Echo Charlie Juliett Mike Xray: Crossing the Pond Part II
These days, crossing the Atlantic Ocean is not a big deal. We don’t need to book tickets on a Titanic-like ship while crossing our fingers that a stray chunk of ice won’t leave us floating helplessly as we watch Leonardo DiCaprio freeze to death. These days it’s much simpler: we book a ticket with a reliable commercial airline, sleep through the safety instructions, silently beg that the kid behind you will stop screaming and kicking your chair, pretend to not be even slightly irritated when the passenger next to you drops airline-quality pieces of rice on your chair during the inflight meal and enthusiastically disembark on another continent. Absolutely overjoyed with how the preceding six to eight hours have been. Boring.
There are still exciting ways to Cross the Pond, and recently I had the opportunity to experience a completely different kind of trans-atlantic travel. I was accompanying my friend as he delivered a Panther Piper Navajo back to Florida from Iceland. Yep, an 8-seater Jet across the Atlantic. I must have slept through the safety talk on this flight as well, but to be honest I don’t deal with the cold so well, so if we were going down in the middle of the Atlantic I think I’d be hanging out withLeonardo…
But we stayed high in the sky. After three days we had flown six flights, visited four countries and crossed continents. We went from admiring glaciers, polar bear footprints and icebergs to cocktails on sunny Florida beaches.
It all sounds smooth but let’s keep a few things in mind:
- The cabin wasn’t pressurised. We didn’t want to risk the moody heater running too hard breaking so some moments were cold. Very cold. I’m talking using those weird sticky hand-warmer things cold.
- We were delayed in Iceland because the engine made some scary noises…
- We were delayed in Greenland because the GPS made some scary pictures…
- We were detained in the USA for 4 hours in the middle of the night because Sean was on drugs and I was I spy (apparently).
- They also confiscated our bananas.
To be honest, all of these things still seem much more bearable than a kicking, screaming child.
Plus there are many perks to flying private:
- No waiting in customs and immigration lines.
- Listening in on all the fun sky chats over the radio.
- Free ice-cream in Goose Bays lovely private airport (even though the runways was still snow-covered). Thanks Shandi!
- Flying low over Greenland’s magnificent glacier-filled fjords.
- Watching the sun set over the clouds.
- Popping Champagne and indulging on Bagels in the air after picking up friends in New York.
From rowdy nights in Greenland to serene moments in the sky the entire trip was an amazing adventure (even if I didn’t get to meet Leonardo DiCaprio).
(Kudos if you understood the title, you must be a pilot, in the military or simply have too much time. I originally thought the plane just had a really funny name…)