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Across the Atlantic in a Skyhawk: Part 2


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When I had my piper cherokee one place I used to go was Gladewater where my brother lived in Northeast Texas. One cold frosty morning my brother dropped me off at the airport for the flight home and headed off to his teaching job. It was so early, the FBO was still closed, but I had filled up with gas after landing, so I wasn't worried. I did the preflight, and got aboard, ready to

launch into the sky for home, but when I hit the starter, the prop turned slowly over one time and ground to a halt. It sounded like a low battery and I was feeling forlorn because I had never hand propped a plane and wasn't about to try it on my on. I switched off, got out and pulled the prop through several times, hoping the oil just needed loosening up. I tried again, but the engine did

not start. I did this again, then sat and waited to rest the battery. Finally, I got up the nerve to give it one more try, fully expecting failure. I primed the engine again, cracked the throttle, and hit the starter. The prop moved one turn, the engine fired, belched blue smoke, and began to tick over. What a relief that was.


The next leg of my transatlantic odessey starts at Fox Harbor in Newfoundland, and takes me to Narsarsuaq in Greenland, about 629 nautical miles.


Fox Harbor is way up north in the boonies. It is probably cold in the morning, even in the summertime, but in FS9, the engine always starts, as long as you have gas. The runway looked pretty short so I used a short field takeoff procedure to get away. I set my destination as a place called Narsarsuaq (BGBW), because Juliane hab does not exist in FS9. Not only that, but although the airport is marked in Google earth, the area is all blurred out like it was some big secret black site.


With GPS navigation and the autopilot, I was able to catch up on some back issues of The New Yorker, but I used this long flight of 629 nm to play with the power setting and get some data on fuel burn rate at different altitude and speed. Since most of this leg was over the ocean, I settled

down at 1000 feet msl and rpm 2000 which gave me a burn rate of 5.8 gallons per hour and 85 knots. I figure I could get about 750 nautical miles at that rate.


The most interesting part of this leg was the last twenty miles. The terrain is mountainous and majestic and you have fly up a fjord to find Narsarsuaq nestled between two hills. A straight in approach takes you over a mountain and you have to drop down pretty fast to get on the glide slope, but I flew around the high ground, and then turned sharp right to line up with the runway. It's a nice field, with a terminal and refueling station.


My next leg will be the longest yet, BGBW - BIRK (Reykjavik, Iceland), about 667 nautical miles.

Edited by csemar
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