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Sunday, July 30, 2017

Project Amelia Earhart Flight Nears its End:

The commemorative Amelia Earhart around the world flight by pilot Brian Lloyd WB6RQN crossed the Pacific Ocean, landing first at Pago Pago in American Samoa, then Hawaii via a symbolic flyover of Howland Island. The Mooney M20K 231 registration number N916BL named 'Spirit' has expanded fuel capacity, modern satellite avionics gear, and a Ham radio transceiver enabling WB6RQN Aeronautical Mobile to talk to hundreds of radio amateurs. At Pago Pago (July 23) he was greeted by a news reporter for an interview, then got the latest weather information, with Ellie from the National Weather Service finishing her shift and taking him to a downtown restaurant for a meal of Samoan Oka (rockfish). Brian WB6RQN said the next stage was the hardest leg of the trip that was going to "push both the plane and me to the limit of our abilities". He explained that the single engine propeller driven 'Spirit' was fully fuelled including three hours flying time of reserve fuel because "there are scant alternatives should problems mount up for any reason". Earlier the flight had magneto problems, a fuel vapouring scare that caused him to turn back to New Zealand, not to mention adverse weather with fierce winds, blasting sandstorms, severe tropical conditions, thunder snow and high altitude ice. After leaving Pago Pago just before sunrise with about 19 hours ahead there was the planned flyover of Howland Island dropping a floral wreath where Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan tried unsuccessfully to land.

from Ham Radio Times

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