More hot water?
Day 38. 29/July/2014 More hot water? Narsaruaq to Nuuk 319 miles 3:09 hrs
Day score 10.
The sun woke me. A long way to go today. I walked into the terminal building but only the cleaners were here. The airport was supposed to open at 7am local, but people don’t turn up till about 8am. This has given me good time to study maps and charts that countless ferry pilots and global travellers have looked over. This is like history. Not many people have been here and done this. I’ve not had any aviation maps of Greenland, just printed a few things off while at Geirfugl, but maps are quite useless here really, there are no roads or towns and the depiction of the glaciers on their actual maps is poor.
Semion turns up and he has a go at filing my flight plan and getting the weather. Its not his job but he says the office staff were pretty bad at time keeping and might not turn up for another hour. He advises to route via Paamuit, a town with an airfield about 80 miles up the coast and Frederikshaab 130 miles up the coast. I agree and it’s placed on the flight plan that he files. With this I thank him and walk out to the plane.
I fire up Itzy but close down again when two helicopters approach and I know where they will land is close to where I’m going to taxi. With the helicopter both winding down, I fire up Itzy and back track a clear 25 runway. Take off is swift down hill and I climb out straight ahead, over the ridge on the far side of the bay and down a 50 mile fjord towards the open sea. This wasn’t really on route but not wanting to overheat the oil I had to climb slowly and eventually climb above the fjord walls and then turn north sort of on track.
I was supposed to change to Sonderstrom control but no one could raise it and there were a lot of pilots thinking their radios were unserviceable and calling Narsarsuaq to check. Narsarsuaq confirmed that there had been a major systems failure further north and there were a lot of communications down. Brill! The GPS was saying 5:30hours still and I only put 4 hours of fuel on board. I kept climbing and turning around the main glacier and fjords and as I turned to actually head straight for Nuuk, the GPS came down to 3:10 hours. Ok. I was still climbing so when I went into cruise mode I would gain another 10 knots and shave another half an hour of that time. Hum a lot of low cloud and fog out there as the cool air came off the glacier and interacted with the cool but I suppose relatively warm air around the coast.
I kept calling back to Narsarsuaq every 15 minutes until I was closer to Paamiut than Narsarsuaq and said goodbye to Semion and called Paamuit. They knew of the communications fault and I stayed with them till about 80 miles north of their airfield.
Hum, the glacier no spills down to what looked like a sandy beach. I could land on the beach I suppose now. I’m not going to keep repeating how stunning the view was out the window as I flew through mountain passes as high as Itzy before the ground lowered and levelled off approaching Nuuk.
Only 40 miles out I could hear Nuuk but they couldn’t hear me. The airfield was on the other side of a mountain range again though, and I wasn’t too worried. In clear contact 25 miles out and having learnt my lesson of not descending early enough, this time I was down at approach height early and applying power which kept the engine warm. Nuuk airfield is built on the side of a hill with each end of the runway extended by building it on a man made headland that rises straight out the sea. You wouldn’t want to be too low on approach or too high as I was because it’s quite short.
I was cleared to land and dropped in. What an approach though. I back tracked the runway and taxied in as two Dash 8’s were running up and wanting to come out. I went and hid Itzy by the corner nearest the terminal so they could taxi past.
There is a maintenance base at Nuuk for Air Greenland and you could see workers downing tools and heading out to take a look at the plane. Nothing like Itzy had ever been to Nuuk before. The mosquitoes were bad.
Spitting them and whipping them from eye, ear and mouth I got Itzy refuelled. I put 100 litres on board enough for 7 hours of flight with what was left.
To escape the mosquitoes everyone departed after photos were taken and I headed up to the control tower. Inside the terminal there was a little kiosk, just closing up. I bought two bottles of coke and one of each type of chocolate bar she had. Not able to carry everything I hid the drinks behind a sign.
Up in the control tower I filed the flight plan and paid the fees. $679.40 or £454.00. Ouch… I can’t keep affording that. I hope its cheaper in Canada if or when I get there. The weather was fine on route, really fine as in nothing. Not a cloud between here and Iqaluit. Wow…