Navigation Puzzle - Everyone can join !

Yesterday, I was planning with my friends a trip from China to the US. Let’s say the airplane is a Cirrus Sr20/22/Turbo (whatever you like) it really won’t matter. The result would be the same [:D]

Anyway, we would hop to Japan (Sapporo - RJCO) which is the nearest to Alaska. The distance is SO great that none of the above airplanes could fly without refueling.

The following airports comes in the way

Yuzhno-Aakhalinsk Airport (UHSS)

Yelizovo Airport (UHPP)

the distance would be 711nm between both, and both got only Jet Fuel (I don’t know if you can use it in a Cirrus)

however, here comes the puzzle, what airports would you stop at to refuel after UHPP ? [:D]

Personally, I couldn’t find any solution. Even when I though about going down through Australia !

So what would you do to jump with a Cirrus from the Far East to America ? People say it’s impossible, but I don’t think so. Many people traveled around the world flying before.

So what your plan to get to the other side ? [8-|] I found an airport with an ICAO UHPA but couldn’t locate it, maybe it helps


Interesting question. I know very little about it, but I think most Cirruses delivered to the Far East go from CA to Hawaii to then island hop to Australia. Extra fuel tanks in the cabin, and takeoff typically over max gross weight so a ferry permit is required.

I don’t think you could fly an unmodified Cirrus that way, but again I don’t know much about it.

Here’s an old story from Clyde Stubb’s site about a flight from Minnesota to Australia. Unfortunately the pictures don’t seem to work anymore.

so if I want to make it from Australia to Hawaii then CA, I would need and extra fuel tank which would make the Gross Weight over the limit.

what’s that ferry permit, i got not info about it… also how much an extra fuel tank would give, how many gallons if you got any idea ?

There are many different types of extra fuel tanks - google or search this site for “ferry tanks” and see what you come up with. I don’t really know much about the subject.

A ferry permit is required whenever you exceed the legal limitations for the flight - in other words, if the airplane is unairworthy because of being overweight, or fuel system modifications (such as plumbing the fuel tanks into the main tanks), or even if the plane is just out of annual and you need to ferry it to the shop at a different airport, you would need to get a ferry permit from the local FSDO. This assumes flying in the US under FAA jurisdiction. I have no idea what the equivalent would be in other countries.

The FAA will approve ferry operations at 125% to 130% of maximum certificated gross weight.

A ferry tank holding 160 gallons can be installed in an SR22 at a cost of $4,500. See

An SR22 can go a mighty long way with an extra 160 gallons!

Believe it or not, I have “arm chair” planned this route dozens of times. One of my life goals is to fly a single engine plane around the world.

I would fly the Japan to Alaska route as follows:


PASY is a US Air Force base and you’d have to get special permission to land there, but I understand that is possible. Since PASY does not have 100LL, you’d need to get at least one 55 gallon drum of 100LL sent there beforehand which would probably be the bigger challenge.

This is 1583 NM and would require 8:02 and 142 gals of fuel in a TN22 at FL190 in zero wind according to my FlightStar model. During the summer, you’d normally have a good tailwind, but I’d plan my fuel on zero wind. As Mike Busch says, you’d need a ferry tank installed. This route keeps you out of Russian airspace which is important. Flying IFR through Russian airspace is a huge hassle as I understand it. There are some airways that are closer to shore (but still outside Russian airspace), but they are charted as one-way to the southeast. You might be able to get permission to use them in the wrong direction since you will be well below the airliners, but I’d flight plan for A590.

I’d file PADK (343 NM from PASY) as my alternate (1300-3 or 1600-2 alternate minimums) and have enough fuel to hold there for at least two hours. PASY-PADK requires 33 gals and 1:52 in zero wind. So, using 14gph at two hours for the reserve, you’d need a total of 203 gallons or 111 gals (670 lbs) in the ferry tank. With two 170 lbs pilots, 100 lbs for a raft, charts, and other emergency equipment, you’d probably weigh about 4,100lbs or 21% over gross. As Mike also mentioned, it is fairly common for the FAA to issue ferry permits at this sort of weight so long as the CG is well centered.

Assuming you land at PASY (i.e., you don’t have to go to the alternate), you should have about 71 gals remaining. Adding 55 gals from your pre-shipped drum brings you to 126 gals which is enough fly PASY -> PADU (with plenty of reserves) where 100LL is available.

So, no big deal!

For extra credit: True or False, PASY is the easternmost airport in the United States?

Very Good ! I’ll contact them tomorrow morning and hopefully I can get it done. Thanks Mike so much

Jack ! This is amazing, I copy passed your way and i’ll get to study it and re-plan my route. Hope soon you’ll find news that I’m flying this leg !

About the extra credit, yes, I think PASY is the most eastern airport in the States… i’ve been looking at the chart for hours now :smiley:

You mean you’re really going to make this flight? [:O] I had kind of thought the posts were just of a hypothetical “daydreaming” type nature!

If you’re serious about flying over the Pacific in a Cirrus, I would strongly recommend you spend a LOT of time talking to experienced ferry pilots. IMHO, the navigation part of it is the easy part. The hard part has to do with survival equipment, logistics/paperwork, and more that I am probably not even thinking of.

Absolutely. This is a high risk mission even with good preparation. There are a thousand details to understand. For example, what are the water temps along the route (impacts the type of survival equipment you carry)? Can you make it in daylight (flying east means short days)? Will you need an HF radio or will a satphone be acceptable to ATC? As mentioned in my previous post, getting permission to land at PASY and getting fuel there will be a challenge. And there are many, many other issues. I’d plan on many weeks of planning and preparation.


Sure ! I’m so aware of the risk of it. You can say I was not so serious about it, just making a good idea on how it can be flown, then MAYBE i could get to talk to many other pilots with experience… only then, I can start to make the decision whether to fly it or not… now worries, i’m not going to make a foolish decision, at least for now :smiley:


Don’t be too certain that Shemya’s any place you want to count on to have any weather you can safely land in, ceiling, visibility or especially winds. And there are a lot of times (although far, far less these days) when PPR will be sternly denied. Trust me, don’t ask how I know this. [;)] BTW, thought I had you on easternmost airfield with Wake Island (PWAK) but I forgot Shemya has it beat by about 240NM! Sounds like a fun trip, no matter how you do it!

Best regards,

The 1981 crash of a Cobra Ball aircraft at Shemya is discussed here, and it gives a pretty clear picture of the normal weather at Shemya. You are not going to want to land there, even if you could.

Here are some photos of our Cirrus Tanking…160 Gallons

Steven L Rhine
International Ferry Flights Inc.