Location: Bublin, IRELAND
Date of Flight(s): 10/26/2010
PIC: Andrei F.
Non-Pilot Female Passenger(s):
- Jane F.
- Karen H.
- Andrea J.
Please click on the photo for more.
"In short: this is probably the longest flight intro (4,395 miles), with the longest leg (916 miles Narsarsuaq-Gander), and the most dangerous (crossing the North Atlantic in November)
Details: Andrea J.'s father has had MS for decades (both live in Slovakia). She contacted us after seeing the Wall Street Journal article, telling us a flight would mean everything to her father. During the communist years there were no MS drugs in Slovakia. Then starting in the 90s, after the fall of Communism, Peter was too old to be given any drugs. He became wheelchair bound, and has not even able to attend the wedding of his other daughter. Andrea's mom had to give up work to care for him. Peter's only refuge has been painting, and he sends his works to an annual exhibit. But he has never been able to see them exposed.
When we arrived in Slovakia, Peter told me he has forgot about his MS for the first time in his life during the 2 months he waited for us to arrive. He handed me a painting he did for us.
Because of what the flight and our mission meant to her father, and because crossing the Atlantic in a small plane sounded like the ultimate adventure, Andrea decided to meet us in our last stop in Europe, Dublin, and fly with us to New York (her sister also lives in New York).
Andrea joined us in Dublin on October 26th, and she flew with us on the route: Dublin-London-Stornoway-Reykjiavik-Narsarsuaq-Gander-Brockway-Farmingdale (NY).
During the 5 hour flight from Reykjivik to Narsarsuq we had to fly very high (over 25,000 ft) in order to get radio reception. It got so cold that the heater could not keep up anymore. The thermometer was indicating -21F, but it routinely shows 10F higher temperature, so I suspect it was towards -30F. The windows iced up solid on the inside. You have a picture of us wearing all the clothes we had plus sleeping bags.
Also, one vacuum pump failed prior to us reaching Dublin. We managed to get it changed in Iceland. From Narsarsuaq to Gander the other one failed too! A few hours earlier and we could have been in trouble!
Once in Gander we realized Andrea cannot actually enter the U.S. aboard a private plane, as her visa waiver was only valid for commercial flights or over ground. We found two airports close to each other, one in Canada (CCX3) and the other in the U.S. (KPNN). We dropped Andrea off at CCX3, and entered the US at KPNN. The manager of CCX3 was so nice to offer to drive Andrea through the border and to KPNN. We waited 3 hours. They finally came. Border agents found this arrangement so strange they at some point threaten to arrest both Andrea and the airport manager! So they spent hours scrutinizing her.
After that, we had a nice, uneventful flight into KFRG.
This was Andrea's intro to flying a small plane!"
Andrei F., www.FlyMS.org