So, the ‘plan’ was to get up at 6 and be airborne by 08:30. Right.
I got off to a good start again having breakfast and a lenghty checkout, more or less on time. Took the 5 minute taxi drive to the terminal but forgot that to go to Aurora you need to go a bit past the terminal building. After a few minutes a FIA ops lady came out and reminded me where I needed to be.
The FBO front door was closed however, and I had to stand there for 5 minutes waiting for the police officer to show up and let me in.
5 minutes doesn’t seem like much, but in aviation it’s a stereotype. They say pilots are always late and that’s because we face one 5 or 10 minute delay after another, until we are an hour late…
Anyway, Babu from Jetex was wating there for me and soon enough we were heading out to the airplane around 8.
After the refuelling and some flight plan issues I was finally good to go 45 minutes later and airborne by 9:15. 45 minutes delay. Byebye UAE!
Flying over the open water during daytime certainly feels more comfortable. At least you can see where the surface is if you need to.
Iran was visible on the left as I cruised along their southern border through the Omani airspace.
It was stunning weather; smooth sailing, not a single cloud except some high scattered cirrus and a 15-20 knot tailwind. What more can I ask for?
Setting the 550 at 20.5/12GPH/2400RPM gave me a nice average ground speed of 175 KTS (324 KM/H) and a safe range.
All I saw in Iran and Pakistan was desert and bare mountains. The coast in barely populated and goes on for hundreds of miles with high dunes marking the end of the continent, again reminding me of Namibia. Only less red.
Approach into Karachi went smooth and without any delays or detours. Funny how the air was fairly clear all the way but ovor Karachi itself it was hazy, almost smoke and it stank too.
After landing I got directed to the western end of the airport and parked between the boneyard (with some interesting stuff (B743/DC10/B1011/…)) where a whole crew was waiting for me. This must be Jetex 🙂
‘Handling” went really quick up to the point when I asked for some lunch. Someone was going to grab a burger at McDonalds for me but it took ‘a bit’ longer than promised (shocker right!). Anyway, the pilot needs fuel too and I was out of water. I think we all understand the dangers of a hungry and thirsty pilot 😛
After about an hour and a half on the ground I started up. The lady behind the radio didn’t really seem to catch on though and thought I wanted to go park somewhere else. Euhm no, just taxi to the active and takeoff to Ahmedabad please. When she got that I was told they are still coordinating with the Indian military. 10 minutes.
They marshalled me to another parking spot and shut down again, it was taking too long. 30 minutes after originally starting up, I got to start for real. When taxiing they find nothing better to say then “Please expedite”. Seriously dude?
The weather was still the same and my heading wasn’t much different than before so I could enjoy the same tailwinds and speeds again. I had a nice sunset view over the mangroves as I approached the Indian border.
This border crossing also went without issue. It felt good that things were going so smoothly this time.
Halfway into the flight and calculating my fuel consumption 5 times, I was pretty sure I could make it to Nagpur without stopping. I asked ATC nicely if I could continue on but it was a no-go. Too bad.
Not much later I was in complete darkness enjoying the cosy green and orange lights on the panel (picture taken before).
The last hour went pretty uneventfull and again the approach was fast with only a small detour to accomodate the faster traffic. During the initial approach I felt quite tired and contemplated on staying the night in Ahmedabad. I can only fly to Dhaka tomorrow anyway so I would have the whole day for a 2 and 4 hour flight.
After landing I was met by the handler once again ready with fuel and to take my flightplan to the office. I had the feeling this would be a quick stop so I manned up and decided to push on to Nagpur.
This time I only needed 120L of fuel to top up so it was over quick. The flightplan and clearance came through 15 minutes later and I was able to start again after 45 minutes. I took off exactly 1 hour after landing and headed into the darkness once again.
This flight is about the same distance and one straight line. Not much too see outside as the Bonanza powered on towards Nagpur at the same speed as before.
I came overhead the VOR and tracked outbound to do a 45/180 procedure turn and before I knew it my day was done. It did take me about 15 hours though…
We fueled the plane (yes they were waiting again, I can get used to this!) and handled the flight plan for tomorrow. After a bit of discussing the friendly staff arranged me a visa even though you normally can’t get one on arrival. This way I was at least able to go to a hotel and shower opposed to having to sleep in the plane!
Its now past 2AM local here so it’s time for bed! Tomorrow will just be one flight out to Dhaka and the day after I can hopefully reach VTBU, a smaller airport south of Bangkok (Rayong).
Over and out!