I flew from New York to Vermont for 90 minutes in IFR conditions (clouds, rain, and icing reported slightly above flying altitude). The outside air temperature was closely monitored and "May" landed safely at KMPV. This was great practice for upcoming legs of the trip. I am staying with my sister's family in Montpelier, VT waiting for a Greenland permit. Since I am running slightly behind schedule, I will likely head directly up to Goose Bay and not land at Bangor. There are still reports of snow falling in Iqaluit!
My sister and her family greeted me at Edward F Knapp State airport in Vermont.
Moments before the start of my around the world trip and non-stop flight from Concord, California to Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
After a surprisingly easy departure from the San Francisco bay area, I climbed heading in to the morning sun and up to 11,000 feet. The plane was heavily loaded with 90 gallons of fuel, equipment, spare parts, and flew like a truck. I passed Sacramento, Blue Canyon, and eventually scenic Lake Tahoe. It was a beautiful start to my trip. As time passed, I settled in to the routine of pilot tasks: navigation, engine monitoring, and terse communications with air traffic control. "May" gingerly crossed the Sierra Nevada, Great Basin desert (avoiding numerous restricted areas), and Rocky mountains with tail winds up to 60 knots. At one point, I climbed up to 15,000 ft over the Rocky mountains, seeking a safe route in the valleys between much taller clouds. This would be the highest altitude achieved for the entire around the world trip.
Over Nebraska, I diverted 100 miles south of course to avoid a massive super cell. While monitoring air traffic control, you could hear the fear in the voices of commercial pilots (flying large jets) trying to wrangle better vectors from ATC. I arrived at Oshkosh at 8:52 pm local time, touching down after flying 11.5 hours and 1552 nm non-stop from California. I was exhausted, and quite honestly needed progressive taxi instructions to the base the famous Oshkosh tower. The controller on duty was kind enough to give me a quick tour of the tower and sign the official FAI "certificate of landing" form. I spent the next day recovering from my flight, visiting the EAA museum with my brother, and cautiously planning for the next leg of the trip. It looks like I may be delayed flying to Montpelier/Barre due to thunderstorms over New York and Pennsylvania.
After waiting days for a favorable weather window, I finally begin my trip around the world On Friday June 1st. "May" will fly heading east from KCCR to KOSH non-stop in about 11 hours. The route will follow the most direct path possible and avoid restricted/military operations airspace. Highlights include crossing the Sierra Nevada and Rocky mountains, the Great Basin desert, and vast open spaces of the west. Spectacular!
This past week, I have been testing the extended range fuel tanks with several long flights within the state of California. I am waiting for a weather window to open to start the first leg of my around the world flight.
This blog page will be regularly updated about each leg of John's flight.