Flying to dutch island of Texel

I’m preparing the season opener for Aerosport in Luxembourg, which is held on the weekend of April 24-25, 2015. The plan is to visit three airfields located on dutch (near) island, being Midden Zeeland, Texel and Lelystad. The planning is well advnced. As I wanted to practice with the G1000 auto pilot, I flew today together with Kristof Goossens to Texel in order to be well prepared.

I did not take off from ELLX ( Luxembourg) but from Zwartberg-Genk (EBZW) which is nearer from Texel ( only 134 NM). With the 172SP, this flight would take some 90 minutes.

The weather this morning in Zwartberg is fully overcast, but with a cloud basis above 2000 ft and acceptable visibility. A mobile wig coming from the Northeast of the Netherlands should clear skies as we head up north and visibility should further increase.

After take off in the ‘orning in Zwartberg, we avoid the militairy Control zone ( CTR of Kleine Brogel EBBR) even if it is not active on this Sunday. We pass on a Western course and call Brussels information on 126,9.

A bit later, we are crossing the dutch border and are contacting Eindhoven Tower to get a crossing clearance for their CTR. Not too much traffic here and we get cleared to cross thie control zone with our Skyhawk.

Holland is quite flat and we see at the horizon Amsterdam popping up….in the sun. The Amsterdam Control zone (CTR) is prohibited for VFR flights as ours, so we pass on a eastern cours next to it. We’re now flying over the “dutch great lakes” and continuing our journey to Texel. The sights are now superb in every way ( see pictures below)

We approach the dutch island of Texel from the south east via a so called corridor at 1500 ft altitude. Texel seems very small from the sky. Kristof has already been here with his wife and is very positive about this place.

At the runway 04 is in use, we get directly into base leg at 1000 ft. I have some troubles locating the airfield ( where to land) and as we git too high in final to make a safe landing we annouce on the radio: ” OO LVA go around”, meaning we start climbing again. This time we go for a full circuit and a couple of minutes later, we’ve made a safe landing.

The landing fees are 17,5 eurosand the airport manager Mike de Bruijn proves to be a very friendly person. He offers his help with regards to the season opener we are organizing for Aerosport. I also attend a visit to the manager of which is locted directly at the airfield. The suites are very spacious and modern. These are a perfect fit for our Luxembourg pilots.

Texel seems a very nice place to attend a weekend visit in April with the family. But today we are in a hury as Kristof has to work later this afternoon ( he’s air traffic controller). So we take off again and fly the same 90 minutes road back to The Genk Zwartberg airfield.


Last weekend, Egide Van Dingenen, showed me his C182 of the Q make located at the EBZW Zwartberg Genk airfield. This plane has been built in 1980 and since the motor has been replaced (not overhauled), he has been making some 900 hours on it.  

The Cessna 182 Skylane is a great aircraft. It has great load carrying capabilities, moderate speed, and relatively easy maintenance. My son seems to like it a lot as well 

Extended training weekend

The flying season of 2015 is arriving rapidly. I hope to be able to partcipate at many fly outs this year on the Cessna 172 S (marketing name SP) equipped with G1000. Last weekend, I drove to my Belgian flying club in Zwartberg-Genk (EBZW) for some additional training with instructor Kristof Goossens as I like to get a deeper understanding of the G1000.

As an exercise, I have been preparing a flight from EBZW to the nearest airfield in Germany, being Aachen (EDKA). With some 500 metres of length and some high voltage tension lines in the vicinity, one has to fly quite precise.

We have been flying to the CTR of Maastricht. There was some confusion as I asked to cross the CTR via Maastricht (as described on my flight plan), meaning the VOR called Maastricht. The controller authorized me to cross his CTR via Maastricht. Kristof noticed that the controller was rather thinking of the city of Maastricht, hereby giving me the shortest route to fly to Aachen. So we called the tower again and explained we asked to pass via Mike Alpha Sierra. That was ok as well. Understood, next time, I’ll make sure that I directly ask to pass via the letter code. One has to be as precise as possible.

Arriving in Aachen proved to be a great exercise, with a Cessna 172S Skyhawk, one can land on very short terrains. The restaurant next to the airfield seemed nice as well, but was fully booked…so we flew back to our home base in Genk Zwartberg

Next morning, sunday, the weather was really windy. More than30 kts steady with some heavy gusts but in the axis of the airfield (runway 21). We have been taking off in bumpy weather exercising all kind of emergency procedures for this plane including engine failures, stolls, very steep turns, etc… all of that went well as well…and big fun ofocurse