Kulusuk bathes in splendid weather, straight ahead
A couple of minutes later I have landed on the gravel strip, and taxied to the apron. The flight was quite short, 2:22h.
We are now refuelling…
As the filling of the aux fuel tank is a bit tricky, I do it myself. The line guy hands me the hose and I fill. The problem is that this time the d…n trigger stays stuck open, and about 5 litres of dino juice are doused inside the cockpit, whilst the assistant emergency shuts the pump off… some of the fuel now evaporates, whilst the rest takes the least resistance path and exits at the rear of the fuselage… visions of a molten pile of aluminum on the tarmac at Kulusuk… but I kid around: please, nobody smokes, thank you!
The weather and ambiance here in Kulusuk are fantastic. The place just is a fairy tale. There is space in the only hotel 400m away. I more than filled up with visual, spiritual, and physical excitement for the day.
On the other hand the weather is perfect for the next crossing to Iceland. Lite snow is forecast by windy for tomorrow afternoon. Hans, the young Danish guy who mans the AFIS tells me that according to his experience next morning’s weather might not be that good.
And that nails it…
I double check the weather, all looks good
The flight plan is quickly taken care of by the AFISO. Theses guys are not only super friendly and helpful, but very efficient. Thanks to all Greenland AFISOs, you guys rock!
I jump into the survival suit, and, untied with the canopy cracked wide open in the breeze, start the engine. No bonfire nor explosion, looks like the 1h ground time was enough to get rid of the spilled fuel and its vapors
One long last look at Kulusuk…
And its surroundings…
Emotions run very high as I see the coast near Kulusuk disappearing behind me… Greenland, I’ve fallen for you, what am I saying… Greenland I love you!
2:25h ahead lies Iceland…
A glimmer of land thru the clouds
And finally turning finals for Reykjavik
The FBO is, once more, friendly and efficient. YLL will soon be in pyjamas
Not much walking to the hotel today… probably a whole of 50m from the FBO to the entrance
I am very lucky to 1/get a room in the bonded hotel, and 2/get THE room I wished for. As the sun slowly sets, I can reflect on the long day: amazing distances can be covered by a single engine aircraft such as this one. Canada to Iceland…
Greenland is already far far away. There is still one long crossing to go, but having been to Iceland many times now almost makes me feel home.
As the nite takes over, the sight out of my room is magic
BIRK Reykjavik – EGPE Inverness
Looking outside the window of my room I can see YLL, eager to fly, as always
A few scattered clouds, the sun shines. The forecasts look good as well, until Scotland that is. The West Hebrides are open, but some cloud is predicted on the Highlands. Destination Inverness has medium to high ceilings
Welcome back to Europe. I’m still smiling, walk back to the FBO, study the mandatory VFR departure route (!) and refile…
Refuelling the aux tank
And I now leave Reykjavik behind
Iceland’s landscape is as fascinating as ever
Whilst flying, one is subject to constant scenery changes, as if watching some theatre act with multiple scene changes
Dazzled by a display of beauty, transcendent landscapes
More of the same, but different
Anyone bored yet? Luckily, I’m approaching Iceland’s southeastern coast, South of the Vatnajökull National Park, which as you might know is East of Skaftàrheppur and Kirkjubæjarklaustur, and now definitely leave the island behind…
The weather ahead is looking good…
… actually it was looking good. This time I decide on flying low and avoid most of the rain showers…
At mid-point the GNX375 only shows a rather limited selection of nearest airports…
I’ve been given multiple frequencies to try out, but no luck… believe it or not, with or without ATC contact, all of the aerodynamic forces and flight equilibrium magics still do their job
Enough dodging showers and reduced vis flying, I climb on top of the stuff, and can now make contact with Scottish for the latest destination Metar, looking good
Land in sight, ahoy Scotland
The Scottish Highlands are covered by clouds. There are some holes, but I don’t really fancy diving in one and then low fly to destination. Checking the approach plates, I’m rather surprised to see not a single RNAV approach into Inverness. My portable ILS being reserved for emergency use, I explain the problem to ATC, and request a cloud break procedure.
A couple of vectors later, I break out of clouds in beautiful Scottish weather
On finals at Inverness
For the last time, YLL is put to bed
One of the reasons I choose Inverness as a port of call, is having read about the big hotel at a walking distance… “oh I’m afraid we have no vacancy for tonight” says the clerk.
Well, not to worry. I’ve always wanted to visit the city. I jump in the bus just as it is about to drive off
The small city is charming, indeed
Leaving the bus terminal I start my hunt for a room for my last nite… some 4 hours later I checked out about 15 different hotels, either by walking there, or by phone. I’ve also checked out about 35 different B&Bs. The answer is always the same: No Vacancies
Unbelievable… this place is packed with tourists… of which I’m one
Sleeping below the next bridge is not an appealing proposition… by now exhausted I book a room in a crappy hotel in the city of Dingwall. An expensive taxi ride, but a delicious curry in the Indian restaurant next to the hotel…
EGPE Inverness – LFAC Calais Marck – LSZF Birrfeld
Yep, day 46 outta 46… ladies and gents, this is the last episode of The Tour…
The bus from Dingwall to Inverness is right on time.
Having a strong curry last nite was one thing… the scone, and more so the big coffee I’ve now taken at the bus terminal in Inverness city a stupid idea. Proof in my emergency stopping the bus to the airport… and an all time record getting into the next restrooms
Taxi – airport – pay dues – start engine – ATC clearance – runup – taxi out – fly 2:52 to Calais
And finally the picture of a wing
Even around here ice (barely visible as clear) will adhere to leading edges, if given enough of a chance
Beautiful weather along the eastern coast of Scotland…
The Channel is mostly cloudy, but would anyway now just appear as a mere toy
The French coast is clear, a nice view on the port of Calais
And the quiet airport which I use frequently for that very reason