Meet Nikki
Meet Rhonda
Meet Mary Beth
The Route
The Flight
The Pilots
Ladies of the Rodina
The Journal


Journal, Page 1

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June (Entire Month)
This has been a wild month of working on the logistics of fuel placement, route through Siberia, fees, putting time on the airplane, working out any quirks with the avionics, fuel management, etc.etc... So we cannot write about any one thing for the journal. We are taking a laptop computer with us and a digital camera so that you can track us through our route. We will depart Lebanon, Tennessee on the morning of July 4th.. Donuts and coffee at 8AM and the departure at 10AM.. Big sendoff. We look forward to everyone following the flight through our web site.

May 31, 1998
Nikki and our friend Tyler McNutt took the Maule back to Moultrie, Georgia. David Wright (Wright Technology) had to tweak up a few things and do an annual on the plane. Definitely, if you have a Maule to be worked on, this is the man to do it. Between David and Maule Air, Mary Beth is a new and gorgeous aircraft.

May 26, 1998
Faxed our final permission applications to    Russia. The Aviation Authorities have been very helpful with this.

May 24, 1998
Putting time on the new engine and getting used to all the avionics is fun if you incorporate it with fun trips. We took Doug and Marie Dawson , (with the Bridge of Wings Team) to Charlotte, N.C. to the Nascar Races.

May 23, 1998
Flew to Atlanta with Terrie Lawrence to look at an AN-2. Terrie is in charge of our documentary. The AN-2 beside the Maule looks like David and Goliath. Mary Beth, the Maule, is definitely not Goliath.

May 5, 1998
Another fax from Russia confirmed our exact route through Siberia. They changed our original route just a little. The Russian women confirmed their aircraft was an AN-2.

April 18, 1998
Received word from Khalide that the Russian Aviation Authority is fully supportive of our effort and has given us a waiver to fly from Helsinki to St. Petersburg with out the Russian Navigator/translator on board the airplane, as required by Russian regulations.

April 11, 1998
We returned to Nashville, tired and excited....

April 10, 1998
Escorted by Tom Mittnacht from the American Embassy, we met with Guennady Velikotsky, head of the International Branch of the Federal Aviation Authority of the Russian Federation. Along with Khalide, Natassia, and Inna our translator, he explained the steps that we need to take to make this flight a smooth one through Russia.

Our next meeting was with Oleg Yermolov, the head of the committee for this flight, and a Military General. We discussed fuel delivery, route, and the choice of the Russian aircraft. They have chosen an Antonov-2 to fly. As for the Russian regulation stating that a foreign aircraft must have a Russian navigator/translator in the aircraft while in Russian airspace, we will be in compliance because we had decided to have a Russian/American in each aircraft.

Our final meeting on this day was with Albert Nazarov, Director of the National Aero Club of Russia. This is the Aero Club that Marina Roskova flew out of in the 30's and also the one that Khalide flys out of. We discussed with him the many ways they could help and support this flight.

April 9, 1998
We met with Dr. Mikhail Terechtchenko, First Deputy Chairperson of the Russian Interstate Aviation Committee. The meeting went very well. Not only was the flight supported by the Russian Government but they formed a committee to oversee the media and celebrations in Moscow and at the end of the commemorative route in Khabarovsk. They gave us a key contact person, Oleg Yermolov, to help us with any problems that may come up.

That night, we met for the first time, the Russian women pilots. Khalide Makagonova (1984 World Aerobatics Champion) and Natalia (Natassia) Vinokourova (Pilot in a Tupelov 154 for Magadan Air). At once the four of us became friends.

April 8, 1998
We went to the American Embassy and met with Tom Mittnacht. Tom had received a fax from the State Department informing him of our visit. He was very helpful by being our liaison with the FAA in Russia and the Russian Aviation Authority. Tatyana Anodina's office scheduled an appointment for us for the next morning at 10am.

April 6 & 7 ,1998
Because of the voting in of the new Prime Minister of Russia, Tatyana Anodina was tied up in Government and could not meet with us on these days. We met with Galina Korchuganova, the President of Aviatrissa at her home and discussed the plans for the flight.  Included in the discussion was the route, the aircraft, and the fuel.

April 3, 1998
We departed Nashville with our translator, Inna Sanovich, for Moscow, Russia. Our intentions for this trip are to meet the Russian women pilots, meet with Tatyana Anodina's (chairperson of the Russian Interstate Aviation Committee) office, the American Ambassadors office, and the Russian Aviation Authority.

March 30, 1998
We flew Mary Beth to Pine Bluff, Arkansas, (Rhonda's hometown) to Tomlinson Avionics. Carey Tomlinson sponsored our avionics installation. Dickey Robertson met us with Carey when we arrived. Dickey is the technician that will be installing the new avionics for us.

March 28, 1998
We picked Mary Beth up from Moultrie, Georgia where David Wright of Wright Aircraft Technology did a beautiful job with the assistance of Maule Air. Mary Beth is no longer the same aircraft. Factory new Lycoming O-540, McCauley 3-bladed Propeller, new lift struts, glass, brakes, tailwheel, flight control cables, interior, etc etc..all installed and refurbished with David's gift of perfection...

March 23, 1998
We got a call from the amazing people at the Maule factory.  Mary Beth is ready to be picked up.  We will pick her up at the end of the week and will take her directly to Pine Bluff, Arkansas so that Tomlinsons Avionics can work their magic and install our new navigation and communication products.

March 10, 1998
We traveled to Washington D.C. to attend a dinner given by Vice President Al Gore and his wife for the Prime Minister of Russia, Victor Chernomyrdin.  We discussed our flight with various people, including Dr. Goldin, head of NASA and his wife, Yuri Koplev, head of Russian Space, Tatyana Anodina, head of the Interstate Aviation Committee of Russia, Dr. Ronald Asmus, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State to Madilyn Albright, Grace Warnecke, Vice-President of the Alliance of American and Russian Women, and several very helpful members of Vice-President Gores camp.

Earlier in the day, we had a meeting with U.S. Congressman, Bart Gordon to discuss the flight and to thank him for his support in contacting the U.S. Ambassador in Russia on our behalf.

January 30, 1998
We took Mary Beth to Moultrie, Georgia so that the Maule factory could let their mechanic, David Wright, get a good look at the next 2 months worth of work he was going to be doing on the plane. We left her there for the changes that needed to be done specifically for the challenges ahead.

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