Battery Issues on Ferry Flight

How we Coped with a Troubled Engine

If your engine started with troubles the last 2 times, the possibility it won’t start the third time will be high. This happened on Kerkira, Corfu with the Cherokee I was flying and ferrying from Cyprus all the way to Lelystad in The Netherlands.


The old Cherokee aircraft I had to ferry from Cyprus to The Netherlands.

For some reason, the battery in this aircraft decided to give up on me. The propeller would turn one time and then it would stop doing anything. I just read the NOTAM’s for Greece that day and the first thought crossing my mind was that there would be a countrywide strike tomorrow. I really needed to get this engine running again so I could fly off to Italy. I called the tower on the radio with my handheld transceiver and delayed my flight plan with 30 minutes from my iPhone.


Our handling agent, Julia, approached us with a worrisome smile and asked what she could do for us. I wondered if she could arrange an external starter for us. She called some people and told me that nobody on this airfield had an external power source for a Piper Cherokee.

Strike in Greece

I looked at the friendly sky and started thinking again about the countrywide strike for the next day. I really needed to get out of this place before this would take effect.


Now I asked Julia if there were any starter cables on this airfield. Within minutes the starter cables and a no English speaking car mechanic were added to a growing force of hard working Greek people around this little airplane. I unloaded the back seat, lifted the floor and connected the starter cables to the battery. A newly arrived baggage handler was put into the car and was asked to provide some RPM into the engine.


I cleared the people around the prop and started the engine within a single turn of the starter. At least I was sure the battery was the problem. We loaded the bags into the aircraft with running engine and asked for a taxi clearance. At last, we could escape the beautiful Greece country with its striking habits. What a relief! 🙂