TLC for Maggie: Bangor to NYC

Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Harrison, New York, United States
The FBO is already emailing for the keys to Maggie by the time we're at breakfast in the morning. Once we get to Maine Aero, we find Ray, their GM, ready to get to work on her. We get the oil changed and more importantly the fuel pumps for "Big Bertha", our TurtlePac ferry tank, fixed. The German repair shop, Piloten-Service Rieger, was great, but with the pumps they made one simple mistake. Both of their pumps blew because they were running at 12v instead of Maggie's 24v. Unlike car cigarette lighters, Maggie runs at 24v.

Suffice it to say, the guys at Maine Aero have done this before . I'd recommend them to anyone. And Ray's the man. We took the platform Rieger custom built for Big Bertha and put some new pumps on it, tested the tank, and all worked great. We're super relieved to have this issue resolved and tested, as without Big Bertha in the back seat pumping fuel into the right tank we're never going to make it over the Pacific.

What we thought would be just a morning job took until Maine Aero closed at 4pm. Initially we had planned to fly from Bangor over NYC and on to Chartlottesville, VA to visit Anneke (my sister), but with the long time it took that plan was unfortunately scrapped. We opted just to go the 2 hours to Westchester, north of New York City.

The weather was hazy but good, so we took off VFR. after Johannes' perfect landing in Bangor he was in the left seat again. The flight to KHPN was uneventful until we neared the city. The radio chatter was impressive and required lots of attention . Prior to when I started flight training though I love manning the radios, so it was a fun challenge.

Million Air is the FBO at Westchester and they provide typical US general aviation service. For what we encountered so far on the trip though, and from what you get used to in Europe, it seems world-class. Friendly service, free drinks, comfortable pilot lounge... it's all there. We rent a car so we can drive into and through Manhattan that evening.

We continue to learn and realize that booking hotels with FBO rates, even if they are cheaper, isn't as good as real-time on apps like The same room would have cost $50 less by booking online. Next time. Driving into the City was astounding green right up until we reached Manhattan. Very pretty. Dinner and people watching in The Village made the drive worthwhile.

It's hard to believe we were in Iqaluit just yesterday. Opposites don't get more extreme than Iqaluit to the Big Apple. We're privileged to have such great opportunities.

I can't keep my eyes open on the drive back to the hotel. The long days are fun challenges but pretty exhausting. Fortunately Johannes is at the wheel.
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