Don Ratliff’s opinion of Jeff Miller’s flight across the North Atlantic

During this holiday weekend I have had some time to think about my fabulous trip to Europe with my new found friend Jeff Miller in his superbly equipped late model Cessna T182.

Let me begin by saying that I learned a lot about Jeff, starting from the very first day we spoke about the trip, and continuing on through the trip itself.

Some things I learned about Jeff.

He is quick to learn anything new about aviation.

He is eager to learn anything new about his equipment or aviation in general.

Jeff has a quick mind, somewhat like a dry sponge, he soaks up new information instantly.

He is eager to learn anything that will improve safety.

He listens well.

He offers suggestions that are helpful.

He takes constructive criticism well.

He has a talent for being a good, safe, well educated pilot.

He uses his check lists well.

Jeff learned that even if you don’t have a database in your GPS for the route to be flown, you can do it safely with the “user” database, as we did when GPS first came on the scene some 18 to 19 years ago.

He adapts to a new environment quickly and works well within that environment. I am talking about the North Atlantic position reporting and working with controllers in Europe who have an “accent” and may use slightly different, or sometimes very different terminology, an example would be a request to ” pass your message”, term very common in the UK.

It was not all a one sided learning experience. I learned a few things from Jeff myself about the G1000 glass panels that I have not taken the time to learn previously. Just a little “fine tuning”. And I have flown 50 or more glass panel aircraft across the North Atlantic.

It was a very pleasant experience for me, getting to watch someone who is truly committed to doing the best, and safest job possible in a new and different environment. I know that Jeff with continue in his learning process as he undertakes new challenges in the world of general aviation. And I am sure we will be taking another trip sometime as Jeff moves up the ladder of general aviation with more complicated, faster and higher flying equipment.

We discussed my idea of leasing a King Air 200, repositioning it to Hawaii and inviting three “honeymoon couples” or couples, of any age, who would want to experience the thrill of flying around the globe island hopping to such exotic places as Christmas Island, American Samoa, Norfolk Island, New Caledonia, Brisbane, Alice Springs, Perth, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, The Maldives, Muscat, Dubai, Malta, Barcelona and the Azores.

Best regards

Don Ratliff