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Maine to Danbury   St. John's to Maine   Santa Maria to St. John's

Live Satelite Image
Satellite data provided by The Living Earth Inc./Earth Imaging 1996, All Rights Reserved.

LEG 18: CYYT-KBGR, St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada to Bangor, Maine, USofA, 20 August 1998 3.8 hours

Landing in St. John’s was like several breaths of fresh air. First, a cold front was right over the airport on our landing, and we broke out on the ILS at about 800 feet after descending through light rain. On the ground, it was overcast with heavy mist. Cool and comfortable. Nice, friendly people at the airport, speaking North American English! Felt like we were home already.

Universal had notified Canadian Customs of our arrival, and the procedure in Canada (even at formal AOEs like St. John’s) is for the pilot to call 1-888-CANPASS on arrival. If they want to inspect you and the plane, they will tell you so then and send a customs officer over to you. In our case, they simply wanted an explanation for why we arrived an hour later than we had planned. We explained about the mechanical delay in the Azores, which, after a moment’s hesitation, seemed to satisfy them. Then we were free to secure the plane for parking, unload our bags and catch the courtesy van to the hotel.


"The Newfoundland coast, seen shortly after departure from St. John’s."

 

We stayed at the Delta Hotel downtown on an inlet overlooking the shipping yards. Beautiful, lush green scenery and rolling hills on the drive into town reminded us of how much we both miss the northeast Americas where we grew up. Neither California where we live nor most of the places we visited had this kind of lush northern greenery, and it was great to be back, even though everyone was complaining that this has been the driest summer in memory.

The hotel was modern and comfortable, with well-stocked minibars and television with dozens of channels—almost all in English. We were in hog heaven! Even the telephones dial like back home: just 1 + the area code and the number, or 0 + number for a credit card call. No more AT&T Direct, country codes and the like. Even though we still had over 3,000 more miles to get home, it felt like we were back.

We had a leisurely start the next day, taking off around 1100 LT for the 3.8 hour flight. We had a detailed flight plan on airways, with 15 or so waypoints, but after takeoff we were handed off to Gander Center, who promptly offered us direct Bangor. We promptly accepted. The weather was clear and gorgeous, and our route took us over some beautiful northern Canada countryside. Maybe only a 100 miles or so over water, over Prince Edward Island and several more beautiful sights. We had solid VHF radio coverage the entire way. No more HF radio, no more ferry tanks to fill: it was a cake walk from here on.


"Clouds over Prince Edward Island."

 

We did a visual approach into Bangor and landed uneventfully. Customs was available at the GA (general aviation) ramp, since Bangor is a major jumping-off point for pilots doing the North Atlantic crossing. One of the largest ferry tanking operations in the US is based at Bangor, so our tanks didn’t surprise them in the least. The customs officer drove out to the plane, and fortunately we had completed all our paperwork in advance: the Customs arrival forms and Private Aircraft Enforcement Form. We also already had a 1998 Customs decal, which we had bought when bringing the plane over from Munich in May.

US Customs requires that you arrive not one minute before, and no more than 15 minutes after, your estimated arrival time, and that you give them at least one hour’s notice prior to arrival. While Universal had advised US customs of our planned arrival time, which satisfied the prior notice requirement, we also called Flight Service en-route to give them a more precise update. We reached them about 15 minutes out from the US border, calling in via Princeton VOR.

The only minor—and temporary—sticking point in the entry formalities was when Customs asked if we were bringing in any food, fruit or vegetables. We explained that all we had was our "goodies" bag—a satchel filled before departure with various snacks to tide us over when we had no catering. All had been bought in the US. The Customs officer said he’d send the Agriculture guy over to see if it was OK. He took one look and said, "no problem."

Then we caught a lift over to the airline terminal to grab lunch in the coffee shop. Two large, juicy bacon burgers with fries were just what the doctor had ordered. Doug had three cartons of milk, thrilled to have good American-style milk again after all this international travel. We stuffed ourselves for a good bloat, then went back to the plane, fired up and took off for the short flight to Danbury, Connecticut, to visit Doug’s family.

 

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Satellite data provided by The Living Earth Inc./Earth Imaging 1996, All Rights Reserved.

Click near each end of the red arrows for progressive reports

 

Click the following Legs for Progressive Reports

Departure San Jose, CA
Leg1 San Jose, CA to Honolulu, HI
Leg2 Honolulu, HI to Christmas Island, Kiribati
Leg3 Christmas Island, Kiribati to Apia, Western Samoa
Leg4 Apia, Western Samoa to Nadi & Matei, Fiji
Leg5 Nadi & Matei, Fiji to Port Vila, Vanuatu
Leg6 Port Vila, Vanuatu to Cairns, Australia
Leg7 Cairns, Australia to Darwin, Australia
Leg8 Darwin, Australia to Singapore
Leg9 Singapore to Male, Maldives
Leg10 Male, Maldives to Muscat, Oman
Leg11 Muscat, Oman to Amman, Jordan
Leg12 Amman, Jordan to Tel Aviv, Israel
Leg13 Tel Aviv, Israel to Valletta, Malta
Leg14 Valletta, Malta to Gibraltar
Leg15 Gibraltar to Cascais, Portugal
Leg16 Cascais, Portugal to Santa Maria, Azores
Leg17 Santa Maria, Azores to St. John, Newfoundland, Canada
Leg18 St. John, Newfoundland, Canada to Bangor, ME
Leg19 Bangor, ME to Danbury, CT (to see Doug's folks)
Leg20 Danbury, CT to Meadville, PA (to see John's folks)
Leg21 Meadville, PA to Boulder, CO
Leg22 Boulder, CO to San Jose, CA
Epilogue Epilogue
  Current position of Ponceby.

Satellite data provided by The Living Earth
Inc./Earth Imaging 1996, All Rights Reserved

The E90 King Air "Ponceby"


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