WBS "LONG RANGERS" FLY TO EUROPE

GEORGE DEETER. A-36 N3704A, SAN JOSE CA.

(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.

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, starting from San Jose, CA. and going into the Frankfurt Germany area, was via - more or less - the great circle route, which is the shortest distance across the surface of the earth between two points. If you draw that in between San through southern Greenland; Iceland, Scotland and into Germany. During flight planning we computed that the first leg should be from San Jose to Billings, Montana. That took us about 5 hours. We took off 4 about SAM, the 10th, it's about 780 nautical miles. The flight was uneventful, we had beautiful sights of Yellowstone National Park.We refueled and had a bit to eat in Billings and were planningtransatlantic inspection had arranged was awaiting us the next moming at 8 AMUnfortunately, out of5'Billings a squall line of severeIf thunder storms developed about one hour east of Billings we tried to find our way through that and decided that it wasn't too wise to continue so we sat down at an airport called Glendive, in eastern Montana we spent a night at a local hotel we had an 8 o'clock Thursday morning appointment in Winnipeg, Willie had been pre-arranged with the Transport Canada inspector- to inspect us, the airplane and the equipment that we had and so forth - to clear us for the transatlantic flight.

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, Fox Island, WA.) he has his own bonanza.V-35-B from Tacoma, where he's based, to San Jose. Joined me the day before departure. We put his airplane in my hangar and we took off in my plane the next morning.We began preparing for this trip by the way, more than 6 months in advance. All domestic Jeppesen instrument and navigation charts, the World Aeronautical charts for the route covered - including the Canadian WACs. Canadian IFR in route chart as well as approach plates Jeppesen North Atlantic Trip Kit which covers from North eastern Canada over into Scotland. Addition- ally we procured the Jeppesen European Kit, which is all the enroute IFR charts and approach plates for all the airports in Europe. Op- Operational Navigational Charts which are put out by the Department of Defense forGreenland, Iceland and Europe, to cover all the topography and so forth. And the Airman Information publications for the subject countries, which is equivalent to the AIM which we have here in the United States that tells you about procedures and what you can and cannot do in each particular country.

WBS: George, you mentioned Scotland. What part of Scotland do you over fly there? Did you land in Scotland?

GEORGE: we landed at Prestwick, Scotland, near Glasgow.

WBS: That seems awfully far north to me, from memory, for Frankfurt.

GEORGE: Yeah, Prestwick is just adjacent to Glasgow, my guess is like 50 miles if I recall, outside of Glasgow.Itís a military and airline airfield that is pretty much defunct, it doesnít get used by the airlines much.The big airfield commonly used is about 150 miles South of the Northern most tip of Scotland.

WBS: Doesn't it seem a little far North for Frankfurt?

GEORGE: It's 3-/2 hours from Prestwick to Frankfurt, about 520 NM.

 

The next morning on Thursday, we left early - 4 o'clock in the morning - and we made our 8 oíclock appointment with the inspector in Winnipeg.The inspection took 6 and 1/2 hours. Very thorough. They had asked us to have completed very detailed flight plans developed for the trip, all the way into Scotland. They made us unload the airplane, checked every piece of equipment, all of our qualifications and paper work, pack and reload the airplane the way that we would have it across the water. It was very thorough, and I'm glad that it was, because he gave a good look at what we were doing and ascertained that we were doing the right thing.

 

From Winnipeg, after the inspection, we proceeded east to a place called Turtle Lake, which is about two hours (300 NM) N.E. of Winnipeg.Sat down over night, and then the next morning we took off to cross the Labrador Peninsula into Goose Bay.We over flew the southern edge of Hudson Bay, and then across Labrador.We saw incredible scenery, totally unpopulated, thousands and thousands of small lakes, not a trace of civilization.Not a road, not a town or power line or any idea that you are on the north side of the U.S.

 

Weather so far had been good, and in fact all the way up to Goose Bay which is the half way point of the trip, we were able to maintain VMC, even though some legs were filed IFR.The weather was not a factor until then.On the way to Goose Bay we landed at an intermediate place called Wabush, and then from Wabush to Goose Bay was another hour and half.The night of Friday the l2th we spent in Goose Bay.We stayed at a Bed and Breakfast place in Goose Bay and it cost $50 for both.

 

Alden we landed there late that afternoon on Friday.Goose Bay is a military airfield and they donít allow General Aviation aircraft, you've got to come in with prior permission, and our prior permission was granted in Winnipeg and they had telexed the tower that we were approved to do this. To our surprise, a brand new F-33, registration N5516K, was sitting there on the transient ramp and we were directed to park right next to them. We tried to find out through the security people who the airplane belonged to because they were obviously going across the Atlantic.You could see a raft in the back, an HF radio and so forth. Equipped with tip-tanks also. The next morning as we were ready to depart, we managed to get a hold of a name, and it was Mike Ferguson (WBS#2019) from Montana, flying with Glen Larsen (WBS#2099, Bozeman, MT) they were delivering this new F-33 to a buyer in Saarbrucken, Germany. It was also their first crossing of the Atlantic.So we decided to team up, for safety as well as for fun and economies on our expenses of renting cars or whatever we do, and we figured we'd just ride along with each other.

 

We took off early the morning of Saturday the 13th to head over to Narsarssuaq, Greenland. Goose Bay to Narsarssuaq is 750 NM, it took us 4-1/2 hours.We were at11,000',we picked up ice half way through the trip. We had to roll in our HF antennae because we were fearing it was going to break up from the ice accumulation.We managed to request a lower altitude, and at 9,000' we began shedding the ice. About 100 miles from Greenland we were VFR again, with beautiful sunshine and unlimited visibility. We slowly, over the horizon, saw the mountains come up - the snow peaks - and we began to see the fjords, picked the right fjord and went into Narsarssuaq.

WBS: George, in that prior time, prior to Greenland, you were in ice. Who's flight following were you on?

GEORGE:Initially we were talking to Moncton then to Gander FIR, and then as we got close to Greenland to Julianahab radio.Greenland as you may know is part of Denmark.There was really no radar coverage what-so-ever.Once you get to Goose Bay, from then on is standard non-radar environment reporting procedures. It's all by radio and they maintain 15 minutes between airplanes so 5516K was 15 minutes ahead of us. We were in touch on a common frequency, 122.75 if I remember, VHF between both of us were constantly relaying our present position that we were reading on the GPS, just to ascertain that we werenít getting too close to each other.

 

They 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 aglacier 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 ofroom 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 Reykjavik radio via HF. We relayed their clearance on 122.75 and the position reports from 5516K from then on to Reykjavik.

 

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 Keflavik. Keflavik is the big airline andNATO airfield on the southwest side of Reykjavik, and Reykjavik is the small airfield that is right in town. You really want to fly into Reykjavik because it is so handy rather than Keflavik where all the airlines go into 20 miles out of town.

So 150 miles from Iceland we found out that all the fields have either closed or have gone down to very low minimums and we looked at our options. We did not have enough fuel to turn back to Greenland nor to proceed to Scotland at that point, so were committed to land someplace in Iceland or ditch. They announced also that Military and Airline airplanes were shooting the PAR (Precision Radar- Approach ) at the Keflavik airport and were unsuccessful and were proceeding to alternates in Scotland. They suggested that we divert towards a small airfield that is in a deep valley similar to Yosemite Valley, called Akurerei, about 150 miles beyond Reykjavik on the northeastern side of Iceland. In chatting with 16 Kilo we decided that 16 Kilo was going to look for other options possibly landing in a small fishing village near Reykjavik, and see if any of those airfields were open. The fishing villages usually have a small gravel airstrip for re-supply and emergency airlift and so forth. We proceeded on to Akurerei airport where they were reporting a 2,000' ceiling. It was only an LDA approach and the minimums were about 700', so it didn't give us a whole lot of room, especially going into a very deep gorge valley. We re monitoring 16 Kilo making an NDB approach at that time they were given an emergency procedure that was drawn up by Reykjavik approach - there was no published approach at this little airfield. 16 Kilo reported that they broke out at 3 ,000' and they were VFR They had the little gravel airstrip at Stykisholmur in sight and they were going to proceed and land. At that time we also requested and got a clearance to also go back there and they gave us basically the same approach instructions to follow and we also landed there. Meanwhile Reykjavik approach coordinated with the local police - mind you this is a very small fishing village - and the 2 local policemen that have a small one room police station there, were summoned to the airfield, they opened the airfield for us - this was Saturday night at about 11 at night but the sun was still up. When we landed theystamped our passports, cleared us and askedsomething to eat?" We hadn 't eaten anything since 4 o'clock in the morning. Only some toast and biscuit. They called a local restaurant and had them stay open,while we're eating, these two policemen arranged with a local hotel that was full, to set up 4 beds on the floorin a meeting room in the basement. So we were able to get accommodations as well. They are very courteous people, the Icelanders don't get to see too many people from the outside because it's so out of the way, and they really welcome anybody from outside. Very friendly people.

WBS: Northern hospitality!!

GEORGE: Very nice. Weíre so glad that we went into Iceland and weíre glad that we had to make this emergency landing at this fishing village rather than going into Reykjavik on our arrival.

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, Reykjavik is a very nice clean city. Iceland is just a very nice place to visit.

Then on Tuesday the 16th, early in the morning we took off and went from Reykjavik to Prestwick Scotland, a big airfield - as I recall it has a 8,000' runway well equipped. The airlines used to fly there to service Glasgow, then Glasgow got it's own airport so there's not too much traffic now. It took us 5 hours, the first 3 hours was in visual conditions, the last 2 hours was in instrument conditions, had to shoot an ILS into Prestwick. We rented a car and did some sight-seeing for the next 2 days there also.

On Thursday the 18th, we took off early from Prestwick going to Frankfurt Germany area, and 16 Kilo alsotook off to go to Saarbruken. The 2 airfields are only about 60 NM. from each other in Germany. It was just a coincident that we were tagging along with each other. My final destination was actually an airfield called Egelsbach, with is the general aviation reliever for the Frankfurt area, and thatís where AOPA Germany has their offices, in that airfield. That flight was about 3 1/2 hours about 540 NM miles. On approaching Egelsbach we found out that they were resurfacing the main runway and they had us land on 1,700' grass strip. The airport manager checked our passports only. Chuck Woodke left me at this point and proceeded to sight see in a rented car.

I 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 Matterhorn. We spent 2 days sight-seeing in Florence. The Italians were very friendly also the gas was a little bit expensive - about $5. a gallon, versus Germany which is about $4. a gallon - but very friendly, everything turned out very well.

WBS: Where did you land in Italy?

GEORGE: in Florence, there is only one airport in Florence.

WBS: No security problems there?

GEORGE: 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 Germany the same thing, Egelsbach is not even an airport of entry. The airport manager that takes care of the paper work at the airport did it. It's a general aviation airfield, all they need to see is your passport, they never stamped them or checked the airplane or anything.

Flying is very free in Europe. A lot more than it is say between Mexico and the United States, or Canada and the United States.

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.

WBS: George, I mentioned security, when landed in Florence were there police there? In other words how does it look when you land?

GEORGE: in Florence there is a military Garrison at the airport that happens to be the air force search and rescue I believe, but you can see some soldiers there with machine guns. I did not go to the field in the middle of the night, but I didn't have any problems with the airplane. Nobody breaking in, we put -of course - the sunshades on the windows. We were told by the people at the airport that the security was pretty tight, and the least of our concerns should be the airplane.

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.

GEORGE: 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 California.

WBS: Did you see much in the way of general aviation there?

GEORGE: in Germany, in Egelsbach the airport must have had at least 100 private airplanes on the ramp, all with German registration. 80% of which were American made. In Italy - it's interesting because going to Florence we were advised that there probably was not going to be any ramp space, that all we could do was just drop off passengers and take off again, so we decided to gamble on that. Then when we landed there were only 3 airplanes in the entire airfield, and when we left there were only 5. Nobody knew anything about being short of parking spaces or why was there a Notam. Very low activity there in Florence. It's the only airport there, but very little activity.We visited Florence, rented a car and went over to Pisa, and then on Thursday the 25th we took off and flew over to Venice. It was little less than an hour flight, all VMC, a beautiful sight of Venice as we were coming in to land at the main airport (Tessara) where the international airlines land. Security was pretty tight there in Venice. The Military had a jeep with soldiers running around in the perimeter and I kind of felt a little better about security there.

Then early on Friday the 26th we left Venice very early in the morning. The husband from the German couple that was with us had an 8 o'clock meeting in Frankfurt, so we took off at 5 AM flew across the Alps again and landed in Egelsbach again at about 7:30 in the morning. After dropping him off the three of us proceeded to Hamburg where we landed around noon time. We had to shoot the ILS into Hamburg. John Pfahnl, my plane partner, and John Papadakis, his friend - also a WBS member -, had flown commercial during that week and met us in Hamburg. I gave them the keys of the plane and right now they are in the process of flying back and should be arriving sometime on Sunday.

WBS: oh, then, you flew back commercial.

GEORGE: Yes, I flew back commercial.

WBS: John will be flying back in the airplane?

GEORGE: We thought that was a good idea because each one gets to fly one way. Once you get to Europe, coming back I felt is kind of commuting back and you're basically going over the same route. We thought it would be a little bit more challenging this way.

WBS: George, when you're going through these various airspaces, you're saying it's easier than flying between Mexico and U.S. That hasn't been the case there in Europe a few years ago.

GEORGE: 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 London that tells about flying VFR throughout Europe and they claim that it's a lot easier than lFR. When we were landing at regular airports nobody had much concern at all as to where we were coming or where we were going, or what we were doing.A lot easier than crossing into the United States and dealing with U.S. customs.

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.

GEORGE: it wasn't any different than flying from, say San Diego to the San Francisco bay area. You are talking to - for example in going from the Frankfurt area into Florence, we over flew Switzerland and over the Alps, so you start talking to Frankfurt Departure and then they transfer you to Stuttgart, and then to Zurich approach and then to Milano approach, and finally to Pisa approach. It's not any different than flying here in California, you start out with San Diego approach, then LA Center, etc. Occasionally they would give us a different squawk code. We would have to shift frequencies They would have to transfer us from one controller to the next, but it wasnít any different than flying here.

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.

WBS: I thought you had flown to Europe.

GEORGE: 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 Alaska and Mexico and Central America also, but this is the first time to Europe.

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

GEORGE: Last year the Canadians, Icelanders and Danish which control Greenland, got together and established joint regulations that covers all kinds of requirements for general aviation flights.

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?

GEORGE: 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 Greenland you still have to have HF.

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 andthen becomes obsolete.

The trip - leaving California until we got into Germany took us 7 days but we could have easily done it in 4 days. We intentionally spent 2 days in Iceland and 2 days in Scotland sight seeing. You could easily plan on doing it in 4 days unless there is a major weather difficulty or mechanical problems or some kind of a legal problem. Ferry pilots are able to do it in about 2 days, to give you an idea of how long it takes.

From San Jose, California to the Frankfurt Germany area, took us 37 Hours Tach time.Anybody can do this, but you better be VERY proficient in instrument flying, the instrument skills on approaches and the procedures and everything that is required, demands that you be very skillful. That you be up to date in instruments and especially ADF navigation and flying the airplane. You've got to be very proficient at flight planning not only because of the inspection, but for your own safety. You can not just take off and go down the Victor airway because there is no such thing as Victor airways across the Atlantic. I would suggest that they buy the book ďOcean Flying" by Louise Sacchi. That's the bible of transatlantic or transoceanic flying. Also you should get from the U.S. Government printing office, a publication from the FAA called "Trans Atlantic Crossing in General Aviation Aircraft". it covers all the equipment required, what the inspection in Canada is all about, what to expect and so forth. I think it costs $2.

WBS: George, tell us a little bit now about the comparison you did with the GPS and how that worked with the crossing.

GEORGE: I would not do the trip without GPS. The other Bonanza had a brand new Apollo 618 Loran which worked fine in the continental United States. As you started going up in Labrador the thing would just totally blank out, and it never worked again until they got into Scotland.

WBS: is that on Mike's airplane?

GEORGE: 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 Persian Gulf had, and they used one against the other to check against each other. As you know, GPS is very accurate. We're talking about accuracy plus or minus 100 feet, or even closer than that, including altitude.

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?

GEORGE: 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 Iceland,including that radio station - that powerful radio station from Reykjavik - we didn't get anything for two hours, and in two hours in a Bonanza, if you are off course 5 or 10 degrees you are likely to miss Iceland entirely.

WBS: Yeah, you're a long way off.

GEORGE: 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 Hamilton rotating card a panel mounted compass, the conventional ball floating in alcohol, and the slaved King HSI. We found that the compasses, for no rhyme or reason, out in the middle of the ocean they would disagree with each other as much as 30 degrees, and then 20 minutes later they all agree with each other. Then the next half hour they disagree with each other - 20 - 30 - 40 degrees, and then they agree with each other. When that happens you don't know which one to follow.First timers especially, should get some type long range navigation, and not just go with compass and ADF

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".

WBS: (Laughing.)††

GEORGE: But we were VMC, the visibility was only 3 miles going into Venice so it was no concerns. All the other ILSs, the one into Prestwick and Hamburg andso forth, they were the same as what we have here. Usually they are more sophisticated, more complicated- the missed approach instructions and the feeder routes to final approach fixes and so forth, are usually a little more complicated than what we are used to encounteringhere in the US. If you are very good at flying instruments you shouldnít have any problems.WBS: Iíll bet thatís a real kick. Iíve driven the areas that you are mentioning George. You talk about leaving Florence for Venice in an hour, believe me that's a long drive.

GEORGE: Yes, we flew right over Bologna at the time. Flying over the Alps south and coming back - going from Frankfurt to Florence we had a beautiful view of the Matterhorn, and that's the real Matterhorn not the one in Disneyland. Just beautiful, Back to Frankfurt from Venice we went right over Salzburg and the gorgeous areas over there, of the Alps. The Alps are very high, higher than our Rockies. As I recall the Matterhorn is 15,100' so then the whole chain is up there - well over 12,000/ 13,000', a lot the peaks are 14,000' plus. You're pretty high up in elevation there.

WBS: And they have a peculiar characteristic, a beauty of their own. Aren't those Alps - I imagine from the air they are even prettier.

GEORGE: 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 Western Austria as well. Yes, the Alps are very pretty. There was a lot of snow in the Alps even though we were in July, there was still a lot of snow over the Alps.

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 verythrough 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.

The oil consumption, it took me 37 hours from San Jose, CA into the Frankfurt, Germany area, to give you an idea. Oil consumption was only 3 quarts in the 37 hours.

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

WBS: Weíll look forward to that.
MINI WBS MEETING IN GOOSE BAY!

MORE WBS "GOOD GUYS" IN EUROPE††† MIKE FERGUSON, WBS#2219 Helena MT., Admin. Dept. Montana Aeronautics Div. meets George Deeter and Chuck Woodke in Goose Bay, Labrador.

WBS: George (Deeter) was very pleased antly surprised to run into you during your flight to Europe. Where did you say you met him?

MIKE: we ran into them at Goose Bay, Labrador.

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 Hawaii and líve flown down to the Caribbean and into South America.

WBS: George said you were delivering an airplane over there

MIKE: Yeah, a friend of mine sold his airplane to a German.

WBS: Was that Glen Larsen? He's also one of our members (WBSAf2099, Bozeman MT).

MIKE: 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 North Atlantic you have to have an instrument rating.

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 timeBay 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 inthe glareshield.

WBS: How about the high frequency?

MIKE: The HF didn't work worth a damn. Itís nothing but - in my opinion - a piece ofjunk 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.

WBS: Did you go through that inspection in Canada? Ia understand that's pretty thorough

MIKE: we went through it in Moncton, New Brunswick.

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 bewithin reach much the same as Loran. Or people are going to buy integrated sets withLoran 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 uponthe time it has taken to get Loran approaches approved.

WBS: You went to Germany didn't you? Where did you land in Germany?

MIKE: Saarbruken.

WBS: Was that the end of your trip then? You came back commercial?

MIKE: Yeah, then we came back out of Frankfurt.

WBS: I understand you had a little weather around Iceland where you had to land at a fishing village.

MIKE: we flew IFR minimums at Keflavik and Reykjavik.

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!

MIKE: Yeah it was, because we were pretty concerned. I know George was heading toward an airport on the north east shore of Iceland, where they were still getting in IFR. We would probably have gone there too, I think what I would have done is gone back to Keflavik and got a GCA approach if I couldn't have gotten down at Stykisholmur

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?

MIKE: Oh, Yeah, we were. Then we landed there because itwasn't terribly far from Reykjavik, and then we stayed there for two nights and then the weather broke after that but it was real good down at Reykjavik.

WBS: Now that you've made that North Atlantic, would you like to do it again.

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

MIKE: 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 Greenland.

WBS: I think that changed - what did you say, the first of the year?

MIKE: 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 Greenland. You could do that and I think make it with the standard 80 gallon tanks because that's not too far across up further north.

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.

WBS: Chuck Woodke was with him, he's an old time member (WEDSAfS7I, Fox Island WA. V-35-B N1909L)

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?

MIKE: Yeah, they were terribly warm. They werenít- t bad going over until we got between Iceland and Scotland, then we started getting really warm. We were soaking wet from the waist down, when we landed in Scotland, it was just too warmWe were nice and comfortable of course when it was colder, but I could see why they want you to wear them, but they aren't real comfortable to fly with.

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.