Around the world

Uploaded by AFTVPL on 21.04.2012

I’ve been waiting too long for this flight,
whole my life...,
I started flying when I was 16
then it turned out to be attainable.
It just, you have to know what you want,
and do it.
The time is always right to have a good flight.
This moment, today
is a historical day.
We would like to add another achievement to the ones already won
by Polish pilots.
Namely, this will be the first flight of a Pole around the world
in a closed loop system, flight around the world.
Captain Miszkurka is the crew commander.
Andrzej Szymański is the second pilot.
Mr. Bogusław Gajek is a mechanic – experienced person from the Aviation Company.
I would like to wish the crew all best, wind at tail
the same number of landings as take offs
and as little problems as possible.
It was an incident that I met Andrzej Szymański,
who had completed the aviation school in Canada
and I proposed him to fly with my as the second pilot.
Of course he agreed to that.
We will be flying under tough conditions, we have to be sure of our value,
there won’t be any time for boredom.
The plane was the property of Polskie Zakłady Lotnicze in Mielec
it was possible to rent it for the flight,
by the Company wanted to take care of the plant,
that is why, it recommended Bogdana Gajka to be out mechanic.
We will be flying under icing condition
and we will have to avoid such situation.
The plane was produced in 1977.
Note that for 12 thousand planes produced,
only this one flew around the world.
Not only this, in the history of the Polish aviation, from the beginning,
through the war, until now, no pilot, no Polish crew,
has never flown around the world in Polish airplane.
We have a bed...,
we will fly in bed.
Adieu AN-2...
On 22 of July we have taken off from Mielec, without a life raft
and flew to Rzeszów hoping that the raft will arrive before the journey.
There was no time to think, we just flew.
First section July 24, Rzeszów - Thessaloniki.
Long trip, but we had full tanks and flew at altitude 10000 feet,
3 kilometres, avoiding large clouds on our way.
After 6 o’clock, we have landed in Thessaloniki.
At the moment, we are on the airfield in Thessaloniki.
The plane was alright,
the flight was performed at the altitude 13000 feet, this was the longest part,
this took us 6 hours.
Andrzej prepares for the flight, because tomorrow we fly on VFR,
because there are high mountains on the way to Tabriz.
We took off from Thessaloniki, flew over Istanbul,
of course it was getting hot, we were as high as possible.
We flew and flew and got to Zaheden.
Place in Turkey, where the Kurds live.
We landed there, because we were worried that we will have problems with fuel.
Completely different world, Muslim, different culture,
everything was different for us.
We took off and flew near the Arrarat Mountain.
We flew to ZUA base in Iran.
Grzegorz was a director in here.
They are very nice people and helped us a lot.
ZUA mechanics and pilots gave us shelter for two days.
Fly over the mountains will be difficult for sure, at high temperatures.
That is why we have to properly prepare the engine for the flight.
So to land with peace at mind.
We flew over the whole Iran, between the mountains.
There were three Sand tornados that we had to avoid.
There were not clouds, only the blue sky.
On the second day, we flew over the whole India to Calcutta.
On our way, we passed very strong monsoon storms.
We flew over the mountains.
It’s good that we had VFR maps, because we flew between the mountains and storms.
We were manoeuvring in order not to hit anything, the visibility was low.
We arrived at Calcutta, beautiful, great city, but only from above.
One day passes, second also, we are informed that we cannot fly through China.
We need to fly over Taiwan and other countries.
This stopped us in Calcutta for two weeks,
we stayed in Calcutta for over two weeks.
How do you like that?
Not so much...
I didn’t think that mother Theresa is in Calcutta.
Our driver gave us a lift to where she lives.
We knocked, she opened. Is mother Theresa home? Yes she is.
Can we visit her? Yes, please.
She was very pleased that we visited her,
and said that she will join us on our second flight.
It was nice meeting her.
When we left her, we felt lifted, like we were going to heaven.
It was this feeling we had.
We were incredibly lucky on the holy ground.
Unfortunately, when we were in Seoul, we heard that she died.
This was around two weeks later.
After many problems, we flew towards Thailand, to Phitsanoulok.
We took off with problems, the temperature was very high,
"Antek" barely took off at the start.
We are now over Baibar, heading to Thailand.
The storm is all around us, we need to dodge it,
but it isn’t always possible, the flight is tough.
About 100 km before Phitsanoulok, berm from side to side.
Dark cloud for 16 km and lightning around us.
I say, boys, we fly cross, there is not other option.
It was as dark as night, it was bumpy,
I’ve never had such turbulences,
speed 250 km/h, speed 90 km/h, I was afraid of one thing, heavy plane,
at this g-load, we can lose the wings.
After about 10 minutes of flight, beautiful weather ahead of us.
We are over Thailand, 7 hours 15’ we fly.
We landed in Phitsanoulok, the first airport in Thailand.
Shock, people are different, everybody is bowing.
Now we are in Thailand.
We were surprised, not accustomed to such habits.
What happens, we have whole fuselage wet from the bottom.
If this means that we have leaking cooler,
we’ll have to drain oil, remove the cooler,
solder it, install, etc.
On the second day we were informed where the car shops were,
to repair the cooler. They weld right on the street, we went there.
At the moment, we try to solder out oil cooler.
We need to teach the locals how to solder the,
what is hydrochloric acid, what it is used for.
Now, it is about 30°C, humidity ca. 90 %,
if you have never felt this, you won’t believe how hot and unbearable this is.
That’s why a beer is a salvation.
We soldered the cooler and it made the whole flight.
From there, we flew to Ubon, eastern part of Thailand,
near the border, at the Mekong River.
We were welcomed there as kings, we were the first guests at the hotel.
Local television came.
They advertised the hotel, we made one show flight for them.
Andrzej was the pilot, I was fed up with flying.
This was very nice.
Then, we went to the Mekong River.
We saw Buddha temples.
We had to make a gesture, we lighted up a joss stick and left it there.
We took a boat and through the Mekong River passed illegally to Laos.
Now, we are at the order with Laos,
we discuss the trip to the other side,
we want to eat dinner there.
The river is a few kilometres wide, incredible.
We entered wilderness and got to some village in the jungle by the river.
What’s interesting, there’s a sign „No Picture”.
We need to take pictures in secret.
People live here, trade, this is how the life works here.
Except the typhoon, the weather situation is quite good.
At the moment, we are interested in this and we will see what happens tomorrow.
It was time to take off, we look at the forests,
where the war was recently, we pass Vietnam with weird feeling.
Before we Got to Manila, we were “boosted” over the see,
and flew like crazy almost 300 km/h.
Ships near Manila, at the wharfs were upside down, large tankers
container ships were laying on their sides due to the typhoon.
Manila was flooded, rivers were on the streets.
We leave the Philippines, we are over the Chinese Sea, heading for Taiwan.
The weather, as you can see.
We are at Kaoshiung, the second largest city in Taiwan.
It surprised us with cleanliness and well organization.
People are very nice, it’s good to be here.
Now, we are trying to get a visa, we didn’t have one.
To Taiwan.
We take pictures and make movies.
We need to get a visa. We will be in their computer?
Ladies and gentlemen, now we present you our greatest actor, Bodzio.
This is an ..., hahahaha..., actor from Hollywood Poland.
I don’t know how, but we were speaking Polish,
this guy comes and speaks Polish.
It turned out that he is a professor at the local university,
and carries out studies over some plants.
He invited us to dinner and we spent a lot of time together.
Very nice guy, I still have his card.
This was very nice.
From Kaoshiug we planned to go to Seoul.
To South Korea.
But the wind from the typhoon is so strong,
that we flew 50 km/h, cruising speed.
I knew that from the second typhoon we will be "boosted",
we will fly much faster.
We reported to the Korean air space,
and the controller says that the Chief of Staff of American Army
gave us the permit to land on the American airport near Seoul.
We had everything set up and we could fly there.
We approach the landing field and there are three landing lights
for F-16, that stay there. Landing as during the daylight.
We landed there.
Customs officers came, they handled us without any delays and troubles.
Daewoo representative welcomed us and gave us a lift to a hotel, Hilton I guess.
We had all separate rooms and waited for the flight to Japan.
It turned out that is was not that easy, Japan wanted 10000 USD.
for the permit and refuelling.
We stayed at the hotel 8 days and saw the city.
We are at the Museum of War,
not only the Korean War.
Plane DC-4, army version was named Skymaster C-54.
It was commonly used, some American companies use them today.
On the opposite side, we have C-46, American transport plane.
Slightly bigger than DC-3.
C-119 which we can enter.
This is a pilots’ cockpit and it is closed.
This is how it looks like, more or less.
We are next to the grandpa of our AN-2, in Korea, in Seoul.
It is, of course, an incredible surprise.
Ambassador had the time for us.
Atmospheric discharges, winds and of course typhoons.
We had the opportunity to see how tough it can be.
All the way to India.
We were at the party of the president of Daewoo,
there was dinner.
In Seoul, we met Polish LOT pilots on contract.
They flew in Asian air lines.
We are hosted by our colleagues, pilots, who fly in Asia.
We took the invitation, and now we are at Mr. Czesio.
We met every night and told different stories.
When will you be in Toronto?
I’ll be in Toronto? When will we be in Toronto?
It was very joyfully, sometimes even to dawn.
However, we had to go to Kamchatka, to Pietropavlovsk.
Beautiful weather, so we fly.
We fly, Kuril Islands, great weather.
We approach Kamchatka and the weather breaks.
Wall of clouds, the weather is different.
We enter the clouds, icing.
The Sun will set soon.
We entered, the icing was not that big.
we descended, the radar took us down.
We were very happy to see lighted runway, we landed.
We are in Pietropavlovsk.
I don’t believe, that after two months we left the "orient",
we are still in Asia,
but the whole "orient" is left behind.
After today’s section, that was 1820 km,
this is a history now, we are in normal country.
I already feel like I’m home, in Poland.
We are at our hotel, in the room, came to see us,
navigator Vołodia, with his son.
He brought us food in a pan.
Andrzej eats garlic now.
What do you call this?
After great discussions, everyday meetings, map on the table.
Waldemar we asked, what do you want? I said yesterday...
The permit finally came, they said you can fly straight forward.
The case was closed.
We have finally taken off after 12,
this means that we will be landing at night
We fly, in the middle of the section, it’s dark, ice.
Ice catches us, we hear that Anchorage Centre calls us.
The Americans are calling us, they are looking for us,
we switch to frequency St Paul Island, we landed.
Incredible happiness, but emptiness around us,
the lights went off, we are all by ourselves.
Gentlemen, where are we
I don’t believe that we are here.
That we got here in the first place.
11:00 hours, over the water, give me break. We talk later.
Where are we? Is this some small island?
Beautiful island, small but very beautiful, great.
Between Kamchatka and Alaska.
Ok, it’s Alaska.
We are at the end of St. Paul Island, in the middle of the Bering Sea.
The weather is very windy.
A lot of seals here.
We will fly to that direction, show us Bodzio what is the weather like there.
I hope that it will be a bit better.
We can see here beautiful, severe climate of Alaska.
DC-6 plane arrived the next day, four-engine, piston.
It collected crabs to Anchorage.
Anyway, are you flying around the world?
Would you like some fuel?
Sure we do!
They took out some pipe.
Put it into a barrel and gave us 600 litres.
Now, we are at the base of the American Coast Guard.
Andrzej sits, drinks beer, talks to one of the pilots who flies here.
The discussion takes almost 2 hours, Andrzej drank 2 beers.
People play here.
This is a cook, who cooked for us today.
This guy took us today.
At last, we are in some decent place.
Different world, we left Asia, different world.
We took off for Anchorage, the flight was long.
However, when we saw Alaska, we were very happy.
Alaska at last.
It will be in a minute.
Andrzej said that when he is in Anchorage, he returns to Poland.
He started the work for the air lines.
I say, ok.
3 hours .
We got to Anchorage, Ron was there, TV arrived.
There was an interview with me in the news.
We showed the plane and rested.
We are now at the Aviation Museum in Alaska, Anchorage.
The whole history of flying in the North.
We can see the way the people used to fly.
This is the most popular place,
where the planes fly on floats.
This is one of the aviation pioneers .
This is how a typical pilot used to look like once.
The things are different now, this i show it was 50 years ago, 30 years ago.
Anywhere here, in Anchorage on Alaska, we see this landscape.
Water everywhere, where is water, there are planes of floats.
The next section was to White Horse, to Canady.
We started from Anchorage, to White Horse we got at night.
We are in White Horse, the same place where Roman had its restaurant.
Here, at the Jukon River.
It flows as it did before.
Nothing has changed.
It is fall now, winter will be soon probably.
I remember the times, when it was -26°C, I was with no money
and had to manage somehow.
We are on the airfield, at Ron's plane, this the third airfield in the area.
Ron took the opportunity, Bodzio overhauled engine in his plane.
This is probably the last day we are here.
We leave tomorrow.
As you can see the weather is good, we’ll be reading that direction.
From White Horse we flew to Edmonton,
but we had to pass the Rocky Mountains.
The weather was good but we had to cling over 3000 m
in order to pass the Rocky Mountains.
We climb and climb, we are above the clouds,
the clouds are getting higher and higher.
I touched the rudder, the plane descends.
It's alright, no moves, only two fingers and that's it.
We flew to 4650 m, we drove with our wheels on the clouds.
Every now and then, you could see the summits.
Now I think, it’s not the best time for something to break.
Should the engine go down for any reason
or the coulds go higher, we’ll catch ice and we won’t be able to keep the altitude.
In the clouds we’ll fly straight ahead, lower and lower,
there’s no chance to pass the mountains in the clouds.
I was stroke with the situation very hard.
As the Rocky Mountains ended, prairie started and the clouds were gone.
The weather was very good.
This was October, I was afraid that the weather
will deteriorate and it won’t be possible to fly.
It turned out that high arrived and the weather was great.
We can see the Greenland, 100 miles from the shore, the great water is behind us.
Tomorrow, we go further, and soon we will be home.
Greenland again.
We had some problems with propeller after taking off from Sansurak.
At Kulusuk we had to adjust it. We didn’t do it perfectly.
We didn’t pay much attention to it.
We are at Kulusuk, we flew from Sansurak due to weather.
It is the beginning of winter in Greenland.
When we took off for Reykjavik I felt like home.
Z Reykjavik to Stavanger in Norway.
This is the end, this is Norway, Poland soon, the end.
We have taken off at 5 in the morning and had very Bad weather.
Controller from the radar calls,
climb to 10000 feet and you’ll be over the clouds.
We fly over the clouds and see the Sun to rise.
Incredible joy, you knew that you were flying to Poland.
The last section.
We arrived at 14:00, it was beautiful weather, cumulus clouds.
I flew around the tower twice, kissed propeller,
opened the champagne.
This was the end of the flight.
I hereby announce, that the commission on 9.12.1997
after counting all the votes,
that were sent to the contest, "Wings",
I award "Wings" for Mr. Waldemar Miszkurka.
Mr. Waldemar is a pilot and flew the whole globe in AN-2.
He’s the last Pole to see mother Theresa from Calcutta,
he’s a globetrotter and a great man.
Mr. Waldemar, please say a few words...
He was moved...
I didn’t expect that, really.
I would like to thank all the readers who voted on me.
Did I deserve this...?
Restoration of VHS material
All historical materials used in the movie
are from private collection of Waldemar Miszkurka