Rolf Frieden shares here his emotions:

Round the World Flight with HB-PON 2008/09
Rolf Martin FRIEDEN & Manfred Melloh
Mon 26 Dec 2005 18:03

46:24.4N 006:15.5E

Rolf Frieden shares here his emotions:

What were the strongest moments during this journey?

On the way from Europe to the US, while crossing the Ice Cap in Greenland- and on the way to Iqualuit
on Baffin Island in Northern Canada, we unexpectedly picked up non forecasted heavy icing twice!
On the return flight, the magnificent sights of the Bahaman Islands in turquoise waters, the warm French style
welcome in French Guyana and the visit of the European Spaceport at Kourou, the launching site of the
Space Program “Ariane”.
The preparation of, and the 13 hour long crossing of the South Atlantic with its unforgettable moments at sunrise-,
while crossing the Inter Tropical Conversion Zone ITCZ and the tense moments, while dealing with serious
electrical problems on board.

And the main difficulties?

The language barriers, the ignorance of some local customs, the administrative nightmares to obtain special
visas, entry- and flight permissions for our Swiss registered Comanche for the USA.
In Brazil it took us as an example almost two hours to cash 100US$, and it took us another three hours to go
through the administrative hurdles, to temporary import our aircraft into this country.

For those long over the water flights, what special safety equipment did you carry?

Of course, we had to plan for-, and carry along quite a long list of items, to make this trip as safe as possible.
The following were the main safety items: Thermo Survival Suits & Swimming Jackets,a four-man
Survival Raft (Dinghy), a Survival Gear Kit with containing fishing equipment, signaling gear, lamps
and torches, reflecting blankets, food and water.
Further we carried a portable water desalination unit, a handheld ELT, two extra handheld Garmin GPS,
a portable Nav/Com Transceiver and a short wave Transceiver for long-range communication.

Have you met extraordinary people?

Yes, Cindy and Trace Blakely which hosted and spoiled me on my way over to California at their lovely lakeside
home in Fond du Lac.
In November they both flew their Twin Comanche N1234 from their home in Michigan to Hawks Nest on Cat Island
 in the Bahamas to join up with us on our way back to Europe! And then at Punta Cana in the Domenican Republic,
Rosana, the FBO manageress and her ground crew, which literally unrolled their red carpet from the side of HB-PON
to their luxurious terminal building for us!  

What were the reactions of the people at the Airports-, Met offices etc?

In general, we were well received everywhere. Pilots and ground staff showed a lot of interest and much curiosity
of where we came from- and where we were going.


Finally, what do you take away from this adventure?

First of all, lots of strong emotions!
My co pilot Olivier and I have shared many strong moments during this round trip across 4 continents. I would then
say, the humanity, the face of nature. Finally, the diversity of our planet: the different cultures, the languages, and
the philosophies of life………….


You only live once, enjoy the best moments in life!..................