Akureyri to Reykjavik
Day 23. 14/July/2014 Akureyri to Reykjavik 162 miles 1:46hrs Day score 9.
I awoke and went to sit in the kitchen area. Another pilot awoke and wasn’t unpleasant but said a few words and disappeared out.
Hawk entered the kitchen, I told him what a great time I had had. He said that the guy earlier was another pilot and he was upset as he had a share in the POS and wanted to use it yesterday, but I had borrowed it. Hawk was saying he was unreasonably annoyed. So was the owner of the house that I had stayed there. This annoyed Hawk as he saw it only reasonable to offer a guest hospitality and the others were out of order. Saying that, had I know there was another person sharing the car, I thought it was just Hawk’s then I would probably not have wanted to borrow it… Anyway, what is done is done and time would move on.
There was a loud explosion from the freezer compartment above the fridge. A coke can had frozen, the coke then expands and explodes the can. They do that. Anyway while clearing that all up, Hawk explained that he was flying back to Reykjavik later today to his home there for a few days and we could meet up there later. I asked if I could have my credit card forwarded out to his house and did he have an address at the airport where I could send the tank to. He insisted on having it sent to his house as well and he gave me the address. Brill. Sorted. I would get on to my friends and parents and get the items under way.
So should I get underway! Hawk still had his fiancé here, so I said I would walk back to the airport and see about flying on as the weather finally looked ok.
I lovely walk back out and when at Myflug I talked to a load more pilots in their briefing room. They said there would not be but I still went to see if there was a fee to pay in the control tower. There was not. The other pilots also showed me a favourable route to Reykjavik and explained I didn’t need to file a flight plan and just tell the tower what I was doing and go. Ok. I could do that… The phone rang and one of the guys said it was for me? It couldn’t be, no one knew where I was. The guy on the phone was called Thurket, he was from the Icelandic Civil Aviation Authority’s Air Accident Investigation Branch AAIB. He told me that he kept being asked about my arrival into Iceland when I had the trouble at Egilsstadir and he couldn’t explain as he knew nothing about it. In fact he knew the least and should know the most. It was agreed I would go and see him when I arrived in Reykjavik where his office was. I was glad of this actually as I wanted some closure on the event and talking to the head man, as you would certainly do in the UK, would act as closure.
Time to move on, but at this point now, to complicate things even more, I would like to mention a competition I won actually in 2009 called Dawn 2 Dusk. This is where you take an aircraft, be it a helicopter, hot air balloon, glider, and try and do what you can with it during the hours between Dawn and Dusk. Well here at the moment, that’s about 23 hours in the day. In 2009 I tried to fly around the coast of Great Britain in a day with my long range tank I was having shipped out. Here, while in Iceland, I would like to fly around their coast. Much easier than in Britain because it’s not nearly as far around. I wanted to start and finish from here in Akureyri. I thought it would be nice for the museum. But I have to move on! I still need to get to Oshkosh which is my priority, which means I must fly on to Reykjavik. May be I can try flying around the coast from there.
I at least bought an aviation map of Iceland, only to find out that the pilots curse it, saying there was nothing on it and the road map of the island is much better.
Oh well. I said my goodbyes. Hawk had gone with his daughter and Fiancé already so no worries. The people had all been so good to me here. I untied Itzy, turned him around and jumped in.
After starting the engine and turning the radio on the control tower wanted to know my flight plan. I said I was going to Reykjavik VFR and there was no route. He sort of insisted on which way I was going so I told him I’d be turning around, heading up the valley direct forReykjavik. He asked for my flight time and persons on board. I told him and said I had 4 hours of fuel. He thanked me and cleared me to back track runway 01 and take off at my discretion. This I duly did and turned out to the right and headed north.
There is so much I’m not finding the time to write that is of interest. There has been a ship in the harbour, some major cruise liners, but also a ship with its own helicopter on it. Everyone is wondering who it belongs to? I got speaking to the Australian pilot of the helicopter. He wouldn’t say who was onboard but said that they had flown on toNorway already and the ship was sailing after them for the ship to act as a base. He was just doing some site seeing tours for the crew now before they set off. They were hoping to sail the Northern ArcticPassing if the sea ice breaks enough to let them. It did for the first time last year, first time in modern history, due to global warming. Anyway I buzzed the ship a little on take off. Up the fjord and away from Akureyri. It had been nice.
The route took me high on to the middle plateau. Nothing much lives there as its just ice and lakes and rock. Heading south towards Vatna-Jokull the biggest glacier the weather on route took me further east, closer than I intended but what views. In fact cloud took me even closer to Vatna and I had to squeeze between the volcano of Baroarbunga and Tungnafells-Jokull. But then there was no way further south so I had to head west and run to the coast where I could see the sun shining from this height about 50 miles away. By this time I had torn and shredded my new map. Gosh, they were right, it was all but useless and I reverted to the road map.
Looking back I must have flown over Gulfoss and Geyser, but never saw them. I hit the coast after darting under low cloud again and rounded the head at Akranes. Now the radio was in line of sight and they could hear me when I called. Reykjavik approach wanted to know if I wanted to extend my flight plan as it was about to expire. I told them I had weather diverted so I was delayed but told them that I didn’t file a flight plan. He told me that I did and he had it here from Akureyri, but not to worry, he would extend it and he handed me over to the tower. I didn’t file one, but now was not the time to argue. There are 6 VFR routes into Reykjavik. I was to take number 1 following the coast for a left hand to runway 13. This I duly also did. Honestly, the airport is about a mile from town and you get a good luck on a left base for 13. The pilots at Akureyri had told me to ask to taxi via Echo and Golf down to the Geirfugl flugskoll (Gummy’s flying school of flight). This was agreed and I had the map ready and found my way when on the ground with no worries.
I stopped the engine and jumped out. Plenty of pilots and planes milling around. There must be 30 separate private hangars, three rows of ten.
Gudmundur introduced himself as manager of the flying school but to just call him Gummy as there was little chance of me pronouncing his name correctly. I told him that I was told to head here by Hurkur and Christion, he new them and agreed that it would be silly for me to stay over the international side as the parking costs a fortune. I could leave my plane where it was and if I needed a hand with anything I just needed to ask. First thing to do was clear up this flight plan fiasco. It was explained that everyone files flight plans, but they are not flight plans like I know of, say on a formal sheet of paper, they are more like safety flight plans. You just briefly explain what and where and when you are going to fly and a few more details and then close it when you land and its all done over the radio before you take off with the control tower
. Oh, that made sense now.
Anyway, if I’m going to send on my mountain bike to make room for the extra tank, there are a lot of things I could also send on to America as the plane is totally over loaded with things I just don’t need. So I started to empty the whole plane out. People couldn’t understand where it was all coming from…
Gummy asked me where I was staying, I asked if I could pitch the tent explaining the 100 night rule, he said it looked like rain and to just kip on the sofa in the club house. There was warmth power internet and tv. I didn’t need to be asked twice.
That’s the thing about Itzy, so small that everyone is so helpful and it just makes travelling with my tiny plane so easy. I hoped Hawk would not be upset, he didn’t clearly offer that I could stay at his home, I’m sure he would have but I didn’t want to place too much upon him.
I talked to so many young pilots at the school, the atmosphere was buzzing, but eventually they all left and I could get my head down, but not after watching some BBC news. Nothing had seemingly changed since I left. Same old parliamentary scandal stuff.
Thought for the day: I’ve yet to meet an unfriendly person on this tour. The Icelandic people are how I wish all people were on the planet. Gummy was a founder member of the school, I don’t think he owns it, it’s like a club, you pay to join then can fly any of their ten or so planes. He seems the most laid back person on the planet, nothing is too much trouble. He’s just like me…