Yesterday saw me called to London to meet up with the aircraft as the owner wanted to fly home to the Middle East.
A longish drive in a hire car, (a smart car !!!) up the M5 and M4 and time to get the plane ready.
Very aware this was going to be the first flight for me with the new boss was the source of a little nerves I have to admit.
Taxi checks complete, and we were cleared for take off.
This plane does make me smile........ put the throttles forward and the power is amazing. But then thats a Global Express Airplane for you.
|The sun starts to come up|
Within 15 seconds I was then seeing the ferries going over the channel between Dover and Calais and then the lights of Ostend, we were cleared up to 41,000ft initially and I was talking to a German controller, so we were well on our way.
|Cyprus out of the starboard window|
What an amazing sight, I tried to video it but an iPhone doesn't do it justice.
A cup of tea in the cockpit and we were preparing for decent when I came across one of the anomalies of flying in these parts of the world, namely the Turkey & Cyprus politics issues and the small matter of disputed airspace. i.e. each believes they own it and doesn't recognise each other.
The only way of dealing with this is as a pilot to act like a marriage guidance counsellor and talk to each air traffic controller really nicely and negotiate a way through.
This was our top of descent as Cyprus was out of the right side of the window and the mountainous border between The Lebanon and Syria was poking its head out through the early morning mist.
It was this point I realised I had just pulled an all nighter with no sleep and the eyes were burning a touch.
|Taxiing in once on the ground|
Time to configure the aircraft, slats and flaps, gear down and a lovely view with a runway straight ahead and the Ocean off to the right.
Gently back on the control column and we were in.....
Taxi clearance to the General Aviation stand, and there was a welcome party of officials, customs and baggage handlers.
The door of the airplane opened, and at 5:35am local time it was already 27 degrees and a gentle breeze......
First things first though, must text Naomi to let her know I didn't get us lost, get fired or break anything.
Then its time to meet the officials, shake a lot of hands and sort out the paperwork with the passengers disembarked pretty sharpish.
|Closing her up and putting her to bed|
Finally we lock her up and head into the terminal, her job is done and so is mine. Now I can't quite work out if I need to go to bed or I need a beer........
|Confused and still thinking it feels like it should be last night but its 5am local time|
right in the city centre
Thoughts for the day:
- Never accept a Smart car as a hire car, they are rubbish on the motorway when lorries drive past
- I wish I could have brought Naomi along for this flight too, not sure she'd have liked the lightening show though
- It all feels pretty real now
- Its strange not knowing what the next few days will bring
- Its annoying being in a place that has power cuts that knock the Internet out as it means I have to write my blog
twicethree times !!!!