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Andrew Godden

Leg 36: Halifax - Shearwater (CYAW) to Keflavik (BIKF)

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Well, the longest Leg of the ATWC IV, I must be a glutton for punishment and to add an extra challenge, I am doing it in the venerable Beechcraft Model V35 'Bonanza'.  Using real weather and real time, it looks like it's going to be "a long day in the office" with lots of coffee.

 

Range isn't my biggest concern as the tip tanks on the V35 'Bonanza' add extra peace of mind.  The weather is a totally different story though, with winds at this time of the year being typically from the east and definitely stronger than a light breeze.  My flight planning anticipates a total flight time of approximately 12 hrs, based on a cruise of 155 knts TAS at 7,000 ft, but hell knows what affect the weather will have on that planning.  As an added precaution, I have planned refuelling stops at St Anthony (CYAY), Newfoundland and Labrador, the last real airport before I head out over the Labrador Sea, and Narsarsuaq (BGBW), Greenland, but they will both just be 'splash and dash' stops.

 

With a secretive early morning departure, under the cover of the early morning pre-dawn, I make sure the tanks are totally full.  The weather forecast is everything I didn't want, wind - 079 at 14 gusting to 24, visibility - 3 nm, sky conditions - ceiling 1,000, overcast, light rain.  I can only hope for an improvement en route.

 

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Taxing out and lining up, the weather does not look good.
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But after a short climb through the "muck", the skies open up.
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And I am greeted by the beauty of the dawn sky with promises of improving fortunes
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By the time I am approaching Newfoundland, and passing Stephenville (CYJT), any fears about the weather have gone, but the 3/4 head wind is definitely making it's presence felt.
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Descending and landing at St Anthony (CYAY), I waste no time in heading direct to the refuelling point.
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Departing St Anthony (CYAY), and leaving Newfoundland and Labrador behind, I have nothing but open ocean for the next 600 nm or so.
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At least the weather has continued to improve, albeit the head wind is still there.
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With the DME reading just under 92 nm to the Narsarsuaq (NQ) DME, a faint hint of the Greenland coast can be seen on the horizon.  No time for "resting on my laurels" though, I still have the tricky approach into Narsarsuaq (BGBW) and then the final leg to Keflavik (BIKF) 
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After my final "splash and dash", I depart Narsarsuaq (BGBW) with the sun sinking low and as I leave Greenland, night is descending.  This final stage is going to be dark and very lonely.
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At 50 nm to the Keflavik (KEF) VOR/DME, I can start to relax.  Vectored for an ILS approach on RWY 02, the cross wind ensures I cannot rest until I am all the way down though.  Finally, 15.5 hrs after leaving Halifax - Shearwater (CYAW) (and I lost count on how many coffees), Keflavik Ground direct me to a far, dark corner on the western edge of the airport where I can safely transfer "the Baton" to George under the cover of darkness.
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Cheers
Andrew

 

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Bravo Andrew..

 

That was one long flight, and you pulled it of with flying colors.

 

 

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Well done indeed! Me next I suppose :P Thankfully my Cub's broken down, so it's the B757 for me :)

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Well done. Even in a simulation, that much water has got to be a cheek-tightener. Great choice of aircraft. 

 

Another story for another time, but I met a guy in Costa Rica, Eduardo Nixon, (he was from El Salvadore) who had flown a straight-tail Bonanza around the world in eight days.

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