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.