In October, MAF shared about the need to replace both engines in a King Air Twin Turboprop. This week, MAF’s Jason Risser is going to embark on the challenge to bring the plane back to the U.S. for the engine replacement. And it won’t be easy.
Risser will be making his first trans-Atlantic flight with former MAF pilot Kelly Green as the pair will fly the plane half way around the world to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., in a grueling five-day trip.
With a maximum safe range of approximately 1,200 miles, following in the flight path of Charles Lindbergh isn’t possible. This journey must be sliced into manageable distances that create safe margins for Risser and Green.
Taking off this weekend, the pair’s first stop will be in Stuttgart, Germany. The next leg will take them to Wick, Scotland, where they will collect their emergency equipment.
“Flying over the Atlantic, you need wet suits and rafts to survive in case anything awful happens,” Risser said. “This is not your typical flight.”
From Wick, the team will embark for Reykjavik, Iceland, for another overnight stay. With a possible stop for fuel in Greenland, the team will land in North America the next day at Goose Bay in Canada. After that, it’s down the eastern seaboard for the final destination in Fort Lauderdale, where the engines will be replaced along with the installation of a new radio system and a fresh coat of paint.
“This is both exciting and frightening,” Risser said. “A North Atlantic flight in December can be a grim prospect for any pilot. Ice and bad weather conditions present all kinds of challenges and shrinks your options in case something goes wrong.”
But Risser isn’t too worried. He’s put in plenty of hours in the cockpit of King Airs in the past and helps train MAF pilots on a King Air simulator in Virginia.
“This is such a rare flight for MAF and there will be plenty of challenges,” Risser said. “But I’m looking forward to it and helping get this plane’s engines replaced and back to the field as quickly as possible.”
NOTE: Check MAF’s social media channels next week to track the team’s journey across the Atlantic.