M is better - his gut difficulties have resolved. Today has involved a further 9 (or 10?) hours of flying. When we spoke he was fascinated by the geography and formation of Sumatra. "It's just one huge bog with 2ft deep water and trees scattered about - a pilot's absolute nightmare where you could drown in 2ft of water. I'd much rather ditch into the sea." M explained that any attempt to land on the ground that he crossed over Sumatra would inevitably cause the aircraft to turn turtle and a pilot unable to extricate him/herself would drown in the shallow water.

Unfortunately M was unable to keep in radio contact with Singapore today as were many other pilots. He was forced to fly low again (headwinds perhaps?) and a search and rescue exercise was launched for M and G-KIRK who were simply pedalling as hard as they could south (-ish). I suspect that M is not the most popular pilot tonight.

Tomorrow's forecast problem as they fly to Bali is to cross 10,000ft mountains. You may remember that it took them a reputed 1.5 hours (and a donkey stop) to reach 10,000ft earlier in the race - I hope that the mountains are well down the route to allow time to achieve this altitude! This is one obstacle that even M can't fly under. He informs me that he should give these mountains 3000ft clearance although he does not have oxygen which is a statutory requirement at some such height. He also reminded me that he used to jump out of "perfectly servicable aircraft" at 14,000ft and was not supplied with O2 to get there. (Has he told you the one about the day he fell through someone's roof after a free fall in formation went wrong?)

The other G-KIRK and I are preparing to leave for Oz. Will attempt to keep in touch via modern technology.


KK (M's wife)