The Chilean customs strike (one month!) required us to use the nearest international airport, we chose Temuco (SCQP), which is brand new and has airlines. Chilean civil aviation is really collaborative and allowed us to rig the Nimbus on the tarmac next to the biz jets and airliners, so we set off, towed by our car, between two movements of the airliners, photo. Flight plan filed for an ETE of 4 hours for 300 km (we’ll be almost on time), we take off without any wind under a wonderful blue sky. After 32 minutes, we stow the engine in at 3,000 m above the shores of Lake Villarica and we glide towards the border with the intention to restart engine above the airport of Pucón, but not without having checked whether the volcano Villarica is giving some lift; the wind is now 210° for 20-30 km/h, insufficient to make the conical ridge work, but sufficient to create a mixed wave and leeward convergence, exactly as written in my book. We are now slowly pushed to 4,000 m, which allows us to easily reach the foot of volcano Lanin where the wind is now 70 km/h. We are now playing in our garden and after reaching 6,000 meters we set off to  Bariloche where the controllers welcome us with a joyous “Bienvenido a Argentina!”. File here.

We will have an excellent relationship with all the ATC in all the towers and Control Center of Buenos Aires because they now have access to the radar screen and even if they are not allowed to use it to make separations with IFR’s, at least they see where we are and have helped us a lot during the many difficult returns over 8/8 cloudsYour content goes here. Fabrice, controllers Julieta and Mauricio, Jean-Marie, Charles and Pierre-Alain, during a courtesy visit to the tower at Christmas.

For this flight, I was accompanied by Sergio Campos, a young enthusiastic Chilean pilot, a formidable professional aeronautical engineer who had made the trip from Valparaiso by bus (1,000 km) just to have the pleasure of making this crossing flight of the Andes. He wanted to repeat the same adventure for the return flight by coming with his car with Jean-Pierre, a pilot of the same club, who was to take over his place in the backseat. Jean-Pierre was so amazed that he did not want to touch the controls, it did not stop shooting photographs and videos! On the return flight, the situation was extraordinary, the volcano Lanin had put on its most beautiful lennies, but we had to interrupt the flight by diving towards Pucón with full airbrakes because the front arrived and we just had time to put the wheel on the ground at Pucón before the arrival of the universal deluge. The Chilean customs and police had moved especially for us by delegating their most sympathetic representatives, see photo. On the Argentinean side, it was exactly the opposite because the customs officers wanted to dissuade the Argentinians from going to spend their holidays in Chile and let pass only one car every five minutes. My wife has done twelve hours of queuing. Under these conditions, adios, Argentina is over.

Jean-Pierre Ohaco and Peter Vermehren observe the work of the Officers for immigration, police, customs and agriculture. All that only for us! Thanks, Peter!

My wife and the crew will wait 12 hours at the Argentinean customs before crossing. Only one car every 5 minutes, in order to dissuade nationals to spend their money abroad.

Happy to reach Bariloche again. Had to clear police, immigration and customs at the international airport (to the right, runway 11/29), then make a flip to the club airfield (to the left, runway 12/30), nearly at night.