Piper Seneca Atlantic ferry flight pictures
Some pictures of a recent Atlantic ferry flight in a Piper Seneca. I picked up the airplane in Quebec City (CYQB) and dropped it off in London at Biggin Hill airport (EGKB). It was a beautiful airplane with good equipment, including full de-ice, weather radar and Garmin 530 GPS.
I spent a few days in Quebec City to get the airplane ready. While I was there the locals told me this year the snow had been light for most of the winter but unusually heavy later in the season.
Here’s the weather in Quebec City the day after I arrived: (click on any of the images for full size)
The airplane on the ramp before departure in Quebec City:
I departed Quebec City late in the afternoon to get ahead of an incoming winter storm, so I overnighted on my first fuel stop in Sept-Iles. I think my father used to stop here when he was doing engineering work on ocean-going ships. Here’s the view from the hotel (at breakfast) in Sept-Iles:
Piper Senecas are excellent airplanes, with their big passenger door, club seating and counter-rotating engines, but they have fairly limited range. I had to stop in Kuujjuaq for fuel, where you can only get avgas in drums. There’s no pump at the airport, you have to bring your own.
The Kuujjuaq airport (CYVP):
I had to wait a couple of hours in Kuujjuaq for the weather in Iqaluit, my next stop, to improve. I took a stroll down the road towards the town of Kuujjuaq and this sleddog posed for a picture. He looks tough but he just wanted to play, after I took the picture he cried and fussed when I walked away:
During the flight from Kuujjuaq to Iqaluit I was treated to this gorgeous sunset over Nunavut:
I arrived in Iqaluit where the weather was about 20 degrees colder than in Kuujjuaq! While in Iqaluit I got some pictures of the new Boeing B747-8F doing cold weather tests. Here’s Frobisher Bay, the temperature was about -27C (-17F):
I was stuck in Iqaluit for a few of days. I arrived on a Friday evening, the next day the weather in Greenland was bad, and of course the next day was Sunday and Greenland airports are closed on Sunday, unless you’re willing to pay the overtime fee. Any time you’re doing an Atlantic ferry flight in a light airplane you simply have to have some flexibility for weather and issues of this nature.
I finally made it to Sondre Stromfjord (BGSF), where the weather was about 10 degrees warmer than in Iqaluit:
After Sondre Stromfjord I had planned to land in Kulusuk (BGKK), but due to unexpectedly strong surface winds I had to divert to Iceland.
I landed in Iceland with perfect weather, but the next morning I had to wait several hours to catch a break in the snowshowers before taking off out of Reykjavic (BIRK):
Because the Piper Seneca has limited range and I had less than ideal winds, I needed to stop for fuel in Egilsstadir on the east coast of Iceland before heading over to Scotland. The weather in Egilsstadir was beautiful:
I like using Egilsstadir for a fuel stop during Atlantic ferry flights. The airport is open 24 hours but never busy, it’s quick and easy to get in and out. Also, for some range-limited airplanes like Piper Senecas it’s sometimes difficult to make Scotland to Reykjavic or Keflavic nonstop.
After takeoff from Egilsstadir I got this gorgeous shot, Iceland is beautiful:
Wick (EGPC) was my last overnight stop. I arrived in Wick on St. Patrick’s day, and with dinner at Mackays Hotel I was served a complimentary Irish whiskey. Felt sort of odd to spend a week getting over to Scotland only to be served Irish whiskey, but I enjoyed it anyway 🙂
The next day I headed south for London:
Finally, in London. My destination on this ferry flight was the Biggin Hill airport in London:
After dropping off the airplane and checking into a hotel near Heathrow I had about half a day to be touristy, so I took the subway to downtown London and got a few great shots on a unusually beautiful day for late March: