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Getting Ready -  29 October

In spite of the tragic events of September 11, we soon after decided to still go ahead with our plans. The last couple of weeks have been a nightmare of last minute activities and I have NEVER in my life before had such a stressful couple of weeks, working 16-18 hours a day getting the plane (some of you might know that I do ALL the maintenance myself) ready.

The design, construction and approval of the 27 USG tank (used ONLY for Hilo-Monterey) was running late going beyond my personal deadline of 15 October. The work report was signed 18 October, the OFAC written approval came in immediately the 22, the plane made a test flight with both cabin tanks installed 23 October.

Then the pain-in-the-neck CODAN HF radio had to be reinstalled and aligned with new channel crystals installed, and a painful leak in the left Monroy tank had to be fixed. Cabin auxiliary tanks then had to be removed following the test flight last Tuesday and prepared for shipment to Auckland and Honolulu (actually we are holding them here in Geneva for a while, especially since US airspace is still blocked for most foreign private flights).

Meanwhile Angela had a hectic time trying to get our Indian and Bangladeshi visas with Indian bureaucrats in Geneva, Paris, New Delhi, Wellington making their well co-ordinated contributions!! So getting our house ready did NOT progress as planned and finally last Thursday we had to postpone our departure scheduled for last Saturday 27 by 48 hours.

Yesterday morning Sunday, the to-do list still looked like an ongoing nightmare and we had another busy 18-20 hour day. Well, today the to-do list looks good and we have a hard time believing that the nightmare will be over in a few hours and the fun about to begin. Another positive side effect (increased rate of climb!) is that I have actually lost 8 kgs during the last month!

About a month ago it became clear that I would NOT have the time to look after any of the overflight and landing clearances as I always did in the past, and we decided to hire FSI Flight Services International GmbH to look after our clearances from Egypt (sorry, Greece also joined the PPR club!) to Indonesia. In spite of the situation it looks good: we have most overflight clearances to and including India, and Saudi Arabia has been verbally promised for today.

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Temporary 27 USG (copilot seat)) and 35 USG (rear seat) auxiliary tanks installed in cabin

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Temporaty 27 USG auxiliary tank installed in stead of copilot seat. Ready for test flight.

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