58. St John's New Found land Canada (CYYT) to Santa Maria Azores (LPAZ) 8.07.2009 - 1375 NM - 10:08Hrs.

Round the World Flight with HB-PON 2008/09
Rolf Martin FRIEDEN & Manfred Melloh
Wed 8 Jul 2009 20:59

58. St John's New Found land Canada (CYYT) to Santa Maria Azores (LPAZ) 8.07.2009 - 1375 NM - 10:08Hrs.

Thursday 09 July 2009

“36:58.3N  025:10.3W"

Yesterday Tuesday was a day for all our preparations for the flight across
to Santa Maria on the Azores Island chain some 1'400 Nautical miles away,
in the middle of the North Atlantic.
Early in the morning, when we got up and opened the curtains of our hotel
rooms, the sight was just horrible. What we saw was strong rain fall, mist and virtually little
visibility to the building next door.

We took the time, to research all the useful weather sites on the Internet,
we have been consulting regularly on out Round the World flight so far.
Several phone calls to Santa Maria were made, to enquire about AVGAS
availability, just to be absolutely on the safe side-, customs, hotel
accommodations and the general weather situation on the island.

To conclude our day of preparing our next leg, we went to the airport, to
refuel HB-PON, check our Immersion Suits, we will have to wear on this
part of the Atlantic Crossing, to have at least a
slight chance of survival, in case of a remotely possible ditching in this freezing
water of actually  4 to5degrees Centigrade.
All the checks on the airplane had been done, checked out our Short Wave
Transceiver, we filed our flight plan for a early departure today at 06:00.

Late in the afternoon, as we have finished everything we wanted to do at the 
airport, the weather improved significantly and then we hired a taxi for a
sightseeing tour into St. John's down town,
the harbor area, the most easterly point of the North American continent,
Cape Spear, and the Signal Hill from which we had a perfect unobstructed
view to St. John's, the harbor, where two Australian Frigates Warships,
the HMAS "Sydney" and the HMS "Ballerat" were moored on their good
will visit in New Found land.
We learned from our knowledgeable driver and guide, that from Signal Hill,
Marconi once sent the first radio signals into the air.......

An early wakeup call today at 04:00 AM, departure from St. John's was
scheduled for 06:00AM and we left the ground at 06:30.
Heading out to sea and a climb to 11'000 feet, we were then cruising along
on top of a solid cloud layer all the way for 7 hours and 15 Minutes, until
we spotted through cloud breaks the first Island Flores of the Azores in the
 north east of that chain.

Landing at the very large, but deserted airport of Santa Maria was after
9 hours and 22 Minutes.
Tomorrow Thursday a tour around this island will be on the agenda to learn
more about this place.

Next leg tomorrow Friday will be from here directly to Tanger Morocco
North Africa and on to Gibraltar.

We expect to be back  in Switzerland at La Cote (LSGP) airfield, the home
base of Comanche HB-PON and the starting point of our Round The World
Flight this coming Sunday, the 12th of July around 17:00.

Here some impressions:


On our way to St. John's (Newfoundland)

Harbor of St. John's

Before touch down at CYYT (St. John's)

Manfred trays the Immersion Suit

The most easterly point of the North American Continent "Cape Spear"

A WWII fortification at Cape Spear


"Pity Harbor"

The Australian HMAS "Ballerat"

The Australian HMAS "Sydney"

On Signal Hill

Directions and Distances from St. John's

First land in sight after 7+ hours of flight. The Island of Flores

Island and its Volcano Pico

On Finals runway 18 at Santa Maria