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Trans-Atlantic aircraft delivery

April 7, 2010

Here are a few pictures of an aircraft delivery from the US to Switzerland. Click on the images for larger view. A private pilot in Switzerland hired me to represent him in the aircraft purchase process in the USA and as ferry pilot for the Atlantic ferry flight.

The total ferry flight from Fayetteville, NC (KFAY) to St. Gallen – Altenrhein (LSZR) was 42 flight hours in a Piper Archer. Including installation of the ferry tank in Bangor, the entire trip took exactly 1 week. I was very fortunate with the weather over the North Atlantic, there was no significant weather anywhere between Bangor and Scotland.

Atlantic ferry flight

Atlantic ferry flight

4,203nm. total trip distance, longest legs are CYYR – BGBW and BGBW – BIKF, about 680nm. each. Map courtesy of Great Circle mapper.

Turning into Goose Bay, Canada (CYYR)

Turning into Goose Bay, Canada (CYYR)

In Goose Bay I picked up my survival equipment for the Atlantic ferry flight: a life raft, an immersion suit and EPIRB (personal satellite locator beacon). In Goose Bay I saw the coldest weather of the entire trip with temperatures below 0F.

Approaching Greenland

Approaching Greenland

On the ramp at Narsarsuaq, Greenland (BGBW)

On the ramp at Narsarsuaq, Greenland (BGBW)

On landing in Greenland the temperature was a few degrees above zero, but typical for the area there were strong winds and turbulence on approach to Narsarsuaq (BGBW).

Getting ready to cross the Greenland icecap.

Getting ready to cross the Greenland icecap.

On the day I was flying from Greenland to Iceland the minimum recommended safe altitude over the Greenland icecap was FL120 (12,000 feet msl). It took the little Piper Archer with a nearly full ferry tank about 40 minutes to get up that high, but I had plenty of fuel to go around the Southern tip of Greenland in case I was unable to achieve a safe altitude.

Reykjavic in the distance

Reykjavic in the distance

In Iceland I landed in Keflavic (BIKF) instead of Reykjavic (BIRK), because I was scheduled to arrive late (around 1:00 am) and Reykjavic has a rather steep after-hours handling fee, Keflavic does not.

Volcanic activity over Iceland

Volcanic activity over Iceland

There was a sigmet for volcanic activity over Iceland. I was cruising at 1,000 feet above the highest altitude of the sigmet, but decided to climb a bit higher once I saw the volcanic activity. If you look closely you can see the orange glow of the volcano, the view was impressive.

Wick, Scotland

Wick, Scotland

My first stop after the Atlantic crossing was Wick, Scotland (EGPC). There I dropped of my survival gear, had the ferry tank removed, stayed overnight and had breakfast on the shortest street in the world before continuing to mainland Europe.

Ships on the English Channel

Ships on the English Channel

Approach to Nancy-Lorraine

Approach to Nancy-Lorraine

When flying in Europe you really need to do your homework. Many airports are not open every day, some close for lunch, etc. I flew a nice approach for a fuel stop into Nancy-Lorraine, only to find out they haven’t had any avgas there for at least 5 years, strictly jet fuel… The control tower was very nice not to charge me any landing or handling fees and sent me on my way down to Nancy-Essey (LFSN), which does have avgas 🙂

Finally... in Switzerland

Finally... in Switzerland

I spent a few days in beautiful Switzerland and did some familiarization flights with the new owner, before flying back home. All in all a very good and uneventful trip.

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2 Comments leave one →
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