At around 2:45 pm local time I was ready to depart towards Moscow (no I did not land on the Red Square). I have made slight change in my flight plan and decided to take a refueling stop in Helsinki. Although, that increased the overall distance, I figured it was safer that way (Helsinki being almost exactly half way). Sure I can fly 900+ miles without refueling, but just barely. There are several upcoming flights that are longer than 900 miles, and in most cases there aren't any airports on the way at which I can refuel. I guess I will have to be really careful and conserve fuel, to avoid having to land on a remote road somewhere. I wonder if they have 1-800-AAA-HELP in Russia? "AAA operator, how can I help you?" "Hi, I'm on the country road 309, some 400 miles north of nowhere, towards the middle. Can you send someone with about 50 gallons of AvGas?" "Sure, Bob's towing service will be there in 10 minutes". Yeah right.
As I was approaching Helsinki airport the weather started to get worse, and my plane was bouncing all over the place like a drunken mosquito. I was cleared for the approach to 4R which was quite convenient (as my heading was 050). I did not use the ILS even though it was available as I was not sure how I would be able to revert to the Helsinki – Moscow leg that was programmed into my GPS. I guess I should figure those things out at some point. It was interesting that while my thermometer was showing 52 degrees F outside there was a lot of snow on the ground. I checked with Ari and he told me that indeed, there is no snow in Helsinki now, so we decided it was yet another bug (or just a bad guess) in the program. Anyway, I found the refueling station, topped off my tanks, requested clearance and few minutes later I was back at 4R waiting in line for a takeoff.
From Helsinki to Moscow, I was following the heading of 115 at the altitude of 6,500 ft. enjoying 20 mph tail wind. That part of the trip was really not very scenic, so I did not take many pictures.
That is all for now. I will try hard to fly more often and maybe even return back to Salt Lake City this year.
Ready for takeoff, runway 30
Final approach to Helsinki airport in a thundrerstorm
On the ground after a very bumpy ride
Refueling at the Helsinki (Vantaa) airport
Following the big guy...
Approaching the coast of Estonia
Final approach to Moscow airport
Done for the day
List of countries: