Epic Flight in DG1001M
Congratulations to Jim Payne (US) and Juan Pagano (AR), in a DG-1001M owned by Dennis Tito (US), for their epic 2700 km (1678 mile) wave flight from Nahuel Huapi Argentina flying up and down the Andes on December 30th 2013. Below is a summary of the flight from Jim Payne and a link to his OLC posting.
By Jim Payne
Finally, the “Onda Grande” (big wave) that we have been waiting for.
The forecast was for increasingly strong winds aloft. The direction and profile was good. We launched into mostly cloudy skies. Went to foehn gap at the northern start point to make the first climb. Because of the forecast and good clouds to the north we headed to Volcan Domuyo as planned.
With good markers we worked north until abeam Copahue. There the wind speed significantly decreased and sky became totally blue so we turned.
Going south went well until we passed Bariloche. It got soft and the clouds ahead did not look so good so we turned back north.
The rest of the day we had excellent markers. The foehn gaps marked strong lift. The winds increased to as much as 76 knots. This made the transitions from abeam Zapala to Chapelco interesting due to the quartering headwind.
The second time we got abeam Copahue the Cordillia Del Viento had some rotor cu so we pressed on to Volcan Domuyo. Experience gained during Morgan and my flights from Chos Malal during the Argentine wave camp was very helpful during the transitions.
The last trip north was spent deciding how far we could go and still make it back to Nahuel Huapi with the quartering headwind. As fate would have it, the foehn gap filled in and the wave weakened when we were just over 400 km out so we turned.
When we checked in with Bariloche Tower about 120 km out they reported rain in the vicinity of Bariloche. We had good lift along the last segment of the trip home so we finished a little high in case the rain was a problem at Nahuel Huapi. Except for a few drops, the rain held off until we landed. The happy pilots and crew did get a little wet putting the DG away, but it didn’t dampen our spirits.
With two 15-hour flights in five days, Juan earned his membership in the “Iron Man Club.” Thanks for your tactful negotiations with ATC including the clearance to FL240.
Thanks, Dennis for sharing the DG, Cholo and everyone for the wave camp experiences, and Tago and Jackie for crewing.