Well, with more information in hand, the trip may happen in the future. While a number of things remained outstanding for our original proposed date of departure, the day came and went without solution, for good reason.
We have since had contact from the receiver of the aircraft who has experienced a medical issue that is the cause of the delays and will require reconsideration of the delivery to another date. So, for now, it is on hold, but in another month we will revisit the potential to revive the trip for my co-pilot and myself.
In the mean time, the annual is progressing. Although, as we wait for some parts for the fuel gauges, it would have been another reason for a delay in the original delivery schedule. We expect that the parts will arrive in the next week and the annual will be able to be completed and some test flights can take place.
I now have a Yellow Fever vaccination that had to be completed. It isn’t so much that I need the vaccination to go to the countries that we are planning on travelling through, but it is likely that if I have traveled through these countries proof of the vaccination will be required to come back through the customs to get home. So, I am now vaccinated.
Another piece of the puzzle that needed to come together was the receipt of the travel VISA for Brazil. This arrived a few days ago and we have held off doing the one for Argentina just yet. That one can be done online, but the Brazil one took all of the 10 business days that they said it would to get back to me. Those were 10 long days of worrying about the fact that my passport was not in my possession.
I am sure people that do this all the time have many of the things I am doing now already done, but for a first time long distance ferry, there are lots of things that need to be done.
A few other details we have pulled together since my last post include services for handling services and enroute airport services. Fuel quotes at most locations have been secured, and a large FBO chain in Brazil and the handlers we are using are coordinating our fuel supply along the route. We get pretty spoiled here in the United States by being able to fly around and just whip out our credit card and pay for the fuel.
We have been starting to compile weather resources to look at along the route and have pretty much come down to the fact that we will be self-briefing using resources. There isn’t a Lockheed-Martin Flight Services that covers this route. Notams will be pulled from the U.S. Government NOTAMs service (https://www.notams.faa.gov/dinsQueryWeb/) and we can do the same for METARs and TAFs at http://adds.aviation weather.gov.
Something I hadn’t noticed before, and am pretty intrigued by, is that SkyVector has a great weather overlay that can be used when in range of an internet connection that allows METARs, TAFs, and satellite and radar information to be viewed on VFR and IFR charts. I have no doubt that this is a resource we are going to be using.
What I am learning through this entire process is that there is a GREAT DEAL that needs to come together to make a trip like this happen. You can’t just decided to do it the next day. And it is expensive.
Things like getting VISAs can take weeks, getting fuel handlers set up can take weeks, and finding the right route can take weeks. The simple fact is that someone endeavoring to do a trip like this in a light aircraft probably needs to start planning 4-6 weeks out. But at some point, you have to pull together all that you have done, and launch. I am certain even with best laid plans there will need to be modifications along the route. I promise I will tell you all the good and bad as we go if we end up having the trip become a go in the next couple of months..
While the delay wasn’t in our original plan, it does offer time to get a few more ducks in a row if the trip revives itself.