The airplanes on the trip included a PC-12, a TBM 700, a Cessna Mustang, a Royal Beech Duke (a turboprop conversion), and a Cessna Conquest II.
There were only two reroutings due to unanticipated events, Pouille said. The biggest road block came when the group tried to enter the People’s Republic of China. PRC officials denied the group entry, a setback I discussed in a previous blog, so the group forged ahead to Taiwan and South Korea.
As for mechanical problems, there were a few. The Duke needed new vacuum pumps and the PC-12′s AHRS units momentarily lost its bearings in a zone of magnetic anomalies called the “South East Asian Anomaly,” for example. Then its flaps malfunctioned. The biggest mechanical was with the Conquest II. Its landing gear wouldn’t extend, so repairs were made–twice–in Bangkok. Bad idea. The crew had to extend the gear using the nitrogen blow-down bottle three times, and even flew one leg with gear down until additional repairs were made in Hong Kong.
But all’s well that ends well. Want to go on Air journey’s 2009 RTW trip? It’s $68,750 per person, and leaves May 13, 2009 from Bar Harbor, Maine. The stops will be the same as this year’s trip, with the exception that the PRC is crossed off the list. Bali will take its place. For more information, go to the Web site and see blogs of the 2008 trip. With any luck, I’ll be along on a few of the 2009 trip’s legs. Air Journey will also be at EAA AirVenture–in Hangar D, at booth 4095–so you can sign up there and meet the Air Journey staff.
Tags: Tom Horne