Took off for Wick Scotland, the last leg of our Atlantic crossing. Not many people know it but Iceland has its own little icecap. It obviously not as big as Greenland’s but its still kind of a cool knob of perfectly smooth ice with multiple glaciers flowing off it. Lee and I were still worried about the right engine leaking oil but it seemed to have settled down to losing about one quart every two hours. Not great but I don’t think we’re in any immediate danger of running the engine out of oil, which would be bad. 3 and a half hours after leaving Iceland the orange cliffs of Scotland came into view. I let Lee do the approach and landing, which was acceptable, I guess.
After shutting down my good friend Andrew from Far North Aviation pulled up with the fuel truck for a quick turn and burn. We had called him 100 miles out and asked if there was an airport in northern Europe that we could land at late at night and he had recommended Rotterdam. He told us that it was 24/7 and that the gas and fees were reasonable. I’ve known Andrew for years and trust him as the go to guy in the ferry information business, he’s also who we rent survival suits and rafts from. He keeps a stock of both in Goose Bay and Wick. Pilots needing either can rent them in one place and drop them off in another. It’s a great service because unlike back in the old days the airlines won’t let you check your life raft on the way home forcing you to either open the raft and remove the compressed cylinder, and then having to pay $500 or more to have it re-packed or abandon it.
After paying for the gas and the survival suit rental Andrew gave us 2 cases of oil, and by gave I mean sold us for an outrageous price, because it looked like we were going to need a lot of oil to complete the trip to Bangkok. He also had our flight plane for Rotterdam all ready for us. That is another of the great services Andrew provides, he always takes care of the flight plans and notifications for us it really speeds things along.
Lee and I blasted off over the North sea for Rotterdam with a full load of gas and a song in our hearts, OK, the songs were being piped into our headsets from our phones but you get the idea. Shortly after the sun went down a huge orange full moon rose bathing the tops of the clouds in a deep rosy glow. It was a beautiful night for flying.
When we got close to Rotterdam control called us and asked if we knew that the after hours landing fees in Rotterdam were very expensive and were we sure we wanted to land? What the hell? “I thought Andrew said this was a cheap stop?” There was not much we could do about it now, because it would cost more in fuel to turn back and fly to Wick, at least I hoped so.