Goodbye Argentina. We will miss you. We will miss all the great people we have found on our way. We will miss the easy fliying around the big country.A last glance at the big mountain EL TRONADOR. The flight has to continue...
It is rainy. We are back in Azul, oh no, no engine problem of Fliegli, now an engine problem of Lili, just a general check up, and then we fly back to Bariloche.
The summer is slowly leaving us, at least on this side of the earth. It is getting cooler, swimming pools are closed, and in the evenings we have already to put on a sweater. It is time to leave Argentina, time to say goodbye to our argentinian friends.
Our last update was one month ago. Rawson, Rio Gallegos, Ushuaia, Bariloche.... good bye! But let us not get sad, Chile is awaiting for new adventure!!!
And lets remember the last month. While heading from Azul to Peninsula de Valdez, well, Detlef´s personal tanks started to leak, so we had to land in Saint Exupery Airport. What a lovely runway, 2000m asphalt, and the lonely meteorologist. A bit of leg stretching, a short talk, and on the road again!! We were heading to the Tehuelche Airport, but in the air we changed our mind and landed in a little field called Rawson ( yes, it sounds english, but that does not mean that anyone speaks english..!) We really just wanted to get some fuel and continue our way, until a nice guy appeared: Carlitos. He called the airclub director, the airclub director called the rest of the airclub people and at the end of the day we were having an asado, and a good time. Luis,( see picture under flying friends) the director of the club, invited us to stay in his house and the next day we were guided through all the surroundings of Rawson. The following day at Carlos Restaurant ( yes the same Carlos!) we had an incredible fish dinner. I am still licking my lips.
Lets not forget the heading toward Rawson we surrounded the whole Pensinula de Valdez. Famous for ist sea lions and whales ( not at this time of year) . No airstrip , hardly no roads, and after our last engine failure, we are a little more cautious. When ever we can, we fly near big roads, better than landing on a moon like surface.
Ushuaia was our goal, since the Antarctis, as you already now, will be the desert after the 3 years of flying. In between is Rio Gallegos. A summer day followed us until there, but on final, Detlef felt not that happy. 45 knots of shear winds. The landing was tough, some sweat drops flew in my face????Detlef was sweating for the first time in his pilots life with this landing. After all 45 knots is not a breeze. After landing he could not hold the tail. We have a tail dragger and it just wanted to go out of the wind. Did you hear the big sigh?? That was Detlef´s sigh after we finally got the plane into the hangar.
For the next day we have planned Ushuaia. Forget it : 60 knots winds.
Well, we knew this was not going to be easy, so lets rest in this little house, which was the airclub guardian´s house. We got some visits, although NOBODY was flying.
The following day there was bad weather in Ushuaia. We hope not to be waiting too long, time is running away, the climate is changing.
Finally we got the desired weather, they told us anyway to be warmed dressed, so we put on the ski trousers. Now we are ready. Here we come Ushuaia. We are heading to the END OF THE WORLD, TO THE AIRCLUB OF THE END OF THE WORLD!!!
Ushuaia has this, it is fascinating because of its situation. We knew that one there, it would again not be easy to head back to Rio Gallegos, but who cares. We are in the air, the Andes mountains underneath, not the tallest, but still the Andes, covered with ice and snow. After the overwhelming silence in our thoughts, Ushuaia appears. Tower asks us if we had already made customs in Rio Gallegos: Negative. Ok, we land in the International Airport of Ushuaia, before heading to the airclub.
Angel Romero was the first one in greeting us, Director of the Airport. After showing us this very beautiful and pleasant airport made out of wood, we took breakfast with him, made our flight plan and ready for departure to the AEROCLUB DE USHUAIA.
We made it..... Ushuaia, magic words for us, meaningless for others. A stroll through the streets, sweating like in a sauna with our ski trousers. Who told us about the cold??? On the grass we sunbathe, without ski trousers, without pullovers. Who could have imagined such a day?
Next day: we got the weather forecast for the way, looks ok. While sitting in the cockpit, half an hours later, weather changed, Rio Gallegos 60 knots shears, with sand in the air.
Lets go back to town, lets enjoy one day more Ushuaia. We knew this was not to be easy.
Next day did not look too good, but we went to the airport to get weather forecast. It doesn´t look bad, so lets go. Again we had a terrific flight, no winds, sunshine, and no shears on the landing.
Rio Gallegos to Calafate. The world of the icebergs. We will describe it later on.
San Carlos de Bariloche. It is easy to describe: The european alps in Argentina. Rivers, mountains, lakes.
We have planned our route and the places we want to visit along our flight. But not everything goes like planned. First it was a bad calculation of our contruction period in Florida, then my unexpected sickness for which we had to stay 4 months more in Germany and now the mechanical problems. We regret not to have done now the flight from Ushuaia to the South Pole. For a long time we have dreamt with this flight and we have prepared ourselves years ago for it . This flight is not canceled, it is jut postponed as the last goal of our journey.
Unfortunately the summer is leaving us. A cold wind from the south gives us the impression winter will soon be coming. It is too late to cross Cape Horn , and like the sailors call it : the "roaring forties". It is getting even late for Ushuaia, but we have to get to Rio Gallegos, a least to pick up our life raft and survival suits, which we have to take with us for the rest of the journey.
Destiny has brought us to Azul. Who knows Azul? We looked it up in the map, a tiny little point in the vast map of Argentina. The aero club of Azul has taken care of us with all the kindness. The best of all is that we got to know Fernando Hoursouripe and Nidia. We feel great in his company. Who would have told us that we would have made a friend here in Azul? Our mechanical failure made it possible. General Rodriguez is just one hour flight from here, we really did not do much! Three weeks we are already here and due to my cold we have to stay another week. Yes, Fernando's swimming pool was definitely too cold! We feel great in his house and we are delighted every day by the good food of Nidia. Yesterday I saw the Doc, a pilot too, and now with a load of antibiotics I hope to get well in a week. Detlef made a flight with him which he enjoyed.
It is 5 o'clock in the morning, the rooster is already awake.
Now we really have to get going and put some more throttle if we want to cross Greenland in summertime ( June / July ). We want to visit our friend Sue ( our wedding witness ) in the Bahamas, Franklin Polanco in the Dominican Republic and Gary in Punta Gorda and many others. It is true that we have lost a lot of time on our way, but we gained friends, we got to know great people, we enjoyed every day . In other words: we don't regret anything. We are just a few months on our way, and looking backwards, it has been greater as what we could have imagine. Our path through the Bahamas, the Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe, English Guyana, Brazil and now Argentina has left us unforgettable memories. How many wonderful people have offered us their hospitality! Now and then we think about our friend Wolfgang Hamann, which also did a round the world in his airplane and how he misses now those wonderful experiences he had. We are enjoying every day and we know, that there will be a day in which we will miss them too.
The day is getting lighter, the rooster is jelling for the third time!! Detlef is still sleeping and I will try to rest a bit more,
Hemos planificado nuestra ruta y los lugares que quermos conocer por nuestro viaje. Pero no todo sale como se desea. Primero fue un mal calculo en nuestra fase de contruccion en Estados Unidos, luego la inesperada enfermedad mia la cual nos costo 4 meses de tener que quedarnos en Alemania, y ahora el fallo de motor. Lamentamos no poder haber hecho la etapa de Ushuaia hasta el Polo Sur con la que tanto tiempo soñamos y por la cual nos preparamos hace muchos anos. Pero no la anulamos, la postergamos por cuestion de clima para el final de nuestro viaje. Lentamente el verano nos esta dejando, y ayer vino viento frio del sur. Me da la impression que el invierno se esta acercando. Ya es tarde para cruzar cabo de hornos. Se nos esta haciendo hasta tarde para Ushuaia, pero tenemos que al menos llegar a Rio Gallegos, donde tenemos nuestra balsa salvavida y nuestros trajes de exposicion.
El destino nos trajo aqui a Azul, quien conoce Azul? Lo miramos en el mapa: un diminuto puntito perdido en medio del vasto pais de Argentina. El aeroclub de Azul nos acogio con todo el cariño, y en nuestro camino se cruzo Fernando Hoursouripe y Lidia. Como son las cosas: nos sentimos muy a gusto en su compañia . Asi el la vida: quien se iba a imagir tener un amigo aqui en Azul. Nuesto fallo mecánico lo hizo realidad.
No hemos recorrido mucho desde que dejamos General Rodriguez, solo una hora de vuelo, y ya estamos aqui 3 semanas, y por colmo sera otra semana mas por la angina que agarre. Parece ser que el agua de la piscina de Fernando sí estaba un poco fria. En su casa nos sentimos muy a gusto y disfrutamos de la rica comida que nos prepara Nidia. Hoy vi al médico, y como no, tambien es piloto, que me receto una buena dosis de antibioticos. Ayer Detlef volo con el . Son las 5 de la manana y el gallo se hizo notar. Ahora tenemos que apretar un poco el acelerador. Tenemos que cruzar Groenladia en verano ( entre Junio y Julio). Queremos visitar a Sue Darcey, nuestra amiga y madrina de bodas en las Bahamas, a Franklin Polanco en la República Dominicana, a Gary en Puta Gorda, Florida, y todo esto antes de que empieze la época de huracanes.
Es verdad, que como he dicho antes, hemos perdido mucho tiempo por el camino, pero esto nos hizo ganar amigos de verdad, conocer a gente maravillosa, disfrutar mas de cada pais. En otras palabras: no lamentamos nada. Solo llevamos pocos meses en nuestro viaje, y si miramos hacia atras, a sido mas bello de lo que esperamos. Pasamos por las Bahamas, por la República Dominicana, Guadeloupe, la Guyana inglesa, Brazil y ahora Argentina. Recuerdos hasta el momento inolvidables. Cuanta gente maravillosa nos ofreció su hospitalidad! Nos acordamos mucho de Wolfgang Hamann, que recorrio tambien el mundo con su avion, y que añora ese tiempo pasado.
El dia se esta aclarando, el gallo canto por tercera vez. Detlef sigue durmiendo y ahora descansaré un poco mas.
February 6th 2010
We should have bad weather..
Anyway now we are not anymore in a hurry for Antarctica, and Fernando has today his birthday: we have to stay!
The new leds sponsored by Roberto Ferri are great. Much lighter than any other in the market. Thanks Roberto. See his web site:
February 5th 2010
We are ready to go. But today its raining. So we cannot fly to the south.
The fuel and skis are in the Antarctica but we are now too late for the South Pole. We will do it next year or as the last goal of our round the world flight. I thought, I could celebrate my birthday in the Antarctica, but in Azul we were in great company.
We stay another day here in Azul. A great place. A lot of help. Thanks to all of you, speciality to Fernando Hoursouripe.
February 2nd 2010
Today we got the spare parts.
We started first to take out the old parts, and suddenly a nut fell into the engine. it took 3 hours to fetch the nut!!
Within one hour the rest was done. Now, the system will work even full floaded with oil.
Thanks to LSE for your help! Your ignition system and support is great. Without the LSE ignition and the tuned Airflow injected system we are not able to cruise with TAS 150kts in 6000ft and only 6.5 GPH fuel flow. Incredible!
We did a couple of test flights, everything works fine again.
Another invitation. Jorge von der "La Posta del Viajero" in Azul came to the airport. It is a very famous meeting point for travellers from all around the world. It is a must to visit this place on the way to Ushuaia. And we did it, too. He invited us for a Asado. We met there a Japanese women on a world trip with her motorcycle. Yuki with her Suzuki. Thats always nice to met people from all around the world.
January 27th 2010
On the 22nd of January we finally left General Rodriguez heading towards Ushuaia, and making stops in Puerto Madryn and Rio Gallegos. After one hour flight, something strange happened to the engine. We landed immediately in Saladillo, and thought that something was wrong with the spark plugs. In the town of Saladillo we bought similar ones but we could not get the originals. We replaced the plugs and checked the fuel injecton system. The next day we continued our way to Puerto Madryn. After almost another hour, our engine began to cough and had the intention to stop. We were still 25 miles out of the next airport, and Detlef began to tell me to look out for a landing place. "We are flying over a swamp, so hold on!" I told him. "We have to land, there is the road there!" -"Forget it, just 5 miles more and we are on an airfield!"
We made it! We landed... on an airfield. The name of the place AZUL ( Blue ). We made it just right on this place. A glider club, with swimming pool, lots of hangar space and the most important of all: we found Fernando, a wonderful man, that helped us all the time.
At the beginning we thought again the problem were the spark plugs or the fuel ( to little octane ).
We bought Fangio fuel ( 97 octane , we need only 91 ), we changed again the spark plugs, made a test flight, but the engine did not run well.
Finally we found the problem. An engine seal was leaking and spread oil over our ignition system. Superior sold us a very, very old, not protected, system. This system was not up to date. So we called Lightspeed LSE for help. They send us immediately new spare parts.
GENERAL RODRIGUEZ - BUENOS AIRES - ARGENTINA
Yes, we are still here!! It seems that when we arrive to a place we cannot leave. In this case it had many other reasons. We had to finish the fittings for the skis, that took the whole month. Then we prepared the fitting for the video camera, and there were some other small things that had to be done. Of course the annual inspection! The wheel pants have been redone.
We were so lucky to have been given hospitality by Gustavo Passano. We feel like home, with the hangar in front. He is the man that makes the antarctic project possible. He has connected us with the argentinian airforce, and this is how we get our fuel to Marambio base.
We cannot express how much we appreciate all what he has done. As we said at the beginning, this trip is not possible without the help of all the great people. We are more than happy, although sometimes we are so tired that maybe we cannot show it.
Herewith we want to thank specially the FUERZA AEREA ARGENTINA (argentina airforce), GUSTAVO PASSANO, HECTOR COGO, ROBERTO FERRI, for their help at all times.
The only place we visited was the aeroclub of Chanar Ladeado. We met Beto again, Daniel and Ismael , which we met last year at Oshkosh.We had a beatiful day with a big asado, and enjoyed the company of his family and the whole club.
Saturday 9th January was an important date. We made our test flight with the skis. We are the first RV with skis.
We could not start from Gral. Rodriguez, since the runway is not even, so we flew to San Fernando, where we met Marcelo Porchetto, an aerobatic pilot, who did the filming of us in flight. We made one hour test flight. It was great, the RV flew as if there were no skis on, no extra trimming, only 8 to 10 knots slower.
We are now for the last preparation, buying fuel for Antarctica, sending the skis to Marambio, and sending our survival gear to Rio Gallegos airport.
The white continent gets nearer. It will be not an easy flight, and for this leg we need all the good luck of the world, specially with the weather.
There are dreams that are diffucult to realize, and we have this one : to be on the white continent, and we have fought to come to this point.
We have done survival training on sea, we have been sponsored by the best survival gear in the market, and the airplane is equipped with the the most realiable navigation equipment, but the most important of all was and is the help of so many people and specially the help of the argentininan Airforce, pilots as us with the same spirit.
Thanks to Brigadier Reta for his uncondicional help in this project and without forgetting an adventurer and incredible pilot and friend Gustavo Passano.
We offer this flight to the commemoration of the bicentenial independence of Argentina and to general aviation.
Hay suenos que son dificiles de realizar. Nosotros hemos tenido este, el pisar el continente blanco, y hemos luchado por llegar aqui.
Hemos empezado realizando curso de supervivencia en el mar, hemos sido esponsorizados por el mejor equipo de salvamento que existe en el mercado y el avion esta equipado con los mejores instrumentos de navegacion, pero los mas importante en todo este projecto es el apoyo que hemos recibido de innumerables personas, y en especial el tremendo apoyo de la Fuerza Aerea Argentina, pilotos como nosotros de espiritu. Gracias al Brigadier Reta por su incondicional apoyo en este proyecto y sin olvidar a un aventurero y piloto de pura cepa nuestro amigo Gustavo Passano.
Brindamos este vuelo a la conmemoracion del bicentenario de la independencia argentina y a la aviacion general.
GENERAL RODRIGUEZ - BUENOS AIRES - ARGENTINA
December 11th 2009
Here we are again in Argentina. Arrival 2nd December with airliner at Ezeiza airport.
After 5 months being separated from our little airplane "Fliegli", it seems somehow unreal to be again all united. Some days when I was in a low mood, I thought this day would never come, but now here we are and not alone....
Lots of moskitos are welcoming us every day,from the morning till the evening, not really to our pleasure!
Roberto Ferri was there to pick us up at the airport, and now that we are again "settled" ( when we are more than 3 days in a place we say : "lets go home") we started working on our RV7. The annual has to be done, the skis have to be fitted and some extra minor works, like doing again the wheel pants ( while taxiing we hit a big stone), filling up the holes on the propeller ( in the bush there is not always a paved runway!!!), and other minor works that has to be done, before the minor work gets into a big problem. We are in a great place, with lots of mechanics around, which mean lots of tools.
With Hector and Laura, which live at the airport we are always in company and have fun in the evenings making "asado" (BBQ) and drinking lots of beer and wine. As far as I can see, Detlef will NEVER loose weight... Not to forget about the "dulce de leche" ( a caramel similar marmelade) to which one gets adicted.
Some facts: Avgas 50 U$ cent per liter (flying is fun with this price!) Runway grass, 1600 m, no tower. Lots of other flying creatures, birds of all kinds and insects. Washing the airplane after each flight is a MUST. Great meat, wine and beer and lots of marvelous people.
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