HeliSpirit pilot Hamish MacDougal receives countless great reviews from his passengers. He has a warm friendly smile and puts people at ease effortlessly. He is based at one of our very remote locations, Purnululu National Park, an incredibly beautiful and culturally significant World Heritage listed area.
WE ASKED HAMISH ABOUT HIS WORK AND HOW HE FINDS LIVING IN THE BUNGLE BUNGLE
I am currently working at our base in Purnululu National Park as the Senior Base Pilot. We are about a 5 hour drive south from Kununurra (or a little over an hour by helicopter). We have 5 pilots based out here over the Dry Season (April to October) and Serena who runs our office. It’s an amazing part of the world to live and work. We all feel pretty special getting to fly over the Bungle Bungles every day. It’s a really awesome climate here in the dry, with nights getting down to 1 to 2 degrees, and the days getting up to 30+. On our days off, it is a lot of fun exploring some of the fantastic walking tracks around the national park, but sometimes it’s nice to chill out back at our camp with a few movies. It’s a really great place to work!
IS IT CHALLENGING LIVING IN A VERY REMOTE PLACE?
Home for me is Singleton, NSW, where my family is. It is a big adjustment coming out here to an area that is so far removed from any major towns or cities, but it’s the people that make this job. We have a really great team out here, and it is such a satisfying feeling to show this amazing part of the country to people, many of whom have never flown in a helicopter before. I get regular breaks and then head home for a week or so.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE PART OF THE BUNGLES?
Definitely the Valley of the Giants on our 42 minute flight! It’s such an awesome sight, descending down into the valley, seeing sheer cliff faces that drop down to the flat planes around the range and marvelling at the huge 700 foot domes. It’s completely inaccessible from the ground, so it is really special that we can fly people around it.
DO YOU HAVE A PARTICULAR MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE?
At the beginning of the season we had the photographer Ben Knapinski, come into the park for 4 days’ worth of aerial photography. We had a great time flying around the range at different times of day, getting some amazing shots and views of the Bungles. That was pretty awesome flying!
WHERE ELSE IN THE KIMBERLEY WOULD YOU LIKE TO FLY?
I would love to fly around the Mitchell Falls next. My first job with HeliSpirit was working at the Mitchell Falls base in the office and I had a great time. It’s such a beautiful part of the world out there.
WHAT IS THE LASTING MEMORY YOU WILL TAKE FROM HERE?
The scenery and the people I worked with. Best parts of the job!
KB969 from Wellington NZ posted this review on Tripadvisor:
“After doing northern and southern walks, we took the 30 minute flight over the Bungle Bungles from the park airstrip. Very worthwhile and a great way to really appreciate the size and scale of the rock formations. Hamish our pilot was great and quickly put me at ease, as I wasn’t expecting the helicopter to have no doors! Felt completely safe, highly recommended.”
Find out more about the Bungle Bungle flights Hamish does here and about the Bungle Bungles and Purnululu National Park here.