follow Up By: Member - Outback Gazz - Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 21:29

Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 21:29
"if they can not use common sense"

The problem with common sense these days is -

"it's not very common "


Cheers

Gazz
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Reply By: MactrolPod - Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 12:41

Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 12:41
18 hours to walk 70klm, If he was in the air how long would it have taken to stay in the aircraft and fly to William Creek? 20 - 30 minutes?
He must have been crook!
Averaging 3.89klm per hour is a good pace too!
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Follow Up By: Zippo - Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 13:18

Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 13:18
AND he had the (ground) navigation skills to "find" William Creek rather than just wander around?
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 14:36

Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 14:36
Hi Zippo and MactrolPod

I thought the very same to walk that distance in that time over soft and ever changing country was a feat in itself.

One would pressure that he must have had a waypoint to be able to walk in that direction and not elsewhere.



Cheers



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Reply By: Member - Trouper (NSW) - Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 15:21

Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 15:21
You've got to be kidding....Walk in a straight line 70Ks in glaring heat and sunshine. Flat featureless country with no compass or a GPS with William Ck plotted. HA.
But then he may have had those navigation aid. If he didnt he would have been walking around in circles for ever.
An experienced navigator would have difficulties
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 19:28

Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 19:28
Like everyone here, how did he know where to walk to be in the right direction to reach William Creek. If on the other hand we walked off in the wrong direction, he may have never been foun.


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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 20:25

Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 20:25
I suspect he landed the plane at ABC Bay or Halligan's Bay. There's a road that leads straight to William Creek, and as a pilot he would be very familiar with IFTR Navigation -
IFTR = I Follow The Roads
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Reply By: Bigfish - Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 15:31

Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 15:31
I think it was Dr. Who....a seasoned time traveller where distance means nothing.
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Follow Up By: Member - Trouper (NSW) - Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 19:27

Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 19:27
Dead set its Dr Who
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 19:30

Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 19:30
No that a good one....lol
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Reply By: OBJ - Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 15:38

Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 15:38
I was wondering why he did not land at the pub. Everybody else does.
OBJ
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 17:15

Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 17:15
Apparently he'd just left William Ck, OBJ, after refuelling there.

Don't know why he just didn't return there, or at least land on the Oodnadatta track. You could land a Jumbo on it! Suppose he thought the Lake's surface looked ideal for a landing.......... You know the story, land, have a spew/bog/whatever, crank 'er up again, turn into the wind, and we're off again, NOT!!!

Bob
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 19:38

Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 19:38
Hi OBJ and Bob

That would have using common sense, but instead has added yet another item to the lake that will take a lifetime to corrode away.


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Stephen
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Wednesday, Mar 30, 2016 at 11:10

Wednesday, Mar 30, 2016 at 11:10
Stephen - That's not likely to happen. The aircraft is a Diamond DA40, an expensive bit of gear, and the insurance company will most likely recover it with a big chopper if it can't be winched back out of the bog onto firmer ground.

The whole story is very strange. However, stomach bugs can hit hard and suddenly and they're a real threat to becoming disabled whilst flying.
As we all know, when you gotta go, you gotta go, particularly with an explosive load just wanting to burst out of the rear passageway!

What I find amusing is that he's Asian - yet he reckons he got food poisoning from an Australian eatery!!
That'd be a first, wouldn't it?? I reckon 10M Aussies have been poisoned by Asian eateries, particularly in Asia!

I was always under the impression Asians has cast-iron stomachs, with the stuff they eat and they way they handle it!
Are we breeding a new variety of delicate stomach Asians?? LOL

Maybe it was a greasy offering from the Bain Marie at the local roadhouse, that had been lying there, stewing, for 48 hrs?
Now there's something that would incapacitate anyone! LOL

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Thursday, Mar 31, 2016 at 11:05

Thursday, Mar 31, 2016 at 11:05
-
Pygmies come and dip their darts in those Bain Maries Ron. LOL
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Follow Up By: Member - Blue M - Monday, Apr 04, 2016 at 17:25

Monday, Apr 04, 2016 at 17:25
I just left William Creek 3 days ago, There was no Bain Marie in the pub, the bar is not long enough to have one anyway. I think there is only one menu on a clip board that gets passed around from customer to customer to order from.
Went for a drive out to Halligans Bay. There is a small camping area, 2 sets of picnic tables and a very clean set of toilets there.
It is about 7 k's past ABC bay. The only thing at ABC Bay is a sign, nothing else.
There is a rather large stone memorial where the lady perished in 1998. It was an interesting drive out there and back, and I would certainly not like to walk it.
For the 3 days we were there, must have been 15 flights a day or more taking off flying over the lake.

Cheers
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Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Monday, Apr 04, 2016 at 19:30

Monday, Apr 04, 2016 at 19:30
The dining room is out the back, behind the bar.
If there was a bain marie, that is where it would be.

Cheers,
Peter
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Monday, Apr 04, 2016 at 19:41

Monday, Apr 04, 2016 at 19:41
Think you'll find the suspect Bain Marie was in Coober Pedy.

Bob

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Follow Up By: Life Member-Doug T NSW - Sunday, Apr 10, 2016 at 08:55

Sunday, Apr 10, 2016 at 08:55
Bob Y
Hell no mate, look what happens to your pride and joy if you land on the Oodnadatta Track.
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Reply By: Ozi M - Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 15:45

Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 15:45
All sounds very suss to me, all he had to do was use the radio in the plane to call for help.

Walking 70klms is loong....... way, no way this is legit IMO
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Follow Up By: Member - J&A&KK - Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 16:56

Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 16:56
I agree with you Ozi M. Story doesn't make any sense at all. The facts, if they are facts ( no reflection on the original story contents), don't make sense with the final outcome. As others have said.

A mayday call on VHF would be heard by RPT aircraft and addressed
If that sick - land somewhere where there is assistance
If that sick - couldn't walk the distance. 70kms in 18 hours!!
Featureless country - navigation a real issue

Ran out of fuel?
Strange cry for help?

Definite whiff of BS in the air.



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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 19:41

Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 19:41
Hi Ozi and John

If it was not true, you would it was an April fools day joke....... But it is a true story.


Cheers


Stephen
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Reply By: Echucan Bob - Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 17:30

Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 17:30
Like others have said, the story sounds a bit sus.

I reckon he decided to stop on the lake to take a dump, rather than soil the interior of the aircraft.

It must have been difficult to land on a featureless white expanse because pilots rely on visual reference points and the texture of the landing strip for clues as to their height during landing.

Having relieved himself, and thus ensuring the surface of the lake was no longer featureless, he probably found that the landing gear had broken through the salt crust and the aircraft was going nowhere.

He would then have discovered that his VHF radio was useless, unless an overflying jet was monitoring 121.5 MHz. He may also have discovered that his mobile phone was just as useful. He could have taken a selfie though.

He probably chose not to activate the plane's ELT. We don't know if he had an HF radio or not, but if he did, a call may have been useful before setting off on the impressive 70km walk.

I think he should be applauded for the landing and the walk.

The whole saga could be summarised as " shXX happens", and when it does, better out of the aircraft than it it.

Bob
AnswerID: 597917

Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 19:45

Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 19:45
Hi Bob,

It sure does happen and you can imagine the thoughts going through the Doctors mind the moment that he realised the lake was a very soft quagmire rather than what he thought would be a hard flat surface.



Cheers



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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 20:49

Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 20:49
Here you go, Bob.



Judging by the tracks, he would have worked out he wasn't taking off again! What sort of plane, Bob?

Bob
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Follow Up By: Echucan Bob - Sunday, Apr 03, 2016 at 12:16

Sunday, Apr 03, 2016 at 12:16
Diamond DA20?
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Sunday, Apr 03, 2016 at 18:39

Sunday, Apr 03, 2016 at 18:39
Echucan Bob - I believe that's a Diamond DA40, the 4 seater. The clue is the large rear side window.

The DA20 is the original 2 seater version, and the rear side window on that is quite a bit smaller.

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: Zippo - Sunday, Apr 03, 2016 at 20:02

Sunday, Apr 03, 2016 at 20:02
Ron, Bob - yes I figured it was the DA40 4-seater by the larger window. Interestingly, the only Diamond a/c I could find on the (CASA) register was a DA42 - diesel twin - which it clearly isn't.
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Follow Up By: Echucan Bob - Monday, Apr 04, 2016 at 12:31

Monday, Apr 04, 2016 at 12:31
Bob/Ron

I'm impressed. It certainly looks like a nice machine. I like the idea of a diesel.

I recently purchased a Piper Arrow - 1969 airframe but only 100 hrs on new motor. I hope to be doing some outback touring before too long - I'm 25 hrs in to my PPL.

Bob
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Follow Up By: Baz - The Landy - Monday, Apr 04, 2016 at 14:04

Monday, Apr 04, 2016 at 14:04
Bob

You'll enjoy the Arrow, used to own an Arrow 3 (VH-FTH), great for touring...

Baz
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Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 19:44

Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 19:44
I guess he landed on the lake because he thought he could then take a dump, have a spew, wait for the colicky pain to settle then take off again.
Little did he know that under that the crust is an endless pit of black boggy goo - I found out the hard way too when I drove the Corolla on Lake Eyre South in 1977.

AnswerID: 597927

Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 20:58

Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 20:58
The other factor nobody mentioned is that a good spew in a plane can take out the microphone on your radio.
2 years ago I was spewing on one of Mt Wrights planes'over Lake Eyre, but the excellent young lady pilot had warned us before to remove the microphone first!
AnswerID: 597931

Follow Up By: deserter - Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 21:44

Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 21:44
The story on the news in Qld said he walked out to the road and flagged down a lift.
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Reply By: pop2jocem - Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 21:58

Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 21:58
A few years ago (40 or so) I was working for a diesel engine agency in Perth. One of the other young blokes got selected to go and fix a busted drill rig engine out in the bush in the Pilbara. The trip involved flying to Mt Newman on Mickey Mouse Airlines (McRobertson Miller). Later bought out by Reg Ansett and then I think Qantas????
From the airport at Mt Newman he caught a little single engined wing flapper to some makeshift runway a couple of hundred k's away. No worries, got the drill rig up and running and of course availed himself of the wet mess hospitality the night before departing on another single engined aircraft back to Mt Newman in time to catch the big kero burner back to Perth.
All good until not long into the flight he felt the unmistakable pangs of whatever he had eaten and drank the night before making ready to depart his digestive tract.
Very soon the contents of his aforementioned digestive system made it's desire for passage to the outside world something of extreme urgency. He tried telling the pilot of his needs but was told quite clearly that unscheduled deviations from the flight plan was something that would have dire consequences for the pilot, even though they passed over a couple of station runways.
Not long after that conversation he informed the pilot that if he didn't land that plane somewhere and soon he was going to take a rather large and smelly dump on the seat beside him.
As it was just the 2 of them and a 4 seater plane the pilot suggested he hop into the back seats and use a couple of air sick bags.
Well as you can probably imagine, the, umm, stool wasn't particularly solid. In fact going by the way he told it the stool was much more liquid than solid. Quite pungent too apparently. He says it was the first time he had flown with any pilot that continually made reching noises interspersed with comments along the lines of "what the hell have you been eating", while flying along with his face pressed to a little flip out side window similar to the quarter vents fitted to some cars back then. He also told the mate that one of the little side windows alongside the rear seats wound out a bit and suggested quite strongly that opening one would be a good idea. The mate did so and came up with the bright idea that maybe he could shove the used paper air sick bags out through that window.
Bad idea. Imagine pushing with your fingers, paper bags saturated with liquid poo out a smallish opening into a 150 (or thereabouts) mile per hour slipstream.
Appaently some did make it out of the cabin and got spread out like some sort of demonic drag strip down the side of the plane. Unfortunately the rest managed to re-enter the cabin and I will let your imagination fill out what the results of that was.

Cheers
Pop
AnswerID: 597939

Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 23:18

Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 at 23:18
Classic turn of phrase there, Pop!

Bob

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Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Wednesday, Mar 30, 2016 at 12:11

Wednesday, Mar 30, 2016 at 12:11
Are there any media reports about this????

Cheers,
Peter
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AnswerID: 597956

Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Wednesday, Mar 30, 2016 at 15:41

Wednesday, Mar 30, 2016 at 15:41
I saw an item on tv news over the weekend, Peter, but since Stephen started this thread, I just googled "Doctor walked 70kms at Lake Eyre" and got a hit or two, mainly Adelaide Post(???).

Bob

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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Wednesday, Mar 30, 2016 at 18:29

Wednesday, Mar 30, 2016 at 18:29
Hi Peter

I put the thread up after it was on our local ABC TV News here in South Australia, where they interviewed both the Doctor and Trevor Wright and showed footage of the plan stuck on Lake Eyre.


Cheers



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Reply By: Gaynor - Wednesday, Mar 30, 2016 at 18:19

Wednesday, Mar 30, 2016 at 18:19
It would be nice if people had the guts to tell the true story. Mostly people cover up and we learn nothing. As a previous poster said shxt happens. We all been there.
AnswerID: 597978

Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Wednesday, Mar 30, 2016 at 18:33

Wednesday, Mar 30, 2016 at 18:33
Hey Gaynor

What is your problem?

If you bothered to read all the threads, I started the thread, and I did have the "guts" to tell the story as it was reported on our local news.

What els do you want to know?, as what has been said is what has been made public by both TV and paper reports.




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Follow Up By: Gaynor - Wednesday, Mar 30, 2016 at 21:57

Wednesday, Mar 30, 2016 at 21:57
Not sure why you thought my message was directed at you Stephen...?

My comment was about the doctor. There are a lot of questions in people minds as to why he got himself into that situation and what really went down.

You would not know what really happened ... only the doctor would know that.
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Follow Up By: Member - Outback Gazz - Wednesday, Mar 30, 2016 at 22:25

Wednesday, Mar 30, 2016 at 22:25
Gaynor

I understood your reply how you intended it but I think Stephen misinterpreted your message as he's not one to be nasty in any way - I don't know him but from all the posts I have read of his he has been nothing but honest and helpful to everyone on here !

All the best

Gazz
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Wednesday, Mar 30, 2016 at 23:19

Wednesday, Mar 30, 2016 at 23:19
Hi Gaynor

Sorry for jumping in like that, I miss understood your reply and thought that you directed it at me, again sorry.

There will be lots of answers that we would all like to know, but at least the Doctor survived the landing and the feat of walking the 70 kilometres. Like we all can not understand is why he did not try to land the plane on one of the station tracks in the area, when he most likely have landed the plane safely and taken off again.

Once again, sorry for what I posted in my reply to you.



Cheers



Stephen
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Reply By: Member - Leigh (Vic) - Wednesday, Mar 30, 2016 at 22:38

Wednesday, Mar 30, 2016 at 22:38
Great post, this bloke is NOT an idiot, he has an IQ most of us would kill for. He is a pilot. He has a medical degree. He also saves people. He knows how to manage risk! He understands his own limitations. He might have been concerned about passing out? Saved his own life if that was the case! I say respect him, find out what led to his decision and please don't pull the Asian label, just makes us look all the more pathetic. That's my take!!
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Wednesday, Mar 30, 2016 at 23:27

Wednesday, Mar 30, 2016 at 23:27
Hi Leigh

There sure will be many answers as to why he landed on Lake Eyre and not one on the station tracks in the area.

Like I said in the original quote, if he did become very ill and happened to walk off track ( now sounds like he was following the road back to William Creek) he may never have been found.

What is the first golden rule that is drummed into our heads if you break down in the bush with our vehicle.....never leave it, as it is easier to spot a vehicle from the air, than a lone person walking through the bush.


Cheers



Stephen




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Follow Up By: TomH - Thursday, Mar 31, 2016 at 10:10

Thursday, Mar 31, 2016 at 10:10
There is a vast difference between having a high IQ and a degree of common sense in unfamiliar situations.
Some of the most intelligent people are not very practical in everyday life.

As already said if he is so smart why didnt he pick a better place to land. A good pilot probably would have as the plane wasnt at fault.

Did he really walk all that way??? I certainly couldnt have and am used to walking.

Just as an aside I knew a prominent surgeon who was very smart in his field but he didnt know what a spark plug lookd like never mind knowing how to change one.

Lots are like that, they are very good at what they do but frequently know little about mundane things tht others take for granted.
Travelling in the outback whether by vehicle or plane requires a degree of common sense and situation awareness as even locals have died from not following accepted procedures.
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Reply By: Baz - The Landy - Thursday, Mar 31, 2016 at 08:39

Thursday, Mar 31, 2016 at 08:39
There are two very distinct parts to this incident, although the two are often being inter-twined in these discussions…

Firstly, many people, including Australian’s and overseas visitors, travelling in Outback areas in Australia do so unequipped to deal with emergencies and in many cases this is due to a lack of understanding of the remoteness, lack of facilities, and importantly, limited ability to communicate in a way that many are accustomed to..

This is not necessarily surprising in an age where an Apple iPhone will connect you to anyone, anywhere, a 7-Eleven store exists on every other corner in Australia, and fuel is on tap wherever you go.

For some people they simply do not know, what they don’t know.

This is where resources like ExplorOz play a significant role in providing access to many who have experience in Outback travel and this collective knowledge is available via a simple “google search” – educating people to do the “search” is key…

But it will always be difficult to save people from their own ignorance, so I expect that there will always be people who find themselves ill-prepared for Outback Australian travel. Most will bungle through, some won’t.

Secondly, many have questions on the rationale for the decisions this person made, for the actions not taken. Understandably so, but it is easy to critique these decisions and have better solutions with the benefit of a “safe” environment to ponder these decisions. However, at this time none of us have the benefit of context or insight into the decisions he made, and perhaps with the fullness of time we will.

It will hopefully add to the collective knowledge of risk management in remote areas…

Personally, I am interested in hearing more about his experience on a number of fronts. Being a pilot I am interested in the decisions he made, and why he made those. And as a remote area bushwalker and endurance race competitor, I am interested in his physical prowess and navigation skills in a reasonably featureless environment.

Covering the distance he did, in a depleted physical condition, potentially dehydrated from food poisoning and with little water to sustain him, was quite remarkable, especially as some of his trek would have been in darkness.

But until we actually get some information from the gentleman involved, whom I’m sure we are all glad survived this ordeal, we will only ever be able to speculate…

Let’s get some facts and information to work with first…


Cheers, Baz – The Landy
AnswerID: 598000

Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Thursday, Mar 31, 2016 at 11:30

Thursday, Mar 31, 2016 at 11:30
To add to Baz's post above:

"Let’s get some facts and information to work with first…"

Unless I am mistaken and the rules have changed, this aviation incident/accident is captured by CASA's mandatory reporting rules.The pilot is obliged to report the event and its circumstances to ATSB. They may or may not investigate it thoroughly, but they will collect the facts from the pilot and it will then be visible on ATSB's database in the public domain.

Only then will we have any real idea of why the events unfolded as they did.

I just checked the ATSB website and the incident is not there yet.

Cheers


FrankP

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Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Sunday, Apr 03, 2016 at 13:24

Sunday, Apr 03, 2016 at 13:24
I have a theory....pure speculation, of course.
There was no emergency at all.
He chose to land on the lake surface believing he could simply take off again, because it would be a "cool" thing to do.
The rest is a result of severe embarrassment.

Cheers,
Peter
AnswerID: 598138

Follow Up By: LAZYLUX16 - Tuesday, Apr 05, 2016 at 21:12

Tuesday, Apr 05, 2016 at 21:12
Ha ha ha !! thats most probably right! Wondering how did he know which direction to walk?
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Reply By: vk1dx - Sunday, Apr 10, 2016 at 10:06

Sunday, Apr 10, 2016 at 10:06
As the WA police said in the TV show mentioned in this post below; "You can't regulate against stupidity". So bloody true.

Saw this on TV on the ABC News channel on 24 News. The applicable report starts at 15 minutes into the show;
Australia Wide news

Personally a combination of both electronics and practical based measures are the best that we can do.

We have the GPS, a Satellite phone, paper maps and compass (non electronic) and many years heading bush. We have also; my survival courses and exercises during Army service and my wife was a nurse at one time. And I am confident to say, a common sense approach to our travels.

Our approach is simple; Getting there is one thing but you must be able to come back. We usually like to travel solo, thus all works, accessories, upgrades etc, and servicing, is done on the car primarily to get us home. Being able to climb rocks, have the brightest driving LEDs or do a chip upgrade to get more power or look/sound good means ZIP if you can't get home.

Phil
AnswerID: 598441

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