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Broome Trikes

Thursday, May 8, 2003
Hitting the skies in one of these trikes over this beautiful coastline is nothing short of amazing!

Charles Batham and Stuart Howe own Broome Trike Flights and they offer introductory flights over the Broome Peninsula for half an hour or longer.

Charles is a true adventurer. Born in Britain, he bought a red London double-decker bus, shipped it to Australia and drove across the Nullarbor Plain from NSW to Western Australia, pulling the trike behind him. The bus has been completely fitted out and is now Charles' home.

He holds a CASA-approved microlight licence and, as he takes trainee pilots up, he has a further 200 hours of instructor training. Initially he was petrified of flying, but now the fear has gone and he just gets a buzz every time he goes up. He sits at the front of the craft and the student sits at the back. The propeller is located behind the student.

The purists' name for the aircraft is a Microlight Weightshift Aircraft, but it got the name "trike" because it has three wheels. It was designed and built in Australia and while its local popularity began slowly, it has really taken off overseas.

The aircraft weighs 198kg without pilot or student and has a wingspan of 13m. The crafts are extremely easy to transport as the wings fold up like a hang-glider. They fly at around 450m, but altitude is weather-dependent. They are very safe, and if the engine should stall, you can glide to a landing.

When two trikes are being flown they must stay at least 30m apart but they can stay in radio contact.

Flights go over the town of Broome and head out to Gantheaume Point, an area where dinosaur footprints have been found. Flying above Cable Beach is particularly beautiful and once you are in a remote area, weather permitting, the engine can be cut and you can glide on to the beach. Then, of course, you take off from the beach, climb to 300m and head back to the airport.

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