May 24

Yesterday we reached Iceland, arriving at about 5 p.m. local time. A total of six c-47/DC-3s graced the Reykjavik tarmac, five from the D-Day Squadron and one, an Iceland Air restoration project now airworthy. Parked in an area separated from airport activity, representatives of the local DC-3 society and the airport asked if we would share our aircraft with the public for a couple of hours beginning at 7 p.m. We figured a few enthusiasts might show up. Social media channels communicated the announcement. Hundreds and hundreds of people streamed through the gates at 7 with a steady influx until 9 when we decided we better close the door of N877MG so we could eat, sleep and fly; our recent routine.

The people were lovely. Most shared a story about a flight early in life, or a relative who had flown or maintained DC-3s.

Icelanders have much to be proud of. The island nation sparkles on a sunny day. We approached over snow-capped mountains on small islands laced with water of many colors from geothermal springs and geysers, glaciers, rivers and the sea. Daring architecture includes many colors, contrasting with the green of summer and white, of winter. Island nations must innovate to prosper. Icelanders pioneer many fields of medicine, agriculture and finance. My new left foot was made in Iceland. The general population reads. Conversations have depth.

Leaving Iceland, we saw breaks in the overcast with some blue sky and sun. Our flight plan took us over some of the most remote parts of the north Atlantic in an arc, checking in hourly by high frequency radio. For most of five hours we flew above a layer of clouds, revealing land only when we reached Scotland. Air traffic control brought us over the City of Glasgow for an instrument approach into nearby Prestwick, a WWII base now used primarily by Ryan Air. On landing, the crew took time to clean the plane for an airport open house the following day. We stored all of our survival gear in a Quonset hangar as we would not need it again until our trip home.

John Sessions

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