The Starship Diaries

Nope, that’s not about science fiction. I just read the book from Dallas Kachan about his voyage around the world. He was one of the lucky ones, who sold his internet company at the right time.
It took him two years flying around the globe in the coolest – IMHO – GA plane ever built, the Beech Starship I.
The book is not only a list of places he visited, but also about his reflections about the world in general. The people he met in places the common tourist never see, changed his view of the world and especially about the western world.
It took him only about flight 200 hours to fly the 45’403 miles. Something he could have done easily in a few weeks, but he took his time. Stayed sometimes month in one place. Sometimes he had to, because the plane had to be serviced – due to bullet holes – or fuel wasn’t available or he got sick on a remote island in the pacific. He also talks openly about the mistakes he made as a pilot. He flew a 16’000 lb aircraft single pilot, which is pretty stressful in itself. He dozed of over the jungle in Africa and other things. You never get the impression that he thinks that he is one hell of pilot, which nobody would believe anyway with only a couple of hundred hours under his belt when he took of from California. I wonder if anybody from the FAA ever read his book and had a friendly chat with him, for example about the extension cord for his headset. He wanted to be able to use the potty in the back of the plane while flying.

There are old pilots and bold pilots, but now old and bold pilots.

Unfortunately the Starship is history. Developed by Burt Rutan for Beechcraft, it was way ahead of its time. Just when the public began to accept it, Beech pulled the plug on it after only 53 produced and bought them back. Only about five of them are still flying (there are rumors about a sixth being restored to flying status). My chances to fly it one day are pretty slim.

Worth a read, if you are an aviation buff.