The idea of flying my RV to Russia floated in my head for years. In 2016 I did an extended run polishing Alaska perimeter
testing myself if I could swing the challenge of crossing Bering Strait. For couple years I was digging world travelers' blogs and read anything I could find on the subject of flying VFR to Russia. There was a group of Alaskans who did a run to the closest Russian airport and back but their accounts didn't tell much of a positive. They encountered border hurdles, absence of avgas, lack of services and language barrier. So there wasn't much info online. I planned to visit the first large settlement Anadyr on Chukotka Peninsula and for the life of me I couldn't find anything useful.
I contacted AOPA Russia
tourism department and they agreed to be my agent. I studied FAVT
website (Russian FAA) and made an attempt to contact them directly. A response from the government came three months later citing some rules I couldn't even read. AOPA Russia was a gem. These guys are the best they quickly requested all my pilot information in proper format and advised on insurance. Insurance
had a questionnaire so extensive I even forgot some things. One provision they asked was a permit to fly but the permit couldn't be issued without insurance. AOPA Russia broke that circle and I was able to buy a policy for 10 days.
Passport came with a Russian visa and I thought all is set. I even had a "maybe" second ship going with me to Alaska and wait there in case I need a recovery. Another RVator agreed to be an autopilot to Seattle life was good.
I am still waiting for FAVT Permit, four weeks before the trip and the motor throws a joke on me. A hole in the piston cylinder #2. A piece of compression ring broke, wore in and ejected itself via exhaust valve. So new proper piston goes in with rings etc. the jug receives a hone and I am up again breaking it in...
Extra vacation time approved from work and I am running away just hours before we are blanketed with flight restrictions. Next stop - Lachute, Canada where my good friend Julian has a hangar home. He will help me to fine tune everything, fill me up on Russian news, we will brush up on the language and I'll pad some fat.
I have a habit of leaving for an extended trip via Hudson River Corridor. It gives a good morale boost. If you know where to look and wave long enough the whole 100 floor at Freedom Tower will wave at you...
The corridor is getting saturated with cool hardware the POTUS is coming.
Three hours later I was in Canada. Julian met me and we went for a ride to Tim Hortons.