With all the planning and heartburn at the hands of various aviation and survival related people, I now feel I am at the IAF – as it is called in instrument flying….the initial approach fix. Time to start planning the count down to our departure. The big stuff has mostly been addressed and taken care of, but the final fine tuning is still required….Being in aviation, I am very big on check lists. So, I have started putting together a departure checklist, which is a combination of three checklists that slightly overlap each other as far as their timeline is considered.
The first checklist takes us from 5/22 to 5/28. The second one takes us from 5/28 to 6/6 and the third one takes us from 6/6 to 6/9 – the date we depart the US. Believe it or not, we are putting together a schedule/timeline that shows the dependencies and durations of each task culminating in our departure. Here are the salient features:
May 22 :
- Plane arrives from New Jersey after being outfitted with the large capacity tank, HF radio and the required paperwork.
- Plane is promptly turned over to our A&P in Birmingham, Alabama.
- Remove aircraft registration, airworthiness certification, Radio License, fuel system 337 and form 8110. Scan, store on Cloud, dropbox, thumb drive, iPhone and email to Anderson Aviation, Honolulu for record keeping and confirming inspection/over gross permit on our return flight from Hawaii to California. Email all the documents requested by Eddie Gould/Ahmed/GASE, our handlers/flight planners/miestros extra ordinaire to help with our flight planning.
- Our A&P replaces: Tires, Tubes, brake pads, swaps out single yoke for dual control yoke, replaces the flimsy Beechcraft locks and installs the new sturdy locks.
- Depart for Indianapolis
- Test the HF radio – make calls to make sure it works.
- Depart for Chicago -
- Haris delivers a plane in Alabama and logs in another 6+ hours of instrument time (last week he along with his instructor delivered a plane in North Dakota and clocked 9 hours of instrument time)
- Return to Indianapolis from Chicago
- Pack our bags for the trip – we have a total allowance of 40 pounds for our stuff for this trip. This requires weighing everything, including tooth brush, tooth paste, shaving stuff, deodorant etc. etc.
- Pack the survival bag wit
- Practice ditching and egress and discuss roles and responsibilities during an emergency
- Finalize 2-pilot CRM manual
- Finalize my will, power of attorney and living will. Transfer control of all bank/accounts to my better half.
- Return to Alabama
- A&P to do Prop balancing at 2300 RPM – our planned configuration
- Take plane to Pell City and get backup AI installed, fuel totalizer interfaced with GPS and swing compass, install a second compass
- Decide what to do about Mustang full immersion suit situation – if Mustang does not have their act together, we cancel the order and order the suits from Imperial.
- Bring plane back from Pell City
- Travel to Indianapolis
- Practice emergency procedures with Haris
- Haris takes his Instrument written
- Plot flight plan and develop reporting points while crossing the Atlantic for reporting to the appropriate oceanic reporting authority
- Travel back to Alabama
6/2 -6/4 :
- Allow Star Navigation to install their tracking system
- Review everything to see if anything is missing or details not covered
- Make copies of all the documents
- A&P Mechanic inspects EVERYTHING – AGAIN.
- Fly plane to Indianapolis
- Change the oil for the trip
- Start studying weather charts for first three segments – to Goose Bay to Reykjavik to London
- This will continue on during the entire flight – always start tracking weather for three days out in the segments we fly to see the weather movements and check forecasts.
- Maybe rest and relax
- Download Garmin flite chart and nag data for single download for the Atlantic region
- Update all electronic databases
- Install iPad Air, iPad Mini and Garmin 796 in the plane
- Move the plane to Greenwood airport for the June 7 party and to prepare for departure.
- Depart for Trenton Robbinsville, New Jersey
- Air Mod installs the final fuel components, fuels up – ready to launch
- File eApis with Department of Homeland Security for departing the US
- File ICAO instrument flight plan
- Launch for Goose Bay, Canada
Here is our initial flight plan: