As the “Silver Spitfire – The Longest Flight” expedition prepares to enter its eighth week, pilots Steve Boultbee Brooks and Matt Jones have made it beyond the halfway point of their unprecedented round-the-world journey.
Ahead of this important milestone, the duo endured a tough week and a half, avoiding weather systems as they made their way across Russia en route to Japan.
DATE: September, 25
STOP OVER: Alaska – Japan
“After waiting for a break in the clouds for a few days, we had a brief window of opportunity and left Nome in Alaska for Russia. Our first stop was Provideniya Bay, before we pressed on to Anadyr. From there we flew over miles and miles of frozen tundra as we progressed westwards. In fact, were it not for the warm welcome we received from the wonderful people we met at every stop, it would have felt a little bleak and desolate. Even so, it was a fascinating and intense flying experience, and after dodging a few more difficult weather systems, we finally arrived in Magadan.”
“Although also in the middle of nowhere, the greenery of the forests which surrounded the airfield were a really welcome sight, following the icy landscapes of the previous days. Some issues with payment systems actually meant we couldn’t leave for a spell. But once it was sorted, we got underway again, and the next couple of legs from Magadan to Okhotsk, and then on to Nikolayevsk, featured some breathtakingly beautiful scenery.”
“The last stage for us was a short hop to Sakhalin island, but the weather caught us out again, and we were forced to leave G-IRTY in the capable hands of our support pilot Ian Smith. We flew on to the New Chitose Airport in Japan in the PC12 support aircraft, so it could undergo its maintenance checks. Ian then brought our treasured Spitfire to Japan on Saturday, from where we were set to journey on to Ryugasaki, near Tokyo. Unfortunately, Typhoon Tapah had other ideas and we were forced to divert to Hanamaki until the stormy conditions passed.”
“What an amazing journey it has been so far! We are now looking forward to enjoying a couple of weeks of rest and preparation, before we begin the second leg in earnest on October 8th. This will take us across Asia, the Middle East and finally Europe. Stay tuned.”
NEXT SCHEDULED STOPS: Asia