At 2,217 feet the Burj Khalifa tower in Dubai is the worlds tallest building and really something to see from the air. When I took this picture last year I was struck by the fact that the entire city was covered in desert colored dust from frequent sand storms. At least snow eventually melts.
Next to the ramp in Petropavlovsk Russia is this tiny Orthodox chapel. I’m not sure if it was for passengers to say a quick prayer before climbing aboard whatever ancient jet that will hopefully take them out of Siberia or for the surviving families to mourn the dead who didn’t make it. Either way it’s still a pretty little building that would never be allowed in the US.
33 hours. That’s 18 hours longer than my longest flight, Agadir, Morocco to Abidjan, The Ivory Coast. 1800 miles over the Sahara desert, at night, by flashlight because my electrical system went tits up malfunctioned. I’m still pretty damn proud of that flight but it’s nothing compared to Lucky Lindy’s flight. Ferrying airplanes eastbound over the Atlantic means fighting a whole host of challenges but one of the worst is fatigue. Losing three or four hours a day due to time zones really takes it out of you, like how tired you are when you lose just one hour for daylight savings time. But 33 hours alone in a cramped cockpit without even the occasional radio call to help keep you awake must have been hell. Just try sitting in your living room for 33 hours without sleeping. I’ll let you watch Netflix, surf the internet, text the local pizza joint for a delivery, update your Facebook page and even get up to go to the bathroom. I bet you still fall asleep before hitting the 33 hour mark. My hat’s off to you Lindy, I might have done it many more times than you, but you were the first.
Here’s a shot of where you cross the east coast of Greenland on the route from Reykjavik to Narsaruaq. It’s also the point where going down means being in an arctic survival situation opposed to survival at sea. The raft and survival suit would still come in handy though.
Last time in Iceland my co-pilot Stu, camerman John and I had the opportunity to go through the ocean survival course at the Landsbjorg Maritime safety and survival training center. Those guys had a great gig. They had been given an old car ferry that they converted into a training ship. They spent the summer sailing around Iceland teaching fishermen how to survive if they fell overboard or their ship sank. The three of us donned our survival suits and after the training course were treated to a dip in the north Atlantic in November. Good fun.
A good article about how Cirrus pilots think that just because they are rich enough to afford the best plane on the market, in their opinion, that makes them great pilots. I think part of the problem is student pilots these days go to flight schools with brand new aircraft, have young clean cut instructors in shiny uniforms and only fly in good weather. They never run into any real problems during training and are totally unprepared when it happens out in the real world. The sky doesn’t care how much money you have in the bank or how beautiful your wife is, only how good a pilot you are.
Interesting shot of me a split second after letting go of the Otter. It looks like the tail is going to smite me but I’m pretty sure it missed, I think, I don’t really remember. I don’t even remember the dive..hmmmm.