July 15

After bidding farewell to old and new friends at the Flying Legends Air Show, today we briefed a new passenger complement and headed for Prestwick, Scotland. I must have been tired after the air show ended. While (or to use local parlance, whilst) yet in my flight suit at 9 pm, upon return to the lobby bar at the hotel, I spotted friends who invited a conversation. Excusing myself momentarily to change clothes, I sat down in our hotel room to collect my thoughts. At 1 a.m. I woke up, still in my flight suit. One expends quite a bit of energy at an air show.

We are now in the full-time business of down-line logistics. Coming over, the excellent staff of the D-Day Squadron took care of the details. We’re now solo. Prestwick and Reykjavik were easily sorted, but we wonder about Narssarssuaq, Greenland. Predecessors en route reported various dramas with the fuel truck. Since we have the range to theoretically fly non-stop to Goose Bay from Reykjavik, assuming favorable or at least neutral winds, we certainly would avoid landing without some assurance of fuel.

Last December, the D-Day Squadron imposed a deadline (and a litmus test for participation) for a wire transfer of approximately $8,000 for 700 gallons of 100 low lead aviation fuel at Narssarssuaq. “100LL” has become a boutique fuel in the north, having been replaced by Jet A. This bulk purchase allowed the Squadron to enjoy some savings. Yes, the cost could have been higher. The fueler hired a small ship to transport the inventory for fifteen DC-3s. We wondered whether anyone remembered inclusion of N877MG in the purchase. This now has been confirmed though we are not yet certain of the condition of the fuel truck. I have fueled big twins from 55-gallon drums. It’s a job. We will do it if we need to. The full-on puzzle requires we not fuel to the maximum in Reykjavik to preserve room for 700 gallons in Narsy since the trip to get there requires less than 700 gallons unless we skip it altogether to fly non-stop Goose Bay, in which case we want fuel dripping from the caps and vents.

And we have a tail wind heading west! Go figure! The source is the center of a low-pressure system heading northeast spinning counter-clockwise winds around it. This may be the dominant weather factor all the way to Narssarssuaq.

The crew is good. They now know more than necessary about immersion suits and rafts.

It brings me pleasure to spell the names of these places. The trick is to convince the spell checker to leave them alone!

John Sessions