I am happy to let you know that my son and me will be heading eastbound this week along the Blue Spruce Routes from Europe to Oshkosh, USA !
We will undertake a fantastic trip in our vintage Piper Seneca twin-engine airplane. We plan to fly from Europe to the world-famous EAA Airventure fly-in in Oshkosh, USA via Scotland, Iceland, Greenland, North Canada, and back in 10-12 days. In Oshkosh, where thousands of airplane lovers gather every year they will soak in the atmosphere, watch the airshow, visit vendors and camp under the wing of their own airplane.
We will encounter the adventure of flying the good old Blue Spruce routes that date back from WW2, flying routes that will bring them over oceans, glaciers, icebergs and forests.
It’s been a long dream of mine and many pilots to fly transatlantic and to visit the birthplace of aviation with my own machine and own means … and this year all gets together: no COVID, the aircraft is in great shape, I am very current, we blocked time … it’s is just the right time !
So the plan is to fly 4 days from Kortrijk, Belgium to Oshkosh, WI, USA in order to arrive at the world famous EAA Airventure Fly-in, and camp there. After a couple of days, we return home to Europe via a slightly different route.
The airplane will be our 1981 Piper Seneca III with registration N626JG. This twin engined piston aircraft is equipped with turbos, intercoolers, oxygen and the latest navigation systems.
Onwards routing is planned as follows. Note that the days are getting longer when westbound, but headwind is to be expected.
- Day 1: EBKT (Kortrijk, Belgium) – EGPC (Wick, Schotland) – BIRK (Reykjavik, Iceland) – BGKK (Kulusuk, Greenland), and overnight there
- Day 2: BGKK (Kulusuk, Greenland) – BGJN (Ilulissat, Greenland) – CYFB (Iqaluit, Canada), and overnight there
- Day 3: CYFB (Iqualuit, Canada) – CYVP (Kuujjuaq, Canada) – CYKL (Shefferville, Canada) – KOGS (Ogdensburg, NY, USA) – KTVC (Traverse City, MI, USA) and overnight there
- Day 4: KTVC (Traverse City, MI, USA) – KOSH (Oshkosh, WI, USA) and camp there
Depending of how things run with the flights, we will have four days of visiting the fly-in. We already have some friends to meet up with … so this should be fun (if we get there) !
Return routing is planned like this. Note that days are getting shorter eastbound but we can expect tailwinds:
- Day 8: KOSH (Oshkosh, WI, USA) – KIAG (Niagara, NY, USA) – CYQB (Quebec City, Canada) and overnight in this historic city
- Day 9: CYQB (Quebec City, Canada) – CYYR (Goose Bay, Canada) – BGBW (Narsarsuaq, Greenland) and sleep there
- Day 10: BGBW (Narsarsuaq, Greenland) – BIRK (Reykjavik, Iceland) – EKVG (Vagar, Faroer Islands) and sleep there
- Day 11: EKVG (Vagar, Faroer Islands) – EGPC (Wick, Schotland) – EBKT (Kortrijk, Belgium)
We will try to soak in as much as possible the local vibes where we land to refuel, eat and do paperwork. Ilulissat in Greenland for instance is supposed to be a highlight as it is known as the birthplace of icebergs. A stop at Niagara Falls sounds also like a good idea, and the Faroer is a must they say.
Obviously, this trip took a tonload of preparation after working hours over the last eight months. Preparation entailed preparing for the fly-in itself, preparing the aircraft, the various emergency gear, the routing, the airports along the way, the NAT reglementation, SATVOICE, checking for AVGAS fuel, visa, paperwork, insurance, training, camping gear, etc. I will report later on the precise preparation.
During the trip, we will switch on our Garmin InReach tracker that will allow you to follow us, and even text us. When we see your message, we can reply. This is how you can track us: https://share.garmin.com/ABEAM from 20/7/2023 onwards. We will of course post pictures on our social media, and capture video of our trip for later editing.
For now … we need to check the weather and hope for a feasible plan. We remain flexible … and if we don’t get there for any reason, it’s not a problem .. at least we tried !
We will keep you posted here ! All questions and remarks welcome.