Our pilots are very experienced in handling the unexpected challenges the weather of Bass Strait is known to throw at us. From strong winds, to rain and storms, and of course the infamous summer sea fogs. Today however, we were surprised by a rarer breed of meteorological phenomena. Today’s light breeze, combined with the bushfires on the West Coast of Tasmania brought about incredibly thick smoke pollution, which for most of the day rendered our Bridport airstrip “unflyable”. We estimated the visibility reduced down to less than 500 metres at one point! To remain within our operating regulations of Visual Meteorological Conditions, or VMC for short, we need to maintain visibility in excess of 5 km!
Fortunately, our morning mail plane departed Bridport only a couple of hours before the smoke rolled in, and the smoke cleared Bridport in time for the arrival of our afternoon mail service from Flinders Island. As we departed Lady Barron this afternoon, the smoke could just be seen entering the Franklin Sound, and on climb the extent of the smoke could really be seen. Check out some of our photos taken while travelling back to Bridport this afternoon!
The team at Flinders Island Aviation would like to wish the Fire Crews working on these fires luck, and our thoughts are with those who may be affected by the fires and dangerous conditions in Tasmania. Also, a quick reminder that up to date information on fires in Tasmania can be found at the Tasmania Fire Service website.