|Thu 07/08||SPIM - Lima, Peru / UTC -05:00||SCIP - Easter Island, Chile / UTC -06:00|
|Departure||Enroute||Arrival||Distance||Avg. Spd.||Max. Spd.||Max. Alt.||Fuel|
|Estimated||06:00 (11:00Z)||13:33||18:33 (+1 00:33Z)||2,033||217|
|Actual||07:02 (12:02Z)||15:19||21:21 (+1 03:21Z)||2,069||135||176||11,414|
The weather conditions on this leg are subject to conditions over the eastern Pacific, frequently a spawning ground of later day embedded thunderstorms. On the other hand, the area has an even chance of being weather free. Destination weather however includes thunderstorms frequently over land.
"Easter Island is in the temperate zone, at 27° 9' south latitude. Thus it is out of the tropics, so do not expect to find the kind of climate one normally associates with Pacific islands such as Tahiti. While it rarely gets any hotter than 85°F, it can feel very muggy and uncomfortable in the austral summer (December-March). Winters are mild, with a low of around 57°F, but it can feel a lot colder than that with the wind-chill factored in. The wind blows constantly, sometimes from several directions at once. This tends to keep the temperature fairly cool.
Rainfall averages around 44" a year, but this is variable. Some droughts have been reported. Heavy rainfall and storms occasionally hit the island, particularly in the winter months (June-August) but cyclones or hurricanes do not occur in this part of the Pacific." 1
|Temperature in Easter Island||Low: 59°F, High: 70°F|
|July Precipitation||5.7 Inches|
|Winds Aloft at 7,000 to 10,000 Feet||From the east at 18 MPH|
Since our last report in Lima we later had dinner with Gaby in a rustic restaurant in Miraflores section. Deliciosa!
Early rise, a 5 AM pickup by Carlos of ATSA our handler, to airport, load aircraft and depart for Easter. Assigned FL100 Direct. Strong tail winds initially but changed to strong head winds. Groundspeed went from 170 KNOTS to 98 KNOTS creating many revised ETAs.
HF communications were difficult and was unable to report our last position, about three hundred miles out of Easter to Pascua Radio. Gave the report on two HF frequencies in the blind.
To be continued ...
Will try to send pictures later. Had severe head winds today. Will depart tomorrow at 6 AM. Speak with you later.
Unwittingly, whoever filed the flight plan in Lima indicated our fuel endurance to be 14 hours, based on a high speed cruise ETE of 12 hours. We were however using the max range flight plan of 15:10. Based upon the endurance number, Search and Rescue was alerted. Fortunately we made a VHF radio contact with Pascua Radio one minute before S and R was to be activated.
On arrival we were greeted by a group of about 25 people. We assumed that they were IFOPA people. They weren´t. It was the S and R team and their C337 Skymaster. We were also greeted by Juan Edmunds, our ground handler and a gracious gentleman. He took us to the Hotel Otai.
We checked into a substandard room and off to dinner at a nearby restaurant. Rudi served us each a couple of Escudo Beers with Ed´s ceviche and Dick´s fish. After 15:03 hours of flying we both collapsed on our beds for a well deserved night's sleep.
A delightful continental breakfast provided energy to go to the airport and fuel the aircraft. Photos show the fueling process, "the armstrong process". Of course, all this time our S and R alert was discussed. The conclusion was that the 14 hour endurance created the problem and we were exonerated. Juan arranged for Enrique to give us a tour of the island.
First the ceremonial grounds at Orago, then to the Moai sites that were most impressive. It is unfortunate that the world cannot see these creations in their natural environment.
Juan was kind enough to invite us to dinner. Fish for Ed and assorted salad for Dick. Delicious.
Early to bed for a 3 AM pick up. The winds forecast looked ominous (30 KT head winds) making our departure doubtful. A 3:30 briefing confirmed that head winds too strong for making our Tahiti destination. Flight cancelled, with a Sunday AM departure planned. Back to bed for the rest of our missed sleep. A complaint to management rewarded us with a room change to a proper one. Thank you Nicolas.
An afternoon visit to meteorology gave us optimism for a more favorable winds forecast ever improving. We met with Juan for flight planning and to start the departure process. At the moment things look favorable with a 18:25 hour ETE. Will keep you posted.
Photo Courtesy of Ed Galkin or Dick Sollner
These Moais were lined up by Thor Heyerdahl
We forgot to mention the origin of the Island name. It was discovered by Dutch explorer Rogavan sp??? on Easter Sunday. Hence the name. Since it is a Chilean island the Spanish translation is Isla de Pascua. But to the native Polynesians it is Rapa Nui.