WBS "LONG RANGERS"
GEORGE DEETER. A-36 N3704A,
(Reprinted from a 1991 World Beechcraft Society article)
Copyright 2004 - North American DARCO Inc.
WBS: First of all, give us the dates on this trip George.†
we left on Wednesday the 10th of July 1991, very early in the morning and
arrived in the Frankfurt Germany area on Wednesday the 17th. The routing,
WBS: George, you're flying an A-36, how about some of the equipment?
GEORGE: I'll give you a list of equipment I have an A-36 with Osborne tip tanks, 120 gallons all together. We installed, in l986, a brand new IO-550 engine. As far as special equipment we had on board the Trimble GPS, a portable high frequency radio, and a lot of the equipment that is required for transatlantic crossing. That is a raft, survival suits for every occupant, and flares - smoke signals - food, etc.
†WBS: Who was with you in your airplane?†
GEORGE:† He's a WBS member, (WBSX57 1,
George, you mentioned
†GEORGE: we landed at
That seems awfully far north to me, from memory, for
Yeah, Prestwick is just adjacent to
Doesn't it seem a little far North for
hours from Prestwick to
next morning on Thursday, we left early - 4 o'clock in the morning - and we
made our 8 oíclock appointment with the inspector in
†Weather so far had been good, and in fact all
the way up to
we landed there late that afternoon on Friday.†
took off early the morning of Saturday the 13th to head over to Narsarssuaq,
George, in that prior time, prior to
GEORGE:† Initially we were talking to
landed ahead of us when we got into Narssarsuaq it was just a beautiful
sight.† There was an iceberg sitting
right at the beginning of the runway, the runway starts at the shoreline, itís
up hill from there towards the glacier. Itís a one way airfield about 8,000í
long. We had to dodge the iceberg as we were coming in on final because it was
just sitting there.† Once you are
committed to land you have to land, itís in a deep valley with a† glacier and
mountains at the end and you really donít want to do a go around at that
airfield. But with 8,000' and a Bonanza, we had plenty of† room to touch down.† We refueled, gas was $8. per gallon, got a
weather briefing here from the Danes and we were strongly encouraged to proceed
on to Iceland because the weather forecast was just great, unusually nice
enroute as well as in Iceland. We took off with our survival suits on again,
all the time we were wearing full fledge survival suits, which were required.† We flew for 90 miles over the ice cap at 11,000', the ice cap at that point is about 9,000' high.
It's a beautiful sight VMC. The first third of this leg, Alden, was VFR - we
were on a IFR flight plan but in VFR conditions - and then we enter clouds,
picked up a little bit of ice again, descended to 9,000', at that point 5516K
could not make contact to obtain an IFR clearance (They took off VFR). They
were supposed to get their clearance airborne but their HF was malfunctioning
and we were able to obtain one from
† About 150 miles short of Iceland, Reykjavik
radio announces that all airfields in Iceland have gone below low IFR, in fact
most of them were reporting already down to zero-zero including Reykjavik and
150 miles from
WBS: Northern hospitality!!
Very nice. Weíre so glad that we went into
WBS: Whatís the fuel situation there George?
GEORGE: None. None, but we still had 3 hours on our tanks.
†WBS: Well where did you fuel from there?
†GEORGE: the next day we did a little
sight-seeing, went over to Reykjavik which is only about 30 minutes away, and
in Reykjavik of course we refueled we
spent the next day sight- seeing and rented a car and so forth. Again,
on Tuesday the 16th, early in the morning we took off and went from
Thursday the 18th, we took off early from Prestwick going to Frankfurt
spent 3 days sight-seeing in Germany and on Tuesday the 23rd I took off with my wife commercially (she flew
into Frankfurt), and another couple (Friends of ours) we flew over the Alps
into Florence, Italy, a beautiful flight all VMC, we were at 15,000' on oxygen,
400 NM about 2 1/2 hours. Saw the
Where did you land in
WBS: No security problems there?
No, none what so ever. In fact they don't even care to check your papers or
anything, after being there for half an hour we had to ask around whether we
were to check in with anybody. In
is very free in
WBS: Isn't that interesting.†
GEORGE: The language in all these places is always English, all the countries that sign to ICAO are required that they have to speak fluent English, and all the aviation language that they speak is what is approved on our AIM, so it's all aviation language, no problem understanding or them understanding us, in any of these places.†
George, I mentioned security, when landed in
WBS: That's what they told us one time in Milano about our Mercedes, and I went out the next morning and they had torn it apart trying to steal it.†
GEORGE: oh, really.†
WBS: I would be very concerned in that country specifically, that's why I asked if they did have police around these particular airports.†
Well they did have police and then also this military detachment,
I saw many open gates into the ramp. so l don't know.
I didn't see anywhere near the security that you see in tower airports in
WBS: Did you see much in the way of general aviation there?†
early on Friday the 26th we left
WBS: oh, then, you flew back commercial.†
GEORGE: Yes, I flew back commercial.†
WBS: John will be flying back in the airplane?†
We thought that was a good idea because each one gets to fly one way. Once you
George, when you're going through these various airspaces, you're saying it's
easier than flying between
When you go from country to country you have to file an ICAO flight plan, which
is an International Flight plan. They enter it into the system, you get a
clearance - we did all these legs IFR although you can do them VFR also, I have
a book from
WBS: in other words, while you're in the air there's no - when you cross the "fence" from one country to another - it's all taken care of through your flight plan.
it wasn't any different than flying from, say
The VFR landing procedures were the same, you enter on t downwind leg like we did in Florence, then you turn base, turn final, land and they give you taxi instructions to the ramp and thatís it.
WBS: Sounds pretty simple. And no problem with the language barrier.
GEORGE: No, no. Everybody spoke very fluent English. As a matter of fact the Germans, and even the Italians, have very little accent.
WBS: How many trips have you made there?
†GEORGE: This is the first trip.†
I thought you had flown to
No, we were planning to go last year and things got messed up on everyone's
schedules, so we didn't do it. I have gone up to
I had some advice that I wrote down Alden, that you may want to put-down in the newsletter for people who are considering this trip: For Bonanzas, there's no way to do it with standard fuel because the transatlantic crossing regulations require that you have 3 hours of fuel beyond your destination. So that means either tip-tanks or a cabin tank.†
WBS: George, is that something that has changed recently, because I heard before that anybody could make it with 80 gallons of fuel†
Last year the Canadians, Icelanders and Danish which control
As far as the special equipment, we decided to buy almost all the special equipment because to rent it - I'm talking about the raft and survival suits, the HF radio, the marine ELT.†
WBS: HF radio, now that's in addition to your other Trimble... you still are required to have that?†
Yes, you still are required to have it on the three over water legs. Even going to through Frobisher and Sondrestromfjord. Even
going further north from
We found out, that all this equipment rents for about $1,000. per week. We were planning to be gone for 3 maybe 4 weeks. We can buy all that stuff brand new for about $3,000, it didnít 't make any sense. We figure after we buy it, it may have some salvage value, we maybe ought to get 50% of it. So I don't know where you can get that equipment inexpensive to rent. It's economical to rent if you're only going to do that trip and drop off an airplane and then come back, like the ferry pilots do. But if you're going to go there and back, it just doesn't make sense to rent.† The charts and navigation plates and so forth, all of that was about $1,000. It's not cheap and you cannot procure it until the last possible minute because it's only good for about 56 days and† then becomes obsolete.
trip - leaving
WBS: George, tell us a little bit now about the comparison you did with the GPS and how that worked with the crossing.†
I would not do the trip without GPS. The other Bonanza had a brand new Apollo
618 Loran which worked fine in the continental
WBS: is that on Mike's airplane?†
on Mike Ferguson's airplane. They also had a Trimble GPS in the panel as well
as a portable one. The one that the soldiers from the
WBS: Thatís on what we use George.† The military is even closer than that.††
GEORGE: Yes. If you are not going to have GPS I would strongly urge somebody to procure some type long range navigation equipment for the crossing. You can legally do the trip by flying compass and ADF, although two aviation grade aircraft mounted ADFs are required, but they'll allow you to substitute GPS for one of the ADFs.
WBS: Is your range on ADF - are you always within range of an ADF?
No, thatís part of the problem going from Greenland to Iceland, for example, we
had ADF until about - maybe at most 45 minutes out of Labrador and then again
within 100 miles from Greenland. We didnít pick up anything from
WBS: Yeah, you're a long way off.†
You can be a long way off. The other thing that happened during the trip over
the ocean, we have 3 different compasses on board. We had a
WBS: That makes the GPS even more valuable.
GEORGE: I tell you, we could have done without all the other avionics and just trusted entirely to GPS. Well basically we're using ADF and VORs and the Rnav and so forth, just to Check the GPS, and that thing was just infallible, it was always on, just constantly right on track. Every time we would check it, it was always right on.†
WBS: George, when you're making approaches, let's say ILS, are there any characteristics of their approaches that might differ from ours?
†GEORGE: No, not really. In Venice we had kind of an unusual surprise because going into Venice they didn't NOTAMed anything about the airport, and especially the approach, yet on the last minute when I was close to the outer marker, and I wasn't able to get the ILS, I inquire with approach and they said "Oh, we just changed the frequency of the ILS to such and such", which is completely different than what is on the Jeppesen plate, and I say "you just did it?" and the said "Yes, and by the way there is no glide slope".†
But we were VMC, the visibility was only 3 miles going into
Yes, we flew right over
And they have a peculiar characteristic, a beauty of their own. Aren't those
Yeah, they are. They are very steep peaks that drop off very sharply, some are
dropping off at I would guess 60/70 degree angles, unlike most of the mountains
we have here in the U.S. that are more gradual, as a result they create these
very deep valleys, for which Switzerland is famous. This also happens in
Northern Italy, in Southern Germany, in
WBS: How many hours do you have now on that 550?†
GEORGE: we are approaching 1,300 hours right now. As a matter of fact we are beginning to think about what are we going to do with it. Are we going to be overhauling it or remanufacturing or what are we going to do about it. We may do a turbo normalizer at the same time.
WBS: oh, yeah! Say that fellow Jerry Kerkhoff who's advertising with us has got a pretty good price on that.†
GEORGE: Yeah, $16,500.†
WBS: Oh, Yeah! boy thatís a great system. Weíve had several people comment on that and they are tickled to death with it by the way.
GEORGE: Yes. I should mention this other thing also to anybody that is planing to do this trip. The airplanes and the systems and so forth, should be in tip top shape. You donít want to find out that you have a problem when you are half way across and you really want to work all the bugs out of the airplane, or squawks that you may have and so forth. We did a very† through inspection right before leaving. Compression tests, we put in new spark plugs, a brand new alternator, new battery, new pressure pump, changed the oil and filter and so forth. Any squawks that were in the airplane, we took care of. We did not need to do these but we went ahead and changed those parts.
oil consumption, it took me 37 hours from
WBS: George, is there anything to indicate to you now that that 550 will not reach TBO?†
GEORGE: No, none what so ever. Compression was very good on all the cylinders and we don't see any evidence of anything that may give up or may prematurely have to be changed.†
WBS: so you're still 12 hours on a quart or something like that?†
GEORGE: Yeah, weíre doing 12 hours on a quart. TBO is 1,700 hours that's why we are beginning to think about what are we going to be doing.†
WBS: By the way, you of course realize there is no STC to my knowledge on Turbo Charging that.†
GEORGE: No, but however I understand that on the turbo normalizer they are working, and by the end of the year they should have an STC for the 550.†
WBS: it seems to me that would be a beautiful marriage, that engine with turbo charging. I think the flexibility of turbo charging can not be beat, there's just a lot of advantages, both for comfort and safety.
WBS: Well George, we appreciate your sharing this story on your trip. Anything else you might care to add?†
GEORGE: No, however, if anyone wants to do this, feel free to give me a call and I'll be glad to chat with them.
WBS: All right, what's a good time to call you George?†
GEORGE: During the regular week day, Monday through Friday, say 9 to 5 or so. The best place to reach me is in my office at 415-734-6700. Then on evenings and week-ends is at home at 408-866-7308.†
WBS: O.K. George, thank you very much, sounds like you had a heck of a time there.†
GEORGE: Yeah, we had a great time see you in September
Weíll look forward to that.
† MINI WBS MEETING IN
MORE WBS "GOOD
GUYS" IN EUROPE††† MIKE
George (Deeter) was very pleased antly surprised to run into you during your
†MIKE: we ran into them at
WBS: Then you didn't know they were going at that time.†
MIKE: No, when we went to check weather and file a flight plan they told us there was another Bonanza out there waiting for us. That they wanted to cross with us.†
WBS: I'll be darned, just a coincidental thing. Mike, had you done this before?
†MIKE: Not the North Atlantic, I've flown to
WBS: George said you were delivering an airplane over there†
MIKE: Yeah, a friend of mine sold his airplane to a German.†
Was that Glen Larsen? He's also one of our members (WBSAf2099,
Yes. Glen sold his airplane (F-33-A N5516K) and then they, Glen and the German,
made arrangements for me to take it over and then Glen decided to go along too.
It made it good.† To fly the
WBS: I think that's a minimal requirement isn't it?† What did you find of interest, since it was your first trip in that direction? I understand you found a good place to use GPS.†
MIKE: Yes. Our Loran didnít work accurately from the time† Bay Labrador, until well all the way. We had a GPS, a new Trimble built in unit, and then we also had a Trimble transpac, portable unit, that we put up in† the glareshield.
WBS: How about the high frequency?†
MIKE: The HF didn't work worth a damn. Itís nothing but - in my opinion - a piece of† junk that adds a lot of weight and takes up unnecessary room.
WBS: I'll be darned! They still require it†
MIKE: Yeah. They still require it.†
Did you go through that inspection in
we went through it in
WBS: They assure that you have all the equipment they specify, including the High Frequency?†
MIKE: They want to be sure you have all that and then they give you a little - like an oral exam†
WBS: That may be a pretty good idea Mike, what do you think?†
MIKE: I think that's a good idea, yes. Some people may be heading out across there without the capability or the right equipment.†
WBS: What's your thought on this high frequency, why do they continually require that? Is that just a hangover from the past?†
MIKE: Well I don't know. The frequencies are so jamrned that you can't get a word in edge wise. I don't know, maybe you could for emergency purposes. I've heard some people have gone across there and had no problem with HF but for the most part, I hear everybody complaining about it about how poorly it works I know the airlines use it and I know they were complaining too, we could hear them saying - ďHF is really poor today", something like that.
†WBS: For navigation, what about Omega, where is that in the spectrum?†
MIKE: I don't know anything about Omega, I think with today Omega is going to be too expensive. It was never widely used by general aviation anyway, and I think GPS is going to be† within reach much the same as Loran. Or people are going to buy integrated sets with† Loran and GPS. Most of the manufacturers are coming out with that, which will be very good.††
WBS: Do you see a short life for Loran in this situation?
MIKE:† No. I think Loran will continue to be what it was designed to be; an interim navigation system. The fact that they are now approving approaches for Loran is going to make the Loran GPS even that much more helpful, and people are going to want the Loran portion because GPS is not, and probably will not be, approved for IFR approaches for some time based upon† the time it has taken to get Loran approaches approved.†
You went to
WBS: Was that the end of your trip then? You came back commercial?†
Yeah, then we came back out of
I understand you had a little weather around
we flew IFR minimums at
WBS: Then you skirted around to a small airport someplace?†
MIKE: we got vectors from a very nice air traffic controller, a lady: she vectored us and gave us a let-down procedure that we learned later she improvised herself.††
WBS: I'll be darned†
MIKE: we broke out over the ocean out-bound from the airport.†
WBS: Well that was pretty handy then!†
Yeah it was, because we were pretty concerned. I know George was heading toward
an airport on the north east
WBS: You just went VFR then when you broke out at - what? 3000'?
MIKE: we broke out over the water.†
WBS: Were you in sight of land then?
Oh, Yeah, we were. Then we landed there because it† wasn't terribly far from
Now that you've made that
MIKE: I have every intention of doing it again. Yeah.†
WBS: What would you suggest to members who are thinking about that Mike?†
MIKE: I guess, if you have the capability of taking your airplane.
WBS: How many gallons do you need for that?†
MIKE: I think you're going to need to carry now they have a requirement, I think it was as of the first of the year, you have to have a three hour reserve.
WBS: Yeah, that's changed†
MIKE: so you would have to have - I think you'd need to be able to carry probably about 180 gallons.†
WBS: OOOOH!!† Where you going to put that?†
MIKE: Well, I don't know, a lot of people - of course you've got standard tip tanks, then you've got to put it inside. You're already carrying 120 - no youíre going to need more, Iím sorry, you're going to need 13 hours at (much computation going on here!!)- You'll need at least I80 gallons for a Bonanza†
WBS: on an 80 gallon tank, which a lot of these have, you'd need l00 gallons so you'd almost need Dan Webb's great big tip tanks.
MIKE: Yeah, you'd need some tip tanks. I have 64 gallon tip tanks and I believe they would do it. (D-35 N29 l l B.)†
WBS: Combination you mean†
Total 64 on each side.† That would be enough, I'd have about 208 gallons - that would do it. You'd
have to have tip tanks with a Bonanza now anyway so why stop at
WBS: I think that changed - what did you say, the first of the year?†
Yes. You have to have a three hour reserve. -
†I think you could do it if you went
way further north and went in to cut accross Sondrestrom, in
WBS:† Can you still do that in view of the change since the first of the year?†
MIKE: yes I think so.† I am pretty sure you could, but you couldn't go the route we took.†
WBS: That sounds real good. Iím tickled to death you guys met over there.†
MIKE: Yeah, that was nice. We enjoyed George.†
Chuck Woodke was with him, he's an old time member (WEDSAfS7I,
MIKE: is he? Two people are comfortable, but that's all there is really room for with that HF in the back. We had rented gear and our suits were the kind with the feet in them and the gloves. The hoods with the flotation pillow in the back of your neck They were quite uncomfortable to fly with because even though we didn't put the top half on, they're one piece, but we just kind of leaned it over the seat†
WBS: A little warm, was it?
Yeah, they were terribly warm. They werenít- t bad going over until we got
WBS: Mike, I appreciate very much your time on this and glad to see you back home. †Hope to see you at a meeting soon.