The past few weeks have been busy to say the least, very busy and much of it has been centred around planning everything from flight routes to fuel consumption, what I will need to produce at customs offices in each location as well as the less savory thought of the bribe situations. Fortunately I recently spent some time with a very experienced ferry pilot by the name of Garry Mitchell who has helped us prepare for all of the above, and some.
Based in Cairns, Garry is a ferry pilot and used to run a business named ‘Australian Air Ferry’. Before I go on, I better talk about what a ferry pilot actually does with their time! Pilots such as Garry are the sorts of people that a new aircraft owner would turn to in order to have their aircraft flown internationally either from the factory, or a previous owners country, to the location where they would like to keep the plane.
So it goes without saying that his experience and knowledge of international flight in light planes is invaluable to draw on for me as I prepare for the trip, but also for the rest of the team so we all understand exactly what is involved with moving light aircraft across vast distances.
During the time spent together Garry explained a number of different requirements for international long distance flying and a key component of that is to ensure you have the right forms ready to be submitted on arrival at a particular location. He also spent time going through the various requirements and communications that I would encounter throughout the trip.
There is a lot to think about.
As you might well imagine, planning a flight like this is no easy task, so we needed to also think about ways to minimise costs and use the support of our contacts network around the globe. A large portion of time was also spent with our heads buried in charts to decide which would be the best way to navigate through some of the world’s busiest air spaces.
Overall we had a highly successful week with Garry and the bulk of our planning structure was put in place. Our relationship with Garry will now be ongoing as our plans progress and the trip draws nearer.
Watch out for some news later this week as the next step in my preparation flying overseas continues – it’s exciting times ahead for Wings Around the World!