Monday, March 19, 2012

The long return of HW-001, Part 1, PHNL - PMDY

So, jumping into an Airplane to get as passenger to Honolulu. There waits HW-001 to start the great Adventure, a trip over 8000 nm, towards Vienna LOWW.

The weather in Honolulu is not so good.

One can see, its raining cats and dogs.
Here I am on the taxiway taxiing to the runway 06. From there I will start to the first part of my big journey to Vienna. The first part is going from Honolulu PHNL to the Midway-Islands (PMDY). That are 1138 nm, which should make no problems concerning the fuel.

Takeoff at 09:32 UTC

Retract the landing gear, climb to 5000ft, there switch off the landing lights and the taxi lights. Then couple the autopilot with the GPS and with a sharp turn it goes in direction west. Then climbing to FL180.

There I came from the rainy clouds up into the sun.
After 30 minutes I flew over Kaua'i, the last land for the next four hours.

After overflying the island, I climb to FL280 and then I am flying above pretty cumulus clouds.

at eleven o'clock the weather wents pretty good

The action is now not really exciting, because minute after minute I have always the same views. Meanwhile I know that I have no fuel problems, so I can fly relatively relaxed.

The moon goes with me, on the sea one can see drowned atolls, the bright coloured patches. Some 150 nm before the Midways, there is again a convective cloud layer, this makes the approach not so easy.

Here we have only 104 nm, that means HW-001 has mastered more than 1000 nm without problems.
Slowly I begin to descend, the islands are not to see.
At 8000 ft I am in the clouds....

Now again  I can switch on the lights, because I am under 10000 ft, and later in the hecticness of the landing it can occur, that I forget the lights.
Again down, nothing in sight ?!
But, there ! At 2600 ft I can see below the clouds......

So, now it will be exciting! There are two islands and on both islands are runways, but only one runway is long enough that I can start to the next flight. So I have to fly a curve in order to inspect the runways on both islands.

Ah, there is the right runway, the 06/24. The AWOS (automatic weather observing system) says wind from 170 degrees with 20 knots, so the 24 is my runway. The runways at the other isle are rather short, I could there land, but with the heavy refueled airplane I need a long runway for takeoff.
Now I fly a nice round and into the final.....

Okay, the nice round was a pear, but never mind! I have 24% fuel in the tanks, so I made a little sight seeing tour. To see was there nothing .... ;-)
At the final I have a surprise:  trees in the glide slope!
So I have to make the approach something higher and after the tree tumble down  and set a very smooth touch down.

A very very smooth touch down (the smoothest I have ever made).
Interesting is, that the taxiway in the picture in fact a runway is, but there is not much traffic, as one can see.

Here we are, the HW-001 and I. At the Midways. In the middle of the pacific ocean.
And all bars closed... And nobody here....
The next flight goes over 1400 nm to Adak Island PADK. An isle in the Aleutian Archipel, relatively high in the north.

to be continued...


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