Cirrus SR22T G5 from Republic Airport Long Island to UK.
We set about looking for a suitable aircraft in the UK but we did not find one, our search led us to the Republic airport, Long Island, USA where Nassu flyers were brokering an aircraft for a client. A pre-by inspection was carried out various photographs and documents supplied and the aircraft was purchased.
AJ kindly asked, did I want to accompany him on the positioning flight the UK. I thought about it for five seconds and I realised that this was the safest single engined piston aircraft to fly the Atlantic with something I had not considered before. the a/c parachute and ability to carry a raft if needed.
Cirrus wishes the aircraft to be known as the world safest aircraft. To that end of the aircraft is fitted with a ballistic parachute for use in extreme circumstances they also provided three days of training for all new pilots. Some few years ago a pilot in the UK took off and flew into IMC and immediately pull the parachute, not a good advertisement. Not good training either!
The Cirrus is built for IFR use, obviously it can be flown VFR but the main emphasis on training is the use of the avionics and the flight planning and the autopilot systems. Importantly the use of the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS). Equipment is the Garmin G1000. This takes quite a bit of planning and time to get used too. A great deal of time/ expense of flight can be saved by using a ground power unit and sitting in the aircraft programming the flight routes, programming diversions, pulling up charts and generally getting used to some pressing pressing, turning and tweaking. learning the Cirrus “play station”
Every day is was raining and IFR which was very good helping getting used to Standard Instrument Departures (SID) We flew 150 miles north where it was CAVOK for general handling, slow flight, stalls in various circuit configurations along with circuits.
During these three days we had three different instructors with Eric from “the flight Academy” Being absolutely superb and knowledgeable not only with the avionics but also the aircraft.
Eric Gutierrez was to fly with us across the Atlantic having done it on two occasions previously. As with previous stays the morning of departure was pouring with rain. The first stop was to be ganderHowever we diverted to a Cirrus Service center on rote as Eric noticed the aircraft was not producing full power. A turbo wastegate and Propeller RPM adjustment was made and we are on our journey again to Gandar . Refuelling, customs and immigration took place and again we are en route this time to Goose Bay for the night. Both Goose Bay and Gandar were CAVOK on arrival. Admittedly it was -5 and blowing 26kts.
At Gandar we noticed a B25 which was on route to Europe to take part in a film apparently.
A night at Hotel North, early start and we file to BGBW, Narsarsuaq this leg is exactly 4 hours. with 3:40 over the cold seas. Immersion suits are donned. The whole flight is at FL090 in CAVOK arriving to stunning views of Greenland. I saw my first iceberg ever! The last 40 miles we drop down to 2500ft to take in the views flying up the fjord.
Refuelling and flight plan filed we are on our way again. This time a climbing turn out over the water with a glacier to our left climbing to FL150 this time to clear all mountains. Donning oxygen at 12,000ft. Occasionally we check our blood oxygen saturation levels. As a previous test with a level of 85 after about 2 mins levels rise to a comfortable 95 using a canular system. This is acceptable below 18,000ft. After which full pressure masks are required. 80%SpO2 is considered as low as you would want to go.
After 4 hours flight we are in BIRK,Reykjavik airport Iceland. A long day. The hotel is just 50 meters walk dead oppressive the GA terminal. Drop bags with a view to walking to town for supper. That plan quickly changed when it started to rain. It was still raining in the morning!
The Airport opens at 8 AM. We walked through the door first to refuel and fire flight plans. Managing to depart at approximately 9:15am. Iceland standard time is UTC for “political reasons” even though its 22′ West of UK making 2 hrs behind us but they want European time!
Departing in rain IFR at 800ft and solid all the way to FL110 with ice the whole time. the weeping wings take care of it on the low setting. Due to the strong headwinds we elect to go to BIEG, Egilsstaðir. Refuel and top up with TKS de-icer, a glycol-based fluid to cover the critical surfaces developed by Developed by Tecalemit-Kilfrost-Sheepbridge Stokes in WW2.
Again, soon in IMC with icing on route to EGPC, Wick. 3:45 later again somewhat slower than we wished for due to the strong headwinds (35kts on occasion)
The last leg to EGLD was at FL090 again arriving 20:22 after negotiating and paying the aerodrome to extend opening hours. As it happened Richard and Clare Parkinson’s skyranger was at Denham for the. They kindly offered to wait for me and give me a lift home. I flew the Skyranger back to EGMJ, Gransden so I can truly say I’ve flown from New York to Gransden. Total flight times were 22:35.
All pictures below in low res. If anyone wants a high res just ask.