Beginning of Stage 2. Preparing for the return flight (Tulare, to Palo Alto California)

Round the World Flight with HB-PON 2008/09
Rolf Martin FRIEDEN & Manfred Melloh
Thu 10 Nov 2005 13:11
37:27.6N 122:06.8W

With regular contacts by telephone and by e-mail with David Johnston, I was constantly kept updated of all the
work in process. As per the master
plan of this project, David informed me in early October that HB-PON
be ready for the 10-hour engine break-in, the second week of November.

Olivier, my co-pilot and I returned back to San Francisco early in the second week of November and then headed
straight down to Tulare to take delivery of my freshly inspected and upgraded Comanche with the shining overhauled
power plant and its new "Titan" cylinders.

Arriving At San Francisco International Airport, I discovered that
my Live Raft, which I had taken from home had been stolen from
my baggage.

What an unpleasant discovery!

With strict instructions from David Johnston on how to break-in the over­hauled engine for the next 10 hours,
Olivier and I spent the next few days
racing up and down the central valley at low altitude and different defined
power settings, whenever the autumn fog disappeared.

The journey back home


The flight back home would be to take the southern route. While repeat­edly watching the Weather channel and
CNN, it became more and more evident
to us, that the initially planned route of our return flight to Europe between
Tulare and straight to Florida was not at all feasible.

Deep winter conditions
with heavy snowfall everywhere had set­tled in across New Mexico and the whole state of Texas,
ranging down as far as northern Mexico.
As we needed to get going with our trip, there was no other
solution other than circumvent the bad weather under
all circumstances.