And here we go again. Cory from CB Aviation called last week wondering if I’d be interested in helping a pilot and his father in law ferry his brand new Cessna Grand Caravan from the US to Singapore. I wanted to say HELL YES!! But leaving just as the skydiving season is heating up is not exactly what I would call perfect timing. What I should do is stay home and put all my energy into my drop zone and spend as much quality time with Number One Son before he heads off to basic training in September. But as I have confessed before I have what the doctors call “Can’t say no” syndrome. So as you might have guessed I’m sitting in a cheap hotel in Goose Bay Labrador getting ready to cross the North Atlantic once again. OK, maybe you didn’t guess that I was in Goose but it didn’t take Sherlock Holmes to figure out that I accepted the trip.
So a brief report of the trip so far. Problem one, because a ferry flight is just a series of problems to be solved, the owner, I’ll call him Stuart, because that’s his name, and his father-in-law, I’ll call him Jack, for no particular reason, wanted to fly the Caravan east over the North Atlantic, through Europe, the middle east, India and through Thailand to Singapore. And in order to do that we all needed to get Visas from India. The problem with that was it usually takes up to ten days to get a visa and we didn’t want to wait that long. I proposed flying west through Russia and down through China, Korea, and Vietnam. I proposed this route for a number of reasons; Number one it was about 2500 miles shorter to go west. Number two, I’ve already flown the east route to Singapore and I wanted to see China and Vietnam. Number three, I’ve almost piloted a plane around the entire world except for a small section of Latitude, or is it Longitude? I can never remember which one runs up and down, from Singapore to the Manila. If we flew west to get to Singapore I will finally completed my goal of flying around the whole globe. OK the last 2 reasons are kind of selfish but I still they are good reasons. Unfortunately Stuart was uncomfortable with the current US-Russian relations so east is was. Luckily we were able to get our visas in just a few days and head out. The first stop was supposed to be Bangor Maine but a line of thunderstorms forced us up to Sault Ste Marie making our first day a long and relatively unproductive one. Day gave us bright blue skies and a smooth ride up to Goose Bay Labrador with a fuel stop in Chibougomau. That’s pronounced Sha booog a mooo. The weather at Goose was kind of crappy giving Stuart a chance to put his glass cockpit to use by having the auto pilot fly the approach. Everything was going smoothly until some kind of alarm started wailing and the autopilot kick off catching Stuart completely off guard. In the few seconds it took him to react the plane had drifted off the glide path and localizer. I could have helped him but this pop quiz was just what Stuart needed to get him back up to speed flying IFR. He was a little rough at first but he managed to fly a pretty good approach at the end. After we landed and started unloading the plane I noticed something a little out sorts.