Archive for May, 2014

Planning – Missing Items

Posted: May 13, 2014 in Adventure

So what all is missing :

1. Need to replace the three tires, tubes and brake pads

2. Need to replace the single throw over yoke with dual control yoke

3. Check out fuel bladders…..big unknown….

4. Check Aileron Rigging

5. Replace #3 and #4 fuel injectors and test fly and do another GAMI Lean Test to see how engine performs with new injectors

6. Get ISMS Lite – real time monitoring system installed in the plane by Star Navigation

7. Get the Handlers (Eddie Gould) to finalize and start giving me some warm and fuzzies about our flight plan thru 5 continents, over 3 oceans and thru 22 countries…..

8. Raft is still not here – will call them every day until they delver starting tomorrow.

9. SOLAS full immersion suits are due by the end of the month….not a very comforting feeling….

10. Will call Garmin tomorrow to get them to send the GPS data cards


What am I missing….

Planning – The Small Stuff

Posted: May 10, 2014 in Adventure

Yesterday my ferry pilot picked up the Bonanza and delivered it to Air Mod in New Jersey to get the Turtle Pac (160 gallon tank) installed along with the plumbing that goes with it.  There was a huge weather system moving in from the West so Robert Miranda, who is Captain in United Airlines with over 11,000 hours, decided to take off around 7:30 AM central time.  The storm on his tail gave him a good push and he cruised at around 200 knots all the way to New Jersey.  I was tracking him and as soon as he came clear of the clouds he cancelled IFR.  The plane dropped from view and gave me a few anxious moments until I picked  him up again on another tracking web site.  The ferry pilot picked up some small issues with the plane that have been relayed to my A&P, who will take care of them as soon as the plane comes back from New Jersey.  The dual yoke parts that were missing have been shipped by Cygnet yesterday and I need to have a discussion with them about the cost of the items they have shipped…..this stuff will be installed in the plane after it comes back from New Jersey.  The last maintenance items include the new door locks for the cabin, replacement of all tires and tubes and also installation of all new brake pads.

One of the ex-PAF pilots, who owns Star Navigation Systems has offered to install a real time flight tracking and management system in our plane. Their chief Techie, Amir Bhatti and their technician will be in Birmingham, Alabama after the 18th to install their system.  This system will do live tracking (that should have been done on Malaysian Airline Flight 370) and will allow us to use a satellite phone and real time texting while flying all over the world.  Now I will have two satellite phones with me on this trip…Haris will not have the time to text while he flies and I watch from the right seat.  Upon our return, Haris will have enough hours to take his Commercial Check ride and maybe even go on and get his instructor rating (CFI) while he is at it.  Then he can give me my Biennial Flight Reviews (BFR) and maybe even Instrument Proficiency Checks (IPCs)……

In the meantime, my survival equipment keeps trickling in.  We have converted our dining table as the area to stage everything we are receiving.  When every last item from my list has been delivered, we will get down to the business of selecting what all to take.  Looking at everything i have so far, I may have over done the survival bit…..there is just too much stuff.  The two important things that have not shown up so far are the repacked Raft from Winslow and the full SOLAS immersion suites from Mustang.  Both of these items should show up towards the end of May….they better show up or we are in a little bind….

Jeppessen delivered the enroute charts.  There is no way that I am going to bring paper charts with me on this trip.  They must weigh about 20 pounds.  I am loading them on a Macbook Air and also on two iPads for backup.  The panel mount GPS already has the enroute direct, but no airways.  For that I will need the iPad and also the charts on Garmin 796.  Minor details with huge impacts.

Our handlers, GASE in Egypt, have been successfully completing the “flight of the Ikarus”, whereby two pilots flew a small LSA type plane from Europe all the way down to South Africa down one coast and back the other.  These guys have successfully made it back to France and in a couple of days, they will have completed their trek….an awesome adventure….Kudos to Eddie Gould for the awesome flight planning and the headaches that go with it….

Eddie has made a few changes to our flight plan and has promised to look at the whole thing in greater detail and will advise as and when he has time to finalize the details of our route of flight.

The FAA examiners and Haris’s instructors have decided to roll his PPL and Instrument training into one and will give him one oral and done practical test.  He has already passed the written for PPL and must now also take the written exam for the instrument rating.  His check ride is now slated for early part of June.  There will be a lot of hectic flying between now and then….and on top of that he has to get a sign off on the Bonanza with a Bonanza experienced instructor so he can fly the plane for this trip.

Now we are getting to the point in our planning where we have to start sweating the small stuff.  I am marking things off my checklist as we go along.  But the process is more like nit picking that must be done to get to the point where I can be comfortable with our planning…..

Here is a picture of our survival gear laid out on the dining table.  The stack in the middle is the “paper charts” that we are NOT taking with us.  I just need to find a lightweight and portable USB DVD drive that works with my Macbook Air so we can load updates along the way.

So, its getting hectic.  The avionics people from Jeppesen sent a final quote for my route of flight.  I need to install, test and prepare the route of flight and reporting points on the iPad maps.  The databases have been paid for and navdata card was updated with the worldwide data last night.  The JeppView application has yet to be installed as I forgot the iPad in the plane…. Oh, well….

This week end the local fox news channel has agreed to do an exclusive story on our flight.  So, we need to get together with them on Sunday morning for a photo shoot and an interview.  Sunday night I have to drop off the plane to get air bags installed in the harness style seat belts in Birmingham.  Another pilot will pick me up and take me to my temporary home airport in Alabama where my car is parked.  Monday night I get the plane back and bring it to my temporary home airport.  Tuesday and Wednesday my mechanic removes the rear 4 seats, carpet, writing table and rear baggage compartment to reduce weight and to make room for the extra fuel tank installation.  Finally got the long range fuel tank installer to give me a slot for installing the turtle pac in the plane.  Need to drop off the plane next Friday in New Jersey, then somehow get to Philly airport to fly to Indy to attend a friends daughter’s graduation from Dental School.  Way to go Sarah….congratulations, young lady !

In talking with the fuel tank installer, his advice is to not do a single hop from Canada to UK right after installing the tank but to slowly test the various load configurations throughout the flight until the flight from Hawaii to California.  He asked me to modify my flight plan and instead of going to St Johns, got to Goose Bay, stay the night and next morning fly to Rekjavik, Iceland and then on to UK.  Fine, we will do that.

We get the plane back on May 18 and on Monday I remove and replace the single yoke to dual control yokes so both pilot and co-pilot can fly….we plan to do the last oil change around June 7 and then stow the plane until the start of the trip…. we still have not started our vaccinations and time seems to be running out…..