19 September 2013

Kodiak Ferry Flight - Day 1

Bangor, Maine, USA to St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada.

800 miles (1300 km) and 4h 28 of flying.

If you want to follow the flight as it happens, we have a satellite tracking unit in the plane. If you click on the following link (you might also have to click on the uppermost green 'view' link also) you can find out where the aircraft is and even see it's real time track when it's flying.

https://app.spidertracks.com/home.mvc/viewuserspiders?sid=bvSRpwx5d1TjKQSx_7xK6GGOhQLNCHs4xSjFDgH9OxiFGFAhXkh56JInLGqjfx8C

If you do follow on the tracking site you would see something similar to the pictures below.

Click on any green dot and you can see height, speed and direction etc



Zoomed out to give an idea of how far is yet to go.

John wrote an update after the flight:

Hi all,

I will try to update you all after a long day.

We have had an amazing two days of beautiful sunshine and the weather has co-operated beautifully, or should I say God seems to have blessed us with great weather in which to get used to the aircraft, both for the test flying I did in the USA as well as a very low stress trip to St. John's.

I have to say that chasing around for all the paperwork and logistics leading up to the departure was rather stressful and I became somewhat pre-occupied with the details which I thought may trip us up.

We managed to get customs and immigration clearance yesterday before we left and that was a very painless experience. At breakfast this morning, we met Leon, the South African ferry pilot who lent us the survival equipment. He was a wealth of information and reminded me of the Canadian customs requirements, which I had forgotten, this turned out to be a very easy 10 minute phone call to the Canadian customs. When we landed in St. John's the customs guys were waiting on the tarmac for us, a bit of a surprise, but they were incredibly polite and helpful. They of course wanted to see all our paperwork, specifically the permission to operate the aircraft in Canadian airspace, overweight and modified.

The FBO for fuel and handling was a complete surprise to me as the woman, Sarah, was more than incredibly helpful. She bent over backwards to help us. She even found accommodation for us in a town where all the hotels are fully booked right now.

The only surprise is the North Atlantic weather. Hurricane Humberto, or rather what is left of it, is sitting mid Atlantic with a forecast to cross our path. The problem is not Humberto, but the low pressure associated with it. This has fed another huge (approximately 800 km in length) system with embedded thunderstorms and nasty stuff inside. A call to the weather briefing office in Halifax bore the bad news that the system would be right across our path tomorrow. We were advised to check again this evening and we are seeing what is looking like the system breaking up a bit. While I write this (10:30pm), Neil is calling the weather office again to find out what we are likely to face tomorrow. So right now our departure is uncertain for tomorrow.

We are in some apartment suites downtown in St Johns as the only available place. Very comfortable although not very near to the airport, but good anyway.

The flight to St. John's was very beautiful, visibility was unlimited and the view of the countryside and islands was spectacular.

We expect about 9 hours for the leg to the Azores and have almost 12 hours endurance, so we do have some reserve for diversions for weather.

Listening to Neil on the phone right now, it seems that we may have an open window in the morning, so watch Spidertracks for the next episode.

Neil is a fantastic asset with his experience in crossing the Atlantic numerous times in airliners. His weather judgement is well informed and his extensive experience really is a bonus.

Sorry, no pictures yet, as it has been a busy day and no time to download pictures.

Blessings

John

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