Tobus

Deputy Sheriffs
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About Tobus

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    Privat Pilot - ME/IR

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  1. Final flight back to Duxford underway! For live coverage go here.
  2. Second to last entry to my diary. The relatively short hop from New York's LaGuardia to St John on Newfoundland. After comparing weather forecasts St John came off just a bit better than Gander. I started prepping the Beauty at 0430LT, pre-warming the cabin as it was freezing as we entered her. When the cabin was comfortable enough we boarded a full complement of passengers on a light fuel load. Wheels up at 0500 and reaching our cruising level of FL200 at 0540, by then crossing the VOR of Kennebunk. We flew her entirely from VOR to VOR, basically following the coast, then crossing over to Newfoundland and a bit south again to St John's. With a healthy tailwind we had some light to moderate turbulence along the way, so every now and then I turned the seat belt sign on to avoid any passenger discomfort as much as possible. Daylight came around the Moncton VOR, and turbulence started to subside as we started our slow descent when crossing the Newfoundland shores. We were guided into an almost straight in rwy16 ILS approach, which we nailed on a slippery snowy runway. We are almost around the world now, our last flight back into Duxford looming. Since I took a good 2 years in circling the globe in the Aerosoft Round the World challenge, it seems almost insane that I managed this in just in the last couple of months, and in a fraction of the flight hours. Full pirep here. As I now have the time, I'm prepping as we speak for the last leg, crossing the Atlantic back to Duxford.
  3. Prepping for the last flights. First KLGA LaGuardia to CYQX Gander to fuel to the brim. Then on to EGSU Duxford, our original starting point. Forecasted weather seems doable for now, at least giving high tail winds at cruise levels and acceptable winds and visibility on arrival fields. Stay tuned!
  4. Follow live here. Next hop! Although first planning to head to KLGA via KMCI, winds are again that favorable across the whole US that I'm doing KSFO-KLGA in 1 hop. Sooo, 2200+nm, now not over ocean but over loads and loads of VOR stations. Here we go! AS I've grown tired of landing at night, I'm starting this in real time, real weather. As such, take off is at midnight. Taxi from gate 132 to rwy 28R so plenty of time to warm engines during taxi. Almost a 15 minute drive... But then we got underway and were treated to the San Fransisco city lights through whisps of fog forming. 0100LT bad turbulence as we are starting to cross the mountains. Climb to our current max alt of FL230 and the air is smooth again. 0330LT Making good progress over the Rockies. With 75kts tailwind the ground speed is now 356kts. Wow.... At this rate I'll be in New York in under 4.5 hrs. 0550LT Over Nebraska just crossing Wolbach VOR. About halfway. 0645LT Sun coming up over Iowa 0715LT Sunrise now finally happening. Over Chicago by now. 2hrs / 640nm to go. 0950LT Starting descent, 120nm out of KLGA. 1015LT Manhattan in sight, turning on ILS approach rwy22 KLGA 1030LT Great landing at KLGA after an ILS approach on rwy22. With a co-flyer of AMA waiting for me on the tarmac as he had just landed before me. Next stops, Gander and then Duxford. I'm actually making the 80 days! Full pirep here.
  5. Well now, it seems I did my flight into KSFO a week ago but forgot to post my diary. As tailwinds were great on a direct instead of via PAKT like I intended, I went direct. Lots of ocean so not much to tell on a almost 8 hour journey, other than that the Connie held her own in spectacular fashion. Take off from PADU was a treat as the wind had shifted and had to backtrack, taking the gulf departure as a vice versa of my approach in here. Full pirep here.
  6. already looking at the next leg. What to do: go via Ketchikan, VOR to VOR? Then a VOR to VOR on to San Fransisco? Or do a direct one, which takes about 3hrs longer, but gets me in Frisco a week earlier? Taking into account current forecast, the direct route might well be the best bet, with a route via PAKT giving headwinds for most of the trip, thus an hour or so longer. A direct gives mostly tailwinds, thus an hour or so shorter. 3 Hour total difference might suddenly become only 1 hour... Oh well, let's go fishing first. Unalaska is at least great for that!
  7. Well said, looking forward to your flight stories.
  8. This post will be added upon during my flight today 08:30LT A quick check on the weather at PADU PADU 200659Z 31035G45KT 10SM BKN025 OVC050 Winds are favourable as they are dead center on the runway, no cross component. And with visibility at 10SM and clouds at 2500 I should be able to do my planned apporach. We are GO! 08:45LT We are off! Fast boarding on the Petropavlovsk apron as it's a chilly -2 with a 10kt wind sweeping powdered snow across this desolate, old Cold War airport. With engine #4 already turning the heaters came on quick so the pax could enter a nice and toasy cabin. 08:55LT After revving up the rest of the engines we taxied out onto the iconic woods enclosed taxiway to the runway. Passing old concrete mig-pens on our way there. For this flight I'm opting to use the modern GPS and autopilot. It's against my nature to but somehow this high northern route, dark and full of evil weather, I feel compelled to do so. 09:00LT Take off! We roar into the skies and are treated with the wild and cold landscapes of Kamchatka. We climb out gently, settling around 700fpm climb and turning east. 09:17LT Passing FL140, high blowers on. Shortly after we part with Russian shores. Time for coffee! Ah there's Betty... 09:32LT Reached our cruiselevel of FL200, level off, reduce throttle and prop rpm, mix to cruise lean and sit back. We have a very harsh crosswind of 93kts. Wouldn't mind a shift to get it on my tail. After passing Earickson, it should... Nothing but clouds beneath and clear blue above, with a sliver of a moon what seems like inches away from a bright burning sun. 1543LT Passed Adak and the dateline, now heading for Niksolski, from which we will begin our descent along the Fox Islands. 1630TL We are approaching Nikolski. It's getting dark again already too, so adjusting lighting accordingly. Seatbelts fastened and Betty can tidy up the cabin, we are going in. PADU DME showing 102nm out. Thick overcast below, volcanic islands just to my left beneath them... not complaining I'm doing the magenta line thing on this flight, at least for now. 1640LT Passing FL120, engaging low blowers and starting to pierce the tops of the overcast. 1642LT Plan-G and GPS show me I've hit WP2, the SW tip of Unalaska Island. Now completely in the clouds. ADF2 Came alive, so I now at least have range on DME1 and direction on ADF2. 1648LT Piercing the first clouds and giving me view on the ground. Nose and landing lights on. 33nm out. 1650LT WP3. winds fierce, glad everybody is strapped in in the back. Level off at 3000ft. Icy rocks loom in the darkness and beneath the dark swirling clouds just above. 1658LT WP4. DME shows 17nm steady and ADF2 75deg left of PADU. I have to finish my roundabout, direct is impossible due to the mountains. 1700LT WP5 1702LT WP6, Egg Island. In front of me the rocky spires of Akutan Island are piercing the dark clouds. The flightdeck is dark too now, only UV instrument lighting. On my left all seems clear, the clouds somewhat higher than where I am now. A short kink north towards the Baby Islands off of Unalga Island, which is my point of no return: decide to move on to Cold Bay, or go for Unalaska. I feel insane to do this at night! 1705LT WP7 Baby Islands. I'm going for it. Descend 1500, cheecks clenched. Engineer is doing his thing on all flaps, pumps and systems. Even hé sounds nervous, 1709LT WP8, Passed Cape Kalekta. Flaps 1 notch, AP off, manual turn to SW into Unalaska Bay, hoping to spot the field soon at my right, all the while doing an approach, with a final turn leading me straight onto the runway. 1713LT I see the town lights! With the mountainous island walls looming over me in the dark on my left, I see lights in front of me and I believe also the runway blinkers. Approach flaps, gear down. With winds at 38 gusting to 45 the Beauty is groaning and bucking. 1716LT Touchdown! GS real slow and wallowing about in the harsh winds, but got her down. Not my nicest landing ever, but for sure the sweetest. Full pirep
  9. Planning my next hop, which I feel is hard and exciting. It's far north, it's probably dark even during daytime, navigational aids are at a minimum and weather is generally nasty. My initial plan leads me from UHPP to PADU via the Aleutians for alternate options. Shemya, Adak, Nikolski. Then descent and do a visual around the Fox Islands. Here's where the fun starts, because there are no basic navigational aids. All I can do is descend and take reference on the capes: Capa Aiak, on to Cape Prominence, Sedanka Island, bend NE to Egg Island,m then N to Baby Islands. By now I should be around 2000ft and flying VFR. If not due to weather, I may have a problem. Then W over the Akutan Pass to Cape Kalekta, to head SW into Constantine Bay and on a visual approach to PADU. Weather forecast for take off from UHPP seems fine, with a nice cross and/or tail enroute Weather forecasted aloft at PADU .... winds harsh but on the dead on the nose for landing, so that's good given the not that long of a runway at PADU. But ceiling will be around 2000ft, which is my bare minimum in this region. An alternate approach from the North is doable also, but with less visual aids like the capes on the Fox Islands and giving me the same outcome on a visual approach. So if the weather indeed is bad, I might just divert to PACD Cold Bay, like the old propliners of days gone by did. Come Monday, all will be clear!
  10. A nice day for flying, although the weather at UHPP Yelizhovo can be dreadful. Loaded up at RJTT, taking on a load of pax including some NBC reporters wanting back home to the States. This will be a 4 leg journey to the States though (not counting Alaska): From RJTT Haneda to Yelizovo UHPP, to Dutch Harbor PADU to Ketchikan PAKT and finally to San Fransisco KSFO. This first leg is a tricky one: we can follow the coast of Japan and keep tabs on VOR stations for reference. But from the Northern tip of Japan to Yelizovo there are NO stations to tune, except an NDB at the mouth of the bay of Krasheninnikova. So we just have set our course and keep the Kuril islands to our right. As the wind is blowing from our left we are relatively "safe" on that. We got our clearance to taxi at exactly 0900LT. After a lengthy taxi with Betty doing the safety dance we took off from rwy22 at 0911LT, climbing fast over Tokyo. At 0921LT we passed FL135 and switched to high blowers. At 0930LT, 55nm out of Haneda, we reached our cruise altitude of FL200. Back to cruise settings and Betty started serving the drinks. As forecasted we have a high 50kt wind off our port to port-stern, so wind drift adjustments are needed throughout the flight. At 0943LT we reached our first VOR station, just off Sendai. The leg towards the north of Japan starts from here. At FL200 our indicated speed is 188kts. Outside its already -26C, indicating our cold northern course. We must be pulling contrails across the skies of Japan by now. 10:53LT We are now in range of Nakasjhibetsu VOR and on a direct radial of 033. After overflying it we will take an outbound radial of 047 to head direct to Khalaktyrka NDB. As this a short range transmitter, we will also track the Ust-Bolsheretsk NDB at 907KHz, to indicate our awareness in the region. All going well with our mighty R3350's thrumming along. 11:30LT Reached Nakashibetsy VOR, settting course for Kamchatka from the most Northern tip of Japan. 13:50LT About halfway the Kurilles. Lots of clouds so no visuals to keep my bearings. Relying on the navigator and his wind drift corrections. Betty just served lunch and is now dishing out coffee and tea again. 14:42LT Reception on Ust-Bolsheretsk NDB 30 degrees off my port. Just where it should be! This puts me about 170nm out of UHPP and around 50nm from the Kamchatka peninsula. When I cross land I'll start my descent. 14:55LT RMI is pointing straight north, meaning I've hit the coast, now invisible due to the cloud deck below me. Starting my descent, let Betty tidy up the cabin and let the pax buckle up. Steering 090 to make sure we don't encounter any clouds with rocky insides on our descent. This far north the skies are already darkening towards dusk. 15:07LT Reception on Khalaktyrka, continuing descent, weather below looks nasty. When the RMI points north I would be clear of any land. Engineer engages low blowers. 15:16LT Should be clear from land according to navigator. Setting direct course to NDB. Passing 8000ft, visibility 0, continu descent. 15:21LT Passing 6000ft, freezing rain with OAT -2, de-icing of wing and props on, lights on, wipers on. 15:23LT Broken through the clouds while passing 4200ft. 15:26LT Level off at 3000ft, reception on ILS rwy34R. 15:28LT Above glidescope, flaps 1, stay level 15:31LT Getting below the clouds, runway in sight and ILS fairly stable. Approach flaps, gear down. 15:36LT 500ft callout, outer marker passed. Full flaps, pitch full fine, instruments UV. 15:37LT Excellent landing!! 15:47LT After a lengthy taxi through the forrested taxi way, between which the old cold war fighter pens are hidden, we have arrived at the "lovely" Kamchatki terminal. Now for a bit of exploring the wild here. Next week: Dutch Harbor! Full pirep here.
  11. The jump from Hong Kong to Tokyo Haneda, which is closest to Yokohama district I gather. The take off from Hong Kong, now in daylight, was absolutely stunning. I so love the FlyTampa scenery. Take off was now on the 31, so basically a return via the checkerboard with a hard left after take off to avoid the mountains. After the hard left to clear the mountains ATC routed me right again to catch up on my projected path to Taipei and then on to Japan, giving me even more wonderful views of Hong Kong. I did not make pics much on the way, but now closing Japan it gets interesting enough again. Mount Fuji was very prominent in my approach into Haneda. Now firmly on approach skirting Tokyo Bay. No major problems during the flight. 6hr13min, 1555nm, full pirep here.
  12. The official schedule is: London to Suez - Oct 2 Oct 9 Suez to Bombay - Oct 10 Oct 23 Bombay to Calcutta - Oct 23 Oct 26 Calcutta to Hong Kong - Oct 26 Nov 8 Hong Kong to Yokohama eta Nov 6 (direct) Nov 8 Nov 14 Yokohama to San Francisco eta Dec 4 (UHPP-PADU-PAKT-KSFO) Nov 14 Dec 5 (date line pass) San Francisco to New York City eta Dec 11 (direct) Dec 5 Dec 12 New York to London eta Dec 21 (CYQX-EGSU) Dec 12 Dec 21 As work and private life make doing these long legs difficult, I'm gonna skirt these windows just a little. I think it's doable, although maybe the 21st isn't but with X-mas holidays around the corner a finish some days later seems feasible. I'll reroute my initial setup in our pirep tool and my shared route map accordingly.
  13. Hmm, looking into this. The direct route (as Fogg used on a Steamer but with some stops in for manageability) would come to 6090nm. The northern route, to make more stops possible, would for instance take 5070nm. Or 4920 even if the Anchorage "detour" is cut out So it depends on the aircraft flown and pilot preference, I think. All in all, the northern route is shorter than the direct route, but with more legs possible. Going south of the equator doesn't really help. Yokohama/Tokyo is already way high on the northern hemisphere, so making more miles to save them is a paradox. Regardless, the south pacific is so bereft of airfields that making a route there is nigh impossible. Then there's the piloting factor, which is a subjective one but worth mentioning: many pilots favor "doing" something on their flights instead of flying over endless waters for 12 hours or more. Given total range between Tokoy and San Fransisco, possibility on number airports to stop at and added challenge of flying in colder climates than normally encountered on this endeavour, I think I'm going for the northern route: Tokyo - Yelizovo - Unalaska - Ketchikan - San Fransisco.
  14. took off from Chek Lap Kok to fly to Kai Tak, following the famous 13 approach: tune to Stonecutter Island NDB, keep 2500ft untill established. follow glidepath until checkerboard hill clearly in sight, then bending off 65 degrees to do a visual on rwy13. Easy in good weather in a slow trainer/cruiser like the Cherokee, something else in the Connie at night. So proud I pulled it off first time last night.