A journey follows a plan, created from an idea, after a thought, often inspired by others.
Add a tent, camp under the wing, that journey becomes an adventure!
Colin McKinnon, Strathaven airfield owner (and Grand Designs house fame), during 1996, flew his Flash 2 Alpha microlight across the United States. Colin wrote a book of this trip called “On a wing and a Prayer”. Having read the book numerous times and listened to Colin speak enthusiastically about his adventure, a thought in my head began to grow.
At the ‘Flyer Live 2015’ at Telford, a company called ‘KRL Logistics’ was in attendance. A brief talk with the sales manager, around the feasibility and costs of shipping my microlight to the US, left me realizing my thought had just became an idea.
I made contact with the UK’s CAA General Aviation Unit to ascertain what, if anything, they could advise, about my evolving thought. They advised permission from the FAA might be needed, but from their perspective, they had no concerns.
Contacting the FAA office, where my microlight would enter America, I was forwarded documentation which laid out that I must obtain a “Special Flight Authorization”. This is because a UK microlight does not conform to ICAO Certificate of Airworthiness Annex 8, which is used in relation to U.S. regulations for “foreign aircraft operating in the United States”. I am advised by a FAA inspector to submit a formal request, for the Special Flight Authorization, closer to the time, giving a number of months lead time to process the request. The latest version of the document pertaining to this SFA is “FAA Order 8130.2J” Chapter 22 being of main interest.
So after returning from the Alps in 2016, and asked “wheres next?”,
My answer was “The U.S.A. in 2018”.
The more people that asked, the more real and certain in my mind, my idea was becoming a plan.