303 just arrived from England to find a new home in the USA

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  • #83822
    rwelsh
    Participant

      Kelly Bruun bought a 303 in England and just got back from the trip across the north Atlantic. It sounds like quite a trip with bad weather all the way back to Oregon; sometimes at FL220 to top the weather. You can check out the USA portion at Flight Aware, N700KB.

      #96290

      Dick,

      Is there a blog or something that you got the details of the trip from?

      Andrew

      #96299
      rwelsh
      Participant

        Andrew, his SPOT did not work because of some snag with GOOGLE Earth. This is what he sent me after arriving home.

        Hello all,

        I have returned with the “little plane that could” all the way from London, England.

        It does not go fast and not real high but the plane was built for a purpose and we were able to purchase it at a huge discount to use as our Northwest Commuter. The difficult purchase process of a foreign registered aircraft is another story in itself.

        The Cessna T303 is very economical, can land on very short unimproved runways and yet still seats 6 comfortably through all kinds of weather.

        The airplane performed flawlessly but it is short on range so our legs had to be planned carefully with the maximum no wind long range cruise at only 1,000 miles most legs were about 700 miles or so with reserves.

        There were some moments that weather was a concern, especially crossing the Ice Cap when we needed to climb to 20,000 feet to stay above most and needed to divert to our west coast alternate as our first destination fogged in after our departure from Iceland. The worse weather was Tuesday and Wednesday crossing the northern USA where we cruised at 21,000 feet and dodged thunderstorms and needed to divert almost to California.

        Crossing all the water was a little nerve racking in that it was an unknown aircraft but thoroughly checked out in advance by Larry Schmidlin our Airframe mechanic who I sent over a week before my arrival. Our standing joke was that when we were over the water the motors were in “auto rough” mode until we were over land again where they smoothed out.

        There are lots of idiosyncrasies and restrictions flying a private aircraft in Europe and it really makes me appreciate what we have here in America.

        There were occasions that we only could get Aviation Fuel out of 55 gallon drums and if we needed less then a full barrel we purchased the whole drum anyway. Fuel costs ranged up north from $11.50 to $25.00 per gallon as it has to be brought in once a year when the ice is out of the harbor, usually in September.

        When finally back into Canada we landed in a very remote location in a village call Mosinee that has unpaved streets, only rail and aircraft access, and without notice their fuel truck was out of order so it required some ingenuity to sort that out before we could move on.

        All and all it was a great trip except for riding on United 954 to London from San Fansisco as it was a packed sardine can that was easily the most miserable and painful airline experience ever. The airlines have really ruined the travel experience.

        Nice to be back in Portland.

        Kelly

        #96304

        That’s a neat story. I’ve wanted to do the North Atlantic trip at some point – mom has an apartment in France and it would be a fun experience. Glad you made it safely.

        #96312

        Congratulations! G-MILO, yes?? Needs engines, but a really nice plane that one. way heavy, I could never figure out why it was so much heavier than it should be. Takes a passenger out of an already low payload.

        #96315

        Thanks Dick, great read.

        Andrew

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