Trip Home

After Oshkosh he returned to St Catharines to spend some time with his family and meet up with his girlfriend who came over on a commercial flight. The two of them flew around eastern Canada including stops in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. After reinstalling his ferry tank he headed back to Australia still going east. The weather for the return flight was not quite as good. Canadian law dictates that aircraft crossing the Atlantic (leaving Canadian Domestic Airspace and entering Oceanic Airspace) can only do so on an IFR flight plan. Since Ike does not have an IFR rating he was forced to fly 3 hours north to Greenland Domestic airspace to avoid entering Atlantic airspace directly after leaving Canada.

He stayed in Sandre Stompforde, Greenland for 2 days because of weather. The flight to Iceland was made at 11,000 feet to clear the ice caps where the outside air temperature was -30 degrees Celsius. Again Ike spent 3 days waiting for weather in Iceland before the weather broke for his trip to Wick, Scotland on the northern coast. From there he flew down Great Britain and over the English Channel to Guernsey Island just off the French coast. After his stop there he flew on to Sion, Switzerland then Bastia, France and then on to Greece before requiring special airway clearances for the middle east, India, and Indonesia.

From Greece Ike crossed the Mediterranean Sea and entered Egypt, flying down the Nile River to Luxor. He planned to continue on that day and spend the night in Muscat, Oman on the southeastern tip of the Arabian Pennisula. A 3 hour refueling stop in Luxor and bad weather with severe turbulence after crossing the Red Sea forced him to make an unscheduled stop in Saudi Arabia only part way to Oman. This part of the world is very desolate with very few airports. When he landed in Saudi Arabia he was welcomed by many airport staff who had never seen a light aircraft land at their airport before. They offered him a room in the military barracks at the airport. The next morning after Ike filed his flight plan they gave him food and fuel but refused to take his money. The flight into Oman was uneventful.

Leaving the capital of Oman, Muscat, Ike flew direct to Bombay, India across the Arabian Sea. This bypassed Iran and Pakistan. From there he flew to southeastern India landing in Madras, a port city on the Bay of Bengal. Weather kept him on the ground for 10 days while he waited for better conditions in the Bay of Bengal. His plan was to take an overwater route direct to Indonesia, bypassing much of southeast Asia. When Ike finally set off for Singapore he was told the weather should be good but half way across the Bay of Bengal cumulus build ups and lightning were encountered. He had been monitoring the commercial flights and radioed a Royal Brunei flight on the same airway for advice. They told him it should get better and twenty minutes later he was back in fine weather conditions.

Ike laid over in Singapore one day before heading for Australia. On this last major leg he was again forced down due to weather over southwestern Indonesia. Flying out of Jakarta across the eastern Indian Ocean was difficult due to scattered cumulus and rain but 1 hour out to sea the skies cleared. His last over-water leg into Port Hedland Australia was otherwise uneventful.

Ike returned to Perth on October 8th after a slight detour to Kalgoorlie to visit with friends again and celebrate. He said the trip took him 155 hours going east all the way around the world. The airplane finished the trip with a total time of 359 hours on it.

Now that the trip is complete Ike is back at work on a new job in Brazil. The airplane is still in Perth with the original builder. It is our understanding that he plans to sell it since his current project is going to keep him busy for the next couple of years. If anyone is interested they can contact Ike at which should reach him in Brazil.

Flying around the world alone in a homebuilt has been done a couple of times so there has been very little press on his flight. Without big corporate sponsors pushing the publicity he just did not get the attention. Of course he did not publicize the trip much as this was something that he was doing just for himself. We didn't even know he was coming. But that is what made his flight even more remarkable. Ike made the trip on a limited budget with very little help. The airplane was not built specifically for such a flight and the avionics and equipment are only what he could afford. Ike has only had his private pilot's license for 3 years. Flying around the world solo in a homebuilt is demanding of any pilot, let alone a low time VFR pilot. Ike has shown us the capability of the Mustang and that the whole world is within our range. In the next newsletter we will be printing an article by Rick Henry on his trip to the Bahamas. The Mustang is a great cross county (or cross continental) airplane that is an excellent vehicle for such weekend or weeks at a time trips, so get out and enjoy your airplanes!