283nm. Cruising speed 180 Knots IAS. 55 Gallons fuel burned. Flight time of 1h 33m. I've completed the first leg of the Amelia Earhart memorial flight. Metro Oakland Airport in Oakland, CA to Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, CA. Nothing out of the ordinary to report. Weather was clear. Took off at dawn. Flight was uneventful. Next leg of trip is Burbank to Tucson. Pictures below of Oakland airport, enroute and Burbank airport landing. Click on thumbnail for larger picture.
4: Burbank airport.
3: Burbank airport luggage carrier.
2: Downtown Oakland. Night before I left.
1: My duffel bag. This is all I took.
371nm. Cruising speed 181 Knots IAS. 71.8 Gallons fuel burned. Flight time of 2h 2m. I've completed the 2nd leg of the Amelia Earhart memorial flight. Took off from Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, CA in stormy weather. Rained the entire trip. Landed at Palm Valley in Tucson, AZ.
NOTE: I may have to fire the navigator and replace him before continuing on as he had me land in the wrong airport. This made landing a bit dicey as I was unprepared for the approach. Guess that's what I get for hiring him off of a Craig's list advertisement.
Anyway, we managed to turn the plane around and took off about an hour later and made it into Tucson with no more incidents.
4: Downtown tucson.
3: No runway, but plenty of cactus.
2: A strange looking cactus.
1: The so called landing strip.
Well, it looks like my "navigator" screwed up again. I was flying from Tucson to New Orleans, about 200 miles from destination when I had to make an unplanned stop for fuel in Texas. My stupid navigator miscalculated the fuel required for this trip. Flight speed he selected resulted in too high a fuel burn. Only 200 lbs of fuel left in each tank. That's strike 2. I thought it best not wait for strike 3, so I decided to ditch the navigator. Told him to go and get some supplies but it was a ruse. I took off when he left, thus stranding him there. But being that he is a navigator, he should be able to find his way home.
I completed the 3rd leg, from Tucson to Lakefront Airport in New Orleans, after a brief stopover in Texas for refueling, sans navigator. Now flying solo. Much more relaxing flight without the 180lbs of deadweight known as a navigator. Also found he had 200lbs of beef jerky squirreled away in the baggage hold. Left both the navigator and jerky in Texas thus increasing both my flying range and sanity. Pictures below of approach to new Orleans and on the ground in New Orleans
4: Paddle wheel boat on the river.
3: What I saw of New Orleans looked typical.
2: New Orleans airport.
1: New Orleans from the air.
Leg 4 was 573 NM and I took off at 9:43 am. Uneventful. Clear weather. good flight. Actually landed at Kendall-Tamiami Executive airport instead of the Miami Int'l. This was the plan all along as it is a quieter airport.
4: It was just like paradise.
3: The beach in Florida was beautiful.
2: An alligator in the everglades.
1: Lounge at Tamiami airport.
Leg 5 of the Amelia Earhart memorial Flight is complete. Miami to Luis Munoz Marin Intl airport in San Juan. Landed at 4:37 local time. Solo flying proves to be going more smoothly than with that incompetent navigator that I ditched in Texas. Took off in rainy conditions. Flew at 3,000 ft. Uneventful. Had to slow to 200 Kts halfway through to conserve fuel. 400 lbs of fuel left on a 910 NM flight. Tanks hold 2,800 Lbs. Leg 8 will be 1,142 NM, so I will need to fly at a lower cruising speed to make it the entire way without refueling. Pictures of coast of Puerto Rico and parked in San Juan. 56 degrees at landing in overcast, rainy, conditions. Staying in a nice hotel tonight. May go to the beach tomorrow as the next leg is only 492 miles so this gives me time to relax.
4: Some old, crumbling fort in San Juan
3: I stayed in the hotel Normandie
2: Parked on the tarmac.
1: My final approach to San Juan
Leg 6 got off to a late start. I enjoyed the local night life and had a few too many tequilas so by the time I got to the airport and took off it was late in the day, shortly before nightfall. 492 NM. 181 gallons (1215 lbs) of fuel burned at 300 knots ground speed. Weather was clear. Flew over open ocean most of the way. A good primer for the 2,000 NM stretches coming later in the trip. Landed at 7:44 local time at Mariscal Antonio Jose De Sucre in Cumana.
4: A church in Cumana, Brazil.
3: View of the city of Cumana, Brazil
2: Taxicab in Cumana, Brazil.
1: Picturesque Cumana, Brazil.
Got up early today and was at the airport by 5 am. Took off from Mariscal Antonio Jose De Sucre airport at 6:20 am. Air temp was 58 degrees. Fair weather. Lots of clouds. Cruised at 9,000ft at 220 knots IAS. 611 nm distance. Burned 225 gallons. Flight was smooth until I was about 60 miles from touchdown when I encountered moderate turbulence which lasted most of the way in until I began my descent into Suriname. Flying time was 3h 42m. Temp was a nice 75 degrees. Landed on runway 11 at J.A. Pengel Int'l in Zanderij, Suriname. Tonight's dinner was a delicious chicken curry and roti which I had at local eatery in town.
4: The taxi that took me to the hotel.
3: A street in Suriname.
2: Just after takeoff from Cumana.
1: Taxiing in Cumana, Venezuela
Today was a beautiful day for flying. Clear skies and 59 degrees. Longest leg so far at 1141 nm so I Topped off the fuel tanks, did my pre-flight check and took off from runway 11 at Zanderij at 9:50 am. Cruised at 21,000ft at 185 knots IAS. Burned 388 gallons. ITT: 650 degrees. Torque 65%. Prop RPM 1625. Due to my low cruising speed, flying time was 5h 39m. Landed on runway 13 at Pinto Martins Int'l in Fortaleza, Brazil. The temperature was 80 degrees.
4: The Metropolitan Cathedral in Fortaleza.
3: One of the sights in Fortaleza
2: The dinner I had in Fortaleza, Brazil
1: The hotel lobby in Fortaleza, Brazil
Took off from Fortaleza 10:30 a.m., cloudy, 78 degrees. 235 nm hop to Natal. Cruised at 5,000 ft and 240 kts TAS. About an hour flying time. Landed on runway 12 at the Augusto Severo International Airport, 78 degrees. Very modern facilities. I hear it was remodeled back in 2001. The airport is not actually in Natal but 11 miles away in Parnamirim. I had to go through customs, where they checked my passport and rummaged through my luggage, but they were friendly and nice about it.
So then I went to the tourism office in the airport and located a hotel in Natal and got some info on what to do for the evening. Grabbed a cab which cost me about $18 U.S. I stayed in the Best Western Yak hotel in the Praia Do Meio section of the city. I don’t know why they call it the Yak, as I didn’t see any around. The price was reasonable at around $85 / night. I chatted up the front desk clerk for the hot spots and she suggested I go to the Forró com Turista which has a Folkloric show every Thursday and since this was Thursday it worked out well.
The show didn’t begin until 10 p.m. so I had time to eat first. I found a restaurant called Tábua de Carne, right on the beach with a nice view of the ocean. Menu was in Portuguese and nobody spoke English, so I just pointed to what I wanted. It was called carne de sol which turned out to be jerk beef, and it came with rice, fried manioc and green beans. Decent service. Next run is going to be the longest yet at over 1,700 nm.
A trip such as this where one has the opportunity to experience different kinds of delicacies from around the world isn't something I'd advise for someone on Medifast or any other diet for that matter. This kind of trip requires one to toss aside the Medifast coupons they use and let themselves go enough to just enjoy this once in a lifetime chance to try any food you'd like from across the globe.
4: Some of the entertainment in Natal.
3: The beach in Natal, Brazil.
2: Yak front desk in Natal, Brazil
1: Best Western Yak in Natal, Brazil
On Friday I got my vaccinations for Cholera and Yellow Fever and Malaria pills before heading over to the African continent. This is the longest stretch yet at 1,725 NM and it's nearing the maximum range of the King Air 350. Took off from Augusto Severo airport at 5:15 am from runway 12 in light clouds, 84 degrees. Still dark out when I left. Cruised at 225 kts at 30,000 ft and saw the sun rising over the horizon. Beautiful flight. Plane performed flawlessly. Landed at St. Louis airport in St. Louis, Senegal 2:08 on runway 18. Boy did it feel good to get out and stretch my legs after 8 hours and 53 minutes of sitting in that cockpit.
4: One of the beautiful African birds
3: some sort of cow or indigenous animal.
2: Stopped here for a bite to eat
1: This is the taxi I took to the restaurant
This only a short flight, only 99 miles, so had an easy morning and a nice lunch, or so I thought. It was a local dish called Yassa, fish simmered in onion with a garlic, mustard, and lemon sauce. Delicious! On the taxiway at 2 p.m. on Monday, December 10, when I felt my lunch starting to come back at me. Gurgling, rumbling and churning in my stomach & intestines. I've had that feeling before and knew there was no way that I could make the trip to Dakar before nature would make an urgent call. So I taxied back to the parking and dashed back to the bathroom, where I spent a good portion of the afternoon. Fortunately I carry a good supply of Imodium.
Tuesday, December 11. Having put the previous days 'adventure' behind me, I taxied out to the runway at St. Louis for my flight to Leopold Sedar Senghor airport in Dakar. 58 degrees and clear, Took off from RW 18. 4,000ft @ 240 kts. 25 minutes flight. Landed on RW 36. 71 degrees. Parked @ 7:25pm local time.
Found a cyber café in Dakar called Metisscanna where I was able to email the logs and pics for the last few stops on my trip. There's an island off the coast called The Ille de Goree. I took a ferry boat there. I found a pretty good restaurant near the harbor. After I got back to Dakar, I went to the Tamango bar where they have live jazz music.
Spent some time on the beach. Did some routine maintenance on the plane
before heading off across Africa on Saturday.
4: The island Ile de Goree, off Dakar.
3: Sign on the island Ile de Goree, off Dakar.
2: My room in Dakar, Senegal
1: My hotel in Dakar, Senegal
Before leaving I stocked up on food, water and various supplies, as I plan to not leave the airport until I am out of Africa, unless I absolutely have to. I hear most of Africa is dangerous to foreigners. Don't want to risk getting killed or robbed. I also don't care to get dysentery or any other illness. Took off from Dakar, runway 36. 75 degrees. Great day for flying. 1,013 miles @ 28,000 ft. Landed on RW 25 at Korogoussou airport in Gao, Mali. 71 degrees. Parked @ 7:25pm local time.
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