Ferry pilot has lots of time to think

Barry Martin



As with many COPA Flights, Charlottetown’s Flight 57 meets on Saturday mornings at the Skyplex for breakfast. Since the Skyplex is on the Charlottetown Airport at Ramp 2, frequently throughout the year, we have visiting aviators join us. Last February was no exception, when we had a ferry pilot join us.

John Rivard was ferrying a brand new Cessna 172 to Calcutta, India. He had picked up the Cessna in Bangor, Maine where they had added a 124 gallon ferry tank. That gave him approximately 20 hours endurance.

He expected the flight to take around 80 hours flying time. His route was to take him to St. Johns, Newfoundland and Labrador, then the Azores, then to Spain, Egypt, across the Saudi Arabian desert, the middle east to India and across to Calcutta. This trip would be in a Cessna equipped with a Garmin G1000, but… no auto-pilot.

John left Charlottetown on a Saturday morning and planned to stay in St. John’s that night. With Atlantic Coast weather being what it is this time of the year, it was the following Friday before he was able to leave for the Azores. After that, I was not able to track him.

John, who lives in the San Francisco area, has made approximately 20 ferry flights across the Atlantic and 40 across the Pacific. All these long ferry flights give him lots of time to think about transportation as can be seen on his website, www.summitbridge.com.