Date : 23 / 07 / 2017
Author : Jim Linton – VK3PC
The commemorative around the world flight marking the 80 years since the disappearance of aviator Amelia Earhart has finally left New Zealand (July 23) and is headed for Pago Pago American Samoa.
Brian Lloyd WB6RQN the 62-year old pilot has reported all is well after sorting out the reason for an aborted flight out of Hamilton in New Zealand’s north island a week earlier. On that flight headed for Pago Pago the plane’s engine spluttered and stopped, but with a lower altitude saw him regain control, but decided to return to Hamilton and sort out the problem. He advised that the test flight had confirmed the earlier fault was a combination of a partial blockage in the fuelling system and vapour lock, where the fuel had vaporised before reaching the engine.
The single engine ‘Spirit’ plane on that test was taken to an altitude of 23,000 feet but could not replicate the earlier fault. Before taking off from Hamilton, Brian WB6RQN gave his estimated itinerary of Pago Pago International Airport, then an overfly of Howland Island, to Hawaii and the USA mainland to complete the circle. He intends to drop a floral wreath on Howland Island to pay respect to the Earhart flight that disappeared near there in 1937.
The two month flight began on June 1, and has included South America, Africa, India, South-East Asia, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand. At each country he has put a flag sticker on the plane’s fuselage Brian WB6RQN embarked on the Project Amelia Flight in memory of aviation pioneers like Amelia Earhart. During the flight he has been heard talking on the Amateur Radio bands.
Stuie VK8NSB who met the pilot when in Darwin reports he has worked WB6RQN today on 15m and 20m with the bands being very good. Many VK’s, ZL’s and also a couple of American stations have made the contact.