My 5 year old son Alejandro in the co-pilot seat

There was a strange weather last weekend. In Belgium, plenty of sun and in nearby Luxembourg, plenty of fog. Lucky for us that we stayed the weekend in Belgium. Our son Alejandro received an invitation of my wife’s parents to spent the week in their house nearby Brussels, together with his two nieces. A good reason to fly him over to Brussels 🙂
Nearby Brussels, there’s a small general aviation airfield, called Grimbergen (EBGB), which I never visited so far. It is located within the Brussels CTR and one needs to follow a strict pattern at 900 ft above sea level to get there. The Bottlang did not mention it was PPR, but according to their website it is. So I called them early Sunday morning telling I intended to fly to their airfield. The officer on the phone mentioned as this was my first time I’d fly to Grimbergen, he needed to do a small “interrogation”: he asked a couple of questions on how I intended to fly in their zone, what the landing procedures where and how I intended to fly out. As his phone “test”, he said I could fly in.

My son was quite happy as he could sit next to me. I was very happy to have a junior co-pilot. We took of the the Genk airfield in eastern Belgium (EBZW) in a Cessna 172SP (OO-LVA). Flying from here to Brussels-Grimbergen is complicated, you need to avoid several zones, the more that Diest Schaffen was active

Alejandro ready for take off as junior co-pilot
foggy horizon views

After take off, the horizon views were quite atypical because of the fog over the nearby Netherlands.

I learned Alejandro some basic stick movements…. his first attempt was a bit too heavy however, so we have been doing this together, whilst Kika was sitting on the backseat.

flying over Flanders with great views

 I flew most of the track at 2400 ft above sealevel (QNH) in order to stay out of Brussels TMA (starting at 2500ft). I had to descend to 1400 feet QNH whilst approaching Brussels and followed the small corridor between Brussels and Antwerp CTR at this altitude in order to the waypoint at the north of Brussels CTR. From there, I descended to 900 ft and followed a precise track bringing me directly over the Grimbergen airfield. The runway 19 was in use, so descended to 800 ft for the pattern and proceeded with the landing whilst having a view on the Brussels Atomium. Not bad at all.

A more than happy son  

Landing on Grimbergen airfield was easy. There was not much happening over there, even witch such a beautiful weather. 

Our Brussels family was waiting us up at the airfield and our niece Laura enjoyed taking a closer look to our Cessna and enjoyed sitting on the co-pilot seat as well. Maybe we have two future pilots over here.

Alejandro and his niece Laura

We enjoyed a small family lunch with the kids on the Grimbergen airfield, prior to say goodbye and fly back to Genk Zwartberg

Lunching at th terrace of the Grimbergen airfield

It was the warmest 1st of November on record in Brussels: 20,8° Celcius
Kika’s parents

I had to take of on runway 19 and turn immediately to the left after take off and head from there to the north. It all sounded more complicated that it effectively was and some 40 minutes later, we landed again on the Genk airfield, whilst enjoying the views of flying relatively low over Flanders. We watched the cars driving on the race track nearby Bolderberg (Zolder) prior to prepare for landing.

fog at the horizon

The contrast with the Genk airfield couldn’t  be bigger. Here there were plenty of people on the terraces, we had the model pilots which were very active on the airfield as well as the glider pilots and the sky divers. Due to the good weather, the terrace was full and we remained over there for quite a while. Again another nice Sunday.


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