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Monday, July 15, 2013
I flew to Houston, Texas for a couple days last month to meet in person with the team at BaseOps. It was sure nice to meet face-to-face with the people who will be preparing my flight plans and weather briefings, and it is quite comforting to think that I may actually “know” the person I may be speaking to when I’m half-way around the world, multiple time zones away in case of any difficulties. I sat down with the Vice President of BaseOps, Michael Ouellette, as well as a team of Meterologists and Flight Planners and reviewed each and every leg of the trip. By the time I left, I felt very good with the route. Of course, even with the best laid plans, we are still finding the need to fine tune and tweak the schedule almost weekly. 

The latest changes have come as a result of the coup in Egypt. With likely ongoing civil unrest during the period of my flight, we decided it would be best to avoid stopping in Luxor (and Egypt altogether for that matter). I guess the Pyramids will have to wait. Instead we are looking at some alternates that will actually shorten the flying distance through the Middle East. 

I have also decided to eliminate the stop to Christmas Island in Australia, because they have movement fees of up to $900/flight depending on the time you arrive. It’s still cheaper than what I will have to pay in Nagoya (which we are still trying to determine at this stage). I will also be cutting out my stop to Perth and flying from Bali, Indonesia into Broome, Australia and then Yulara. Yulara is the home of the largest monolith in the world, Ayers Rock. Then on to Latrobe Valley Airport in the state of Victoria, which is the place where I did my initial flight training 45 years ago.

Today, I’ve test flown N50ET after it’s final 100/200/1year inspections prior to my departure. My plan is to fly N50ET to Green Bay for the MU-2 fly-in and back to Aiken just to put 2 legs on it following maintenance. I look forward to seeing everyone up at Jet Air.