20-hour Bonanza flight over the North Pole

I got a call today from my sea turtle connection (see Merry Christmas (again) to the Sea Turtles). He needed help getting some turtles from the Boston area to Beaufort, North Carolina. I said that it was a 4-hour trip in the Cirrus SR20 and that was too long to sit in those seats. Therefore we would have to take a stretch-bathroom-coffee-fuel stop after 2 hours. (this doesn’t bother the turtles)

Compare to this AOPA story on a May 11, 2021 trip from Reykjavik, Iceland to the North Pole to Fairbanks, Alaska: 20 hours nonstop in a Beechcraft Bonanza.

Perhaps it is time to stop complaining!

(Also, I’m not sure what is more impressive… that he flew 3,200+ nm in a single-engine piston aircraft or that he surmounted the bureaucratic COVID-19 requirements to get into Iceland and back to the U.S.)


5 thoughts on “20-hour Bonanza flight over the North Pole

  1. We just flew from Los Angeles to Florida in my unconventional experimental aircraft which has a range of over 10 hours. Longest legs we chose to do were 4 hour legs. We started in Los Angeles stopped for lunch and gas at El Paso Texas. Then it was on to Austin where we spend the night and even consulted this very blog for BBQ advice! (Thanks Phil). The next morning we flew to lunch in Tallahassee Florida then finished the trip in Orlando. The return trip had us stop over night in New Orleans. The following day we had lunch in Dallas then stopped short of Santa Fe due to thunderstorms and spent the night in Amarillo Texas where we went to https://www.bigtexan.com and unexpectedly had a great time. The third day we stopped for lunch in Lake Havasu then finally made it back to LA. It is such pleasure to fly a light airplane across the country especially if you have time and are not on any particular schedule.

  2. It’s amazing at my age to read:

    “The most valuable thing in the cockpit for backup navigation was the iPad with ForeFlight displayed and hooked up to the Stratus 3” ADS-B receiver. “It was the only thing during the entire trip that was dead-nuts accurate because it wasn’t getting contradicting information. That, and my backup attitude indicator, were the keys,” he said.”

    My crusty old reflex is to think: “But the iPad is a TOY! How could anyone rely on a toy like that for do-or-die backup navigation roles on a flight like this?” And then it hits me: “You are old, that’s how.”

    In 1995, the fastest supercomputer in the world was the 170 GigaFLOP machine in the Fujitsu Numerical Wind Tunnel, at the National Aerospace Laboratory of Japan.

    The 2020 iPad Pro 12.9 uses the ARM-based A12Z Bionic 64 bit processor with 8 cores at 2.49 GHz, so it’s a pretty good fraction of the fastest supercomputer in the world circa 1995. Certainly powerful enough to do something like this with FLOPs to spare.


  3. Off-topic but since you’ve noted the absence of USB-C in cars before, as well as Apple Car Play, maybe you should think of buying a new F-150 once you get to FL. The F-150 does Car Play.

    Senses rear occupants
    Monitors your attention level and tracking your head movements
    2KW-7.2KW of AC accessory power
    USB-A x 3 + USB-C x 3 (front/rear/center console) + Wireless charging mat in addition to 110V AC outlets even on the non-hybrid with inverters.
    Superman’s tailgate with remote control
    Choose which gauges you see including oil PSI
    Can limit fan blower speed to cut down on noise
    Lane Keeping, Reverse Brake Assist, Adaptive Cruise, Active Park Assist and Parallel Parking, Pro Trailer Assist which turns the steering to move the trailer when you back up.
    Dual climate control, heated seats.
    More cupholders than seats
    Multicolor ambient lighting
    Folding shift lever that gives a big, flat space.
    Big, clear info. screen.
    Binary Resister Styling – but nice!
    Lots more
    LED Lights standard, tons of cargo space

    Yeah, it gets truck mileage, but maybe when you get to FL you should buy an F-150 Platinum. 5-passenger seating mileage, luxury appointments and a really big trunk.

    Ford Tech Makuloco on YouTube does a 2-part series on his new one:


    I’d buy one even though they had to go back to EGR on the 3.5 Ecoboost!

    • Sorry, I meant, “5-passenger seating, decent mileage…”

      And you can bump that mileage up if you’re willing to sacrifice some towing capacity by going with the Hybrid option. In Texas when the power grid problems happened, lots of folks were using their F-150 Hybrids as de-facto backup generators. These trucks can supply up to 7.2 kilowatts of 110VAC, and I believe the biggest one even has a 240V outlet.

      Florida is known to suffer from hurricanes from time to time.

  4. Long small airplanes flights to me are miserable feats of endurance and boredom. For proof note that everyone who has an autopilot uses it.

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