For today’s episode of Flying Podcast I’m speaking to Andy Hardy and Sam Kidd.
These two are planning a trip from the UK to Australia in Andy’s PA28 aircraft.
They have lots of flying experience and Andy has an IMC and a night rating but neither has been much further than central Europe.
Andy is Australian and has lived over here in the UK for 24 years. Over the years he’s travelled to and from his homeland and often thought that he could probably do the trip in his beloved 1966 Cherokee, G-ATYS.
Setting off in early October 2013 they are going to be raising money for Oxfam along the way with a goal of raising £10,000.
They’ll be routing via Croatia, Corfu, Crete and Egypt where Eddie Gould of GASE will be helping them out.
After spending a couple of rest days in Egypt the guys will head towards Dubai for the first maintenance stop then Pakistan avoiding Iranian airspace, India, Bangladesh, Burma, Thailand and then over Indonesia to Australia, arriving mid December.
The journey should take them approximately a month but they’ve allowed 6 weeks to cater for weather delays en-route. The Inter Tropical Convergence Zone always stands in the way of pilots flying this route and the boys will be trying to time the flight to avoid the worst of the weather especially the monsoon in India.
Fuel is becoming a major obstacle for light aircraft flights nowadays. Avgas is in limited supply around the world and Andy and Sam have had to get fuel shipped in to some airports in barrels where they don’t normally stock 100LL. As you can imagine, this will push the cost of the flight up quite considerably so the team do need help with sponsorship in addition to the charity donations.
The aircraft has been shipped over to Uni-fly in Denmark to have a ferry tank fitted in place of the rear seats giving them a theoretical fuel capacity of 112 US gallons.
They’ve had a new Garmin GNS 430 fitted and a FS 450 fuel flow meter which integrates with the GPS to calculate fuel consumption very accurately.
The radio has been upgraded with an HF option at Tatenhill Aviation to enable communication in more remote places. This has meant that Andy has had to upgrade his RT licence too to include the HF radio usage.
South East Marine Services have supplied the guys with temperate climate immersion suits, PLBs and a 2 man life raft. They’ll also be carrying a Spot Tracker and you can follow the trip’s progress here.
As with all of these trips where the plane’s endurance often exceeds that of the pilots’ bladder Andy and Sam have invested in some urinary leg bags and they share the details of measuring themselves up for the accompanying sheaths on the podcast.
You can see details of the team’s trip here:
Oxfam donations can be made here:
We look forward to following the trip and we may even hear from the guys when they get back. In the meantime listen out for a potential podcast with my good mates down at Plane Crazy Down Under podcast who will be chatting with Andy and Sam when they arrive in Oz.