Andrea in Brazil

Leg 3. Sal Island, Capo Verde, Senegal to Recife, Brazil

Monday, July 3, 2000. 5:30 PM. Laura Garini reports that Andrea has just landed on Brazilian ground. He's in Recife, Brazil, and safe. He will call us tomorrow. We'll have more details then.


Alfred Scott

Tuesday, July 4,2000. 6:30AM. Andrea called this morning to report on the flight from Sal Island to Recife, Brazil, a distance of 1,982 miles that he made in 13 hours, 43 minutes. He had a good tailwind and saw ground speeds of 160-170 knots, and the first five hours were at 8,500 feet between layers.

The last six hours were dealing with embedded thunderstorms, and Andrea said it was the worst flight of his life. When he hit the first storm, he went from 8,500 feet to 15,000 feet and then back to 12,000 in one or two minutes. He never lost control of the plane, but he rode through turbulence of +6 to ­4g's, at times hanging on his seatbelt and with the keychain straight up. Much of the electrical system failed due to water in the cockpit and Andrea flew for three hours without avionics. After the initial encounter with the thunderstorm, Andrea tried 15,000 feet to maneuver around the storms (an Alitalia pilot at 35,000 feet reported that he was having difficulty finding clear air between the cells), but then flew at low levels (500 to 1000 feet, and at times 200 feet) to get under the weather.

Andrea landed with an instrument approach in the dark, with a 400-foot ceiling in Recife. It took three hours to deal with government officials at the airport. Andrea said he was never frightened during the flight, but that he didn't sleep at all last night.

Alfred Scott



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