Twin Otter – Amphibian Delivery

Pre Delivery.

Evening fellow guys and girls and welcome to Gatwick, I’m taking some additional time off (in between of FlyUK flights), to take a 787-9 back to Seattle in a series of flights in order to get acquainted with the new aircraft and also as a means to fly myself, co-pilot 10 supporting staff to the Canadian town of Yellowknife in The Northwest Territories, a place made famous by Buffalo Airlines on Discovery’s Ice Pilots. We have a mission to deliver a Twin Otter 300 Amphibian aircraft to the Portuguese Island of Madeira, this is a big ask, the aircraft is of reasonable age and condition and spent most of its life in a hanger and is intended to be repainted and operated as a sea surveying aircraft.

So where am I now? I’m currently sat in the pilot’s lounge at New York’s JFK airport after a long but pleasant flight from Iceland, albeit a day later than planned, why? Well yesterday for some unknown reason the 787’s avionics decided that 20minutes decided to lose power causing us to return to the airport with no comms squawking 7600, by which time it was too late for us to file a flightplan and proceed to New York, and I certainly didn’t fancy flying a huge aircraft like the 787 over 2000nm without testing the avionics, so that’s what I did.

Post Radio Failure test flight.

The error cleared after a factory reset three times and after 6hours of working alongside Icelandic Air engineers and Boeing. After that I requested special permission to fly a VFR flight at 15,000ft across Iceland before to turn north towards Akureyri airport and then return to Keflavik. The system seemed to function as normal so once we landed and taxyed back onto stand we shut down the engines, refuelled for the trip to New York and secured the aircraft. And made for the Pilot’s lounge and bar and retreated to bed.

Flight to New York.

Woke up this morning at 5am for a 7:45am departure armed with all the relevant plans, permits and information and my trusty camera. I boarded the aircraft whilst my co-pilot did the walk around and the support personnel took their seats, with only hand luggage with them. I brought the aircraft to life and set up the FMC with the morning’s flight plan etc. The flight is about 5:30hours taking us over The North Atlantic Ocean, Greenland’s southern tip and into North East Canada and down the Eastern Seaboard and over the places synonymous with Stephen King and the state of Massachusetts, before starting a decent and vectored into New York and Manhattan by ATC, and finally JFK Airport.

Weather reports where still showing that New York was still in the midst of a cold ‘winter bomb’ with temperature down at -15C although with reasonable visibility and we could just make out Manhattan on the horizon as we approached the airport. Next stop is the Boeing Factory, Washington, but a few hours in The Big Apple will be appreciated, scarf and layers required, see you soon J.

Gatwick to Kennedy Airport (via Keflavik Photos).



 






Preparation for flight and taxy out to the runway at Gatwick


Taking off from Gatwick for Keflavik on the way to New York, camera was in my hand luggage back in the cabin so no pictures for this flight.




Punching out of Keflavik – passports ready again and this time the cameras or out and ready


Watching a glorious sunrise over the North Atlantic – Breakfast was first rate British Fry-up (Airline Style).


Landfall on the North American Continent with the Eastern Seaboard below.

Sent in by an a controller on our descent into Kennedy.


Descent and Approach into Kennedy – nearly there

Final Approach with a hazey view of downtown Manhattan – Autopilot flying the approach.


Landing roll and taxy in for shutdown and clear US customs

Flight to Washington – back to the factory!! – For a repaint

Welcome back on board!!! WOW! I love new York truly the city that doesn’t sleep, however our time in this great iconic city is over and it’s off to a quieter and slower pace of the North West Pacific, and a city that I will always hold close; Seattle.

Many years ago (not too long though), I started my flying career flying in and around the area and particulary Tacoma Narrows. We are hoping to spend a few days in the area and checking out some old haunts; Bremerton, Ranger Creekm Arlington and Olympia. We should also be getting the aircraft that the aircraft owner (the Twin Otter) has arranged for us to take up to Yellowknife.

This evenings flight will be approximately 5hours 30min across the northern states, before passing Washington’s Crown Mountain – Mt Rainier we should land at The Boeing Factory just around sunset.

RTW – Australia to Fiji

GOOD AFTERNOON! Today we are heading eastward over the northern terrirtories of Australia from Darwin. We’re sat in the pilots lounge waiting for our workshop to be prepared for our Embraer to be loaded on board, fuelled and loaded. Our flight plan shows a flight time over 5hours, we are heading to Fiji, but we won’t be doing any sightseeing, due to the tense political situation that always is in the background since the MIlitray government was voted out in 2014. Also we are scheduled to land way after dark which is actually a good thing as the airport cannot handle a 747 during the day due to the traffic.

Good news is that Mike has re-joined us after having to deal with some issues back in The UK. So we have all we need to make our first 747RTW flight. Also I think I better mention a big thank you for the team at Fly UK for loaning me a 747-400F to make these trips. 😛

 


Our ‘mobile workshop’ sat on the ramp waiting for us to board.


Systems online and ready for taxy.


We’ve installed a few small cameras to provide you with some of those stunning wing views.
Darwin tower sent us this image as we made our way to the runway.

Cleared for take-off, the sun is already starting to go down.

Climbing out of Darwen over the clear blue water, next stop Fiji.

 

Hello again we’re nicely on our way to Fiji, I thought I’d give give a quick flight report, we are a little over half way to our destination, having just left Australia slightly north east of Cairns, the weather is nice a calm all the way to Fiji with a good report expected throughout approach and landing. One thing I do not like during a night flight with no moon… everywhere is a black, since the sunset over Australia and no lights over the desserts of Australia we have nothing but out instruments to watch. Probably the next lights we will see are the runway lights of Fiji.


Sunset, being at 39,000ft gives you some stunning colours


Wing cameras picking out parts of Northern Australia and sunset

Nothing to see outside, all we have is flight deck lights, instruments and coffee.

 

Welcome to Fiji! We are staying a small hotel around the corner from the Airport, we managed to get a temporary visa to enter Fiji that’s valid for 24hrs. From here we will plan our next flight over The Pacific Ocean to Hawaii, that will be our entry into The United States. We’re nearly home

 

Final descent into Fiji.
Final Approach ILS.