EBZW to EBSP in a C172

I admit, I have been not very active on this blog. Why ? Building a house, heeps of work and having now a family. This does not mean however I have not been flying anymore. Not at all, but the environment changed quite radically. This weekend e.g. I’ve made a small flight from my basis in Genk Zwartberg (EBZW) to Spa (EBSP).

My wife Kika and our son Alejandro joined me as well as my friend-pilot Ludo. The weather was quite weird this weekend. You had an Atlantic front pushing from the west and a zone of high pressure building up from the east. In the west of Belgium, it has been raining most of the weekend and in the Southeast, it was not only sunny and also warm for this time of the year.

At noon, I was unsure whether we could take off, low hanging clouds and quite hazy. On my Ipad, I followed the weather developments quite closely. The forecast mentioned skies would open as of 2pm….and yes, it happened as planned. I sms-ed my friend Ludo that we were ready to go.

We decided to take off at 4pm. Some humidity and a fog field was arriving from the South, reason to hurry up to be in the air. We took off in the northeastern direction with the four of us, heading for Spa. I saw the misty weather arriving above Hasselt, but in the Southern direction, skies were clear. Ludo flew this first part to Spa and he decided to avoid the CTR of Liège (EBLG), passing by the small uncontrolled corridor between Liège and the dutch border. At this small corridor, a sharp lookout is always necessary.

The visibility increased sharply when we passed nearby Liège (as we flew into the Ardennes). As we were having some thoughts on what the visibility would be like when returning, we listened out Brussels Volmet. The radio responded: ” Brussels, temperature 19 degrees, dewpoint 16 degrees”. Very little difference, so we decided to take no risk. Whilst in downwind for landing in Spa, the local radio announced a paradrop in the next two minutes. We hurried up and landed. Duties were paid and we switched seats and took off immediately again. I flew as well onto the VOR of OLNO, before flying on a direct course to Zwartberg. The air masses wer completely quite by now and peacefull. My son (almost 3 years old) enjoyed the flight and got very excited. A good half hour later, we landed in Zwartberg without any visibility problem.

I should do more of these nice Sunday afternoon flights, is the thought which keeps coming up on my mind