Day 1: Frederick to Goose Bay

August 25, 2013 by Mike Collins


082513 Climbing out of Maryland

After taking off from Frederick, we climb through scattered clouds.

After a couple months of planning and several days of packing, it’s almost a relief to take off and begin watching the route unfold off our nose–just like my daughter and wife drew it out last night on a wall map at home. Not long into the trip a New York Center controller surprises us. “Five-Zero-Echo-Tango, I’m advised this is an around-the-world flight for the fiftieth anniversary of the aircraft.” Mike replied, “That’s a true statement.” We didn’t tell him, so he must have seen this blog or read the short article in AOPA Pilot. “Have a wonderful flight,” he said. What a great way to launch this adventure.

Landing Runway 8 at Goose Bay

Mike was astonished by this view. “I’ve never landed at Goose Bay in good weather,” he said.

Flying over Scranton, Pa., Mike took advantage of a lull in the action to enter the next few flight plans into the Garmins, creating waypoints over the middle of the Atlantic. FL250 (about 25,000 feet) gives a different perspective of Scranton and Albany, N.Y., than I normally see from 6,000 or 8,000 feet. Crossing into Canada, an array of wind turbines spins lazily beneath scattered clouds. There are more along the shore of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. I didn’t expect this green corner of Canada to be so green!

Chocks Goose Bay style

Believe this is the first time I’ve seen chocks like this!

Up above, contrails chase airliners approaching us as the afternoon rush of international arrivals heads for the northeastern United States. We have a smooth ride the whole way, although Boston Center earlier advised a gaggle of airliners cleared to Green Bay that “For folks heading westbound [Flight Levels] 320 to 360 are light, occasionally moderate chop.” A few bumps below scattered clouds on approach was it for us.

MU-2 and Bombardier CL-215T at Goose Bay

This firefighting aircraft was our neighbor on the Goose Bay ramp.

Our departure took us on a scenic tour of central Maryland before we could climb enough to turn on course. Between that and a headwind that diminished more gradually than forecast, Mike spent more time than usual calculating fuel burn. At 1,112 nautical miles, this is one of the trip’s longer legs, but we determine that we would land with more than our required minimums–otherwise we would have made a precautionary fuel stop.

Tomorrow: Greenland and Iceland. You can track us online at or directly on a DeLorme tracking map, which updates our position every 10 minutes while we’re flying, at


43 Responses to “Day 1: Frederick to Goose Bay”

  1. Alex Kovnat Says:

    We note you’re flying a Mitsubishi MU-2. If you must have a high wing turboprop twin, would you be happier if it were a Rockwell 690B?

  2. Stephen Chase Says:

    Alex, they are making this around the world flight in part to commemorate the anniversary of the MU-2.

  3. M Feras Majeed Says:

    What a coincidence! I am just reading your blog now and realized it was your Mitsubishi that was landing on the crossing runway at CYYR when we were arriving from the US landing runway 34!! we were in the LA250. we were also planning to make a ferry flight all the way to singapore, but my plans to continue were cut short with bad weather at CYYR for 3 consecutive days and the lack of efficient IFR equipment that the owner had on his airplane. I am so glad you were able to complete/keep progressing on your trip strongly!! awesome job guys!

  4. Mike Says:

    Any chance of a shot of panel–wondering what instruments and avionics are.

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