11 March 2013

Kodiak Ferry Update 11

Well at last you get another update!

Being delayed by bureaucracy is probably one of the most frustrating things that can happen. Authorities have the power to determine things that we have no control over and their timing is certainly not ours. In hindsight we can look back and say we should have planned for the Northern route and simply done it without a ferry tank. This would have cost a lot more, but we would more than likely be home in SA by now! It is always easy to look back and say "we should have this or that", but today we launched for Bangor, Maine.

The flight was uneventful, and I, as usual, forgot about taking pictures or video at the crucial times. I forgot to switch my camera on when it was important, so there is a lack of good pictures.

We left Robbinsville, New Jersey for a larger field nearby (8 nm) to upload some fuel and then we launched for a route around the eastern part of the busy New York airspace. This is not difficult on an IFR flight plan provided you find the waypoints given in your clearance. We filed a certain route, entered that route into the Kodiak's sophisticated navigation unit, but the clearance we were given, had none of the waypoints we filed. Well, no great problem, we got it sorted out and enjoyed a late afternoon and evening flight in excellent weather through New Jersey, New York and the New England states. I have yet to see Maine in the daylight.

The airfield we stopped at for fuel still had plenty of evidence of the heavy snow that fell the day before. We are very grateful for good weather. I will try to get some better pictures on our next leg to St John's.

The paperwork challenges we still face are:
1. FAA special flight permit that allow us to fly overweight and
2. The same from the Canadian Authorities, but this is more of a formality, but can still take up to 2 working days. There are also additional paperwork challenges related to Customs, and other officialdom. We have hoped and prayed for a speedy transition through New Jersey, which took us all of 11 days!!! We are a bit numb from the frustration, and it certainly does not help to complain or get worked up about it. It feels good to be one more step closer to home, with a long way to go.

On the flight to Bangor we had the opportunity to test our ferry tank, to make sure it all worked as advertised, and we are satisfied that it will do the job. Unfortunately our Spidertracks unit did not do the job at all. No position reports we sent, despite double checking that it had all been set up correctly. We do have time to get the manufacturers to help us trouble-shoot the problem. I was also hoping to send some text messages from the plane while in flight through the Spidertracks system, but again, no joy. The staff have been more than helpful and I assume they will do the same again.

John and Ron

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