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So...I walk in the hangar and one of my bosses says...you up for flying the L4 to South America. Immediately I respond with a...are you f...ing nuts! Long story short 5 days later I am on my way from NB to Georgetown Guyana. I called up my Buddy in TO to see if he was on for a ferry flight and as usual he said...you bet! SO off we go on a Saturday morning right after a major snow storm had just passed through YSJ. WE head off to Bangor Maine to do customs. Oh yeah...we have one of the guys from South America in the back seat who is carrying a brief case with a very large amount of cash to pay for all the expenses and gas! So we land in the good old USA and Customs checks us over and says you guys are ok but your passenger is going to for a short interview with the boys in the office to check his...papers and other undisclosed things. He makes it back about 30 minutes later and we are told to get lost. They had asked me were we where going and when I said South America they could not believe me...all they said was good luck. We headed south and landed in Concord NH for fuel. Again being asked about where we were going and the usual...are you nuts! The wind was blowing a gale this morning from the south so we decide to head for Albany NY which was over a very good sized mountain range but shorter than going to NY city. WE land at the fbo in Albany and this place was awesome....very nice and very helpful. ATC in Albany was also great....We blast off out of there and are going to fly down the Hudson river until we got close to were they held the Woodstock rock concert which we flew right over....they have a large stone marker at the site. Continuing on we flew right over the Pocono  race track in upstate NY and they had a race going on when we buzzed overhead. It was getting pretty late and dark when we landed that evening in Harrisburg PA. They had a guy marshaled us right in tight next to an F18 for overnight parking and we grabbed a cab and headed off to one of the finest hotels that I have ever stayed in in downtown Harrisburg. We had a great supper with a very expensive bar bill and then off to bed in the biggest and best bed I think I have ever slept in...Ok it might have been the 7 hrs of flying that made it better but the view of the river and the city lights from the 12 floor were awesome....more to follow tomorrow!

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Ok...its day 2 and it is unbelievably cold for a day in November...-20C with a gale force south wind blowing. This is in PA not Manitoba! I am worried about getting the ship going as I would usually have plugged in the battery blanket at least. Anyways I struggle to pull my frozen helmet onto my frozen melon and hit the start button. She lights off and without too much trouble I get to idle speed. The engine oil pressure is pegged to the top which we know is normal for a no preheat start. A few minutes in and the pressure slowly drops into the green. Reminds me of a startup I did in Gilliam at -40C! We get the heater going and give ATC at Harrisburg a call. They give me clearance for a departure off the ramp and across the active runway which is parallel to the river that runs thru town. This river is quite wide....just what you want to do with a frozen stiff helicopter. We had just refuel on the wind chilled ramp and I can tell you it was friggin cold. The kid from South America thought he was gonna die! Well after flying in Manitoba for 20 years I thought we had ended up in Churchill. We are climbing out over the river which is steaming away trying to freeze when atc calls to warn us that that F18 was blasting off down the runway behind us and would be climbing in front of us very soon which he did and he gave us the wing waggle when he went past. Then we get a weather update...we are heading straight into a snow squall on our flight plan. How bad could a snow squall be....well 30 minutes later we are searching for an airport to park and wait for this SQUALL to blow through. I find an old strip on the gps and head on down and park at what looks like an old abandoned military base...a few old wooden hangars and a smaller building which looked like the local flying club. We are on the ground for about 10 minutes when a truck pulls up and a guy comes over. He runs the flying club here and opens up the building and cranks on the heat...thank god...we were almost frozen! Well a short 30 minute stop and we blast off along the edge of this snow storm and head south down the Shenandoah Valley heading to an airport called the Shenandoah Valley Park airport which is about an hour and a half down the road. The wind blowing in this valley was the worst ride I have ever flown in....it was brutal! We are getting pretty low on the go juice when we park on the ramp at the Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport. This place is home to the state police helicopter unit. There was at least 6 ships parked next to the gas stop...407's and L's and an old Huey. This airport again was very helpful and we file our next flight plan and head south east going to Myrtle Beach. A word of warning. If you every fly this route plan on staying at least at 3000 ft agl There are some towers down there that are over 1000 ft tall...lots of them! Well we land in Myrtle beach in what looks like a beautiful day. Sun is shining...and the temps...-10C! Unbelievable!!!! The fbo there is absolutely beautiful...lots of great people and food was great. We were going to stay the night there but still had lots of daylight left so we all said lets head to Savannah an get into some warmer weather. So we blast off down the coast...lots of sand...grass and alligators! Heading past Charleston there is a huge military base there with C5's doing go arounds. We get clearance to pass through their zone and continue down the Atlantic coast and finally land in Savannah for the night. My buddy Dennis...another Canadore grad...books us in to the Hilton...very nice! We had a great meal at a steak place...a few more wobbly pops and off to the rack...another 7 hr day. Oh and the dam temps were still cold! Oh well we will be in Florida tomorrow!

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G'Day!

DGP in a other message you talking about a rigid internal fuel tank installed in a LongRanger do you have photo of it? if yes it will be fine to have detail!

Guy

p.s.saw photo of XZU and ESS i remember when they was base in YQB

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Sorry...no pics of the fuel tank or any idea who made it. It had 2 boost pumps in it and it fit neatly on the rear seat cushions. Took up most of the back seat area in the L4. It was L shaped and rested on the rear floor as well.

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Well its day 3. We get up and have a very long breakfast on a huge deck overlooking the Savannah river. It will be a short day as we will be stopping in Tamiami Florida for the night while we get some work done on the ship.Its a half hour drive back out to the airport so we finally check out of the Hilton . The fbo at the airport was again very helpful.The airport in Savannah is pretty dam big to say the least but atc is user friendly...just tell them you are new to the area.Oh yeah....when we arrived the night before it was fairly warm but this morning we are wearing coats again and there is a wind chill again. Our South American is not impressed! We hit the sky and head south along the coast. As we near the Florida border it is getting very hot outside and inside. Temps have gone from 10C to 28C in like 5 minutes. Also I thought that the windows up front were fogging up but when hit a small rain shower it washed off....it was salt building up on the windows! As we pass by Jacksonville we are probably down about 50 feet off the beach in some real nasty weather an atc informs us that they have lost us on their radar. We give them a call to let them know our situation and they let us know that we should be breaking out of the scud very shortly which we did almost as he said that so up we go to 300 feet and he lets us know he has us again and that we cannot go much further south along the beach as we will be nearing NASA airspace so we head inland and are tracking inbound to the Orlando International. I let Dennis know we are running low on juice so we head for Deland Airport for some fuel. This airport is fairly small but has more traffic than I have ever seen. It is home to the Florida State Police and a number of helicopter companies that do fire fighting for Florida. I land next to the fbo and the Police hangar is right next door.    to be continued...got to go for a bit.

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Okay...continuing on from yesterday. I had met a few Florida State Police pilots while attending many HAI's especially the ones in Orlando so I thought I would head over and chat up the boys. Unfortunately non of the guys at this base had met me but they were interested in my destination. They all said what??? when I said South America. Followed by ...you must be nuts!!! Well I say so long and get a bunch of hand shakes and good lucks and we blast off heading for South Florida. We have enough fuel on now to not have to stop at Orlando. That airport is just crazy with traffic...try getting in touch with atc at that place....crazy!!! So as we head south I tell our passenger to get ready for some picture taking as we are going right over Disneyland! This guy was just picture nuts. He couldn't stop taking pics of everything especially of fast food joints! I will find out later why! So we buzz over Disney and he is flipping out. I mention to Dennis that we are going right over the convention center which we had attended the HAI the year before...cool! We are heading for the west side of Oppachokie Lake and will do about 50 miles though the everglade before arriving at Tamiami aiport which is the general aviation airport for Miami...it is extremely busy!....to be continued...got to go again! The pic is in Orlando at the HAI  with myself and Dennis.

P3070084.JPG

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So we are coming up on the edge of the Tamiami control zone and I am telling Dennis I can't wait to get out of this swampland when the tower tells us to vector southwest to let a 727 set up his approach. I am not a happy camper...we are heading back out into the everglades again! About 5 minutes and we are cleared into the airport. I am very glade to do a 180 turn...we land and the guys that have bought the L are putting on the wheels before the blades are even stopped. We hop out onto the boiling hot ramp and are told they have a hotel booked for us with a big pool ...can't wait...off we go to the hotel as they shove the ship into a hangar. 30 minutes later Dennis and I are in the pool with a cold brew in hand talking about the next leg of the trip...200 miles over water to Nassau!  

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Okay...so lets get on to another short story...its 1979...March I believe. I am working for AeroTrades Heli...wrenching on a Jetbox when I get a tap on the shoulder. I turn around and am staring at a playboy centerfold. This young lady who is in front of me wants to know who to talk to about renting a helicopter to fly the band Cheap Trick into the Winnipeg Stadium for a concert on the weekend. Long story short we are sticking huge stickers on the side of the chopper that read Dream Police. Never heard of it...unfortunately I did not get the nod to do the trip...CP got that one...unreal! I had never heard of the band until that day! 

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