"The Mini Cooper Caper"


The Mini does the Hamptons(NY) to Cape May(NJ) in just over an hour!

August 1, 2003



In late July, after a six-week wait, Goby's MINI ‘Cooper S’ arrived at MINI OF THE HAMPTONS and as a crew training flight was scheduled for the 1st of August, it was decide that as an exercise the Turbo Caribou would pick up the Mini.


On the trip up Captain “headwind” Hart experienced the joy of a 20 knot tail wind, however closer to the destination it became apparent that the weather forecaster had been a little too optimistic and the area was in fact at minimums, while being vectored to the Westhampton Beach (Francis S Gabreski) airport the controller informed the crew that the ILS was inoperative, diverting ten miles west to the Brookhaven airport where Jim Hart executed an “on the numbers” ILS approach and smooth landing at minimums in drizzle and mist.


A one-hour taxi ride from the airport to the MINI dealer was followed by a brisk thirty-minute return in the Cooper S, the MINI was easily loaded on board the Turbo Caribou with many inches to spare and tied down for its first flight. And just over an hour later after a very smooth ride at 8000ft, the Mini arrived at Cape May airport and the Turbo Caribou easily disgorged its charge.


As usual the Turbo Caribou performed its mission with no snags.










loading mini at Brookhaven NY 1 Aug 03      mini @ 8000ft     MINI unloaded at Cape May       MINI unloaded at Cape May







loading mini at Brookhaven NY 1Aug 03.jpg
loading mini at Brookhaven NY 1Aug 03.jpg
press to zoom
mini @ 8000ft-1.jpg
mini @ 8000ft-1.jpg
press to zoom
MINI unloaded at Cape May a.jpg
MINI unloaded at Cape May a.jpg
press to zoom

Turbo Caribou N600NC flying supplies to Port Au Prince for the UN mission in Haiti.


January 2010




N238PT (September 20, 2011)

Turbo Caribou 238 (N238PT)

Departing Cape May County airport, destination Bagram (Sept 25, 2011).

First Flight of Turbo Caribou N303PT


Turbo Caribou serial number 303 (N303PT) took to the air for the first time on September 17, 2014 flown by Jim Hart and John Early and with two flights totaling 3-hours and no snags, Captain Hart reported it to be the smoothest Turbo Caribou yet.




The viable program that was "Project Tango Charlie" (opportunities lost for all).











Interesting links

blog by David Axe



Turbo Caribou 238 "on the job"










































Turbo Caribou 303 Flyby (Nov 2015)



Turbo Caribou 303 westbound to Papua

Turbo Caribou N303PT left Cape May County Airport on the morning of May 3, 2016 in dismal weather conditions and disappeared into the morning mist just after braking ground. 

The background

During the visit  (shame about the spelling) of officials from Puncak Regency and Trigana Air Service to Cape May in late February of 2016, Regent Willem Wandik remarked that because of the challenging terrain in his regency with minimal available surface transportation, the Turbo Caribou was the only aircraft recommended to deliver supplies such as generators and equipment to improve the lives of his people. 


The Ferry

The crew for the journey to Papua was John Early as PIC, Bob Ambrose as ferry pilot and Greg Hudson as engineer. The long range system consisted of two 529-gallon Turtle-Pac bladders feeding the aircraft’s fuel tank by two electric pumps (main & stby) each capable of delivering 3000-lbs/hr.


The Trip

Cape May County Airport (KWWD) to  Biak (WABB/BIK)


Trip Statistics 

Total actual miles flown - 10,106 statue miles (8782 nautical miles)

Total hours - 54.8 for the trip.

Altitudes flown - Between 12,000 to 16,000 feet.

Average fuel consumption - 850 pounds/hour.

Total oil consumed - 3 quarts.

Duration of trip - 6 days (Cape May NJ to Biak, Papua)


Aircraft Snags

None reported for Airframe, Engines, or Props. One avionics snag - HF radio failed (newly overhauled system!) Bob Ambrose’s portable HF worked the rest of the trip.

Turbo Caribou 303, the office




Turbo Caribou 303, the heritage

Turbo Caribou 303, the reliable power, PWC PT6a-67T



Turbo Caribou 303, finals at Majuro, Marshall Islands International


Turbo Caribou 303, Majuro, Marshall Islands International




Turbo Caribou 303, finals at Pohnpei International, Senyavin Islands, Federated States of Micronesia


Turbo Caribou 303, Arrival at Biak, Papua Indonesia with welcoming ceremony by local officials

    (Center left) John Early, Greg Hudson, Bob Ambrose with Puncak Regent Willem Wandik 


Turbo Caribou 303 (now registered PK-SWW) 

Inaugural flight reception at Ilaga – Papua

September 15, 2016

As John Early say's, "the runway is 1600 ft at 7500 ft altitude. Sporty!"

(photo's and video by Greg Hudson)

Turbo Caribou 302

N302PT Sept 20 2019 4.jpg
N302PT Sept 20 2019 9.jpg
N302PT Sept 20 2019 5.jpg
N302PT Sept 20 2019 3.jpg
N302PT Sept 20 2019.jpg
N302PT Sept 20 2019 2.jpg