Crossing the Atlantic

The German Flieger Magazin January 2002 issue has an excellent article on how to prepare for, and ferry an airplane (SR22) over the atlantic. 2 pilots, NO ferry tank !?

SR20a #683, july 2002, no march 2003, no september 2003…

I forgot to post the link to this magazin

I’m not a member of the Church of Cirrus, but instead am a Lancair position holder. As such, I should receive a pretty hot airplane sometime in the next 12 months or so.

I have relatives who live about 1 km from the Tenerife North Airport. So I’d love to hear any reports from you bold folks who plan the Newfoundland, Greenland, Iceland… trip across the pond.

Is this a sensible idea or should we still rely on the airlines for this trip?

Over Christmas I stood and stared at the TFN airport and the great weather for many hours wondering if the adventure makes sense. The great range of the Columbia 300 makes the trip tempting, but with no de-ice and single engine piston the risks are obvious. Do these new plastic planes make a global venture possible or still just for ferry pilots?

I’d love to hear from those of you who have researched the HF radio and other requirements.

Steve (currently in Ireland - soon Canada hopefully)

First part of the translation, Sorry for the delay ! <<

ONE WAY over the big pond

New planes of US-plane manufacturers are normally delivered by German importers, after a ferry pilot has flown them over. It can also be done otherwise, as has been proven by Jakob Maier and Wilfried Hatzack from Türkheim in Allgäu.

In the beginning there is the idea; if you buy a new American plane - like at the European Cirrus importer in The Netherlands - and there is a substantial additional cost of several thousands of dollars for ferrying the plane, why not pick it up yourself ?
The image, of flying a brand-new Cirrus over the Atlantic-ocean is tempting. After flying with my Bölkow 207 to the North Cape and about 30 years experience as pilot, I rejoice myself over this event.

But first of all there are two years of waiting time. Already at the AERO’99 in Friedrichshaven we were taken by the SR20 with its - for this class of plane - exceptional emergency sytem. A testflight at the end of that year at Cirrus in Duluth, Minnesota, makes it sure. The plane is ordered for, the downpayment is made, and than starts the waiting.

Unlike all other manufacturers Cirrus has a thick orderbook of planes. Then at a second visit to Cirrus in fall 2000 there is a surprise to us. If we would like have a look to, and fly the new, 110 horsepower stronger, SR22. Of course we want that, the extra horsepower can’t harme us.
The contract for a 20 is changed to a 22. More than 180 knots cruise, and the opportunity to fly without difficulty from small, wet grass strips (- as there are many in both Germany, Belgium and The Netherlands-Dito-) with this big engine makes the decission, not withstanding the high price, an easy one.

Almost another year goes by untill we are notified in the summer of 2001, our 22 is in progress. In september 2001 the plane will be delivered. Thereafter we want to adapt to our new plane and return via Canada, Greenland, Iceland to our homeairport of Bad Wörishofen in Allgäu.

There is enough time to prepare. At first we attend for the North-Atlantic Seminar at >>Schäfer Flight Training<< in Stuttgart. This seminar gives lots of important information and tips for planning and preparing for a flight like this with a single-engine airplane over large amounts of open-water and the safety equipment.

Next to theory, we also do some practice. So we take the >>Sea-Survival-Seminar<< arranged by the Kriegsmarine (navy) and AOPA-germanyin Nordholz.

We train in a swimmingpool how to escape from an airplane immersed and how to swim to the raft and what survival equipment should be aboard. This seminar is more than recommended before every Single-Engine transatlantic journey. But of course the aspect of touching the water under the big chute in case of a real emergency, is comforting us, in stead of hitting the waves with 80 knots.

Then the charts are ordered, routes are considered, informations about availability of AVGAS made. September 9 we leave for the USA. The next day after arrival at Cirrus in Duluth we take posession of our SR22. We get aquainted with it by instructors of Wings Aloft. The dream lasts for 2 days. Then the terror attacks against New Yourk, Washington and and Pittsburg close all VFR-traffic for more than a week. In stead of intensive flying every day we train with the systems . We can’t make the original schedule, that is for sure.

When we finally hit the sky wit an instructor, we test not only the flying characteristics of the plane, but also the S-tec autopilot, the Garmin 430’s and the electronic HSI from Sandel. IFR after IFR procedure is done at several different airports. When we finally get the feeling we know what is to know about this plane we plan for the ferry.

Safety is our first priority. The best weather planning is first on our checklist. When not certain, we wait for better. Our first part of the route of flight will be from Duluth to Goose Bay over the border. The to Iqaluit, in past days known as Frobisher Bay, in North Canada. From there or SR22 should fly us over the sea via Greenland, Iceland, Scotland to Germany.

Than we pack the Single.The raft is ready to deploy in the backseat, other safety features are worn on our bodies. The extra oil is wandering in the baggage compartment. This plane gives us lots of room and a high load to take with us.

On a lovely octoberday we leave from Duluth VFR to the border. No problems at all. The country side gets grimmer, temps drop when we land at Goose Bay. The forecast for Iqualuit is constantly bad, the alternative is to fly for a longer period and distance over open water directly to Narsarsuaq in Greenland. But the weather will be of help. When all planning is done we are sure to have anough fuel and reserve for the trip.

The forecasters were right; good flight visibility and a light tailwind makes it an easy trip. The icefloe below us reminds us it will be a very cold experience if we have to ditch.

But the 310-horsepower Continental runs like a clockwork. In the survival suits we are wearing, it is brewing hot. With 675nm this is the longest leg of our journey.

Both 430 are informing us about this immense distance and our exact position in it.

Next part in translation…


Dear Jaap, kudos for discovering his article. I’m very interested, but even the link you posted, does not take me to the article. Besides, my German is soooooooooooooo rusty, that I wouldn’t want to venture beyond Danke schon and Guten Morgen. For us, mere English speaking mortals, would you translate the article? It would be a great adventure to get a few Cirri together and cross into our ancestor’s land, and perhaps cross into Africa on some GRAND ADVENTURE!

Dear Michael,

Altough German is also difficult for me, as a Dutchman, i will try to translate at least parts for you in the days ahead.
I hope I don’t offend the original authors (Jakob Maier and Wilfried Hatzack) by this action, and if they are on with SR22 N-9ZT please respond. (maybe Mr. Fallows also has an opinion about this).



I think I saw on Tech TV that Microsoft has an automatic language translator for web pages. Don’t know where to find it or how to load it, but maybe there are some geeks out there that can tell us.

I think I saw on Tech TV that Microsoft has an automatic language translator for web pages. Don’t know where to find it or how to load it, but maybe there are some geeks out there that can tell us.


Though it’s not the Microsoft one you mentioned, if you go to, you can enter a URL (like the one Jaap posted: ) and select “German to English” to get an automated translation, but not a very good one!

I didn’t actually see the full article about the atlantic crossing, though, just a table of contents of their most recent magazine, which includes that article. Is the full article on-line?


Sorry, but they only publish the table of contents online.

So i’m thinking of scanning the article, with a German compatible OCR program, and then try the AltaVista translation to work it out in English.

A non-vibrating, sunny-side-up 2002 with much Cirri in the sky wished to you all !


I brought my SR22 back to the UK last summer.
I had two friends with me, none of us are light weighs and the plane was well over gross but with the power of the SR22 this was never a problem.
We did it without ferry tanks. The thing is to give yourself time and if there is any doubt be prepared to take the extra day or two to get the right weather.
It was the trip of the lifetime and I now having done it I just want to do it again but I cant keep buying planes.
If there is any particular detail I can give you please ask.
Robin Taylor


I am based at Peterborough Conington in the UK and am in the process of changing my SR20 order (now delivery Sep 2003) into an SR22 (Sept/Oct 2002).

Am very interested in bringing the aircraft back myself (with help!!) and would be very interested in your experience/observations.

I assume the SR22 recently reviewed at Conington was yours ?? Sorry I missed your visit

Graham Barnes

Robin -

I know this is an old thread… I just took delivery of my SR-22, which rolled off the factory floor while I was in France with several other pilots. The discussion, not surprisingly, among the gathered pilots was on brining the N892CD over the pond next summer for our usual June trip to Normandy.

Can you give me some advice on the route you took and what you had as alternates along the way? My co-pilot for the trip has made the crossing a number of times, but always in a turbine, so his usual flight plans are of marginal use.


Stephen Becker

You do not post your e-mail address If you e-mail me we can talk off-line.