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Mike's Pilot Log: South to South Adventure

The terrain below looked scary

We awoke to see a small patch of blue sky. The wind had settled to a light breeze and our spirits soared. At the airport we confirmed the weather was good for our flight and within an hour we were on our way south. Cloud base was at 7,000 ft and we climbed up to 9,000 ft. The flight was great a tailwind of about 15 km/h and it was very quiet in the air. Some huge peaks with snow on them jutted into the clear sky. Every few minutes we could see a small hole in the clouds and the terrain below looked scary. There were definitely no places to land. The engines purred sweetly although the engine temperatures were a little cold.

We arrived at Bariloche international airport, between a few large jets.

While the weather was good we decided to try and get to Chile. We filed a flight plan, fueled up and cleared customs and immigration. There was a cold front coming and this was going to be our only chance to get to Chile for a few days.

With the 15 km headwind we estimated that the flight to Peurt Montt would be 2 hours. In Peurto Montt the sunset time was 19h41 (local time) and darkness by 20h15. We had to be in the air by 18h00 at the latest. Olivier eventually phoned the tower at Peurt Montt and tried to persuade them to approve our flight plan. It wasn't to be the Chileans didn't want to approve our entry into their country. We paid the Argentinean customs and immigration fees of $250.00 after a few hours of heated discussion.

With the wings on the ground and our kit stored in the briefing office we were on our way to Alaska Youth Hostel a few km out of town. The Youth Hostels are one of our great finds warm and comfortable, cheap .. and with lots of interesting young (and sometimes not so young) travelers.

To date we have flown 1535 km in just over 16 hours. The trikes are going very well but there are always small adjustments that are needed. Amazingly enough, we could do with more packing space.


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