The International Air Rally is taking shape so too is the Rally to raise $5000 for Cornerstone Women’s Shelter. I’ve already raised $815. in pledges. People have written cheques and have donated online using their VISA card. Everyone receives a 100% tax deductible receipt for their contribution. So give generously. Call me and find out how to make your donation. I’ll pick up your cheque personally!

Now for the Air Rally. It turns out the distance has grown to 5800 nautical miles and that doesn’t count the 900 miles to Russell Manitoba where the Rally begins. I’m still looking for an IFR pilot to join the crew. That will make it easier to fly through nasty weather and keep on track. Other crew members are Deborah Hind and Chris Gallant.

Deborah is delighted to join the crew as navigator and fact finder. This is very important in a rally as it’s not speed that counts but accuracy and the ability to answer the most unusual questions about aviation and geography. Deborah will also tend to lunch detail as it’s do-it-yourself lunches on this air liner! Deborah also teaches Yoga and she has a presence that is healing and calming. I suggest many of the other Rally participents will be doing stretches and meditation when we land. Hey, that’s a good thing!

Chris is a visitor to Canada from Great Britain. He’s been travelling for several months now and expects to join up with us in Manitoba. He is a professional photographer. It’ll be great to record our experiences and revisit people we meet along the way in photos.

Now for the last member of the crew. She’s a silent partner so to speak but I hope she never goes silent on me. Introducing our trusty 1966 Cherokee Six. She is old but after a long life in Northern Ontario banging around the bush and transporting fish and moose, she is ready to fly us half way around the world!

I’ve just received the new ignition wires, spark plugs and we’ll do an oil change before we go. I have a new battery and the new 406 ELT emergency beacon locator to be installed. I’ll be adding the new streamlined wheel pants that apparently add to the speed of the airplane. I’ve hear the wheel pants add 6 naughts to our speed. I suppose that’s not much but considering the distance we’re traveling it would reduce our flight time by 3 hours! That’s like going to Toronto from Ottawa for free. I’ve order a number of other comfort additions to the airplane like door seals and new sun visors. I can’t wait till it’s all installed. There is still some repairs and upgrades to be completed on the radio gear. Cross my fingers, I hope is it completed in time for take off!

We’ll need to add survival gear as we’re travelling over rugged inhospitable ground. Life jackets, tent, mosquito netting for each person as well as lots of dry food to eat during the long time aloft. Chocolate is my favourite, followed by chocolate cookies. I also like chocolate covered coffee beans. I’ll bet the British fellow Chris, likes crumpets so I’ll pack some for him. Debbie likes Soya nuts so she gets a survival bag of those.