Helicopter landing required

Helicopter landing required
Helicopter required to land on island

Friday, December 18, 2015

First planning meeting a success

Andy VK5MAV and I (Craig VK5CE) are pleased to be able to activate Breaksea Island IOTA OC-243 off the southern coast of Western Australia.

Andy has been doing a great job liaising with the Western Australian Department of Parks and Wildlife and now it is possible to confirm this island will be activated for the first time in 15 years!! There has only been one previous activation back in 2001 and so at present it has only been claimed by 17% in the IOTA program and this will reduced more after the January IOTA updates.

I met Andy in person for the first time yesterday afternoon and this was our chance to talk about the logistics of this operation.  We had a great first meeting and I really look forward to working with him. I feel we’ll complement each other perfectly as I do SSB and Andy does CW.

Activating Breaksea Island is not easy. As of February there will be no commercial flights from the Western Australian capital Perth to the staging town of Albany in the southern part of the state. As part of our permit we can only go there in March. So instead of flying from Adelaide (South Australia) to Perth and then Albany using commercial airlines, we need to drive. Driving from our QTH’s in South Australia to Albany is a monster journey of 2743 km (1704 miles), to put this into perspective:

2743 km (1704 miles) VK5CE/VK5MAV QTH’s to Albany, Western Australia
2738 km (1700 miles) Moscow, Russia to Bern, Switzerland
2723 km (1692 miles) Paris, France to Istanbul, Turkey
2620 km (1628 miles) Houston, TX to New York, NY
2491 km (1548 miles) Los Angeles CA to Houston, TX

So as you can see it’s a big effort just to get all of our equipment to Albany. Due to safety and permit restrictions from the Western Australian Department of Parks and Wildlife the only way we can get to and from the island is for Andy and I to charter a helicopter.

We need to provide our own power and so I have my two Honda EU10i generators. We will be running two stations at the same time during the day and at night. We will have vertical dipoles for 10m, 15m and 20m and a quarter wave for 40m, these monobanders will be using Spiderbeam poles and will be located on the top of the mountainous island with 360 degree views to all parts of the world. We will have band pass filters to enable two stations to be operating at the same time. Andy will be operating CW with 100W as VK5MAV/6 and I will be operating an amplifier using SSB with 400W as VK5CE/6.

So as you can imagine this trip has many transportation costs. So any financial support would be greatly appreciated. We will have the exact dates in early March ready to announce in January.