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Fly around the world in a Piper Meridian.
The final posting. We landed at Palwaukee at 10AM on Saturday to a welcoming of family and friends. After two nights of 12 hour sleeps, starting to come back to a feeling of normality.
Like so many things in life, where an event is planned over many years, it seems somewhat strange when it is over. However, I was filling in my logbook this morning and as I entered each airport identifier it brought back many recollections of people and places. We flew 22,000 miles over 100 hours of flight. We saw the mountains and glaciers of Greenland, the plains of Europe, the Greek isles, the Nile, the Deserts of Saudi Arabia, the mountains of Pakistan, the vast reaches of India, the Jungles of Thailand/Vietnam, the bustle of Hong Kong harbor, the precision and order of Taiwan and japan, the remoteness of eastern Russia, the stark beauty of the Aleutians and mainland Alaska, and finally, bot not least, the familiar geometric patterns of Midwest farmland.
Although all the sights were always impressive, the people were even more so. At each and every stop, people greeted and welcomed us to their country. When we needed help, it was always forthcoming. Even during the times of confusion over flight plans, we never felt threatened or under pressure to depart. When in the air, our contact with air traffic controllers was always helpful and professional, even when I had to ask for a repeat of instructions.
A special thanks goes to our good friends at skyplan who were with us 24 hours a day giving advice and assistance. I could not imagine doing a trip of this type without their participation. Similarly, without the assistance of the Cohen Group, and the US Coast Guard, especially those men on Attu Island, I fear Q would still be on the other side of the Pacific.
Speaking of Q, I will take her this afternoon in for a periodic spa (the usual “an engine powerwash, new filters, sump the tanks, paint the nails, etc.”). She did welland john and I want to again thank piper to withstand the rigors of this trip.>
On returning Saturday, I called my father to let him know of our return. He asked, “If had known what I now know, whether I would have done this?” Since I did return unscathed, it is easy to say yes, but in reality, the incredible mental tension involved in trying to cross the north pacific was not an experience I would want to repeat. Nevertheless, I do have a sense of accomplishment. John and I have done something few people have ever done: circumnavigate the world in a single engine airplane. I am told this is the first time ever a Piper Meridian has ever made such a flight.
Thanks again for following my story. My best to each of you - Mike
Thanks to Henry at TransAsia Airways for posting this video of us taxiing in Taipei!