Specifically, how long did you prepare for this ferry flight? What phases did you put together during flight planning?
Well, about six weeks prior to the flight, I visited the company. I wanted to meet the people behind the aircraft, and I liked them so decided to join this adventure. And then I started to read different books about crossing the Atlantic Ocean flying from east to west. The problem is there are not many and they are all very old books from the 70s and 80s. Then I started to do research on the weather because that is the most important factor for this type of flight. Basically, I was sitting in front of the weather data every day – I was checking the weather all over the North Atlantic about 10-15 times a day. And of course, you must prepare for all sorts of different problems you might have along the way, for instance problems arising from the location of different airports. There is an airport I landed at, which has a gravel airfield in between two mountains. During the approach, you must fly inside the fjord. There are many, many aircraft wrecks on the seabed at the entrance… So, you can imagine the amount of research we have done before the take off.
What was the special equipment you had to take with you, which you would not include on an everyday flight?
It was not easy. I needed to obtain a life raft and a survival suit, a special life jacket – with enough water and food for two days in it – and a personal locator beacon. This all together weighed about 20 kilograms, and I had to wear it all along the way above the waters, so from Scotland to Iceland, from Iceland to Greenland and from Greenland to Canada.
How did you feel about the flight at the moment of departure?
The right word is “cautious”, I think. I got familiar with the aircraft and the fuel system before the take off, so everything went smoothly from the first day. Excitement came after finishing the trip.