So what can you do when you have a day off in Greenland? As it turns out, not much. We checked into the hotel because they finally had rooms, shoped for some cheap crap, finally finding something worth buying, and had dinner, a lovely fusion of Musk Ox and Thai food, and spent the rest of the day talking with the boys about the weather and bad things that can happen to those who go flying when they should have stayed on the ground. We our decision not to fly but hey, we’re still alive aren’t we?
I’m sure the look on our faces said it all while we listened to the Danish weather briefer give us the scoop. The weather crossing the icecap was forecst to be goodbut once again Iceland was supposed to be crappy. Not as bad as the last two days but still on the scary side. The forecast was for low clouds and strong winds at the time we should arrive. The clouds were supposed to be around 500 feet, low but doable. What was giving us the sour face was that 3 hours after, the fog was supposed to come back in and possibly close the airport down. If the forecast was accurate we should be having after dinner drinks by the time that happened but if the fog came early we might be screwed. So it was decision time. Go for it and risk being forced to fly a zero zero approach if the fog came early or stay put and risk getting stuck in Greenland for god knows how long. The one ting we had going for us was that there was a small airport with a gravel strip on the east coast of Greenland that we could possibly land at if we got into trouble called Kulusuk. We’d have to call Iceland for weather and make a decision before we got to far from Greenland because once we hit the point of no return we’d be commited. It was a tough call but none of wanted to be stuck in Greenland any longer. So we took off over the icecap and headed for Iceland, caution to the winds and all that. I love to tell you a harrowing story of how we pulled out every trick in the book in order to get into Reykjavik after fog covered the airport but the flight over the icecap was smooth as silk and even though there were low clouds over Iceland the glass cockpit and auto pilot in the Caravan made the approach a non-event.
Good weather and tailwinds made the flight to Wick a pleasant one. One the ground I introduced Stuart and Jack to my old friend Andrew (the Bruce). Andrew runs Far North Aviation and has been providing survival suits, rafts, fuel, and advise for ferry pilots for 25 years. His biggest pet peeve are impatient pilots who have a deadline to meet and don’t stay on the ground when they should. He should know because an average of 3 pilots a year go down in the north Atlantic and most of them were either flying to or leaving Scotland. Stuart asked Andrew if he had any of the TKS anti-icing fluid that the Caravan uses and was promptly informed that TKS fluid was a rip-off and that he made his own brew which he sold half the price. Stuart was dubious but having no other choice bought five gallons. After pouring the counterfeit TKS fluid into the Caravan we took off for a quick 4 hour flight to St. Gall Switzerland, a beautiful little city located at the base of the Alps. It was another beautiful flight over central Europe and whenever I’m there I can’t help but remember that just 70 years ago those sky’s were filled with thousands of bombers and fighters.