Friday, September 6, 2013

The story of luck ...

A failed starter/generator during a trip like ours is never a pleasant experience. However, if the part had to fail, it could not have done so at a better place or a better time. The fact that a small local repair shop had just the right part is truly hard to believe, but there we are.

Just to make sure we're not getting used to too much good luck, my iPad failed on me yesterday, by refusing to accept charge. So we tried this morning to have it fixed or exchanged by the local iStore in Anchorage, but they didn't have a suitable unit in stock and they couldn't fix it locally. Still, they were very professional and helpful and wanted to know what the next big city would be that I could perhaps get it changed. I told them Tokyo would be good and within less than a few hours I received an email to say that all had been arranged and that a replacement iPad would be waiting for me under my name in Tokyo, reference number and all. Wow!

Fact is that I rely on my iPad heavily to execute our flights, as all approach charts, briefing, weather info, routings, etc. are all stored there. For that reason I carry a 2nd iPad, but it's a mini and that will make it hard to read. Still, I am sure it will work ok until we get to Tokyo.

Tomorrow will mark the start of the most difficult part of our trip, that is the crossing of the Pacific Ocean. The current plan is that we will fly to Adak tomorrow, with a fuel stop in Cold Bay. Each leg should be less than 4 hours, but we'll see what the winds are doing.

The next day (Saturday), we will fly from Adak to Attu. Originally it was planned that we would fly back and forth between Adak and Attu to create our fuel cache and then return to Attu to spend the night. Due to time constraints, another plan has emerged. Jan Brill (the organiser and guide of the trip) has kindly offered to transport our fuel from Adak to Attu in his Cheyenne, as he does the trip on that day anyway. We will now meet him at Attu, unload the fuel and stay on the island for the night, while Jan will return to Adak for the night and come back the next day.

By the time Jan gets to Attu on the morning of the 8th (Sunday), we should be well on our way to Petropavlosk (4 hours), refuel and on to Sapporo (7 hours). Jan will refuel at Attu from his cache and fly direct to Sapporo, missing Russia altogether.

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