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    Re: Oceanic Ferrying- was Sun squash
    From: Fred Hebard
    Date: 2006 Jan 19, 23:45 -0500

    Keep writing Ken!
    On Jan 19, 2006, at 11:01 PM, Ken Gebhart wrote:
    > On 1/18/06 2:06 AM, "Gary J. LaPook"  wrote:
    >> Great post Ken.
    >> It brought back memories of my flight across the atlantic in a
    >> Cessna 172 in 1978 trying to find Flores in the Azores. I was
    >> working for Pete Demis, who you also know. No autopilot, shooting
    >> stars with an A-10a I had purchased from you several years
    >> earlier. Level the wings, start shooting, straighten out plane
    >> back on heading, resume shooting, etc. and then interpolating the
    >> altitude from all of the pencil marks covering half of the disk.
    >> Have you had any contact with that crazy greek guy recently?
    >> Gary LaPook
    > Gary,
    > No, but the word crazy fits.  He was flying one of the planes on
    > the trip I related.  So many stories to tell.  The last of which
    > was his repossessing Idi Amin?s private jet (while Idi was still in
    > power.)
    > You mention the Azores.  Some friends of mine took off in several
    > C-310s from St. John?s for the Azores.  But instead of allowing for
    > variation, they used grid variation (GV), a 35 deg difference!
    > Upon expiration of ETA, one fellow wanted to start a square search
    > for the islands, but the others talked him out of it, reasoning
    > that they were bound to hit Europe if they continued on. As you
    > know, prop planes get their best mpg low and slow, so they were
    > down on the wave tops when the ETA for Europe arrived.  Still no
    > land.  An hour later, with all fuel tanks solidly on E, land and an
    > airport appeared, which they used, but no-one there spoke English.
    > They had gone into the middle of the Bay of Biscay and landed in
    > France!
    > During the 70s, Cessna, Beech, and Piper supplied 80% of the
    > world?s single engine, prop airplanes.  The new owners almost
    > always opted to have them ferried instead of waiting for sea
    > freight to bring them.  On one of my flights from Gander to
    > Shannon, I was informed by the line boy, that I was the 22nd single
    > engine airplane to arrive from the US that day.
    > Most navigation of these planes was by the gun-barrel method.  The
    > metal ferry tanks installed for the trip made the magnetic compass
    > all but useless.  You tracked outbound on a VOR radial, and set the
    > directional gyro (on unslaved mode) to the radial bearing.  Then
    > when the radial dropped out at around 100 miles, you held the last
    > heading until hitting the destination.  Trouble was that normal
    > internal gyro precession, plus earth-transport precession
    > guaranteed a large error.  This was not too big a problem over the
    > Atlantic, but I personally have know 5 people who did not return
    > from Pacific crossings, most probably due to navigational errors.
    > Thus, I used a sextant.
    > Gary, how about your flight?  Did you do many or just once?  Any
    > problems or comments?  I only did two, once over each ocean, but
    > living in Wichita with Cessna and Beech, I was close to many of
    > those who made such flights for a living.
    > If ever a book SHOULD be written (referring to Bill?s earlier
    > comment), it should be written about the unbelievable adventures
    > (navigational, political, and physical) of the pilots who flew
    > these ferry flights.  I have only scratched the surface with my
    > above comments.
    > Ken

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