Thursday 16 June 2016: Keeping hope alive

Jesse Jackson said it at the 1988 Democratic Party Convention.  “Keep hope alive.”  Tonight I spent the evening — in fact Adam and I have spent much of the past two days — with aviation people who are keeping the hope of general aviation, of flying for the common man, of the freedom of flight, alive here in Malaysia.  These are the people of the EAA chapter here at the Subang Airport in Kuala Lumpur.  They have hosted something like twelve EarthRounders over the years, in each case providing support, companionship, advice, and hospitality to each of us as we pass through, whether to the east or to the west, whether in a jet or a trike, whether ultimately successful or no, even, sadly, whether ultimately surviving the attempt.  But more important than what they do for us, is what they do for each other and for the spirit of aviation as a basic human drive, resistant to government repression and to the ever-increasing cost of maintaining and flying an aircraft, whether humble or grand.

After a celebratory dinner, several of us adjourned to the bar and talked aviation.  Our frequent companion and advisor these past two days, Manisylvan Thirumalai, counseled us on the departure procedure from Subang, from which we will launch in just a few hours for the eight-hour flight to Bali.  Mani, as he is known, grew up in the general aviation culture here in Malaysia and now flies an Airbus for Air Asia.

He helped us get our flight plan filed tonight for tomorrow.  Here’s the fun thing … we have struggled all over Europe, the Middle East and Asia with AFTN numbers, trying to get our flight plans routed to the proper facilities, sometimes working, sometimes not.  We sat down with Mani tonight when he offered to file our flight plan for us.  Adam worked it out and Mani typed it into his computer, made a few changes, and then … filed it with FSS?  Nope.  Typed in a bunch of AFTN numbers?  Nope.  Sent it via some secret, proprietary Air Asia company routing?  Nope.  What did he do?  He emailed it to “”

Tell the FAA to scrap all that NextGen plan that is costing so much money.  Just tell all the towers to get a yahoo email account.  Problem solved.  (OK, we might want to go with gmail, but you get the point…)

4AM alarm for a 7AM departure for an 8-hour flight to Bali tomorrow, hoping to avoid the afternoon thunderstorms that all of the professional pilots here tell us are routine later in the day along our route.  Let you know how it works.


6 thoughts on “Thursday 16 June 2016: Keeping hope alive

  • June 16, 2016 at 5:09 pm

    Adam and George, We are enjoying reading the fine descriptions of your adventures, the ups and downs (literally) and all the ins and outs of maneuvering around the world. Seems like you are surviving thus far. Look forward to seeing more pics, reading more narratives, and being with you in spirit as you spread your wings whether it be sun up or sundown while you soar above the countries of the world. A life’s dream coming true for you. You are in our thoughts for safe travels.

    • June 20, 2016 at 11:40 am

      Tom & Janet,
      We could not do this extraordinary thing without your skill in the preparation and your wise counsel on the road.
      – George

  • June 27, 2016 at 6:53 am

    Hi George,
    How are things at your end have you reached Australia?


    • June 27, 2016 at 10:36 am

      Hi Jaimesh, Eddie here. The guys reached Broome in Australia last week and George has since flown back commercially to the USA. Adam’s wife has joined him in Broome and they are now doing a tour of Australia before Adam continues solo across the Pacific.

    • June 28, 2016 at 1:53 am


      Eddie has updated you, I see. (Thanks, Eddie.) I wanted to make the trans-Pacific flights with Adam, but he needs the 30 gallons (2 hours) of fuel more than he needs me in order to make the very long legs. Thanks for checking in. Our visit with you and your family in Nagpur was definitely one of the highlights of our voyage and one of the grand meals of my memory. Please give my regards to your friend at Indian Oil. We remember his kindness. I will continue to update the website as time permits with recollections from our trip and we intend to continue to expand it with more general articles on flight training and general aviation. We welcome suggestions. My best to your family.


  • July 12, 2016 at 4:10 pm

    Thanks so much for this blog. George, you are quite a writer! I have loved reading all the tales of the adventure and now that Adam has gone solo, I am so grateful to be able to track his progress. Thank you for doing this. -(I am an old friend of Adam’s.) His birthday is coming up soon (August 6 I think) and I wonder where he will be then? – Sue


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *