A little over a week ago, I decided FedEx was the why to ship my my glider to Oz. I had called Qantus, United and American airlines and they all said no to transporting a 15 foot package as luggage. I have heard you can chance showing up to the airport with it and once there the airlines deal with it in a more hands on way. I have done this before but not since 2001. FedEx had quoted me $480 airfreight, and the peace of mind seemed worth it. Peace of mind - until I arrived at the Fed Ex office. I had pre-arranged a pick up and had a booking number, but that left much more paperwork to complete. First I needed an Air Way Bill (AWB 023) and commercial invoice and wanted me to fill it in with a typewriter! Yeah - I carry one of those around in my car ? . Then there was the export paperwork. This all felt a bit wrong since the glider should be a personal item. It took 3 hours to hand over the glider and the eventual price was $620 (one way). I quickly bought an airline ticket for me $700, and that took 5 minutes.
I spent a couple of days packing and preparing for the next 3 months. Fixing a tear in my harness took the entire sunday. I left the house Monday evening and arrived Wednesday morning in Sydney 14 hours later. Jonny kindly rescued me from the airport. And we headed off to the Moyes Factory where everybody helped me extract my glider from Qantus Frieght. We found out where that was and took off there. Only personal effects worth under $1000 Aus can be collected by general public. A broker would be needed to extract my glider through customs. And because it was valued over 1000 I would need to put up a bond (for temporary import), that I would be refunded after export. And because it was second hand, the glider was quarruntined and I would have to get it inspected by the Department of Agriculture.
After 3 days of running around, we finally had my glider and we were off to Gulgong. I owe a debt of gratitude to the Moyes group for there help in finding my way through this process, and especially Jonny who has been running my around and taking good care of me. There has to be a better way of moving gliders around internationally! I was told by one guy at Australian customs that some of the paperwork can be done before leaving through the chamber of commerce using "Carnet" paperwork ?