Ferry flying is one of the most challenging forms of flying.
It involves flying to a location, taking delivery of a plane, assessing it for airworthiness and then transporting it to the desired location of the owner or operator.
Sometimes these are short trips but many involve large distances over water with ferry tanks added to increase the range available.
Sounds simple but really the flying is almost the easy part. Preparation is critical. The plane needs to be checked as there are so many unknowns. Is everything in order? Will it safely make the journey being asked? What is the fuel and oil consumption? Is there enough to make it all the way? Is the engine performance good enough and what speed does it really generate as opposed to what is suggested. Is that enough to make it? Maps and clearances, frequencies and winds all compete for time before departure date and time is money as costs mount if delays come.
I have been over the States and across the Pacific a number of times. I started as I was bringing my plane back from the US and raising money for the RFDS and figured that I could not ask someone else to do something I was unwilling to do. From there I became fascinated and intrigued by all the various elements of ferry flying – its challenges, its precision and decision making and how it taught me so very much about flying. I have since flown about 25,000km of ferry flying with another 20000 to come.
Jeremy Rowsell – Expedition Pilot