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Leg 06: Sundsvall-Harnosand (ESNN) - Mariehamn (EFMA) *Do not open with a low bandwidth connection* :)


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Chapter 1: Logistics, Leg 1

 

Heya all.

Sorry I am running late...and I am definitely late. Here's what is going on; I had a new toy being restored that has been running very late...a DeHaviland DH60G Amphibian. Why? Because I operate a seaplane Cargo and Tourist Seaplane business out of Sausalito, Ca. and I have been wanting a Distinctive Signature aircraft to act as a mascot of sorts for my Cargo and Seaplane ride operation. I purchased the company a couple years ago at the bottom of the recently borked economy, and started with a venerable Beaver Amphibian 2 foot under water, and a Cessna 182 Amphibian. The Beaver was the signature craft of the old company and did a fine job of going under water with the old owners :( . I purchased the business in severe distress for a bargain, and have expanded considerably with the improving economy. I wanted a New Mascot to reflect our growth. Flying a classic Biplane seemed like a lot of fun and a great way to attract attention. Unfortunately the engine was the last bit being restored and there was an issue with the oil system that took way longer to resolve than anticipated.
It finally arrived yesterday, and after a day of phone calls, one of our association members agreed to help me get her over to Sundsvall-Harnosand to start my ATWC Baton leg...a bit of a stunt that I'm hoping can be leveraged for some PR potential to introduce our new Mascot.

I had hoped by now to have the Moth shipped cheaply by slow boat to Sweden, and be ready to go by the time Rob arrived...fark me...so much for that plan. :(

If it weren't for the help of a fellow Airhauler, Pat Moran, I would be renting a c172 in Sund-Harn, or nearby, and posting the most boring ATWC leg PIREP ever...not so very good for PR potential. Now Pat Moran is a very interesting guy. He is CEO of the most profitable cargo operation in our loosely associated group of local Airhauler companies. He owns and runs 'EUREKA, We Haul It!' (theoretically based out of Eureka, Ca...but operates out of bases all over the USA, Alaska, and South America) and mostly operates ex-military planes. Our association shares info regarding new aircraft, routing advice, tax issues, sometimes we combine shipping and get better rates for parts and supplies by ordering common items in bulk...but mostly we share gossip and brag about our new planes and adventures over drinks at random meetings/fly ins. Generally, if a broker is offering a deal on a new aircraft, Pat Moran will be the first guy to pick one up and Beta Test it for our group...the guy has very deep pockets.

Now Pat is a very interesting fellow, but despite that he is someone who I don't want to talk toooo much about. He is the kind of guy who always seems like he is redacting his stories as he is telling them, then cuts them short with "If I told you any more I'd have to kill you...as a kindness." So asking for a big favor like this from him was a bit nerve wracking...I was afraid it might come with strings attached which was why I was hesitant to call him in the first place. There are rumors he has been involved in...well...if I told you any more...I might not get a ride to Sund-Harn for my Moth.

Pat called me actually, he is always ahead of the association news. He got wind of my phoning about and my predicament, and as he said.. "I was impatient for your call which i knew was coming...I'm the only guy who can get that piece of...history...to Europe for you on time" he said. He had his own schedule he needed to keep and to help me out and stick to his schedule, things needed expediting..hence his call. Over the phone Pat told me that he was on his way to Europe anyhow to check out potential new bases, and was planning on hauling one of his new toys over there to do his scouting about...in one of his new C5 Galaxies. "I got plenty of room for that piece of...history...you want hauled over for this round the world thingy you got yerself involved in." Ya, his company is doing well, and his easy access to surplus military hardware does nothing to dispel the rumors about him. Admittedly though, knowing of his experience, it gave me pause every time I heard him pause before calling my new toy "History" as if he just redacted a more fitting word.

Sunday Jan 25th: Departure day...so excited to finally be doing this!
We got all our birds together first thing in the morning at KNUQ, Mountain View, Ca. early...8am or so. Pat has a hangar here where he maintains his heavy haulers including this Impressive Galaxy recently retired from Dover AFB, and not yet repainted to his company colors. It is a great location with a very reasonable rent. It is a NASA base, and the Well Connected like Pat and Google CEO's are able to rent hangar space here for a song.
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Folding wings made loading the Moth a breeze.
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A 17.2 foot wide cargo bay meant Pat's 16.8 foot wide Quickie slipped in with just a wee bit of room to spare. Despite the odd angle looking like the ramp was too small, Pat had her in in now time at all. It was pretty impressive watching the man when he was on a task...very focused and no nonsense. "Just get it done" was his MO.

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Ready to rumble at 32R.
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UP up and gear stowing away!
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So long San Francisco Bay and Area...climbing to 40,000 or better, Pat doesn't like to mess about with ATC and traffic, and this thing can easily climb above it
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Passing Lake Tahoe and 35000 feet.
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Over Idaho in no time at all....because we cut across the NW corner of Nevada.
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Hitting Montana in no time at all because the top of Idaho is a skinny bit of nothing but potatoes or icy fields, depending on the time of year. We are cruising at 42,000 feet with only 1200 miles to go to our lay over at CYRT, Nunavut, Canada.
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Crossing over into Canada.
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More Canada.
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It's getting a bit Dusky, Rankin Inlet is ahead just under 50 miles out...it's late and I will be happy for the layover. Pat says: "Get used to it being "late" its going to be a long night tomorrow". Traveling in the NORTH in winter is a whole different time zone it seems.

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Pat starts the descent 40 miles out, throttles chopped, spoilers slightly deployed, we are descending over 4000 FPM..."Mil-Ham Style" Pat calls it with a grin on his face...he clearly loves his Military birds. I wish I could afford one, but doubt I would like the logistics involved keeping one flying.
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Base, CYRT, speed is down to 180 kts as we are idling our way down. This plane inspires a lot of confidence, it is very easy to control the speed via overpowered engines, over sized spoilers and lots of flaps. Dial-a-Knot basically.
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Final, 160 kts, full flaps...no autopilot. "Otto doesn't own this plane, I own the plane, I land the plane, Otto holds the stick when I pee or nap". Speaking of napping, Pat told me a story about how he dealt with long solo flights "Back in the...unspecified day hauling...stuff...to...forested areas with very little traffic" <<<an example of how he auto-redacts a story in progress. He has a shot glass he always carries with him, and he pulled it out of his flight suit thigh pocket for a half second. It was polished stainless steel slightly banged up, with a military looking logo engraved on it. I didn't get a chance to see what outfit, I suspect that was a kindness. Pat said he would put the armrests down on his seat, place a narrow board across the rests, place the shot glass bottom up (it was a rather narrow base) and balance a heavy flight book on the glass bottom. With the autopilot set and all smooth and steady, the book would sit on the glass no problem...but if turbulence hit, or if the aircraft attitude changed very much at all...THUMP...the book landed on his lap and woke his ass up to monitor the situation should anything happen between his alarm that was set to go off every 15 minutes..."lots of power naps, with a lap top alert system" as he described it. I suspect this would be a very bad technique to use anywhere there was lots...or any...traffic.

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Down easy and super gentle...dude can fly, and doesn't want to bruise his new toy in back...I assume he doesn't care too awful much about my "History".
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Pat is also fearless on the ramp, and as mentioned before, impatient. "No worries, a Caravan tail easily fits under a C5 wing" he muttered as he just barreled onto the ramp to get to our parking spot. I held my breath, but he called it right...we had no problems getting past the parked aircraft.
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Such a small ramp for such a big ego...this is a private server right? Pat won't read this? Right!?
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Break time, apparently the drinks are on me tonight. I hope we get to sleep before Pat drinks my wallet flat...he seems anxious to head to the bar and pull that shot glass out again.

Anyhow...Posting what I got for now and I will post another update just as soon as we get to the end of our next leg...over 2000 miles at Night according to Pat...yawn, I better buy myself a shot glass to stay awake.
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Credits:

Alpha C5 Galaxy

Lionheart Q2 Quickie

Golden Age Simulations DeHaviland Moth Amphibian

ORBx North America (forgot to turn on Base after leaving USA...Canada is default textures)

Rex Texture Direct + Rex Soft Clouds.

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Chapter 2: Logistics, Leg 2

 

 

It is Morning:  Jan 26th, Rankin Inlet,  Nunavut, Canada....8Am...goddamn that sun is Bright..and can someone please turn the APU volume down please...Fark Me and my wallet...Pat can drink alright, but NOT ALONE as it transpired. :( To his credit, he can hold his booze, and managed to continue auto-redacting his stories as he regaled the bar with them till well after midnight...as a kindness...sigh.
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Pat seems unaffected by the previous nights drinking, and gets us rolling again as soon as we complete the pre-flight. There is no traffic this early this time of year, and we roll right onto the runway and Pat rolled on the power.
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Gear and flaps stowed...we are away from Rankin Inlet, bound for a Very long leg of 2650 miles to ESNN - Sundsvall Harnosand, Sweden, and the start of ATWC Leg #6 in the prettiest little Moth...I can't wait. Pat however keeps making snorting noises every time I try to bring the subject up...I don't think he believes my nearly Like New Moth is up to the task...so I daydream in private about the upcoming flight, and try to get past the throbbing hangover headache.
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Crazy, it is 200 miles into the flight, but it seems as if the day is getting darker as it gets closer to noon.
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This is what Pat meant by "It's going to be a long night tomorrow"...as we head away from Canada towards Greenland, it is becoming dusk already.
This flight is rather uneventful...2200+ miles through a near polar night time. Pat and I trade the stick, stretch, or nap time. I had a jog or two around the enormous cargo bay, squeezing past the Quickie wings twice per lap. So freaking huge in there.
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Welcome to Noon, Top of the world, January. Bizarre for a California boy like me. By this time, Pat Moran admits that "Yes, I can read the Mutt board, I checked it this morning" he said winking. "it was a very nice write up 'cept that last bit about 'small ramp, large ego'... but I'll give you that I do come across a bit directer than most." He continued, "Regarding the rumors about my past...well...as a matter of fact I have had an interesting past, one that I'm not at liberty to discuss...and I'll thank you to not to say anything more about it on that there Mutt board of yours....but between you and me" he paused to chuckle "...that comment about me auto-redacting every story is spot on...it's become such a habit I don't even notice i am doing it anymore." So, respecting his wish, I'll just say that we had some interesting if redacted chats along the way, perhaps a bit less redacted than normal, and I'm thankful I work a regular civilian job. I'll also confess that Pat grows on you, and he can be a very affable guy with a sharp wit and a war chest of experiences to draw partial stories from.
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Pretty much what the rest of the "Day" looked like...shan't bore us with anymore shots like this till near Sund-Harn and the landing:
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Fast forward to 175 miles from destination...we are over land again, and it is still dark as ink...but this time it is actually Night Time. Pat assures me that the sun does in fact rise in Sweden this time of year. I'm not so confident after the all night day we just finished.
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On approach, Pat's view...150Kts, varying between 400-500 fpm decent, right on the Glide Slope, fully Manual Approach and Landing. Pat has put Otto to sleep as usual.
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Parked and powered down...I can't wait for Tomorrow. I regret that I am doing the Moth's first real Check Flight for the baton leg...but it is a freshly renovated and restored bird...what could possibly go wrong???
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Good night folks, next update after Leg 6 is completed tomorrow. I hope I can sleep tonight...but for now Pat is tapping the shot glass in his thigh pocket. Groan. "Coming Pat!!!"

 

 

Oh shit...

 

Oh god...I m back from the bar 3+ hours later... and I rea lize I never hit the send batoun. It's now 0320 Sundsvall, Sweden time...are there any ex =military pilots that don't drink like pickled fish>?

 

/deliberately focusing on the Submit Post button, while covering one eye with one hand...
 

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Leg Six ATWC:

 

January 27th, 7am, Sundsvall-Harnosand, Sweden.

Fortunately we had left the airplanes in the C5 cargo bay last night, and Pat had some heaters in there to keep things thawed out, as it was FREEEEZING cold when morning came. The weather was fair looking, but felt arctic.
I confess I'm still a bit jet lagged from rapidly shooting around to the other side of the globe through a disorienting near polar night...the over drinking with Pat was definitely no help at all. But I was excited to start the actual baton leg and managed to shake off the fugglies when the alarm went off. I woke as early as I could to meet Rob at the airport cafe for breakfast. He expressed interest in seeing my "Jalopy" and after eating we headed to the ramp. Pat was already at the C5 opening it up and well along with unloading our planes. Does alcohol even affect this guy???
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"Pretty thing..." Rob said dubiously after a close up look at the folded up MOTH. "...but...are you seriously going to fly that on the baton leg?". Condensation billowed from his mouth as he said "It is obviously Winter after all, and that looks like a rather fairer weather bird you got there Matt for this time of year." My own frozen steamy breath replied "Rob, it is almost brand spanking new, completely renovated...and the leg is Only 170ish miles. I really don't think there is any need for concern, I'm really anxious to try her out frankly". "What?!" Rob exclaimed. "You haven't even flown her yet!?". "Well...what with one delay after another, not actually" I had to admit sheepishly. But, I thought to myself... it is a butt-ass simple plane to fly, this thing was designed before the days of Rocket Science, how hard could it be with today's technology to renovate a simple little bird like this and make it reliable?
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He was quite a bit more interested in Pat's Quickie and clumped up the rear ramp, clanked his way down the cargo bay and it's rapidly cooling interior, and then down the front ramp, to check out the Quickie on the other side. "Now that looks like a fast little goer you got there Pat, also this is a lovely big hauler here, where does a fellow pick up one of these?". Pat replied grinning, "If I told you I'd have to kill you, as a mercy" He and Pat talked Quickie2 specs for a couple minutes or so while I left to go work on the Moth and get her prepped for the job ahead.
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I tightened the wing fold mechanism down, went through my pre-flight checklist, started up the engine and let the engine warm up before put-put-ing over to the fuel ramp to load up for the flight ahead.
I was getting a bit of egg and bacon conflict rumbling around in my guts about this point, or maybe it was both Pat and Rob being kind of downers about my Butterfly that was giving me Moths...I mean...whatever, you know what I mean.
After Pat fueled up his bright yellow bird, he walked over to my Moth and announced that he was in a mood for a bit of a spin himself, and that he was going to follow me for just a bit, "Make sure you get off alright and all". That buoyed my spirits a bit...not that I truly doubted my new plane...i mean it only needed to fly 170ish miles total, but another set of eyes watching for any loose bits flapping about early on couldn't hurt...ya...I was getting nervous.

 

Rob handed over the baton to me, but looked like he would rather hand it to Pat for safekeeping. "Hey Rob, this baton surely has been around the world several times...it is looking a bit banged and patched up" Rob muttered something about it getting loose in the back of a copter on one of the legs, and muttered something about touch up paint. He looked just a tiny bit embarrassed. After a salute and hearty handshakes all round, Rob's "Good Luck" seemed more heartfelt than cliche. After Rob headed back to the terminal to watch our departure, Pat came over and said "Friend, don't take this wrong, but this is not the best craft for this time of year. Now I'm willing to take you and your blue stick to Mariehamn in the Quickie if you don't mind giving up your dream of Daring Young Man in his Flying Machine...no? Well then how bout at least a bit of insurance...can't hurt in your...situation. Pat handed me a satellite phone on the down low. "Now, it's likely you will have a grand ol flight down the coast, and across that "little bit of water" as you keep calling it...in your little floppy floaty thing here, but I'm here to tell you that there are very good reasons 'They don't make them like this anymore.' Now I'll be around the area for a while, and you could certainly contact me by cell if in range of towers, but if for some reason you need a...assist from somewhere more remote, or gods forbid... floating, this will make it much quicker to find you". And frankly, the association doesn't need to lose a member today. My pride made me want to go all defensive and refuse the sat phone, but my stomach moths and Pat's experience told me to STFU and take it.
"Thanks Pat, I'm sure...I hope I won't be needing it of course, but I appreciate the gesture and all your help thus far, I for sure wouldn't have made it this far this fast without your help sir".
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My Historical Jalopy is warmed up, I am cold as a snow cone in the cockpit, but everything forward sounds smooth and chipper, Pat and I are qued up for take off on an unexpectedly gorgeous if icy winter morning. The baton is stashed and lashed securely under my seat...ready to ROOOLLLL. I nudged the throttles forward and stepped on the left toe brake to bring myself onto the runway...
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GAH!! I goosed the gas a bit too much on the turn and scraped my starboard pontoon on the active. Doh...I didn't realize it was so tipsy, but I should have anticipated it based on the narrow gear arrangement. Of course Pat caught a great look at it from right behind and probably face-palmed. How embarrassing, he must think I'm an idiot, and he would probably be correct...damn. I paused for a look and it only looked like a small scratch in the new paint, so I rolled the power back on and continued with the take off...stupid. I'm sure Pat thought the same, but time constraints, me being so late...ya, a confluence of stupids.
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Up and everything felt smooth and fine...butterflies subsided just a bit...possibly frozen solid in the wind chill...MY GOD it was cold. Then...Pat was on my 9 in no time...quickie indeed. I figured his biggest problem would be going slow enough to not overtake me.
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But, no worries, Pat and his bright little plane had no problems...he dragged it down to just above stall and got behind for a better look at that pontoon scrape.
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Pat pulled back up along side and got on the radio. He said he had spotted something, not sure if it was vapor or what...a tiny tiny subtle trail coming off the scraped pontoon. I should stop at the next airfield for a better look. I answered on my handheld radio and affirmed that I would...the Moth doesn't have dedicated radios installed btw. My handheld has a fairly good range from up in the air...plenty to contact any towers for landing permissions.
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ESNH was already set as my first way point on the GPS, so that would be my stop to inspect for any real damage. This here is the route I had programed on the GPS to keep me along the coast the whole way for a more picturesque flight and reduce the over water distance. I programmed in the nearest two large fields along the route, but planned to keep clear once near...now I was going to  stop at the first way point. Ah, better safe than sorry. (In hindsight, I wish I really paid more attention to that last line there)
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En-route to ESNH...everything feels really good, I'm confident the pontoon and wing are structurally sound...it probably looked way worse than actual. You know how we all get with the first scratch on a new car..."OMG, it's totalled!"
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Approaching ESNH, on Base.
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Final
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Down before the stripes...doh. I need to get used to this thing obviously, I actually totally thought I was on line to hit past the numbers.
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Grabbed a parking spot to hop out and inspect that pontoon.
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Well...it looks just fine. I am suspecting that it was tiny bits of the silver paint flaking off from the scratch looking like a sparkly fine trail that Pat saw. I rubbed off any remaining loose paint from the very very slightly damaged area and inspected the scratch closer...no holes, no leaks...looked structurally sound and "thump" tested identical to the other side. No Worries. Pat was still in the area, I called him and told him what I found...he said it sounded likely that that was indeed the particulate he saw. Probably as "good to go as you are going to be" he said. More half encouragement...sigh.
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Back to the runway for takeoff
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And heading back down the coast of Sweden...lovely day.
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I was following my GPS track a bit too slavishly, and remembered finally to turn to avoid crossing right over my next way point, the airport ESNY.
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Just then i heard a "WHACK" from the motor followed by a spray of oil...FARK, FARK, FARK.
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I cut the fuel and killed the engine, radioed ESNY tower and announced an emergency landing "...please God let it be OK...just a belt or hose dear lord. If this holds me up for another delay the Mutley gang is going to stick me in the dog house or feed me to cats. Oh, ya, and God, a safe landing in a minute or so would be appreciated as well if you got the time...thanks God, Me."
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I made it safe to the airport, if a bit short of the runway. Bonus points for not tying up traffic with a stalled MOTH on the active. I muscled her over into the frozen grass and off the taxi way,,,out of the way of incoming traffic with actual business to do...and waited for help getting her to a mechanic here.
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An hour later, after getting the Moth towed over to a mechanic's shed, we discovered that a loose hose clamp on a line to the oil pressure pump had let the hose slip loose, spraying oil all over the engine compartment...I was lucky it hadn't caught fire. The mechanic screwed it down tight, wiped the area clean with lots of rags and de-greaser and gave me the thumbs up for ignition. I started her up...and then we immediately found a second loose hose clamp on the engine side of the same hose...doh. Suddenly the renovation work was not inspiring me with confidence. This is about the time I SHOULD have mothballed the Moth, and rented another airplane...but NOOOO. "Tighten that one, re-wipe and de-grease...hurry hurry, the day is slipping away." is all that was on my mind.
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Finally, everything is clamped, double clamped, and double checked. Looking good to go again, or "as good to go as I was going to get" sigh...only two hours shot instead of a motor. "Thanks God!!!"
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And thanks for the gorgeous if chilly day...couldn't really have asked for better this time of year.
Ready to depart from ESNY.
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Zoooom
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I kept smelling occasional quick wiffs of scorched oil...I was pretty certain we had cleaned all round after getting the hose clamps sorted out. Might have missed a tiny bit "Doon doon doon doon"
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I think I was whistling some tune from Oklahoma regarding it being a beautiful morning about this point and trying to not stress out about the mishaps so far...Moron.
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Making the dogleg turn to head me towards that little water crossing, and a small group of islands off of Finland with a place called Mariehamn.
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Again with the whistling and enjoying of the gorgeous view, and the very occasional whiff of previously burnt oil...doon doon doon doooooon.
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THUMP, WHACK, a sudden spray of oil and then FIRE..OH FARKITY FARK me to FARKing FARKS!!! Sorry for all the FARK Bombs...but this was some farking serious shit here.
61MothFire.png

I cut fuel, cut electrics, and pulled on the custom installed fire extinguisher system handle...PHWoooosssssh a ball of black steaming retardant and smoke blew out of the motor scaring me nearly to death...I thought I had just made it worse or something. More appeals to God at this point and vague promises of leading a more sin free life in future.
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But it worked. The fire went out and I am not falling to my burning death in a Historical Jalopy from HELL. Just doing a lousy job of mimicking a glider at the moment.
63Mothfireoutphew.png

Ok...what are my options now? Lots of water, but most are connected to the ocean...large waves could capsize me or make for a very rough landing at least, and a broken airplane could require a swim in obviously hypothermic water. Those fields on the far left look smooth and flat, but what LIES and broken landing gear lay just beneath that layer of snowy deceptive smoothness? I don't think we will risk the field. Some ways away off there is an airfield...can I make that? Lets turn and have a look at our sink rate.
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No...I don't think I am going to make that distance way over there, especially as I have so far landed short twice now of where I had planned. So even if I thought I could make it, I would probably be short, and there is not much but trees between me and that distant field.
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So how about that small lake over there on the other side of that highway...over at about 2 o'clock, no big waves, looks big enough just?
66DeadstickMaybepond.png

Ok...damn, this bird is a sinker when the engine is out...not going to make it to the lake either, that highway is going to have to do. It looks like it will be very doable actually, no traffic and looks plenty wide enough. Phew...asphalt, we may survive this even if we fail the baton challenge...gah...screw the baton, lets work on survival first then worry about that.
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Stranded Moth somewhere alongside a roadside without cell coverage and horrible line of sight for the handheld radio...all I got was static.
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"RINNNNGGGG Ring Ring.": It was the Satellite Phone ringing! "Pat, that you?" I answered. "HEY buddy, I...neglected... to mention that I have a tracker in that phone. I've been monitoring your position, kinda keeping an eye on you, and noticed that it was a bit odd of you to stop at Roadway, Middle of Nowhere, Sweden a bit later than your flight plan called for...What is your sitch? Need a lift by any chance? "

"Pat, My sitch is I'm stranded after an engine fire after a previous oil leak grounded me for a couple hours. I'm safe, the plane is probably repairable, but not anytime soon. I'm pretty sure the previous oil leak left residue that caught fire, or another leak developed along the way. Frozen rubber hoses no doubt...Damn it's cold. I'm about 5 miles from the nearest town I think, it doesn't have an airfield, so I doubt this Moth is carrying this baton any further. I was about to start walking to the town before I froze to death out here in the woods and then hiring a cab to find a boat or ferry to get this baton thing to Mariehamn...fark me and this stupid choice of plane. I should have flown commercial and then rented a 172...I'm such a moron...and that is my sitch. In a nut shell, I'm a moron".

"Hold on there my little moron buddy, it just so happens that I am a MorAn, and MorAns take care of their morOn buddies. So cheer up and stay by your plane, I'm on my way. I assume the road can handle the q2 if you got down safe?" "uh, sure Pat...ya, if you want to land it out here, there is Nobody on the roads, and plenty wide enough...I won't tell no one if you don't"

"I'm certain I have landed in worse places" he replied. After last night's partial stories, I have no doubt about that.

"On my way Matt"  he shouted to the sound of a Quickie engine racing to life in the background.

As it turned out, Pat had been shadowing me at a distance. He was only 10 miles away at that field I had originally steered towards.
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Pat finds me easy peasy and in nearly no time at all thanks to his enhanced loaner Sat-Phone and close proximity.
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Rescued!
72Rescue.png

I left a note with my information, as well as explaining the situation. and assurance that I would return ASAP to deal with it, and pinned it to the dash of the Moth. Pat suggested the note should read "Free Airplane...needs Work", but I think I shall arrange to get it picked up and either disposed of, Sold, or shipped back to the USA. With myself and the baton safely secured in the Quickie, we wave Good bye to the Moth...or perhaps Good Riddance? I doubt Sausalito Solutions wants a Signature Mascot that seems intent on symbolizing "Going Down in Flames"...reminds me of a certain Sunk Beaver I salvaged recently...shudder :( Now this Quickie on the other hand...do they make a amphibian version?!
73ByebyeMoth.png

The Quickie shoots up to the sky, very nice climb rate...man...I want one of these I think to myself, floats or not! But I am gloomy and stew over my thoughts in private.
74LeavingMothbehind.png

Nearing the coastline in no time.
75leavinglandbehindcopilotview.png

I finally broke my gloomy silence with "Very nice little Search and Rescue plane you got here Pat!" He laughed, kept flying, and didn't try to keep me talking. Guess he recognized I needed to be depressed a bit longer.
76prettynearMarieham.png

Approaching the far coast..getting a bit dim but plenty of time to get down before dark.
7725fromMarie.png

On Base for Mariehamn...is it finally nearly over? This venture ended up WAY the fark more difficult than I had thought it would be...I have to admit I was a complete and utter moron for using that rattletrap MOTH on a maiden flight, let alone during winter, over water...Thank God that Pat was here and willing to save the Three days and this ATWC leg.
78Mariebase.png

Pat brings it in nice and easy at the end of final.
79Landing1q2.png

And the alien looking little plane that flies like a good neighbor is quickly down and safe.
80Marielandingq2.png

Pat and I bailed out of the cockpit at the end of the Third long day of this misbegotten adventure. The baton is safe and sound, but my new plane is a derelict on the side of a road in Sweden. On the other hand I have a new bestest buddy with an open tab on my credit and he definitely has a "Favor you can not refuse" card he can lay on me any time he wants...the former of which Pat is about to take out for a well deserved night on the town of Mariehamn, Finland.
81BatonLAST.png



They say you learn the most from mistakes, especially your own mistakes. If so, I got quite an education on this adventure; "What can possibly go wrong?" Everything can Go wrong when you Do everything wrong. New untested plane, rushing and pushing ahead after mishaps instead of reassessing the situation or making a new plan. Choosing FUN instead of Reliable and Safe. I am pretty lucky to be alive considering all the bad choices I made. God loves fools I guess.

See ya in the morning to hand off the Baton... or whenever you get here Kieran...if I can stand and/or focus. "Ya ya...the card is coming Pat...hitting SEND right now"

Cheers all.
Matt Gardner
Sausalito Solutions, Airhauler.

================================================================
[3 Am]
Howdies. It looks like our friend meant to hit the submit button before we left for the bar. He's asleep on the floor next to the bed...looks like he landed a bit short again. I doubt he will mind if I just post this for him before I toss a blanket on top of him.

Good luck to ya all on your Blue Stick Marathon or whatever this is you all are up to.

You're Welcome.
~Pat Moran
 

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Great start Matt, and telling the tale of the connecting flights surely should be considered going above and beyond what is expected  ;)

 

Note to self: Check that the flight is actually at the destination prior to updating the departure board to make sure I don't have to redo my own work  :whis:

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Interesting route to the start, Matt! I'm looking forward to the next episode of the saga. :-)

Mind you, I'm a teeny bit worried about your gung-ho friend....

> "...climbing to 40,000 or better, Pat doesn't like to mess about with ATC and traffic, and this thing can easily climb above it".

Well unless my memory is failing me again, the service ceiling of the C5 Galaxy is quoted as being less than 36,000 ft, so barring a lift from a passing rocket he's going to remain extremely visible on ATC's radar coverage. But you did hint that he could be economical with the truth.... ;-)

All the best for your next instalment,

Cheers,

Bruce

a.k.a. brian747

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Well unless my memory is failing me again, the service ceiling of the C5 Galaxy is quoted as being less than 36,000 ft, so barring a lift from a passing rocket he's going to remain extremely visible on ATC's radar coverage. But you did hint that he could be economical with the truth.... ;-)

All the best for your next instalment,

Cheers,

Bruce

a.k.a. brian747

 

Heh...unless my memory is failing me also, that figure was from a story an ex-helicopter crew chief buddy of mine told about a lift he got on a C5 back to the US from...some unspecified place...back in the day...heh. He got to sit in the copilot seat and take the stick for a little while, the pilot took off the autopilot, left the autothrottle set and told him to point the nose up about 5-10degrees and feel the engines push ...he recalled them being at something over 40,000 feet, so that is where I flew my sim bird. Admittedly, it took a while to get from 35k - 42k...I had originally planned on 45K but gave up at 42K. Thankfully the plane only had fuel and two very light planes loaded, or I would have given up earlier. It handled the extreme height well I have to say...doing 350Kts IAS the whole way as we have endless fuel....but I digress, I have another installment to upload soon.

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<grin> So it's true that Lockheed Martin don't just make P3D, then....  They build those aircraft tough!   ^_^

 

Great story — thanks. (Ah the things we get up to on our way to and from those "unspecified places"...).   ;)

 

Looking forward to part 2,

 

Cheers,

Bruce
a.k.a. brian747          

 

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Well done getting to Sundsvall-Härnösand Matt, and good luck on your flight down to Mariehamn tomorrow (or is it today already)... 

 

The weather in Stockholm today is not the best, but manageable, and should serve as a fair indication of what you can expect in Mariehamn (it is after all just 70 nm from EFMA to ESSA as the crow flies)..  light snow, 5 knot winds and 6000m visibility. Cloud base is on the low side though... 

 

And I can vouch for the fact that the sun rises in these parts of Sweden and Finland, even during the winter time... head further north and it's a totally different ball game though  ;) 

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Well done getting to Sundsvall-Härnösand Matt, and good luck on your flight down to Mariehamn tomorrow (or is it today already)... 

 

The weather in Stockholm today is not the best, but manageable, and should serve as a fair indication of what you can expect in Mariehamn (it is after all just 70 nm from EFMA to ESSA as the crow flies)..  light snow, 5 knot winds and 6000m visibility. Cloud base is on the low side though... 

 

And I can vouch for the fact that the sun rises in these parts of Sweden and Finland, even during the winter time... head further north and it's a totally different ball game though   ;)

 

 

I am fairly certain that the weather will not conform to predictions for my leg (...as I have actually been working on this leg all week frankly...and the photos are already uploaded waiting for finishing touches on the storyline )the Magic 8 ball says "Weather will be Fair" tomorrow...I have a strong feeling I will have enough trouble without weather to contend with :P

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Ok Dokee. I hope i haven't set a new ATWC world record for bandwidth used per Leg...but ya, 81 pictures total, so I added a *don't open with a low bandwidth connection* to hopefully avoid wasting someone's monthly data plan...if someone tried to pop in for a peek on a cell phone.

 

Moth is a delightful little plane to fly btw despite all the failures on this adventure. As is the Quickie a lovely little flyer.... The C5 is a C5.

 

Thanks for trudging through this with me.  :)

 

Matt

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classic.png~original

 

Welcome to the Åland archipelago and Mariehamn Matt!

 

That was some adventure you took us on, and a good thing you had some backup when everything went (even further) south for you!!

 

As a side note Mariehamn is a very popular holiday destination for us swedes.. they have some sort of special tax reliefs in place, so for tax free shopping purposes the Islands are considered a Non-EU zone. So if you take a quick ferry trip over there it's possible to purchase plenty of beverages with a "healthy" alcohol content at much lower prices than in Sweden... (for some odd reason most swedes seem to prefer volume over quality when it comes to such beverages  :stars: )

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Thanks for the kind comments all.

 

I confess I suck at writing short stories...I attempted to write a short story SciFi novel, but after i got to page 10 and realized I was still describing the front quarter of the space ship, I gave it up. The ship was meant to be a Leviathan, not the trucks carrying each book to the stores.

 

Cheers.

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