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An Air Saguenay DHC-3 Otter has made it from Québec to Kokoda. It is expected to work around the remote mountain airfields for a while. Today, the Otter heads for Launumu, a mountain airfield that is at an elevation of 5082 ft asl and 1200 feet long. We have to watch for those birds in order to reach the destination… Following that trail is a good way to reach Launumu. If the mixture is not adjusted, the Otter will lose a lot of steam trying to climb up to 7,500 feet to cross the first line of mountains. The runway is in sight. Anybody landing and departing from Launumu deals with high density altitude. This is not only due to the elevation of the airfield but also to the very warm and moist air present in the region. Consequently, some additional airspeed is required on the approach. When a pilot lands southwestward in Launumu coming from Kokoda, he must dive in a valley to lose altitude, which will increase the aircraft’s airspeed. If the airspeed is not promptly corrected, the approach to the Launumu runway will be too fast. Any airspeed above 60 knots forces the pilot to overshoot (unless you are ready to virtually die a few times while trying). Once the higher mountains are crossed, a good way of loosing altitude without gaining airspeed is to use flaps (at the corresponding airspeed) and do a tight 360 degree coordinated turn while descending. That way, you will end up in line with the runway and at the speed you want, which is around 50 knots. The Otter floats endlessly, with its huge wings and flaps. On final for Launumu, you might end up having to deal with the bushes that are close to the runway. It is not unusual for the Otter or the Beaver to complete an approach with bushes wrapped around the landing gear. Launumu has a surprise for the newcomers. If you land southwestward, like it was just done, and are not stopped within approximately 600 feet, you start accelerating since there is a pronounced slope downward in the second half of the runway. This slope leads to a cliff. In case of a missed approach, you can use the slope downwards and dive in the valley at the end of the runway to built up airspeed and start a new approach. Now that the hard work is done, lets wait for the passengers and cargo, and plan the next leg… Cheers!