What a Phenom...enal adventure! (2nd part and end)

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What a Phenom...enal adventure! (2nd part and end)

Message  Admin le Lun 28 Juin 2010, 22:32

This is the second part of the trip from Fort Lauderdale (Florida) and Orleans (France) ...

After two weeks of waiting in Fort Lauderdale, where I spent much time in the local Embraer, I finally get the papers as expected. We now have the right to cross the Atlantic Ocean legally, at the RVSM Levels. We could not stay in lower levels because our autonomy no longer allowed us to travel safely. We will see later, despite that, this does not preclude being stretched between Goose Bay and Narsarsuaq.

As soon as the papers in my hands, I call Sven, who had returned home to Dallas, to tell him to take a plane that night and that we can begin the journey's end.
I had the time to refine the route and options. If all goes well, we will land to Orleans (LFOZ) 48 hours after takeoff from Florida.
But we still have some unknowns in terms of weather (very changeable in the North) and especially ... The cloud of volcanic ashes.
I have a big hope to go to Narsarsuaq, because a strong wind is expected for two days there, which reinforces my belief that we have, thus, no fog. This is decisive for the final selection of my journey.
For the volcanic ashes, wind from the north appears to date at the moment, what makes the dreaded cloud south.
Everything looks good, take-off is scheduled for Saturday at noon. And I myself would like to keep as near-perfect weather window seems to take 48 hours.

The next day, the fuel is made, the flight plans were filed for the day, the bills are paid ... Just have to get Sven to Miami International Airport, return to Fort Lauderdale, return the car with a fully tank and take off...

Too bad, I'd have brought my children this toy. He was there in the local FBO for kids waiting for their departure:



1200: Starting Engine #2... Perfect!
Taxiing starts at this airport big enough for the United States. We applaud the Embraer teams who have been busy during these two weeks, especially on our plane.



There are people at the holding point...



But there are also many people in the air:



We finally take off after nearly 20 minutes of waiting. We are flying over the port of Fort Lauderdale.
You can see the huge marina behind. There are a multitude of channels to the interior, which allow boaters to bring them back to their home:





Then, once out of traffic, we begin to examine more closely the route. We are trying to join directly White Plains (New York), knowing that we do not have our rescue boat (it means to follow the coast). If we have any doubt, we land to Norfolk to refuel.



First observation: we are still in the lower altitudes and climb while our circle of estimated fuel autonomy (based on instantaneous consumption) is already on to our destination. Knowing that as we climb, our consumption will fall, it looks set to go to White Plains. (Watch the green circle that passes through the destination):



So a flight without problem ends with an overview of Long Island:



After a short stopover, refill of kerosene, the recovery of our life raft, we take off with our first passenger, Richard:



This second stage of the day leads to Goose Bay, to position ourselves for the big day tomorrow.
On arrival, we discover the signs of nature that confirm that we are approaching the Canadian North, under a beautiful sunset:





[flash(425.350)]http://www.youtube.com/v/yW-ed5W1dpg[/flash]

The cold temperature near 0 ° C contrasts markedly with the temperature almost too hot we had in Florida at midday.
We fill tanks tonight, because tomorrow morning we leave early. I almost said "at dawn", but as the night is extremely short at this moment in Goose Bay ...



It was nearly midnight when we arrive at the Hotel North, well known to habitues of ferrying aircraft. As advised by a friend, we ask for rooms with odd numbers ... The even-numbered side, overlooking the only nightclub / bar in town, would have made our sleep a little lighter. But even if the piece of advice is found to be good, it is not very useful this Saturday evening at Goose Bay, because everything is closed ... We also have the greatest difficulty in finding a place for sustenance. In short, we end up in a Subway fast food, which seemed more appropriate that the shop at the gas station. We were able to meditate on the fact that this stop is well truly and purely technical but not touristic.

We make a decision tonight to go to Narsarsuaq. This decision was entirely due to the weather and winds. Indeed, the distance between Goose Bay and Narsarsuaq is not huge, but on arrival, the first alternate is so far (Kangerlussuaq), and the fuel needed to consider this step in safety and tranquility so close to our fuel autonomy that we had to consider making a wide detour via Iqaluit in the very far North and Kangerlussuaq... Moreover, it would have been costly overtime and failure to reach the Bergen this evening.
We therefore decided to open the airport Narsarsuaq which is normally closed on Sundays, but this will be so much cheaper than making the big trip ...
So tomorrow, the winds are favorable in high flight levels, and winds of 20-35 knots on surface put us in confidence on the non-presence of fog on arrival, but it may be very sporty .. .

We get up at 0600LT, take a quick light breakfast, and we headed towards the airport. This allows us to see planes remains of a long history of military base at Goose Bay.
Here is a PBY Catalina:



Here is an aircraft that would be the perfect client for a riddle (at your keyboard!). Frankly, I'm not a very good culture of military aviation to know what this airplane, which appears from a cartoon caricature, is:



Otherwise, there are also some exotic machines like the Cessna Caravan Amphibian:



And another quiz ... Kezako?



After taking off from Goose Bay:



Then, the long negotiations with the control for an oceanic clearance that is as interesting as possible for us. First disappointment: we are not authorized to climb above FL270 ... For us, it's cold shower, it does not pass! We learn that the MNPS tracks are too close to allow us to climb. We are negotiating to set up a little further north. We are on the verge of turning around when we get a new clearance, which sends us further north, but with a FL390 ... After some calculation, we confirm that we can do it safely in these conditions. It was fair, but it is part of the charm of this adventure. Otherwise, we were good to go to Iqaluit ...

Here you can see the ocean before final clearance:



At the end of a fairly short flight moreover, we have drilled in the layer around 9000 feet. There, it was a grandiose vision of Greenland:







The visibility is so good that we decided to make a visual approach:





As expected, the wind is present, and we're very shaken. The passenger is obliged to hold on, but he is happy to be there: it's really great!









And at the bottom of a fjord, nestled along the mountain, we discover the shortened runway due to work in progress as well advertised on NOTAMS. It remains usable 1200m ... With this wind and the plane, there is no problem:



This destination was well worth the trip. We meet with the controller that makes all businesses: Controller, porter, meteorologist, housekeeping, equipment maintenance, ... Even if the character is very nice, we can not stay long, because the road is long. We take time to take some photos, get the weather and ask about the volcanic cloud. But on the charts, there's nothing ... We think they are on strike, or they forgot to draw the lines delimiting the cloud. When in doubt, we called Reykjavik: "It's normal, because the volcano has almost switched off tonight ...". Incredible! This volcano, which has thrilled the world of aviation, has just decided to go out for us ...













After engines start, we are allowed to backtrack the runway to the boundary of work:



We took off facing the valley toward the wind, which allows us to lift ourselves quickly over the landscape in which we are again well shaken.
But again, this turbulence, which are often perceived as terribly uncomfortable in other situations, seem so pleasant? We can enjoy a beautiful show. The best term is speechless... During our climb above the landscape, we feel privileged observers.











Then we start to fly over the area of Greenland which is mentioned "UNEXPLORED" on the map. It's hard to believe that there are still areas which no man has yet explored and we're flying over as easily ...



Then the soil and the sea are covered gradually, and we find ourselves alone in flight. Alone? Not quite ... We mean all aircraft following their track to get from continent to another. Communications are now very stereotyped, corresponding to a very specific code for postponement of oceanic clearances. Certainly my former job as an airline pilot I miss less and less when I see the happiness I feel to drive and navigate to this new little machine that is tremendously more engaging than my old heavyweight aiplanes. And frankly, I think I hung up my "good time"... I'm back as a kid who you just made a great gift.
Oh yes, I am well aware that this is not every day Greenland, but given my past experience in business aviation and promises already made by my new steed, I am firmly convinced that we are going to the great adventures.

Preparation of the approach, I descended from my cloud. I realize that this is a long time that nobody said a word in the plane. Everyone looks out of a dream with open eyes ... No, really, we do not escape unscathed psychologically from this adventure ...

The arrival in Iceland begins with the vision of some dormant volcanoes in their caps of snow and ice.
Landing in Reykjavik is no problem with using an air control that has more hues of European control.

Very nice small field, where we parked for refueling and eating something...



This is the first time I see a flight preparation room with Mac...



From the parking, we have a view on a brilliant church seems to have been built of Lego blocks (it is, I'm back in the early childhood ...):



Here is a short video showing the beginning of these 48 hours:



Then we take off to Bergen, to arrive a little before dark. The weather in Bergen is not provided extraordinary, but well within the IFR.
After takeoff, we hope to still see this terrible volcano ...





Quick glance at the Reykjavik airport on leaving:





Then we finally see the volcano ... But it has long sought:



Zooming, this is what we get to see ... It has become very nice, the volcano? "



More seriously, the volcano has really calmed down. The smoke is white, which means it is no longer responsible for volcanic ash. For the moment, the volcano is no longer a threat to aviation, but it can always start over. Anyway, I'm glad to see that it will not last nearly two years as it was the case in the 19th century ...

The next trip looks without much problem autonomy:



We will not see the Atlantic Ocean to Orleans, because it will always be hidden by cloud cover:



Arriving in Bergen was ... IFR



Wet runway, wet road, wet city ... A good night at the center of Bergen ... The clock now shows a sun between showers but shy:



At the airport, we immediately felt that we went back to Europe ... Passage of the safety filter, security search, "Get the laptop out of the bag", "remove your shoes", long wait to join the aircraft, and endless waiting for fuel ... So, we have time to clean the aircraft to present to its owners in less than two hours.



On no airport earlier in the trip, I had put so much time between arrival at the airport and take off ...





This is Bergen Airport after takeoff:



Then it follows an uneventful flight until... French border.
So that's where the flight begins difficult... Yes, no kidding...
It starts by changing the transponder code: the first time I changed code during a single flight from Brazil. And we will change ... 4 times before arrival.
And then controllers change my flight plan which had been approved by Eurocontrol CFMU! It was planned a FL280 over Paris and slightly to the west. Then the control ask us to descend to FL 170 and then to FL 90 with a heading due east. At first, I did not say anything, I am respectful, with radio in English because I consider it the best way to do in all countries of the world. But Sven is now a bit lost, because he really does not usually hear of communications in a language different from Shakespeare one. He explains that it is quite hellish, especially since he never knows when he can speak on the frequency completely overloaded. He never knows if the French conversation between a pilot and the controller is complete, a synonym for opportunity to speak, or must wait patiently for the next blank.
Finally, after an incredible detour over ... Troyes, I'm headed due south, so I spend around East Orleans ... All this in FL 60, at which engines consume much more and as I had not foreseen such a detour, I'm already burning my extra reserve and alternate (the weather is a perfect CAVOK today with more than 50 NM visibility).
But with this heading due south, I will burn my safety fuel...
I decided to switch to French on the frequency to express my displeasure to me making a detour of over 25 minutes already, and making me fly so low ... All this was not expected at all on the flight plan CFMU validated, on which I calculated my fuel, I felt very broad, and more.
Then I ask them a direct to Orleans, and they mean that if I did not direct this in 5 minutes, I would have to declare a "SHORT PETROL" ... Coincidentally, my direct is immediately granted.
INCREDIBLE ... I have made an 11,000 NM trip, stops in 10 very different countries, and it's when I arrive in France, my country, that I encounter the first and only serious problem ... Sven and Richard on board, have not yet returned, and still talk to me about this three weeks later...

The arrival in Orleans ends VFR and N600PB finally discovers the bird's nest by drawing a little tongue from thirst, 47h30 after starting taxiage Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
We have a total 28-hours flight between Brazil and France with 12 steps.
I left France for a month and a half ...

Here a landing Phenom Orleans (but it was filmed a few days after):



Finally, here is the last video of the last part of the trip:



Here is the end of a phenom...enal adventure! I realize that everyone can not do this kind of journey in his life, and this is for this reason that I took time for you to participate in this adventure. I would also like to restore confidence to all those waiting for a job in this difficult time, and all young people who have patented the hope of one day becoming an airline pilot. It is an extraordinary profession, but a lot of sacrifice to get to his profession a real passion. Do not look for glory, not looking up the ladder must, because there are adventures that are definitely worth a few rungs below. This is not necessarily being an airline pilot on a jetliner found the Holy Grail of business aviation. I also think of all these young people who go into debt for years by buying type ratings on A320, B737, ... hoping to reach the goal ... But is it really their goal? Is the race for qualification a good solution?

It's been three weeks since I got home and I operate the aircraft over France and Europe. I am still convinced that the plane is a plane that should be known and exploited. The Phenom 100 and its big brother the Phenom 300 are machines that have inherited the knowledge applied to large aircrafts and incredible evolution of technology.

I would like to thank Sven and Richard who help me a lot in order to bring the plane safely. Sven is the author of videos and montages (pictures of me, anyway!).
Sven Lepschy is mainly responsible for training at CAE Embraer Phenom, and he has shown me how to use the aircraft as it should be to feel confident alone on board, both in normal situation and in emergency.
I thank the Embraer teams in Sao Jose dos Campos, Fort Lauderdale and Le Bourget for their technical support and kindness.
I also thank the instructors of CAE Simuflite Dallas.
Thank Feliciano and Jim for the good times among students in Dallas and Fort Lauderdale.
I thank my family for supporting me.
I thank my new employers who trust me.

So long...
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