Category Archives: Trip updates

Bonjour from Normandy

On Saturday, 4/16, Tom Haines (AOPA) and I visited the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial and walked along Omaha Beach where D-day, the  battle of Normandy took place.  For anyone who has ever thought about visiting Normandy, make it happen.  Here are a few pictures from our adventure.

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Engineers lead the way! Fifth Engineer Special Brigade monument at Omaha Beach.

This is the Fifth Engineer Special Brigade monument at Omaha Beach.  As a retired Army Officer and former Combat Engineer, this monument has special meaning.  Engineers lead the way!

Church at the American Cemetery at Colleville Sur Mer, overlooking Omaha Beach.
Church at the American Cemetery at Colleville Sur Mer, overlooking Omaha Beach.

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The 172-acre cemetery contains the graves of nearly 10,000 United States military dead, most of whom lost their lives in the D-day landings and ensuing operations.

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“THEN IT ALL CAME DOWN TO THIS BRIEF DAY OF BATTLE ON THE COAST OF NORMANDY, AND FOR SO MANY OF THEM IT ENDED.  FOR THE REST OF US, WHAT HAS BEEN SINCE HAS NOT BEEN THE SAME.” By CAPT Charles Cawthon, US Army, 29th Infantry Division.  L1000086

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Santa Maria to Normandy

 

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At times I almost felt like I was flying across Lake Michigan.

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Can you find 33G?  She’s pictured here North East  of  Santa Maria  and a few hundred miles off the coast of Portugal.  Click on image to enlarge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bangor to St John’s to Santa Maria

So finally an update. My apologies for the delayed posting but the amount of work that comes with flying a private airplane across the North Atlantic Ocean to four different countries is overwhelming. So far this trip has gone exceptionally well and mostly as planned. With strong turbulence between Canada and Greenland last week my flight support crew (Bill Compton and John Whitehead) and I decided that it would be best for me to head to the Azores and then up to France. Turned out the weather/winds were as forecasted and I enjoyed a strong tailwind and mostly clear skies the entire flight. Below are some of the pictures that I took along the way.

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The good folks at Maine Aero Services in Bangor, Maine, helped me perform a final check of the airplane before heading North to St John’s Newfoundland. Ben Doughty (shown here driving the tug) proved to be an excellent technician and I highly recommend this shop to anyone who needs work performed on their airplane. Great job guys!

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Flew between layers of clouds the entire flight to St John’s,  changing altitude several times to avoid icing.

IMG_4621 [490480]Departed from St John’s at sunrise to avoid landing in Santa Maria after dark.  While I love night flying,  the thought of ditching at night doesn’t excite me.

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Looks easy on paper! Click on image to enlarge.

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Not like the Mint (first class) service we now offer at JetBlue, but this stuff tasted great! If you’re wondering what’s in the large bag on the right, it’s a mix of cheese and caramel corn like you can get in Chicago.

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