Ham Radio Aviator On Round The World Flight

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by KQ6XA, May 31, 2017.

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  1. KQ6XA

    KQ6XA Ham Member QRZ Page

    His Iridium phone can be portable. Whenever he is inside a building with it, sometimes the GPS coordinates are skewed by building reflections, which cause errors in position and altitude. Additionally, in areas or inflight situations where there is a lot of interference to GPS reception, the tracker coordinates are not as accurate. This may happen while other 1.5GHz gear in the plane is transmitting. The tracker landmarks show yellow when there is loss of accuracy.
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2017
    W5BIB likes this.
  2. K8ERV

    K8ERV Ham Member QRZ Page

    A very long time ago, when boarding a plane in Tokyo my Swiss Army Knife was confiscated.
    While waiting in a customs line in Osaka a little elderly Japanese man ran up smiling and returned the knife!
    Don't know how that was done.

    TOM K8ERV Montrose Colo
  3. W5BIB

    W5BIB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Last edited: Jun 18, 2017
  4. W5BIB

    W5BIB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Brian tells about his arrival in Yangon (Rangoon) in his Facebook post:

    "OK, it is time for another rambling missive.

    Today was supposed too be an easy flight and it was ... mostly. I set up the GoPro and have started taking video from the cockpit which I am uploading to Josh for post-processing. (Josh has done my other videos. See his Mr Aviation 101 channel on YouTube.) But today was pretty solid IFR with a few breaks. The problem was, it wasn't good enough to be able to see all the CBs so I was pretty much dependent on the Stormscope to detect embedded thunderstorms.

    There is only one problem with the Scormscope, it can't tell a CB is there until it becomes mature and the lightning starts. If you happen to stumble on a CB just before it becomes mature, the Stormscope won't tell you it is there and you could still be in for a wild ride. That's what happened to me today.

    I had caught a momentary glimpse of a darker area ahead of me but the StormScope was quiet so I pressed ahead. I was on descent into Yangon and only about 15mi out from the initial approach fix (IAF) and cleared down to 4000'.

    I hit severe turbulence and was upset. I was rolled 90 degrees and pitched down 30 degrees. Fortunately none of the gyros tumbled. I recovered, reported that I was turning left to get clear of the severe turbulence, and got out of there. It wasn't really bad other than the rapid roll. I don't think I even pulled 2G so I am not really worried about damage to the plane. It was just one of those, "OH S---," moments that that punctuate flying. (Old pilot saying: Flying is hours and hours of boredom punctuated by moments of sheer terror.)

    Once clear (and in the clear) I turned back toward the VOR that is the IAF and was cleared down to 3000'. I set up the altitude preselect to level off there and then was heads down for a bit studying the approach chart. I glanced up to see I was 300' below my assigned altitude. I punched off altitude hold and commanded 5 degrees nose up to get back on altitude. Nothing was happening right. It took me about 30 seconds of, "Hmm, that's odd," to finally realize that I had no pitch servo. Something had happened during the upset to cause the pitch servo to go off-line. So I ended up hand flying the ILS using the flight director. Landing was my usual "greaser". (That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Besides, none of you can prove otherwise!)

    Once on the ground I pulled the access hatch to the avionics bay and climbed back in to inspect the pitch servo. It looked OK. The connector seemed loose so I tightened it up. Went back forward and engaged the AP. The pitch servo clutch seemed to engage so I think I may have my pitch servo back. We'll see if that is the case when I fly tomorrow. If it doesn't come back I will probably have to get Century to ship me a replacement servo while I am in Australia.

    I had most of the day left today so I did a little exploring in Yangon. I was able to see the golden dome of the Shwedagon Pagoda, a huge Buddhist temple, from my hotel room. It was only a couple of miles away so I took a walk.

    You don't have to be Buddhist to be awed by this place. It is amazing. Clearly Buddhists come from all over to visit. Shoes are not allowed so I took mine off, tied them together, and slung them over my shoulder. As I was walking around I was approached by a young man with three others of his family in tow. He struck up a conversation and asked me about myself and why I was here. He told me he, "liked my style," which consisted of my Lloyd Aviation shirt, hat, and shoes slung over my shoulder. But I guess that I was looking quite different from everyone else there. Anyway, his family wanted their picture taken with me. I have kind-of gotten used to that now. I can smile sincerely on demand.

    Tomorrow I head for Bangkok."
    NH7RO and W0PV like this.
  5. W5BIB

    W5BIB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

  6. W5BIB

    W5BIB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    "Spirit" arrived safely in Bangkok 06/19 @ 0420z. :)

    Next scheduled event, 06/20 - Bangkok to Singapore (881 miles).
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2017
  7. W5BIB

    W5BIB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Brian & "Spirit" stuck in Bangkok for a day or two ?? :(

    Brian explains in this post from his facebook:
    "Well, a down day is never really a down day. It just means the preparation for the next day is just a little more relaxed.

    I did avert a bit of a crisis today. One of the things I learned on this trip is that a circumnavigation is powered by one thing -- US Dollars, cash. In most places I have stopped, nothing else is accepted. Even the local currency seems to take second place. In one case I had the requisite amount of the local currency and they were very confused. "The bill is in dollars," I was told.

    Anyway, so far I have burned through $20,000 (USD), cash. I thought that there would be some place where I could use my Visa card. There was: Trinidad. Trinidad was a long time ago (relatively speaking). Surprisingly, when I have to go pay airport fees the airports WILL take Visa, but not the handlers nor the fuelers. Cash only. US American Greenbacks.

    Here was my problem. We (The Classic Aircraft Education Museum, Inc. a 501©(3) non-profit corp in the US) have set aside enough money to get the circumnavigation done, but I didn't take it all in cash. (I was uncomfortable enough carrying $20k). My mistake.

    So here I am in Bangkok without enough cash to leave again. I had to get some cash. I assumed there would be a way to transfer money from the US to a bank here and then have them issue it to me in US Dollars. Ha. Not a chance. So I wanted to open an account, transfer the money into it, and then draw it out. Nope, can't do that either. I am not a resident. In the end the solution was to draw out the maximum amount available on my debit card then take a cash advance on my Visa. That was given to me in Thai Baht. I took the Baht to another bank specializing in currency exchange and had my Baht converted into US dollars. Yes, I paid the conversion rate both ways.

    So with a few more withdrawals on my debit card (at $1000/day) I should be able to make it to Australia, where I hope I may be able to use my Visa card once again.

    This has been quite an educational experience! If I ever decide to fly around the world, I will know how to do it!"

    Last edited: Jun 20, 2017
  8. NH7RO

    NH7RO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Next time, instead of only adding extra fuel tanks also add a separate locked tank filled with $20/$50/$100 bills. Label it "RTW Fuel."

    73 and GL,

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  9. W5BIB

    W5BIB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Last edited: Jun 21, 2017
  10. W5BIB

    W5BIB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Last edited: Jun 21, 2017

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