Turbo-Beaver Ferry Flight
Travel Dialogue Continued
Aberdeen Scotland: Forth Fuel Stop
The "Brits" at Southampton were extremely friendly and helpful. The dispatcher prepared a full VFR flight plan and accompanying map so we could avoid the busiest centers. Klaus flew this VFR leg as his instrument rating wasn't current. That would give him some stick time including the take off. Plus, I wanted some time to take photographs of the landscape below.
We mostly navigated by ONC maps, but the control towers were very helpful
in providing vectors. Our beaver did not have a transponder, but they had
us anyway. There is no shortage of precision radar in Britain.
The castles of the Red Rose, the moats and drawbridges, the huge old mansions haunted by some deceased Earl or Duke, the frozen canals of the Great Frost, the oak forests of Robin Hood, the fertile landscape of the Lake District, and the highlands of "Rob Roy" that had previously only existed in the imagination of my visual memory were now real before me.
The illusion of ancient mariners and artful dodgers, however, was spoilt
by the monstrosities of the nuclear reactors and their masses of powerline
grids. Our storm scope fell victim to the enormous energy coming from the
gridlines as we passed overhead after erroneously reading huge lighting
storms nearby. Those monster concrete towers made me nervous.
We break out of the highlands to fly over the Firth of Forth river reach near Edinburgh. Klaus and I are slightly concerned that our destination airport will give us a hard time. We were supposed to file a request to enter their zone with some specific notice. The airport is the jumping off point for the helicopters heading off to the North Sea oil fields and the clearance is to fit us into the busy traffic pattern. When we give Aberdeen a call we get no queries and in fact the airport is not all that busy. There are some helicopters coming and going, but we have no problem fitting into the traffic pattern.
The arrangements we had made before we left Nigeria, was for the company Bristow Helicopters to help us in getting our aircraft and ourselves fit for the Trans-Atlantic crossing. The ferry fueling system in the aircraft needed fixing properly. We were still only getting half the flow we needed to refill the main tanks from the ferry tanks. Basically we needed to replace that homemade fuel bung fitting we had rigged in Nigeria hours before our flight. Plus, we needed the avionics fixed in order to do a proper IFR Atlantic crossing. No more bluffing.
For ourselves, we needed to get completely outfitted with immersion suits and warm clothing. Up until now the longest water crossings had been the Mediterranean Sea and the English Channel. Although we were doing the Atlantic in three stages it could be 10-12 hours of over water flying if we had to divert or turn back because of weather. We wanted to be safe and warm. Somehow after getting the suits and having our first look at the frigid waters below during our crossing, I could not imagine being either safe or warm if we had to ditch.
Story and Images by John S Goulet
Iceland Crossing the cold North Sea to the
Note from the Editor. Follow the progress of the Turbo-Beaver as we fly our way back to Canada. The attitude indicator will take you back to the ferry flight introduction page.
Where all our flying is cross country.
Last modified on April 21th, 2013.