Flight from Rome to Crete

Trip Start May 02, 2013
Trip End Ongoing

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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

My flight from Rome to Crete was supposed to be a pretty straightforward one and it really was for the most part. It was not all that great of a distance and I had good tailwinds.  What I had going against me in this situation was the amount of overcast clouds layering al the way up to my flight level.  I picked up a little ice ascending through the clouds and I was considering descending to get warmer temperatures.  Just at that moment I broke through and was on top.  This was a good feeling.  On this trip I have come to love that feeling of breaking out of solid white (in the clouds) to baby blue sky's (not in the clouds.) 

While at altitude (17,000 feet) I was skimming the very tops of an overcast layer of clouds.  There were times when they were higher then I was and I had to go through them but that would not last for very long.  I figured that I was going to be in better weather because I was over the Mediterranean Sea.  The flight was about 5 hours long and I was in the weather for approximately 3 of those hours.  After I got past the overcast weather it was blue skies for the rest of the flight.  During this over water journey I was not wearing my immersion suit because the water below was much warmer then it was going over the Atlantic.  If anything it might be refreshing to take a dip in that water. 

As I arrived to the island of Crete I got a feeling of relief that I was over land again.  When over land you always know that that you can put the plane down some way or another.  If you have to put it in the drink there is really only one way of that situation and you are going to get wet. 

When I landed at Crete I was instructed to wait for the "follow me" car.  This was a new concept to me.  Apparently the Greek do not believe that I could follow taxi instructions to where I was parking.  Having the follow me car was much easier and they showed me right to where I was getting fuel.  I filled up and was greeted by my two agents from signature.  They were very nice and helpful in getting me through all airport procedures rapidly.  I then hopped in a cab and got a ride to my hotel.  Because I was trying to make up for lost time I knew that I was only staying in Crete for one night.  This was unfortunate because I think it is a beautiful place and I want to go back someday. 

After I ate I went to bed.  I was a little nervous about going into Egypt because of all I have heard on the radio.  Right as I was about to hit the hay I got a text message from my flight instructor, Dave.  He informed me to look at the travel advisories for Egypt; so I did.  I was arriving to Egypt on the 18th and on the 15th an American citizen was stabbed just for being American.  This was not the best thought to go to bed with.
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Rep. Costa on

We've been a little busy here in Washington so I am just now sending my regards. I've been tracking the progress of your epic journey and want you to know all of our Valley is very proud of you.

By the way, Ian says hello!

Norton Wolf on

As a long time owner of a Mooney (a252) I am enjoying your blog and wish you the very best of good flying,good weather and good health. Stay dry.

Rick Kolker on

In Tokyo, haven't seen recent progress, you still in Japan. Was calling you today (june 13) on 123.45 in case you were out over the No. Pacific. No joy. Hope all's well.

Ashok J on

Been following your progress for last few days. See that you have been in Sapparo for a long time. Hope all is well with you physically and the plane and what is holding you up is just the weather. Good luck. Looking forward to your blogs and entries.

Alberto on

Did he find a girl in Japan or what? have been stationed there for over a week now...

Ashok J on

Ah, I see you moved but not very far. Hope all is well. Look forward to your new blog postings.

Mel on

Why no blog updates? If you are stuck in Japan you should have lots of time to write. Let your followers know what is happening, PLEASE!

Jerry in Boulder on


Quite simply - what in the hell has happened to you? Japan is indeed an intriguing place but how is your flight coming along???

arcturas on

Jack does post updates on the Solo 2013 Facebook page but of course, not everyone is on Facebook. So a quick recap. On arriving in Japan Jack met with his family for a short reunion, they had prearranged a flight to Kobe to spend a few days as a family before Jack flew on. After they left Jack repositioned to Sapporo on the northern island of Japan, Hokkaido, and here he met with the inevitable bureaucratic hold ups that affect all single engined flights passing through japan. The bureaucracy kept Jack there until last week when he was allowed to leave Japan. He repositioned to the stepping off airfield at Kushiro and was expecting to leave on his Birthday but although the weather in Japan was good it appears the weather forecast for Adak in the Aleutians was poor and with no alternative airfields away from the weather it was deemed unsafe to try flying there. So...Jack is waiting for a break in the weather along his route and at his destination. I am sure he should be on his way very soon. I hope this has helped and Jack's facebook page is

John on

Finally on your way. Weather still looks good. Adak has a lot of history from WWII, take the time to see the sites.

Pastor Dennis from UK on

Following your flight in fsx. By the way. McDonald's has closed down in Adak as well as the Cinema, College , and racket ball court.. If you order a pizza, it will probably be delivered by a penguin.

Bob S. on

Way to go Jack, you fooled everyone and made an epic flight to Unalaska Island. A very long flight over the North Pacific. You're almost home and making your record flight. Stay safe!!

Mel on

Awesome! You are back in the USA! Are you stopping in CYVR on your way south? If so, I want to come out to the airport and meet you!

Matt on

Hey Jack,

Greetings from FL450 I just found out about your around the world flight. Coming from a formerly young Fresno area (Reedley) pilot, you're making us all proud. Love the G1000 cockpit in your Ovation, very similar to the Primus Epic cockpit in my G550.

Best of luck to ya, safe travels on your remaining legs home.


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