Maurice Kirk

Maurice's Blog

February 2008 - Posts

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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.
  • Liberty Girl in the Drink

    'LibertyGirl' in the drink 82 miles south east of Caicos, West Indies on bearing of 331 degrees from Puerta Plata.

    Last position: 20N-45-08 W071-21-29 on the 16th February at approximatly 15:30 local time. 15 knot wind from 120 degrees Magnitude.

    She may be floating but dinghy leaking so she may be gone. Fantastic US Coast Guard team - pilots Julie Kuckco and Jeff Cowen AMTC, Brett Crosby winch man AST, Jon Geskus diver. If it wasn't for the beacon around my kneck, I'd be writing this from the bottom of the sea.

    SPONSOR WANTED! To raise General Patton's WW2 cub.

    Boyancy of Liberty Girl - can anyone calculate if she is still floating off Great Inagua, Bahamas?

    1. She has 26 gallons US in her wings and 10 gallons air space.
    2. Her fuselage is stuffed with polystyrene foam (peanuts).
    3. Cockpit has three half full standard UK refuse bags of foam.
    4. Four man life raft is tied to strut but was leaking as fast as I could pump!

    I was dumping fuel from wing tanks from 4,500 feet to 500 feet at say, 400 feet a minute. 

    If anyone spots her there's a reward of $2000 for sighting and lat/long information.
    $4,000 for recovery onto dry land with minimum fuselage damage
    N.B. Cut all fabric to release water from wings and fuselage before hauling her gently out of the water or you will destroy her!

    NEW WEB SITE IN A WEEK...the old one is stuffed! I stuffed it, due to prolific cutting and pasting from lice ridden emails and bent documents!

  • Fog Stops Passage to Cuba

    Thick fog puts a stop to a 6 am flight to Cuba and I do not get away from Leesburg until 09:45 local. The head wind gets worse over the Everglades swamp but what a spectacle of wildlife, especially the Gators, I seemed to check the engine gauges a little more than normal. The fuel consumption is not good - close on six US gallons an hour and I have taken out my overhead tank. Cannot overfly Cuba, I am soon told, without 48hr wait for a permit. Dominican Republic is a must but a long, long way. Conrad, I might be knocking on your door sooner than expected via the Bahamas.

    Turned back in the end and arrive back at the Keys with a T6 Harvard taxing past while a Waco biplane goes for a jolly. And there is a Pitts biplane just asking to be flown. I locate a host for the night. Ray up at Indian River had told me to look him up his name is Freddy and he sorts me out with food, bed, shower and sound advice on “does and donts" if I AM TO VENTURE INTO THE WEST INDIES. Then off to a hangar full of pilots for a beer of sorts, and a yarn or two.

    Going for Cuba tomorrow but much hassle is predicted. West Indies is not so civilised as I thought. Bahama islands are both good and bad. Turks and Caicos steal a pilot"s money, will need a good lawyer. Ah, I know of such a person who represented me once in his first job (unpaid) back in the 80s. He now lives in Caicos, must search him out!

  • Hollywood and American Football

    I have just spent the night on the floor of a well carpeted bungalow deep in the suburbs of Hollywood. Hispanics and Afro Americans all around have such broad smiles, reminding me we are forgetting to laugh at ourselves. Tony arrives on the dot of 10 to take me to Liberty Girl and on to Cuba. Slight problem Tony, I have mislaid my passport, again.

    Using the excuse that still, no one would sell me a map of Cuba, I head north up the gold coast at above 500 feet having to change radio frequency eleven times in almost as many minutes, needing me to orbit at one point in order not to infringe airspace of the busy coastal aerodrome. Matters did not help with the transponder not working and your's truely being misidentified by a friendly controller as a yank heavens forbid! Talking of controllers, the back chat surrounding what I had for supper last night quelled my anxiety a little for my entrenched hatred and fear of anything relating to communications with the ground. When we go flying Liberty Girl and I want no intrusion into our little world of fantasy as if we have left all are cares behind and below!

    I am looking for Vero Beach and a little flying village of some 50 aircraft, many vintage like their owners as I very soon found out. The grass strip between the palm trees and bungalows had three birds, Sandhill Cranes, on the runway on my approach. These are lovely to see in the right place, being a member of the stalk family, but preferably not 70lbs of combined weight smack in the middle of an active runway!

    Tony had radioed ahead to his old friend Lars, of Swedish origin, he having owned in his life many interesting aircraft. The Klem for example, muddled often with the 1930's BA Swallow open cockpit that my Father once owned. Also a Saab Safir trainer was his pride and joy for many years. But in his hangar was DH82a!  But I was soon invited by Mark and Mary to the hangar opposite, housing a host of projects from the 1929 WA Cessna, a 1929 Fleet biplane with a Kinner radial, like my DH2 and numerous other exciting goodies for me to paw over.

    A talk was organised for Sunday afternoon avoiding a Super Bowl game which started at 5.30pm when everybody stops doing what they were doing apparently, to watch it. Sport and the Americans attitude to it is quite different in the old colony. The game for example, much like rounders, only girls play in the UK, is called baseball while rugger in England is played in a vaguely similar way here in the US except an hour first spent dressing up in modern type armour not dissimilar to the way knights of France before Agincourt had to be hoisted onto their steeds before battle due to the excessive weight. Netball in England is a girls game mainly but here in the US it appears you have to be a 7ft tall and male to qualify.


    I have just watched the most exciting game of American football. In the dying seconds of the fourth quarter the New York giants snatched it from the favourites, the New England Patriots. I had Mike on one side teaching me the rules while the crop duster, Ray Dyson, was wising me up to some of the subtleties. I withdraw all the derogatory remarks I have ever made about the game over the past 40 odd years!

  • Diversions in Winterhaven

    At 7am Chris my current host disappeared to fly Delta Air jets to Europe leaving me to sit on his veranda to wireless into my server for e-mails prior to the days flying.

    Later Airborne and heading south, the deflated life raft is now tied to Liberty Girl's roof obscuring the view a little, but the new windscreen gives me excellent warning of the hundreds of aerials and various radio masts that dominate Florida"s landscape. I was punching a 15 knot head wind south to Miami so I was low enough not to take those masts too seriously.

    At 11am I divert into Winterhaven for fuel, I say Hi to the lads at the aero club who helped me out last year. I had come over to the "Sun n Fun" airshow to give talks and had gone for a swim in the lake before sleeping in a rental car. Well, it didn"t quite work out that way. As I waded waste deep into the mud and shingle, a huge dark shape moved in front of me. Two nostrils and an eye was enough for me to move like the proverbial *** off a shovel! I was only in my shorts as I ran up the beach and was definitely not stopping to see if he was following. I reached my car, quite out of breath, now limping badly from an old ankle injury sustained from hang-gliding 30 years earlier. Damn! I"m locked out. My car keys and all my clothes are on the passenger seat. Nothing for it but to walk to the flying club and T hangars with the hope someone is still about at 9 at night. A long walk on that ankle diagonally across an airfield gets me there. I was in luck. The Club rang the "rental" who rang "their local man" who in 40 minutes is there and with conventional and not so conventional methods forces an entry.

    Fond memories indeed but I digress. I am now turning on to "base leg" for "finals" for the southerly runway of Winterhaven before I spot another airplane in the circuit. "Lookout, look out", an essential phrase when flying anywhere in the world. Always assume the unlikely and be ready for it. Always check things yourself in aviation and never rely on others except on the rare occasion when circumstances dictate otherwise. A quick "Hi and Bye" in Winterhaven since there are no landing fees in the US. Refuelled and Liberty Girl and I were off again for Miami.

    Now 3pm. The last 100 miles to the coast was over the Everglades, a flat marshy environment often with no undergrowth at all. Raccoons and deer I definitely saw but there is one short legged fury brown animal I am yet to have identified to me. It was with regret that I heard, too late, from the President of the Florida Aero club, Tony, retired from the motor trade and crash repairs, tells me that there is an unwritten law here not to go below 1000 feet for nature conservancy reasons, it being an area of special importance especially where birds are concerned. Knuckles are wrapped, it will not happen again.

    At 4pm Tony met me at Hollywood Aviation just where he has homed his V tail Bonanza for 30 years. Made in 1964, I guessed right, not realising he has under the bonnet an I.O. 550 Continental of 310 HP giving a cruise possibility of just three times the speed of Liberty Girl! At 4.30pm it was onto Survival Products Inc's factory next to the sprawling suburbs of Hollywood to have my life raft serviced and where I buy another for immediate "use", I doubt I'll need it, but you never know.

    Early evening Tony is desperately trying to find me a hotel with "good, dutiful" wife, back at the house. No good, all full or ridiculously expensive and too far away for a later scheduled meeting and film show. Tony remembers an empty house he has nearby, so that's my pad for the night. My sleeping bag is needed but there's one problem - no furniture, so all work on computer and telephone is done while seated on the loo!

    Now the "eating" in Hollywood was an experience, even for Maurice! At 7pm we all met at a large "Corral" full of local residents of all ethnic possibilities, their average weight being well in excess of the national average. Food displayed was ranged down a sixty foot counter where the queues were waiting for thick juicy steaks, roast, barbequed or fried chicken and many, many other meats under preparation as we watched. Puddings (deserts) stretched all the way down to an ice cream machine that pumped out gallons of any flavour you needed! The kids seemed to be going back to their tables with plates stacked so high to be almost the size of their heads! Oh, yes and when we finished almost everyone went back for second or third helpings as if the world was due to come to an end. I reached for my camera more than once to record the spectacle of the totally inadequate seats they were all slumped on. I thought better of it, returning instead to the counter to get my third helping of scrumptious apricot pie and huge dollops of cream. To cross the Timor Sea, from Indonesia for Darwin in Australia seven years earlier, I had gone on a "no food at all" diet for 15 days before the air race, in order to carry extra fuel load.

    I am not so sure if the West Indies will be treated with such meticulous pre flight planning?