At last the journey begins.
The last few days have seen us rushing around trying to get the last few details taken care of, some things like Spidertracks and Jeppesen Flight Charts still remain a challenge, but the hangar so graciously made available by GenTex of Holland Michigan, is now empty, the floors have been cleaned and all the tools and equipment have been removed. The plane is on it's way to a new home and new avenues of service.
Some close friends and family came on a cold blustery morning to see us off. An extremely large winter storm was moving in from the south and the signs were already at the airfield when we got there. Overcast skies and blustery icy winds kept everyone wrapped in coats and gloves. The kindness and warmth of faithful Mercy Air supporters was a real blessing and showed when they made the effort to come and see us off. The plane was refueled and preflighted before we all gathered together to pray. It was amazing that Ron's flight test happened a day early and we managed to get the chip detector problem repaired a day earlier and far quicker than getting it to Grand Rapids. The bad weather was moving in very rapidly and here was a window of opportunity to get things going earlier than schedule. As I write this now, the winds have started here and the rain has arrived. We are not sure if it will snow here, but this place is definitely warmer than Michigan!
The flight was uneventful, a little bumpy in places and a 45 kt headwind after departure made the controller at Grand Rapids ask if we were dragging floats! Gradually as we climbed and as the flight progressed, the headwinds slowly swung around to the south and we started making better time.
Enjoy a few pictures of the Detroit Skyline vaguely in the distance and the frozen Lake Sinclair on the eastern side of Detroit.
An otherwise uneventful flight was made a bit more interesting when we were given a sudden change in routing into a small airfield in New Jersey for the Ferry Tank installation. We were given the routing and descent with the miles sliding by rapidly while we tried to figure out where these places were. It all worked out fine and another possible delay resulted in us finding out that the tank installation could be carried out a day earlier than planned due to another aircraft not arriving for a ferry tank installation.
Ron and I were kindly given a lift by another pilot to a car rental company and we drove to a place where we found a Holiday Inn with place for us. Initially we did not know where we were, but for those of you who are interested, it is a little town called East Windsor, in New Jersey, about 11km from the airport. We have no idea how long the approval for the ferry tank installation will take, but we are hopeful that we can be on our way by Thursday to Bangor, Maine for the survival equipment and HF installation.
Enjoy the pictures.