Some of you here may recall my RV-8 flight from L.A. to the UK in 2013 when my time working on the Tesla Model S finished and I returned home to the UK in my RV-8.
Soon after that happened I got a call to join another automotive start-up in the Bay area which has now grown to be Lucid Motors; going well but still a couple of years from production.
There was no time to arrange getting the RV-8 back, so I made arrangements to get friends to take care of it and keep it in good airworthy condition. That went through a few cycles of partners coming and going and came to a head recently when my current partnership was about to end due to him getting a job offer, also in the US.
Decision time. Do I try to find another partner, sell the RV, pickle it and store it away or bring it back to the US. You've probably already guessed the answer!
I sold the RV-4 that I bought on my return to the US in 2013 (thanks DR for helping with that, there'll be a token of appreciation in my next donation).
Coincidentally, I heard about a plan to fly a group of aircraft from Scotland to the US at just the right time through the prepare2go organisation. They would take care of most of the logistics and arrange extra fuel availability at a couple of places where it's not normally available and use some airports not normally available for international flights.
That now meant that I did not need the auxiliary tank as the longest leg would be 500nm and the longest leg plus diversion under 700NM, so 42 gallons with careful power and mixture setting should work fine.
It also meant I could consider flying with an extra crew member. I first put it to my partner taking care of the aircraft in the UK, Rogier. Despite being in the process of moving jobs to the US, marrying his girlfriend, obtaining visas etc. He finally managed to get it all to work.
Checking out my liferaft and dry-suit, both proved too old (over 30 years_ and didn't pass muster. So I got two top of the range Mustang aircrew dry suits with the highest hypothermia protection and arranged liferaft hire from Far North Aviation at Wick in Scotland.
All's now (nearly) in place with permissions, customs decal, import agents, GPS data bases and charts etc. I fly to the UK this evening, get my UK licence renewed, do the final checks, a few courtesy visits and prepare to fly to the Rendezvous at Wick next Tuesday. Wednesday 21st is the planned start with a flight to Egallstadir in Iceland.
We'll be carrying satellite trackers with live tracking on https://yb.tl/Prepare2go
and you may get some radar tracking on sites like https://www.flightradar24.com/reg/g-rrvv
The other aircraft on the trip will be a Beech 18 (carrying a hot air balloon) and a Saratoga.
I'll try to keep some updates coming as and when we get time and internet connection. The plan is to take our time and take in some interesting flights and sights expecting to arrive at Bangor around 30th June.
This is the planned route
to Bangor ME, after that I part company with Rogier in Boston and continue to Hayward CA.
So Vlad, Steve Barnes &co, you have the full story so far. The adventure begins...