FINALLY….stars seemed to be aligned for a Tuesday, June 17 departure. Due to the size of the extra fuel tank in the cabin, the loading of our “stuff” is rather critical from, mainly two standpoints; firstly, there is concern for the weight & balance (mass and balance in the rest of the world) and Center of Gravity (CG), and secondly, there is very little room left after the moorings and tetherings for the turtle pac (extra fuel tank). So, we need to get creative in loading and placement of our “stuff”. But then everything needs to be tied down as well to make sure things don’t start flying around if we hit turbulence or during climb out or landing. Today, we will complete the loading part. Also, due to lack of availability of engine oil in lots of places world wide, we are planning to take enough oil with us to allow us to do at least two oil changes. I had ordered several cases of oil a couple of months ago, just in case. Now if we can only get the kind of oil we need in Australia, we will be all set ! I called and talked to one of our Beechcraft (Beechtalk) pilots, David Brown, in Brisbane and am trying to get info on disinsection of the plane and also the oil change. David has agreed to do some research and get me the info I need.
We have developed all of our flight plans, reporting points, fuel requirements for each leg and time enroute for the entire trip. This will reduce the amount of workload on us during our trip. We are also using a company that provides very detailed weather briefings and other pertinent information about each leg and also allows us to file our flight plans. We are now keeping a very sharp eye on weather systems for the first two legs of our flight…..
My 85+ year old mother has been quizzing me today about what happens if Haris falls asleep while flying the plane. She advised me to take the fixings for making hot black tea for Haris to drink to make sure he stays awake. She did not believe that Otto is a better pilot than me and Haris for enroute cruise part of our trip. She asked me what was the longest flight where Haris was the pilot; I advised her that his longest flight was 9 hours to North Dakota last month, which put her at ease, but then she asked me what my longest leg was….I did not have a 9 hour flight in my log book. She is also advising me to take adequate rests of one to two days between each leg so we don’t get tired and sleepy for the next leg. All valid concerns…..part of the aviation decision making. After all, her two sons and one son in law are pilots….she ought to know a thing or two about aviation !