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  1. Leg 58 Part 2 - LIRP San Giusto (Pisa, Italy) to LSZE Bad Ragaz (Switzerland) This, the second part of this leg takes me from Pisa north to the Alps, and over them to the ski resort of Bad Ragaz. I was still a bit shaken from the first section of this leg, but I was in one piece thanks to the plucky little Harrier, and I was pleased to find out I was to continue my journey with the same aircraft. For those of you who read it, there is probably a lucrative pilots vacancy in Henchmans Weekly after my drama in the first part of this leg. However, Jasmin had stitched me up for thi
  2. Leg 58 Part 1 - LIRU Urbe (Rome, Italy) to LIRP San Giusto (Pisa, Italy) At the end of leg 54 I found myself kicking my heals in Rhodes, that ever popular island holiday destination. Naturally there are the beaches to explore, heaving with tourists awash with factor eight slowly spit-roasting themselves under the sun, wearing wholly inappropriate clothing for their body mass, and no doubt providing the locals with endless mirth and more than a little nausea. Beaches are not for me. I do not like to experience sand in my eyes, clinging to me wherever it possibly can, abrading my
  3. Leg 54: Baghdad Intl ORBI to Diagoras (Rhodes) LGRP After Luxor, Jasmine departed and flew back to England or so I thought. I went on to Baghdad on my own. It’s been over fifteen years since the invasion of Iraq but I was still nervous about going there. The last attack was in April of last year when a funeral in near Al-Shirqat in the north of Iraq, was targeted, Baghdad’s last attack was in January of last year. I reckoned that being a westerner made me more of a target and I wondered what extra efforts I should take to stay safe. Jasmin had given me a name and a contact number o
  4. Leg 51: HADC Combolcha to HELX Luxor Part 2 - The Flight Christmas Day over, Boxing Day arrived beckoning me to have a few jars and to watch the local Morris Dancers do their thing in the in the pub carpark. It's always a good lunchtime treat, time to catch up with old friends whilst watching the inhibitions of the dancers drop away with every pint. At the start they do a dance with staves, gently taping them together as part of the dance. They do the same dance at the end when they are completely ratted on the beer. It’s a spectacle, Staves no longer being tapped together but hit so ha
  5. Leg 51: HADC Combolcha to HELX Luxor. Part 1 – Home for Christmas I had arrived in Libreville on September 15th at the end of leg 44 and had to wait almost a month until Joe turned up to collect the baton. Jasmin had left two days into my stay and had headed to Gibraltar for some unknown reason. After we had met up, in my hotel, Joe muttered some sort of apology and something about unserviceable aircraft, difficult ATC and something about his route. I was torn between two feelings: Where the f*** have you been and thank f*** you’re here. The latter won as
  6. Leg 42: KLGA La Guardian to GCLP Gran Canarias The last couple of legs I have flown have had a strange feeling about them. I think that this is because there seemed to be a lot going on behind the scenes. There was the gun battle at Panama City which I was kept isolated from, and then there was the entire Royal Navy ships thing, which I am beginning to think was a diversion to keep me away from other things closer to my expected route. Something was distinctly fishy, and I wanted to know what was going on. Questions put to Jasmine and Clive were met with a quick dismissal with an
  7. Leg 36: MMCT Chichen-Itza to MMPN Lic and Gen Ignacio Rayo (Uruapan) You may recall the events of Leg 34, me being shot at by a SAM in Columbia the gun battle (which I managed to miss) and the discovery that Putinfeld was trying to obtain the binary parts of a strain of Novichok. All signs of an escalation of the efforts of P. to gain the upper hand in his feud with yours truly. What I, or any of the security services for that matter, hadn’t understood was why this more overt and risky strategy was being implemented. Just why was P. taking such risks at this stage? I flew the Ga
  8. Leg 34 Part 2: MPMG Marcos A Gelabert Intl (Panama City, Panama.) to MPFS Sherman (Fort Sherman, Panama) I didn’t like this. We were waiting too long for a ride out of here, and for a short hop as well. Putinfeld has a great opportunity to get men here and also to our destination. If we didn’t get on our way soon we ran the risk of being royally fecked over. It had been a week now and it looked like becoming two. It had seemed like Jasmine had been on the phone 24/7 since we arrived in Panama City demanding a replacement aircraft and to know what had been going on with the whole mi
  9. Leg 34 Part one: SKBO Eldorado Intl (Bogota, Colombia) to MPMG Marcos A Gelabert Intl (Panama City, Panama.) At the end of Leg 22 I found myself on the Pacific Island of Niue, I was bundled into a van and taken to a place called Turtle Lodge to wait for Joe to catch us up for leg 23. I was under secure guard as a hitman called Boris Storarovson was looking for me with a view to doing his job. The baton was duly handed over to Joe. There was suspicion in his eyes as he weighed up the Baton in his hands but he said nothing. He had the real Baton but had correctly realized that it was some
  10. Please note: The events detailed below concerning the Baton have been approved by the highest authority, Mutley himself. In Leg 20, Jasmine and I completed the leg and ended up in the bar at NFNA Nausori International This PIREP starts form us being is that bar and before Leg 21 starts. Music to play when reading this: Leg 22. Theft, destruction and recovery. We were there waiting for Ros to turn up. We wanted to do the Baton hand over as soon as possible so that he could get away before P’s goons arrived as we knew they were hot on our heels. He di
  11. Leg 20. Part two. The Cat. From NVVW White Grass (Tanna) to NFNA Nausori International (Fiji) Music to read this with (Thanks Matt for the Idea) I sat around for three days while I waited for something to happen. The day after we arrived from NWWE Moue I sat outside the airport building air side with another gin-less tonic and watched an RAF crew strip down the Chinook to its essentials, rotor blades off and stowed inside the aircraft and generally slimmed off as soon as was possible. On the next day I reverted to proper Gin and tonics at it was clea
  12. Ah, Cambodia! I hated it when I first flew here back in the late 1960’s and I still hate it now. Back then, though, I wasn’t spending much time on the ground in the country. However, since then, Cambodia has been good to me and it has made me a wealthy man, flying any cargo for profit - and I do mean “any”'. It all started when I was flying for Air America and when those operations ceased in the mid 1970’s I took leave of my service to the government. I slipped into Phnom Penh and set myself up as a mercenary pilot for hire and I would take on any job, just as long as the price was right. Afte
  13. Somehow I'd managed to end up in a bar in Estonia, wearing one of those Russian fur hats. Ushanka, I think they call it. At least that's what it sounded like. The woman who sold it to me said it made me look handsome. Okay, so I'm gullible. Anyhow the heating in the plane has been dodgy, so you never know, it might keep my ears warm. Captain Coffee had suggested it might be a way to be recognised across a crowded bar (!). Yeah right. Just "the person in the silly hat that everyone's steering clear of" would have done the trick. The waitress was getting antsy to be paid for the mas
  14. Welcome to this, our inaugural flight of the Around the World Challenge 7even. With 47,742 miles to go, this is indeed a daunting prospect, but hey, we’ve done it 6 times before! So, dust off your passports, oil your oily rag, clench your cheeks, and here goes! Having secured the fuel card from the bank, I dropped my trousers (wait for it..) off at the dry cleaners to have the knees sewn back in (such was the groveling), I'll pick them up when we get back. I snatch the baton from its resting place and it is in remarkable condition seeing it has been the equivalent dista
  15. "So, are you up to anything next week?", Phillippe asked. Was he kidding? It had been a crazy few months, and all I wanted to do after I had finished my last leg for Joe and the Hangar, was to batten down the hatches, unplug the phone, and spend some quality time with my long suffering husband.. "I'll make it worth your while" he added, sensing that I was about to say no, "and I'll make sure you get the 5-star treatment". There was a pregnant pause as I weighed up the options; I had been having terrible problems trying to find an aircraft for my last leg at such short notice withou
  16. This is it. My final leg before we indulge in the last minute rush that is leg 70. What a trip it's been. From the the old to the new, the large to the small, it's been a struggle to find time to enjoy life's little pleasures. So for this small leg, I decided it was time to slow down, take a moment and enjoy a little sight seeing. Well for about two seconds. I'm my case, slowing down was relative. I did toy with flying the Mitchell wing. But with a fuel tank smaller than a babies bladder, that proved impractical. Plus there's slow and there Mitchell wing slow (top speed is just 55kts). Instead
  17. After a somewhat turbulent time at home having been maliciously cut off from the World Wide Web by the very secretive BT OpenReach guys, I finally received information that I should have been in Pula, Croatia at least a couple of weeks ago. Having been thrust in to the dark ages by the aforementioned company by way of cutting our telegraph pole down and erecting a freshly hewn tree in its place, resplendent with a new connection box, we realised that the overworked, overpaid idiot of a technician failed to spot that he had not reconnected three local telephone lines. Ours, being one of them.
  18. Well now, I was left with some things to work out. In preparation for my leg I had booked a rental plane using the Hangar Credit card, but as John had managed to get his wallet, with the card in it, stolen during the last leg I had to re-arrange my plans. The rental company was very clear that I had to present the physical card before I could check my plane out, so new plans had to be drawn. Even though Putinfeld appeared to be out of the story for the moment I still was a bit apprehensive about spending additional time in Crotone considering John's entanglement with the Cosa Nostra. I
  19. Pilot reg opens - Wed 09/03/2016 Pilot reg closes - Wed 23/032016 PIREP Due dates* Flight 1 - Fri 25/03/2013 Flight 2 - Mon 27/03/2016 Flight 3 - Wed 29/03/2016 Flight 4 - Fri 31/03/2016 Flight 5 - Sun 03/04/2016 *The dates above are the PIREP submission dates. The actual date you fly is entirely up to you to allow for any commitments you have. MEBAR closes Sat 09/04/2016 http://mebar.mutleyshangar.com/
  20. Chez moi at the end of Leg 58. The end of my last leg, leg 58 saw Jas and I waiting for Kieran in a nomad’s tent in the middle of nowhere, otherwise known as Menaka. Having passed the baton over to Kieran we bade out hospitable tribesmen goodbye and a hearty thank you for their kindness in putting us up for the few days we were there. Jas and I flew the A400M out of Menaka and on to Sicily and then to RAF Akrotiri. At last a destination where I would be safe under the RAF’s wing and a place where I could relax a little. It was Jas’s turn to drive, and as the 3,700 Km flight was sl
  21. The flight out of Iferouane was interesting, to say the least. With no scheduled flights and the An-32 gone back to the lessor, a quick search revealed nothing. At all. Getting to Sebha was going to be difficult Would you trust this pilot? I had to to meet the deadline And the stewardess wasn't much better. Although, she did look familiar..... "Sharon?" I ventured Turns out that Sharon wasn't too pleased about the lack of her in the challenge, and the rise of Jasmine in John's stories. So she fled to Africa and did odd jobs there. It was only then that I realised that
  22. Welcome to Iferouane, Niger. Not the most urban of airfields, but the locals are pleasant and hospitable to us foreigners and our huge visiting aircraft. Iferouane is an oasis town in norther Niger, in Agadez Department,. It is located northeast of Arlit in the northern Air, Lghazar valley near the Tamgak Range. Iferouane is also the location of the headquarters of the Aïr and Ténéré Natural Reserves, a World Heritage Site covering more than 19,000,000 acres.The Project for the Conservation and Management of the Natural Resources of the Aïr-Ténéré, a joint venture between the government of N
  23. With Putinfeld seemingly getting closer every day to seizing the baton, I decided to try and beat him at his own game. It had been clear, from previous attempts on the baton’s life, that Russian aircraft and equipment had been used. So, first thing was to get a Russian aircraft. I looked for the obvious choice – the Antonov An-24. Sadly, just as the lease was finalised and I went to give the aircraft one last look over, somebody stole the wheels and the propellers. So time to find another aircraft. Sticking with the Russian theme, I found this up for lease: Interestingly, the aircraft
  24. At the end of leg 56 I found myself up shits creek without a paddle in the town of Bouake in the Ivory Coast. Actually being in Bouake is bad enough, but being in the town lockup was a whole lot worse. True, I was safe from being robbed, murdered or kidnapped, or indeed all three of these things whilst in the jail, but that made but a little alleviation to the more personal danger that being inside the lockup presented, that is to say, rape. At least whilst on the outside I could mitigate the offered perils by avoiding certain areas (most of the town in fact), or buying a black market gun
  25. There was no two ways about it… I was late! I all but ran through the departures lounge at Heathrow Airport, apologising to several unsuspecting travellers as I weaved left to right and my wheeled cabin-case (accidentally) ran into their ankles...Where on earth was the check-in desk? “You’re lucky”, the desk assistant said, “if you can get through Passport Control without a hitch, you should just be able to make it to the gate in time”. He handed my passport back and with a hurried thank you and apologies for my tardiness, I headed for Security. I chose what appeared to be the fast
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