Around the World – Update 1

Just taking a few minutes to update everyone on my around the world adventure.  I plan to provide updates every four to six legs.  Here is my first update.   Please read this post to get the general idea of why I’m doing an around the world flight and how I’m accomplishing it. 

My position as of this posting is BGKK (Kulusuk, Greenland)
I’ve traveled a total of 3264 nm
I’ve burned a total of 325 gallons of fuel
I’ve flown a total of 18.75 hours
My next destination is BIRK (Reykjavik, Iceland)

Day One – Leg 1-2

I began the first of what will probably be many flight legs on 30 September 2010.  As discussed inthis post, I have no expectations on how long this trip will take.   I can tell you based on day one experience, I can cover a little over 1500 nm’s in a little over 8 hours.  But keep in mind that this is includes one fuel stop.  While I believe I covered a lot of ground on day one, I have much, much more ground and water to cover in the coming days, weeks and months. 

While I state I have no expectation regarding the amount of time this journey will take me, I do plan to be in Greenland at the end of the 5th leg and in Iceland at the end of the 7th leg.  This is as far as I’ve planned out at this point.  From Iceland I have many options.  I can drop down into the United Kingdom or slide over into the Nordics.  Right now I’m leaning toward coming down into the UK, enter Europe and drop down through Spain into Africa.  But like I said, I haven’t really planned much past Iceland.

I departed KAPA (Centennial, Colorado USA) on Thursday, 30 September 2010.  I knew I wanted to travel in an easterly direction and plotted a course that would take me up into northeastern Canada.  I planned to spend the first night somewhere deep inside Canadian territory.

Not having much previous experience in the Mooney Bravo(other than casual flying around) I wanted to make sure the published range was fairly accurate.  So I set a first leg for St. Paul, MN (KSTP).  This first leg would be a short stint at just 632 nm.

Departing runway 35 at KAPA. When will I see this airport again?

Just a minute or two into the air. My real world home is located just to the left of the lake in the background.

The flight to KSTP (St. Paul, MN) was uneventful.  The weather today all along the trip was perfect flying weather.  I encountered a lot of cloud cover as I approached Waskaganish, Quebec (CYKQ).  The runway at CYKQ is gravel, but very well maintained.  There was even a small amount of traffic around the airfield as I was approaching.  I would be calling it a night here and getting some much needed rest so I can continue on my journey soon (hopefully tomorrow).

Short Final into CYKQ to complete the second leg of a multi-leg journey

On the ground and parked at CYKQ. I’m thankful they have a nice security fence to protect my Mooney tonight.

Day Two – Leg 3-6

Day two began early reviewing weather forecasts with a good cup of coffee.  The goal today is to continue flying northeast through Quebec, Canada headed for a crossing over to Nuuk, Greenland.  I’m approaching the next half-dozen flight legs with a little bit of urgency.  While we’re just easing into fall, the weather this far north could be unpredictable at best.

The Mooney Bravo handles beautifully.  I estimate I have a dozen or more hours in this aircraft prior to starting this journey.  I’ve flown the Mooney around the rockies to airports like KASE(Aspen, CO) and KEGE(Eagle County).  Each time I was impressed with the power and maneuverability of this fine aircraft.   She is performing just great on this trip.  But enough about all this…let’s get going.

As I said the day began early.  well before sunrise as much needed planning needed to be done to determine the days activities.  I left a mild, Denver yesterday with day time highs in the mid to upper 70’s.  This morning in Waskaganish it was cold….really cold with a morning temp near freezing.  As I looked over weather reports for the route ahead, I did take a minute to watch Ten Minute Taxi.  I really love this show on Youtube.  Check out Shane’s recent episode by visiting the Ten Minute Taxi page here.  You can thank me later.

Dawn at CYKQ to begin day two.

Armed with the critical information I needed, it was time to head out to the airport.  My Mooney was just where I left it.  I settled up and paid for the overnight parking and fuel.  If all goes as planned today I’ll be making a hard effort to complete at least two flight legs today.  If I’m lucky, I’ll make three.

Today’s first leg (the 3rd leg of the journey) will be from CYKQ (Waskaganish, Quebec) to CYVP(Kuujjuaq, Quebec).  It’s a short leg of just over 550 nm, but I didn’t want to take any chances on fuel.  So the plan is to land in CYVP, refuel then depart for CYFB (Iqaluit).  Once refueled and a quick check of the weather a decision will need to be made if I push on to BGGH (Nuuk, Greenland).

Ready to go at CYKQ

Heavy cloud cover between CYKQ and CYVP. Nice tail number huh?

Lined up runway 07 at CYVP

The Mooney being serviced at CYVP for her next leg to CYFB. Are we there yet?

Making great time and the weather has been great.  It’s cold….but that’s OK.  If the schedule continues this smooth I’ll spend the night tonight on the west coast of Greenland.

On final approach runway 35 at CYFB. Is that snow I see to the right?

Once on the ground at CYFB (Iqaluit, Quebec).  I will take some time to have lunch, re-fuel and research weather conditions.  I’m making great time today and plan to make the crossing over from Canada to Greenland this evening.  

Make note of the screenshot below.  I use MyTraffic X with FSX and it does a wonderful job depicting the aircraft one might see at the various airports.  You won’t see the generic AI flying around or find aircraft here you wouldn’t see.  The “First Air” aircraft you see would be found here at Iqaluit and it is even mentioned here on the wiki page.   As Real As It Gets!

Taxing to parking at CYFB. MyTraffic X does a good job representing the aircraft you would see at this airport.

I departed CYFB after having a bite to eat and getting the Mooney fueled up.  This next leg will take me due east across the Labrador Sea to the small town of Nuuk, Greenland.  I say small town, however, it is the capital of Greenland and over 15,000 residents call it home. 

Heading east from CYFB. The Canadian Coastline is in view. This course will take me across the Labrador Sea over to Nuuk, Greenland.

The Labrador Sea crossing is perhaps the largest body of water I will encounter (at least in one go) for a while.  The next major ocean crossing will occur soon when I depart the east coast of Greenland for Iceland.  Then again from Iceland southeast to the Faroe Islands just before either dropping south to the United Kingdom or continuing east to the Nordics.  I just haven’t decided as of yet.  But I will say that I’m leaning towards touring through the Nordics.  But hey….I need to get to the Faroe Islands first.

Finally the west coast of Greenland is in sight. Now that I’m officially out of North America I feel like I’m making progress.

As the caption above states, runway 23 at BGGH was listed at 3110 feet.  The end of the runway came much quicker than expected.  But I managed to stop and all is good.  Perhaps it is just a perception that it was really short.  Anyway…it’s great to be on the ground in Greenland.  I grapped a snack, serviced the Mooney and decided today would be a great day to head to the east coast of Greenland.  I’ll call it a rather long day, but a good day over in Kulusuk, Greenland.  I departed BGGH and am headed to BGKK

Awesome moon scape as I fly across the tip of Greenland.

Most of this crossing was in the dark as it gets dark much earlier this far north.  But I’m anxious to get across this portion of the globe and get into Europe.  I plan to visit countries and regions that I’ve never explored in flight simulation and re-explore some old favorites.  The more I look at both the progress I’ve made and all the places I plan to explore, I realize this truly will be a long, long journey.

But the bottom line is this.  As of this posting I’ve flown a total over 3000 nm and spent over 18 hours doing so.  I’ve learned a ton about VFR flying and have really enjoyed the first half-dozen legs.  I’ve also learned a lot about the airports and towns I’ve visited.  I believe we should all learn more about the places, things and especially the people we share this planet with.  Who knows….if we all did this we might all get a long a little better.

Until next time,


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