After a quiet month back at work, with only two rocket attacks in the local area, it was time to head back to the Netherlands where Planey McPlaneface was being well looked after in the Shell hangar.
The first week of the flight, across Europe, would be fairly easy in terms of bureaucracy and planning. Flights could be made without needing special permits or permissions, and airports were generally available for reasonable (by non-US standards) fees. Once hitting Turkey, all that would change, with flight permits, airport advance permissions, and mandatory “handling” fees at airports that would run into the hundreds of euros.
Because of the high fees, difficulty of sourcing AVGAS, and awkward/predatory handling agents in many locations, flights after leaving Europe would be much longer than the flight legs crossing the Atlantic. The ferry tank would be essential for some of these legs; and as I had passengers lined up for all sections of the flight, it was a good thing that Mike and I had figured out how to properly use the ferry tank with a copilot on board!
With an estimated 70 hours of flying, it would be necessary to carry out an oil change along the way. This was carried out in Turkey, where I collected copilot Gavin who had been able to arrange the OK to do the work on a small private airfield near his family’s house. Given the hot temperatures we’d be encountering, we decided to use thicker oil than usual; W120, which was somewhat difficult to source in Europe where hot-weather oil is not often used!
The day by day write-up of the Eurasia section of the trip can be found below.
- Eurasia, Days 1 and 2 – Rotterdam, Netherlands to Stuttgart, Germany
- Eurasia, Days 3 and 4 – Stuttgart, Germany to Prague, Czech Republic
- Eurasia, Days 5 and 6 – Prague, Czech Republic to Vienna, Austria
- Eurasia, Days 7 and 8 – Vienna, Austria to Debrecen, Hungary
- Eurasia, Days 9 and 10 – Debrecen, Hungary to Iasi, Romania
- Eurasia, Days 11 and 12 – Iasi, Romania to Selcuk, Turkey
- Eurasia, Days 13 and 14 – Selcuk, Turkey to Hurghada, Egypt
- Eurasia, Days 15 and 16 – Hurghada, Egypt to Bahrain
- Eurasia, Days 17 and 18 – Bahrain to Nagpur, India
- Eurasia, Days 19 and 20 – Nagpur, India to Colombo, Sri Lanka
- Eurasia, Days 21 and 22 – Colombo, Sri Lanka to Surat Thani, Thailand
- Eurasia, Day 23 onward – Surat Thani to Bang Phra, Thailand