Monday, May 05, 2008


More Breaking news:
Arrived safely (and soundly!) in Singapore at Seletar Airport Singapore yesterday the 8th of May 2008. Pictures of Greenland and Luxor stops will be posted on the blog this weekend. Royal Group (Royal Sky Bangkok) handled our Aircraft at VTBD (Bangkok) and they were superb. No delays, flight plan filed, Aircraft cleaned and fueled, paperwork complete-all in advance by Royal Sky and friendly service. Getting in and out of Bangkok was one of the easiest experiences on the ferry. Same cannot be said about getting in and out of India, though! Kolkata in particular, suffers from the "bygone era" syndrome in the amount of paperwork that goes into a simple ferry flight that landed there only for refueling. Took us a good two hours to do all the documentation and getting stamps from all and sundry at the airport. Their antiquated facilities are among the worst in the world, with dingy rooms and rotting files. We did not find this anywhere else on our route (or anywhere else in the World that I've been to). Ahmedabad was a quick turnaround by Indian standards, at 1.5 hours on the ground. Kolkata seemed forever. Even the refueling could not take place until customs had given their approval! This, on a continuing ferry flight! Anyway, what matters is that, once the nightmare of going through India is done, Bangkok was a piece of cake. We walk into the country by just giving immigration the GD forms (also handled by Royal Sky) and walk out just as easily. Why can't India learn from the rest of the World? Beats me. Simplifying things is not in their blood, especially Kolkata I suppose. Anyway, back home in good shape and SIngapore seems like paradise after a long trek around the World. More details on the ferry coming up this weekend.

Previous news:

Made it to Bangkok Thailand last night after a long trip from Muscat (Oman) through India (VAAH Ahmedabad and VECC Kolkata) and it was boiling hot all the way. Will be proceeding to Singapore, our final stop, on this ferry. I will be posting a blog with lots of pictures, in the next couple of days.

I have been very busy with the ferry flight of the Mustang and could not update the blog. Thanks for those writing in and asking questions. We are in Oman today after going through Greenland, Iceland, U.K., Italy, Greece and Egypt. I have taken loads of pictures of the trip and to say that it was spectacular is an understatement. Luxor, Egypt, took the cake because of a one day layover that I had planned, allowing us to visit the Valley of the Kings, Hatsheput's temple, briefly Luxor and karnac temples. The ferry had tied us and this did more to add to that. No regrets however, and I enjoyed every bit of it.

Tomorrow we leave for India (Ahmedabad and Kolkata) and on to Bangkok Thailand overflying Myanmar. Hope the weather's improved because Myanmar has been hot by a cyclone and has suffered extensive loss of life and damage. It has been difficult getting hold of the DCA in Myanmar for the overflying permit because their lines are down.

I promise to post the full story of the ferry before I forget events and also post lots of pictures. The airplane is behaving well, having transited through cold and now hot weather in the middle east. More heat awaits us in India and wet weather in Thailand. My next post, when I get some time, maybe in Bangkok or when we're back home in Singapore on the 8th will have pictures of the trip.



Lakshmi Bharadwaj said...

All the best for the long journey ahead! Waiting for the pictures. :)

Capt. Anup Murthy said...

Thanks Lakshmi, this morning we are getting ready for departure on our final leg of the ferry flight to Singapore. We will be landing at Singapore Seletar airport where our hangar is located, around 1200 Noon Singapore time. I'll try and post pictures this weekend.

Colin said...

Welcome home Anup. I am sure this journey has been the most wonderful one from your numerous flying trips.

Can't wait to enjoy viewing your pictures too and sharing the excitement of the journey.

Good rest and catch up soon.

Minee (Royal Group) said...

Thank you for your given the high credit to us. We, Royal Group would like to say thank you to you and we are very welcome you all the time, when you fly to Bangkok.

Hope to have chance to service you again in the near future!!!

By the way, still waiting see your photos....

Nikhil Joshi said...

Phew! Long trip! And a fruitful one, at that, yeah? And yes, the 'bygone-era" syndrome affects India in all spheres. Sad. very sad. India is the biggest technology consulting/producing/researching hub of the world, and none of that prowess is being used by the govt. How lame.
Anyhoo, good to know you're back and I look forward to reading "The Tales of the Mustang's Altitudes." :)
Cheers, and blue skies!

Capt. Anup Murthy said...

Colin, thanks, come to my hangar anytime (number 114) at Seletar and see the baby. Thanks for your kind words as always.

Minee, I meant every word I said about Royal Sky, you made it the easiest turnaround I've had in years. Even in UK the handling was not as smooth although they are reputed and had even messed up our hotel booking for the night, sent us off without confirming reservations (although the claim was that they had made reservations but had no followed through!). In India, the handling agent did a good job (Freedom Air) under the most trying circumstances. It was not their fault that the way things are in India. I will post pictures on Sunday.

Nikhil, thanks very much. Yes the trip was memorable, some of the stopovers were spectacular. Being an Indiana Jones type of guy, I particularly enjoyed the day off in Luxor among the Egyptians!

LBG said...

I saw your plane during it's short stay in Paris last Saturday. Glad to see you made it safely to Singapore.

Justin Palmer

Capt. Anup Murthy said...

Justin, thanks, made is safely to Singapore indeed. About to post some pictures and write up of the trip in brief, may do it on Sunday. Paris was so nice and warm when we were there. Good that you saw us there. Cheers.

gene said...

Congratulations! We are all looking forward to the pictures.

Capt. Anup Murthy said...

Thanks Gene, ferry photos of the Mustang is coming up later today. Just read your blog and nice to see your lektro tug painted the same as your Aircraft! Also, good question raised by you, where are the Eclipse? Regarding the Mustangs, when I attended the Mustang customer's meet in Wichita a day before we left on the ferry, Cessna mentioned that more than 70% (or was it 80%) of the Mustangs produced had been exported to overseas buyers and the future trends were the same. So, you'd probably not see too many Mustangs within the US, on flight tracker either. Eclipse on the other hand had more US customers? Maybe I'm wrong but still a good question by you. Ferry blog coming up today and thanks for commenting.