I had always wanted to know what it feels like to ferry an airplane (which refers to delivery of an aircraft from one base of operations to another or moving an aircraft from a maintenance faciilty for repairs). Whether it was the urge to find out what it feels like to fly at a high altitude for a long period of time, schmoozing through the clouds in an unknown land or my curiosity as to my stamina to focus on multiple things happening at once, I had always been anticipating partaking in such adventure. After a great deal of begging I was able to tag along an impromptu last minute ferry flight in a Cessna 206, given that I coincidentally had a few days off from work, after a torturous week of back to back ICU shifts.
The airplane was scheduled to be flown from Miami, FL down to Guayaquil, Ecuador in over a 2 day period. This required a stop in Grand Cayman Island to refuel, then an overnight stay in Panama City, Panama, followed by next day flight to Esmeraldas, Ecuador then to Guayaquil, Ecuador. We took off from Miami Executive Airport at 7:00AM and flew down to Grand Cayman Island to refuel. Shortly after taking off from GC, I realized my go pro camera was dead. Oh right I forgot to bring extra batteries.... and the charger... and my Canon DSLR...... all I was left with was my Iphone6. With the last drops of my go pro battery, I captured few more images of the beautiful caribbean blue water meshed with fluffy clouds from a distance like a hunter catching its prey,
A momentary struggle later, I was distracted by the whirlpool of clouds thundering before my eyes, with us free-falling up and down into the air. I kept my cool knowing this might be the very last time I'll be able to forcefully invite myself on a ferry trip. My stomach on there other hand was heated up with confusion, my brain foggy, and my blood rushing in to my intestines. "Its the only way!!!!! We gotta maintain level at 13,000 feet to make it to Albrook Marcos A. Gelabert International Airport before sunset... don't worry....you'll feel less hypoxic the minute we descend" shouted my captain. I won't mention how many times my stomach cried, but let's just say it did not leave a pleasant smell on the plane.
Few hours later, "look!!!! Look!!! Do you know where we are?" I could only see the sunset thinking we must be getting closer to the airport....
"THAT... my friend.....is the PANAMA CANAL!!!!!"
My eyes bulged out from excitement and my heart started pounding. I had heard about this Canal since childhood and it felt surreal to be flying over it. It was quite an unforgettable moment. The sun almost setting, the clouds painted over our head, the tiny ships waiting to have their turn to go through the canal..... I was left speechless and breathless. I'm sure being low on Oxygen had nothing to do with it. We landed safely at the Albrook Marcos Gelabert International Airport. Few minutes later, I stopped yawning (due to low oxygen in the brain) and said my goodbyes to altitude and motion sickness. We headed to our hotel and I was ready to venture off in Panama City.
Check out the Video from Miami to Grand Cayman Island down below, Also, read Next blog "I'll just stay in Panama City" for my next adventures.