Shiv was a long time ferry pilot, if not a very good one, and the source of many great stories. One of the most legendary took place when he was flying from the Faroe Islands off the northern coast of the Scotland en route to Iceland. According to the story Shiv had gotten himself lost and was flying under a low cloud deck in hazy conditions. He was in contact with Reykjavik ATC at the time but was flying too low to be picked up on radar and until he either made it to land or started receiving a navigational aid he was on his own. In and out of the clouds Shiv finally saw a shoreline through a small hole in the haze. The controller informed him that if he was approaching Iceland from the south all he had to do was turn left and follow the shoreline and it would lead him to Reykjavik. Shiv dove down through the hole, banked left and started following the shoreline like he had been told.
After an hour Shiv called Reykjavik wondering how far it was to the airport because he hadn’t even seen the city yet and shouldn’t he be there by now? The controller agreed that he should have started to see the city by now even with poor visibility. Being a local the controller was very familiar with the area and asked Shiv to describe what he was seeing. Shiv told him that he only saw a few homes on the shoreline and a lot of white churches. When the controller asked him what he meant by a “lot of white churches” Shiv told him that he was passing a white church every five miles or so. The controller was confused because he was unaware of any churches on the southern coast of Iceland and asked Shiv to describe the next church he flew by. When Shiv described the church the controller thought he might have figured out where he was and asked Shiv if the next church was built exactly like the last one. The next church came into view and sure enough it looked exactly like the previous one. Shiv asked the controller how he knew what the church was going to look like before he got there. The controller told Shiv that was because he wasn’t really following the coast at all but was instead flying around an inland lake and was passing the same church over and over.
Lesson learned: I’m not really sure what the lesson was there. Don’t get lost in a lake I suppose.