Maurice Kirk

Maurice's Blog

April 2005 - Posts

Please sign our online petition: Fair Trials and Compensation instead of an effective remedy before national authorities, for Maurice and other victims of financial exploitation and legal oppression.

Breaking News:

Political asylum granted by France - to a British citizen - for the first time since the French Revolution... Key videos: We see Maurice being interviewed in Jersey in Dec 2010 and talking outside the Royal Courts of Justice, in June 2008. Here he introduces himself to a meeting of the Forum for Stable Currencies at the House of Lords, on March 9, 2010. In July 2010, Maurice speaks to the British Constitution Group in Stoke on Trent. For first-time visitors, a complementary and introductory blog offers also a one-page summary of his ordeals and battles.
  • Diesel in my Tanks!

    A beautiful beach in Dili East Timor, with coco nut trees and locals selling their fish on the road side is my first sight of the day from a hotel balcony in Dili.

    Plans to leave for Borneo are doubtful.

    Diesel in my tanks is a different matter it took 2 hours to sort out, leaving it far to late to reach Borneo before dark.

    Countless helpers, from a range of ethnic origins offer a hand to get spanners to drain the fuel lines, pipes to siphon and trips with plastic cans to the petrol station for plain old petrol or ‘motion lotion’. And is it hot? I am sun burnt by 12 and, with a splitting head ache, quite unfit to fly, yet alone reach Borneo, 700 miles to the north west.

    Urgent messages from the UK about the Royal Courts of Justice and the Royal College Judicial Review, hinder my day’s work. The Appeal procedure demanded I return in 7 days. Funny how it came through once I had left the jurisdiction of the UK, when they could have easily communicated with me on the matter long before I left. 

    I sleep close to the airport this time as I have to be in the air at very first light to reach Borneo by sun set.

  • Flight Report Darwin to East Timor

    Up at dawn to aircraft and away by 8am on somebody' time! Time change due to change in lines of latitude has just about got me beat! If it's not summer time back in old Blighty then it is the Australians having different times on their watches north and south by half an hour! If its 8am on my Darwin watch and I am 126 degrees East in Dili what on earth is the time in Dulwich Observatory, London where we, the Brits, after beating off the French challenge, decided when time will start with 0 degrees latitude? No wonder pilots all communicate on UTC it being sun time in the UK or Greenwich Mean Time.

    35degees Centigrade and at sea level means it's a 60mph lift off and a gentle right turn, between wind sock and clusters of coconuts, out over the sea on a 100ft a minute rate of climb later dropping to below 50 ft a minute above 5000ft. Levelling off at flight level 55 I weaken the mixture due to the reduced oxygen in the air, to suitably mix with the car fuel in the carburettor. I ponder the view of trying to get to FL 65 and waste fuel getting there or descending to 45 and lose a 2 knot tail wind component. I switch on the Charlie Mode of the transponder so at least someone with the equipment will know I am temporarily at an unofficial height (Quadrant rule is, roughly, that for an aircraft on a heading of between West and North then she must fly at a pressure setting of even thousands plus 500ft on a standard pressure setting on the altimeter (modified barometer) of 1013 millibars).

    What happens next in the mountains in Sulauesi Island and my interrogation, until nearly midnight, in Balikpapan can wait as I have just arrived in very friendly Malaysian town called Lawas next to a sea crocodile infested river and I am enjoying myself.

    25th April Darwin to East Timor

    Oh what a lot to do at 7am with planned departure for 10!

    Out to airfield, load cub with my bits and pieces, weather obtained for Timor and I am off, all most suffocating in the heat of a survival suit in the tropics. Out over the last of Australia I see Bathurst Island from 2,550 feet and set course of 302 degrees for the island of Timor .

    Arrive in bad cloud cover, 6 hours later, and try to creep through 10, 000ft range of mountains, I am told later (A bit short of maps as usual). So scudding round under 3000ft cloud base, trying to get through the valleys that are not there has somewhat limited my chances of a gap direct to Dili and Comoro airfield. Eventually, after the usual180's at the top of blind, dead end valleys on full power steep turns I espy Dili through the mist and an airstrip.

    A cautionary note for pilots: I splashed out on a Terrain Detecting GPS at the London Air Show with forthcoming mountain ranges in mind when, often, I find myself trying to keep on track, low on fuel and concentration (now I wave a bus pass). I thought it may be a wise precaution.

    GPS is fine for a 60sec/500 ft warning of terrain below or above, perhaps for some, when in or out of cloud, IMC (instrument met conditions) or VMC (visual met conditions), but up a 5000ft high narrow granite valley with only 90 horsepower up front, with questionable overload, 30 knot plus wind turbulence from ever changing directions and a cloud base jumping from 3 to 2000 ft in seconds, then it is quite a different sort of ball game. Inexperienced pilots forget it; do not even think about it. If you can kid yourself that an instrument, created by man, stuffed with data by man, which you have to divert your eyes to instead of straining to catch first. This situation is different to the faith you must have in your instruments in general day to day flying. When your tired old eyes eventually focus, you then have to read, interpret and then act upon, which is a delay that may kill you. In such conditions the GPS is in no way as effective as the old A 1 eyeball.

    I land on a sea level airfield. Quick, load fuel as I arrange sleep and food!

    OH no, they have filed her with AvTur, diesel for the jets, and guess what, I appear not to have clearance into East Timor despite intricate precision planning? A civil one, yes, but a military one, no. Our man in Jakarta is full of apologies. Perhaps he has a blind spot or lapse of memory of the fact that when East Timor broke away recently from Indonesia, with a little help from the Australians, Indonesian soldiers, apart from killing thousands of civilians, they beheaded women and bayoneted children as they kneeled in the local Catholic Churches.

    Is it prison or can I go off to the enormous island protest in town, due to the Muslim Prime minister now ordering that no government funds will finance the

    Roman Catholic Religion in schools. Interesting as it is rumoured he was recently caught with one million US dollars in a suit case at the airport. Ah, memories of the Channel Islands and island deceit, generally, through out tax havens. Does he not know these islands were run by the Portuguese for the last 500 years?

    I am out on sort of bail until 8.30 am tomorrow when I am to report back to the Authorities. I am now surrounded by riot police with shields of almost equal height! Do I hear mother? “Oh Maurice, you do just love confrontation”. The haircut (advertisement break for Kirsi James' Darwin Salon) white shirt and gold braid do their stuff and I am back in the Dili Beach Hotel for a superb plate of prawns and a Portuguese type salad.

    Tomorrow's flight is now highly unlikely as the fuel contaminated tanks and politics take priority.

  • 700 Miles to Borneo

    I have just spoken to M who is hoping to leave East Timor today and is planning to do 700 miles to get to Borneo by night. He has had a problem - his aeroplane was refuelled with diesel and not AV gas as requested. So, today was spent draining and cleaning it out. I mentioned that he is sending rather a lot of unedited, poor quality, photos and video clips and seem to have hurt his feelings in the extreme. I suggested that less, better quality would be more...Would someone mail him with some instructions please?

    Have just opened an e mail from Maurice which shows to my relief, that M has taken advice: (mine, the lady from Carlos' Chip shop and just about everyone else) and had his hair cut. He looks a bit more respectable in the shorn state - less mad and more reasonable. As mother points out - he scrubs up well when he bothers. Lets hope there are less incidents now. There are also photos of a shirt with scrambled egg on the shoulders, his belly (I don't know why) and his getting into his dry suit with a lot of help (toothpaste and tubes come to mind). Anyway the old devil looks OK and unscathed by his Heathrow debacle.

    It seems that he had no clearance to land in East Timor despite assurances that he did and so he has spent the day "dealing with beauraucracy" which could mean a number of things...G. Kirk (human) is missing M a lot. We are following his progress on her globe. - KK

  • Touch Down in East Timor

    M's friend Trevor James telephoned me this morning from Darwin to inform me that M had left Darwin at 10.40 hrs local time (9.5 hrs ahead of us) for a 400 mile trip across the Timor Sea. The flight was expected to last 5 - 5.5 hours and G KIRK (the Cub) had a tailwind of 15 knots at all altitudes (100ft is good enough for M).

    I telephoned M at about 9 am and got a signal. He was there and about to clear Customs. Have heard no more. - KK M's wife

  • Successful Test Flight

    Maurice has finally made it to Darwin. He's even managed to test fly G KIRK (The Piper Cub) and seems thrilled with her and is looking forward to flying across the Timor Sea tomorrow (25th April) if the weather allows. He is hoping to set off at 8 - 8.30 am (their time). We are as you know having a bit of trouble with time calculations although I had no 'phone calls from M at 3, 4, 5 or 6 am this morning. I heard out webmaster wasn't so lucky. I think that 8am there will be about 1am here.

    Gen was thrilled to speak to Maurice. She now accepts his going away for several weeks at a time, made easier by her best friend whose dad works in Afghanistan. I think that they compare arrival, departure dates and lengths of time away.

    So, more bloody water tomorrow. I hope that his phone works well enough to let us know when he has arrived and that he hasn't got his feet wet. (I'm not sure where his life raft is - it would be comforting to know that it is with him. It might still be at Heathrow?) - Kirstie (M's Wife)

  • Breakfast in Darwin

    Trevor (the Cub's engineer) picks me up at 12.30 am off my flight from Melbourne (a story in itself ). Up all night with ankle / headache and now the enteritis, ‘oopazootics’ as mum would say. Eventually fall asleep but soon wake to the delicious smell of Trevor cooking bacon next to an inviting swimming pool. Off to Darwin Airport to retrieve my Leatherman knife that caused all the rumpus, the night before (ed - do tell Maurice!).

    I meet up with my old girlfriend in the hangar (Liberty Girl) and Trevor goes through what work had been done, including the need for a new carburettor that I had express shipped from UK last month off my Chaffinch, a Poetenpol look alike aircraft.

    Two wee test flights to check all systems a Ok…fuel supply, radios, engine and pilot! Install bean bags in Cub for buoyancy. Enough to allow the aircraft to bob up and down, with the weight of the engine causing the tail, with radar reflector tape on rudder and tail plan, to stand vertically…well, that’s the theory until I get a shark bite?

    On with a few more stickers on the fuselage, including one in memory of legendary 'Solo Flight’ boss the late Glen Stuart, who came on the London Sydney Air Race, killed in a crash whilst giving instruction. His lovely wife and countless supporters have just launched a Charity to support pilot training for appropriate young folk, short of cash!

    File a flight plan with limited info as having difficulty obtaining charts and downloading the one third area map of the World (Pacific) from a database of the GPS system. Quick swim in the pool, supper and lots of water, as I am still not right. I feel I have just been kicked hard in the guts.

    Now, till 1am I will split luggage into slow and fast piles for journey back to UK, leaving what is light enough to take in the cub, bearing in mind I had no rigorous weight loss regime this time to cross the Timor, booked for 9am, tomorrow for East Timor and many points North.

  • Another Missed Flight

    Missed flight to Melbourne (becoming a bit of a habit!). After crossing half the country on foot these last few days had to walk to board plane about 14 miles away from departure lounge! Around midnight I collapsed on my ankle; almost cried in pain, there was not a sole in sight to help. My arthritic pills have had no effect. Delays now putting clearances through Indochina and Malaya in jeopody ....must test fly fuel systems, transponder and radio. Darwin arrival date - Flight Q 0025 on 24th from Melbourne.

  • Still in Hong Kong

    Wasting time in Hong Kong, apart from finding valuable contacts for the diesel engine change that will allow me into Russia. Have spent whole morning in two shops trying to get GPRS working should have brought some carrier pidgeons with me!

    Wasted nearly 2 hours in a bank trying to get my creit card out of a hole in the wall. I hope this run of bad luck ends soon.

    May abort Vietnam to Macau Kirk charm so far failed to get clearance, any suggestions? Aiming to fly Darwin to Dili Monday 25th if not Sunday 24th. Will update iternerary on website as soon as things become clear.

    Heading out towards Melbourne on next available flight.

  • Hong Kong for Macau by Boat

    Just arrived Hong Kong for Macau by boat to suss out storage with Hong Kong Flying Club.

    Looking for engineers to possibly put diesel engine on cub to get through Russia as they currently refuse cub on petrol. (is there anyone in the world out there able to find me a approx 100hp diesel engine of about 100kg or preferably less? e-mail, please.

    Also China still refusing entry via Vietnam so I am here to ooze 'Kirk'charm to see if I can come into china via phillipines but the runway here is a bit frightening...NEVER land in a field unless you are sure you can fly out again and on the back of a lorry......I cannot even see the hedge at the other end, unless I land across it but then the width will frighten me.

    Spent 2 hours on phone with vodafoone and still the gprs is no bloody good and the mobile phone is flat.

    Hey!!! Cathay Pacific Airlines best food, a cracking gin and tonic and the staff.....magic off to find 'Sweet Pea' Miller, Mike Miller's lovely
    widow....she told me yesterday was he was killed 4 years to the day.

    Will send lots of photos and diary when systems start working.

  • A Day of Disappointments

    Mobile does not work, GPRS does not work, I am yet to meet someone in Hong Kong who has ever heard the name Vodafone! Apart from a splendid fish supper in a back street, this has been yet another disasterous day!

    In the deserted departure lounge my swollen ankle gave in completely, I was too far from the aircraft or for any one around to help carry my luggage, another flight missed. It took an hour to get back out off departure lounge just in time to miss the last train back in town at 1 am. Then a day on the pavements and lugging gear about, no news from HK Flying club on China access. I'm failing to get the computor GPRS working for the 3rd day, has finished off my leg and head for 24 hours

    Just met a Vietnam vet, James, who was shot down in an F4 jet in '71 only to be shot down again in a Huey 2 days later, that came to rescue him.....he escaped on foot 6 days later (he turned down the chance to use a Harrier that day).

    Perhaps I'll find and share a bottle of whisky with him tonight, share a few stories (anyway my ankle needs the medication). The pain doesn't let me think straight so the alternative is I kip right here on the floor as it is 2 am and I am dog tired.

More Posts Next page