Dot and Jim are pleased to announce that Pooleys have offered support with equipment required in the plane for their flight. This is fantastic offer which will help to make the flight more comfortable and safe.
Thanks to everyone at Pooleys… check out their products at www.pooleys.com.
Latest news from Dot and Jim. May 2019
Where has all the year gone? It is hard to believe it is already May and on a very cold Bank Holiday Monday what better than to let all our supporters have some news of our project to fly around the world. Maybe you have been checking on the website or social media for the latest posts and already know some of this news.
The communications company Iridium had offered us support and we met Dan Mercer the Vice President and General Manager for Europe, Middle East, Africa and Russia. We had a display at the recent General Aviation Day held at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford and Dan came along to bring all the equipment to enable us to stay connected. During the flight everyone will be able to click on a link that connects to the Iridium tracker in the plane and will show our position. This will also be used to monitor our progress and send out messages if an issue is detected. The satellite telephone can connect everywhere and will allow us to make contact anywhere, anytime and is a very useful addition to our safety equipment.
By the way did you see the photos of Percy in the cockpit of Concorde? Percy had privilege access to many of the planes in the museum.. he is a lucky bird. Dot was able to go along with Percy and made the most of the opportunities.
Percy has been busy recently flying off to some scenic parts of the country including the Ki elder Forest where he helped Jim and Dot with the start of a Navigation rally for adventure bikes. The participants all thought it was so funny to have a pigeon on the start and finish line. Next he went down to Walters Arena near Neath in South Wales where Jim and Dot were supporting their granddaughter Chloe and her co-driver Tom in the first round of the British Cross Country Championship. This weekend he has gone off into the wilds of Staffordshire to check out some of the Iridium equipment… he is such a busy bird. Hopefully he has been tweeting about all these visits and you can follow him @percythepigeon3 on twitter. ( sorry but Jim and Dot do not tweet).
With regard to the route of the flight we have made significant progress and will now include a stopover at Plovdiv in Bulgaria , the European City of Culture for 2019.Then we will fly along the Black Sea coast of Turkey and overfly Armenia into Azerbhjan to visit Baku, the lowest Capital City. Dot and Jim visited La Paz in Bolivia which is the highest Capital city and will be interested to see the differences between the two places. After crossing the Caspian Sea and landing in Turkmenistan the route will follow the coast into Kazakstan and cross that vast country into Mongolia.
Jim had planned the route to include China but after a lot of frustration and lack of information about fuel and landing fees for a small non-commercial plane he has taken the decision to avoid China. So now the route will go from Mongolia into Russia at Irkutsk then turn eastward to the Pacific Coast of Eastern Russia. Flying north following this coastline until the crossing over to Alaska. The next area to cause concern will be northern Quebec in Canada where the ice sometimes does not melt until mid July. Overflying islands whose only habitants are polar bears will be exciting and also navigating through the Cumberland Sound where the cliffs can reach 4000feet will be a challenge. Greenland next, then Iceland where we hope the unpronounceable volcano does not erupt again as we fly over to Scotland and back to Liverpool.
The next news update should contain the take off date, information about TV interviews and look out for photos of the plane with the names and logos of all our supporters.
Once again we thank each and everyone of you for the continued support and we will continue to raise funds for the Alzheimer’s Society to support families and sufferers of dementia.
At the recent General Aviation Safety Day held at the IWM Duxford Dot and Jim met with Dan Mercer from Iridium. Dan is the Vice President and General Manager for Europe, Middle East, Africa and Russia and based at Stansted. He brought with him the equipment that Iridium are providing to make sure that Dot and Jim will be connected wherever they are on their fund raising flight around the world. An amazing package of the latest high tech products including a satellite phone with leads and spare batteries. This will be their last line of communication in times of distress… hopefully not needed.
The Iridium Go! will provide Global voice calling and text messaging for a smartphone which will be very useful to call ahead for clearances and information. The final product is the Rock Seven-Rock Air device to enable truly global tracking. Specially designed for use on the dashboard of light aircraft this is a messaging device that will relay information and the exact location of the aircraft to ground crew and Dot and Jim now feel a lot happier about flying into the blue yonder!
There will be an app to download so that supporters can follow the flight and find out where Dot and Jim are at any time night or day!
The photos show Dan Mercer chatting with Dot and Jim and showing Jim how to use some of the items.
Dot and Jim want to thank Dan and everyone at Iridium for the generous support for this charity flight and the Iridium logo will be displayed on both doors of the aircraft.
For more information about these amazing products click on www.Iridium.com and find out how you can stay connected everywhere!
Dot and Jim are busy working on the details of the flight route and where and when fuel is available. Not an easy task as some of the more remote airfields are very basic and often pilots of small planes have to visit the local garage to obtain fuel. So it is very important that all the places where Dot and Jim plan to land have suitable fuel available.
Then one of their supporters who has arranged for the name of a relative to be on the plane sent a photo that shows how the refuelling can be sorted!
Thanks Andy, but we are not sure that the procedure would be possible!
Percy travelled north with Jim and Dot to the Brown Rigg Lodges where the rally HQ was based at Bellingham close by Hadrian’s Wall and the Kielder Forest.
He was soon saying hello to the bikers at signing on and early on Saturday morning he was in charge of the clock as the riders set off on a 250km navigation excersise.
Percy was so happy to meet John Carey as the Carey Foundation are one of the sponsors of the flight with their logo on the tail fin of the aeroplane. He met John at the finish and at the start on Sunday when riders headed off once again into the glorious countryside.
Percy also met a new friend, this teddy bear had been on the whole route and was surprised when Percy landed on the seat of the bike. We are sure that Percy told him about the flight he is about to take. Maybe he will be joined by some bears.
The riders were happy to complete the two day course around the forest and lake and Jim and Dot were on hand at the start and finish each day.
Percy is off again next weekend down to South Wales.. he is a busy bird!
Percy has packed his case and is all ready to visit the Kielder Forest for the big bike navigation rally organised by RallyMoto. Hopefully the weather will be kind so Percy can explore and meet some new people.
Dot and Jim visited Turweston Aerodrome nr. Brackley to hear a talk arranged by the Vintage Aero Club. They enjoyed a coffee in the lovely café below the tower while watching the aircraft taking off.
Then it was time to visit the headquarters of the LAA ( Light Aircraft Association) where the talk was being held.
Welcomed by Ruth and Steve all the visitors were soon enjoying some lively adventures. First we marvelled at photographs taken in the magnificent scenery in the Southern Alps by a couple on a flying holiday in New Zealand. Their experiences brought back many happy memories for Dot and Jim of their time down under dirt biking and visiting all the aircraft museums.
Then Stephen Slater amazed us with his tales from the Formula Air Races in Thailand and China. The brave pilots fly very small specially designed aircraft that looked no bigger than some model planes at high speeds around pylons. The mass starts and wing tip to wing tip flying was very exciting and Stephen was able to give everyone an insight into all the issues with these highly tuned engines.
Next Colin Hales explained how he had bought a set of plans, a load of wood from B&Q and built two aeroplanes. One he flew down to Australia and the other he is flying around the world. Unfortunately he crashed landed on a golf course in Japan and the plane is awaiting shipment back to be repaired. So more trips to the DIY store before he can resume his journey. He had taken some teddy bears along for the ride just as Dot and Jim had done in their old bus.
Then Dot was invited to tell the audience about the trip that she and Jim will be undertaking and Dot took the opportunity to introduce Percy the pigeon to the bears!
It was a very interesting event and Jim realised how much help will be available from associations and fellow pilots as they fly around the world.
Dot and Jim met up with a film crew from Lion Eyes at the LAC flying School at City Airport, Barton, Manchester to do some preliminary filming for the documentary about their flight around the world. Once again the wind was too strong for any flying but the simulator had been booked so it was all systems go and the crew got busy setting up the cameras, lights and microphones.
With Jim at the controls and Dot as the navigator they took off for a flight to Blackpool, though no fish and chips on this virtual visit, and returned to Barton. Percy the pigeon went along as well and enjoyed the experience.
Afterwards up in the Veterans Garage café Dot and Jim enjoyed lunch while the cameraman set things up for an interview. Jim was surprised to find a motorbike on display and just had to try it for size and have a twist of the throttle!
Both Dot and Jim found it a bit strange to be sitting on the settee while the director asked questions and the people in the bar listened in astonishment as they chatted about some of their experiences together and plans for their latest adventure. Thanks to all the crew members for their hard work and hopefully they have enough content to make an interesting video.
Percy has been looking forward to taking his first flight in the cockpit with Jim. However the weather has been paying games and the last three flights have been cancelled due to poor visibility, high crosswinds, rain and low cloud.
Now Percy is beginning to understand how it will be on our flight around the world and why the schedule may change. There could be even more reasons than the weather to prevent us keeping to our proposed timetable!
Hopefully Percy may get to fly soon so he can sample the joys of travelling in a small aeroplane!
Watch this space for more news of Percy’s maiden flight!