Goodwood To Tamiami


Here’s the route for this week’s ferry flight from England.  It was 5058 miles that I had to do in record time in order to get home in time fro my daughter’s graduation.  I finally got the ok to takeoff from Goodwood England with the Baron at 3:00 o’clock on Tuesday afternoon and parked the plane at the Tamiami airport in Florida at 5:00 o’clock Thursday afternoon.

  On this trip I ran into a situation I’ve never come across before.  In Iceland I met two young men from Austria flying a Twin Cessna 404 from Germany to Florida.  Neither one of them had over 500 hours or had ever flown over the ocean before so they hired a 71 year old pilot who had enough experience to satisfy the insurance company.  That night at dinner one of the boys asked if he could fly in my plane to Florida because he had no confidence in the piloting skills of the old man they were with.  Apparently their flight from Germany  to Iceland was not what one would call inspiring.  I told the young man that he needed to stay with his friend and help him stand up to the old pilot if they thought he was putting their lives in danger.  I told him that one of them should fly all the approaches and the old man could just sit there and offer sage advise.  They didn’t think the pilot would go for that and they were too junior to him to really have any say in the matter.  I really didn’t want to bring along a passenger in this trip.  Mostly because the other front seat is where I keep the life raft.  If we had to ditch I would have to get him out of the plane first and then try and get the raft out of the back before we sank.  Another reason is that extra weight means a slower airplane with reduced performance, adding one guy wouldn’t make that much difference but when dealing with hundreds of miles of open ocean I’ll take every edge I can get.  I also just like flying alone so I told him no.  In the end he just refused to get in the plane with the old pilot and after telling him that he had a family emergency booked a flight home.  I guess not everybody is cut out to fly the north Atlantic.  The remaining young man and the old pilot made it to Greenland and Goose Bay but after that I don’t know because I pushed on to Bangor while they called it a day in Goose.  I guess if I don’t hear about a 404 crash I’ll assume that they made it to Florida.