Flight From Iqaluit to Keflavik

Trip Start May 02, 2013
Trip End Ongoing

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Friday, May 10, 2013

Today was the day.  I was finally going to get the chance to cross the North Atlantic.  I have to say that I was dreading my flight across the big pond.  I know my delay put me behind schedule quite a bit, but it also prolonged my trip across the Atlantic.  Something about flying over
hundreds of miles of freezing cold water (literally freezing) made me a little nervous.  The flight was going to be like nothing I have ever done before, in flying. 

I woke up really early this day because I knew it would be a long flight.  I set my alarm for 4:30 AM.  My handler, Eric, picked me up at 5:00 AM and we headed out to the airport.  When
we got out to the airport, I checked the weather once again and started getting
everything ready for departure.  This flight would be a little more uncomfortable because I had to wear an immersion suit for the entirety of the flight. 

I took off from Iqaluit around 6:30 AM.  I was thinking that I might have to use my HF
radio, but I did not have to because I was island hoping.  Because I was close enough to different coasts I had VHF radio contact the entire way.

As I was just about to start across the Atlantic, I was told to contact Edmonton for the water crossing. This was because it was my first water crossing, and I had a lot of questions on exactly what the procedures were.  The controller I was speaking with must've woke up on the wrong side of the bed because he was really rude and sarcastic.  This did not put my nerves at ease at all.  His work shift must've ended because a girl came on later and she was much nicer. 

After getting about half way between Canada and Greenland, I was told to contact Sondrestom Radio. This was really my first experience with foreign sounding controllers.  They were very difficult to understand.  I kind of doubt most people know what Greenland people sound like but it was very nasally.  I got very good at saying “please say again.”

Ocean in between Canada and Iceland was partly frozen the whole way.  That was amazing to me.  That crossing was over 200 miles and it was so cold that the water froze.  This was a
little relief mentally because if my engine quit I guess I could land on an iceberg, maybe…

As I was approaching the Greenland coast, the clouds started to form.  I was aware that this would be the case because of my flight planning.  I crossed the entire country of Greenland without seeing the ground.  When I got to the other side of Greenland, the clouds were much higher and they were forecasted to be.  I picked up a little icing because of this.  Not very much at all, but when you are flying over the North Atlantic any ice at all is way too much ice, if you ask
me.  I remained calm and flew out of the ice not long after. 

The flight from eastern Greenland to Iceland went well.  There were clouds under me the entire
time.  This was psychologically nice because I did not have to look at the ocean the entire way.  As I started to approach Iceland, I had to descend through the clouds.  I was expecting instrument conditions at Iceland so it was really nothing to worry about.  I shot the ILS for the runway and touched down with a little bounce. 

I was so glad to be on the ground.  I taxied to where my plane was going to be
staying for the night.  When I got on the ground, a customs officer approached me. 
Because it was raining he had me go inside.  When we got inside, he asked for what I was
declaring but nothing else.  I said, “Would you like to see my passport” he said, “No, that’s alright.”  WOW, how annoying that was!  I waited for four days in Canada to get my
passport, and when I finally got it the country I wanted to visit, they did not even need it.  If I would've known this, I would've had the passport overnight shipped to Iceland. 

I then got a ride to my hotel and went up to my room.  I was very hungry, so I went downstairs to
eat.  They had whale on the menu so I thought I would give it a try.  It was an
interesting taste.  After dinner I walked upstairs and got some much-needed rest. The first half of my Atlantic crossing was over and I was very happy about it.

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Barry Maas on

Jack - looks like you are having a great trip. Keep the updates coming There are a lot of us following your every move. Enjoy Rome.

Pachecos on

Jack, we are following you Kiddo, thanks for blogging and letting us share the trip with you, pictures are badass!!


Enjoyed reading both your Blogs and the pictures

Irene Wiegand on

We are missing you here in Fresno. You finished one of your most treacherous flights without a glitch. We couldn't be more proud of you! Hugs and kisses!

Stuart Woolf on

Thanks for sharing the adventure. We're all there with you! Fantastic pictures, etc. You keep popping up in the Bee...but they aren't doing a very good job reporting on your daily progress. You would think they would make more of a local hero! (they seem to be more focused on who takes out our trash...) Nevertheless...everybody is talking about you & your trip here at home. You're making us all proud...

Ryan Caglia on

I'm looking forward to seeing your pictures in Rome and London. I'm sure you're having a blast. Keep flying safe buddy. GO JACK GO!

skip pritchard on

Great job Jack, It had to be a little nerve racking to cross the north Atlantic solo, in 1959 when I was 19 I went solo from Fresno Sierra Skypark to Stockton , and I was nervous wreck, now I can say I followed Hiway 99 all the way. Hang in their.

Winder Pell on

What a trip. We are all following you! We check everyday to see where you are and how you are doing. So very proud of you!

Valerie LeMay on

Hey Bud..The LeMay's are all following you daily and extremely amazed at your journey thus far! Our prayers and love are always with you! Love your posts and your great HUMOR!! Be safe and have a blast!

Aunt Janet on

Jack! Fly baby fly!! What interesting coastlines and geographical features you must be seeing. Wouldn't it be fun to hop over to Istanbul or Marrakech, but I know you have a rigid flight plan. Enjoy everything you see. I wish I could see it all too, so your photos are crucial. Thanks for keeping everyone informed!

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