Germany To Vegas Day 6 Part lV

Having received the news that a missing customs form might force us to reverse our course and head back to Iceland Marcio started furiously texting like a thirteen year old girl, trying to get some answers. While this was going on I headed up to the control tower to see my friend Hans. I’d met Hans a few years ago when I’d sought the advice on the weather conditions in Narsarsuaq. I’d assumed that because he spent all day in the tower watching Greenland’s weather make life difficult for the ferry pilots trying to make it in that he might have opinions on the conditions that day. What I was looking for was a quick “I wouldn’t try it” or “you can probably handle it” kind of answer. What I got was long dissertation of the finer points of Greenland’s weather, airports and how pilots managed to kill themselves. If it had been any longer I’d applied for collage credit. After that day when ever I’m in Narsarsuaq I climb the tower and have a chat with Hans. He was glad to see me and promptly began filling me in on the latest gossip. What pilots he’d seen flying what and who’d had any close calls or crashes. After a little while Marcio joined us with the news that he had no news. We were to stay put for the night while the powers that be attempted to sort out customs mess. That meant a night in beautiful down town Narsarsuaq. Yippee. When he heard our tail of woe Hans promptly invited us over to his house for dinner that evening.

When we got there Hans introduced us to his Inuit wife and their two young children. She invited us to sit down and then offered us a wide variety of native food as appetizers. We had whale skin, dried fish and whale meat, cod liver and blackberries and seal “juice” that had been buried in the ground for two months to give it that “just right” flavor. I tried everything and found the whale skin not too bad and the rest, well let’s just say it was editable. The seal juice really wasn’t as bad as it sounded.



Hans and his wife showing off their traditional Inuit ceremonial clothing complete with seal skin boots.



To be continued:

Ferry Flight Pic Of The Day


On the Germany trip it just so happened that Marcio and I were going to be arriving at Wick Scotland with the Cirrus on the same day that Cory and Pete were getting there in a Caravan they were delivering to Kenya.  When we found this out we challenge them to a race to Wick with a bottle of scotch on the line.  The next day while en route to Wick we developed problems with the aircraft and diverted to France to sort them out.   We bet them a bottle of scotch, we didn’t say anything about it being full.

Germany To Vegas Day 6 Part lll

   One of the great things about being a ferry pilot is that once in a while you get to have a little fun that you’d never be able to do if you were hauling cargo or passengers, same thing really.  We took advantage of it coming into Narsarsuaq Greenland and when we’d told the tower of our intentions to fly around sightseeing another pilot coming in from Goose bay almost immediately announced that he was going to do the same thing.  Marcio and I laughed when we heard the pilot announce his intention to copy us but it then became sort of a pain because the tower was continuously calling both of us to report our position relative to the airport.  I appreciated the fact that he was trying to keep us from clacking into each other but it was still annoying.  Despite being fat on gas on a perfect day we couldn’t screw around forever so we flew out over the ocean then back up the fjord to Narsarsuaq.


  I’ve described the airport and landing before but for those of you that are new here’s a brief description.  Narsarsuaq airport has been described as one of the worlds top ten most dangerous airports to land at because of being located at the end of a long deep fjord surrounded by tall mountains.  The approach plate states that once you’re past the missed approach point go-arounds are not recommended.  The airports that are usually listed as the top three most dangerous are there because they are so short but in my opinion they aren’t as dangerous as Narsarsuaq because of it’s location.  On the short runways, such as St. Barts which I’ve landed at, if you screw up your set up just add power and try again.  And if the weather changes most of them have other airports close by to divert to.  With Narsarsuaq not only is the landing very challenging but the weather can change in a heartbeat and with the nearest alternate airport almost three hundred miles away a pilot can find himself out of options very quickly.  Thus in my opinion, which is the only one that matters,  Narsarsuaq is far more dangerous than almost any other airport in the world.  End of speech.

  But the weather wasn’t a factor that day and Marcio only bounced the Cirrus once on landing, jet guys, go figure.  As we were taxiing to the ramp Marcio turned his phone on to see if he had coverage and to check his emails, not the first thing I do when I land after an ocean crossing but I’m not a young whipper snapper like Marcio he’s only 40years old fer Cripes sake.  The prop hadn’t stopped spinning yet when my big Brazilian co-pilot let out a moan and told me the bad news.  He’d gotten a message from one of the new owners that stated that someone had forgotten to file some sort of export paperwork on the plane we were flying and if they couldn’t sort it out, which was unlikely, we’d have to bring the Cirrus back to Iceland to be cleared for export.  Obviously this little bit of news didn’t sit very well with either of us because we’d just completed the most dangerous leg of the trip and there was NO WAY we were going to do it again.  Not without being very well compensated for our trouble and added risk.

To be continued: