I guess it’s about time to write the full story. I was so happy to finally be out of Erzurum. Its an OK city and all with nice food and normal people but, when you’re on a mission like that you don’t wanna be stuck for 3 days.
So on day 3 we finally arranged the payment for the fuel and it would arrive the next morning.
By 11 AM I was refueling the plane in what I would call typical Belgian weather. Poring rain that is. Not an easy task too siphoning avgas out of drums in those conditions. Trying to siphon from one of the drums I must have sucked a bit too long or too hard (yeah, run with it… :P) so avgas came in my mouth. That stuff makes you barf and gag instantly. I had never had it enter my body before and let me tell you, I hope it never happens again! After fuelling I called my docter through my assistant and if I were in Belgium it would have meant a hospital visit. But since I was walking and talking and not gagging any more I was “Probably allright”. Great. Tip top shape to fly a non-turbo Bonanza over 10 000ft mountains in bad weather 😛
I had to file IFR at FL150 in order for them to accept me. I couldn’t really make it of course but maybe 30 minutes would work when needed. I departed IFR but it wasn’t really necessary since there was a break in the weather when I finally got going.
It was getting late to make it to Kuweit though because the flight from Tehran to Kuweit needs to be done IFR. Iran doesnt accept IFR under FL170. For good reason.
Anyway, I was happy to finally hear 300 horses in full gallop again after a long quiet stay. She performed quite well up to 130 and thats what I maintained for a while until ATC asked for my final level (remember the filed level). She then told me to go VFR after I said I can’t possibly reach 15000 feet. Well ok then, ‘VFR’ it is 😛 I kept flying at a comfortable terrain clearance level and just avoiding the tallest and darkest clouds, however I could not escape the occasional ice. First some rime and later some clear ice accumulated on the wing. I figured as long as doesn’t get any worse I can just continue.
Just about an hour into the flight it was time to switch over to Tehran. At least, that was the plan. Ankara called me to confirm my permit number and relay it with Iran. He came back telling me there is no permit with such number. What?! I asked him to check again and plea to enter anyway if they can accept me (yeah sure.. worth a shot though). No go. You cannot enter Tehran FIR.
Well, I can either push on and risk being shot at by Iran or divert to Van 50 NM to the south. Turning back is not an option since they don’t have fuel in Erzurum.
Oh well, I kind of expected this to happen and enjoyed the flight to van along beautiful mountains and the approach of the city by the lake in the middle of nowhere.
After a while on the ground I found the problem to be that the flight plan was filed with permit number 9222 and not the correct 9221. A stupid mistake that caused another costly (they charged around 500 EUR) and time consuming delay as it was now dark in Tehran already (like I said, no IFR under FL150/170).
I tried not to get frustrated too much and prepare for departure the next day with the AIM office and after collected my stuff and went to a nice hotel for dinner.