There are so many aspects to planning this flight round the world and planning is the toughest part – certainly not a lot of fun. It has its ups and downs. There are times when I feel it is just not going to happen. At other times I am quite enthusiastic. Here is a list of things I have/had to do:
Route: Chalk out a route. There are many factors involved in route planning and over the past year I have made quite a few revisions. As of now, I am still not sure if this is going to be the final route or I will have to make any more modifications.
|Routing/Handling Agencies: Contract with an International Routing/Handling company. I will be using the services of Mike from White Rose Aviation for my route through Europe into the Middle East through India up to the Philippines.|
|The route from the Philippines through Japan to Shemya/Adak is being planned by Peter Steeger of Petair. I will be really happy if I can avoid the long night flight from Sapporo (Japan) to Shemya (in the Aleutian Islands), and fly through Russia instead. I am in touch with Sergey Starkov of Flight Consulting Group for permission to fly through Russia. At this point I am keeping my fingers crossed to see what happens.|
Problems with the route: Flying through China and Russia may be quite a challenge, if not impossible. I contacted the US embassies in Beijing and Moscow because I was told that I might have to apply for over-flight and landing permits through diplomatic channels. I have come to the conclusion that, although shorter and not over water, it is best to avoid that thought/route.
|Icelandic Inspection: Ed Carlson told me about this inspection. I understand that if you do not pass all their tests (regarding airworthiness, etc.) they slap you with a hefty fine, and you might not be able to fly elsewhere. However, if you pass their tests they clear you through all of Europe and you should be OK to go anywhere in the world. According to Gerd Wengler (who is an earthrounder himself) , “To be totally legal, you should request permission to enter Iceland on a ferry permit.” We shall see.|
Visas: I need to figure out which countries need entry visas, so I could apply for them – one at a time. Well, to my surprise I found out that I will need visas only for Jordan, Bahrain, UAE and Russia (if I happen to travel through Russia). The good news is that they all (except Russia) will issue a visa on arrival at the port of entry.
Availability of Avgas: This is a major issue. I will have to make sure avgas is available for the entire trip That part will be guaranteed by Whiterose and Petair.
I plan to add a project planning chart along with risk evaluation and risk management details on this site shortly to benefit future earthrounders.
Update: Be sure to check out the “Blog” page on the menu above to read the latest updates on my journey!