2017 first sign of spring


At the end of each winter, I perform my annual checkout as a private pilot and fly with examinator Michel Notelaers to renew my bi-annual SEP rating. I further pay my annual club fees to my Belgian and my Luxembourg flying club. Finally, I renew my medical certification. All of this happens between X-mas and the end of February. I do so since many, many years. Also in wintertime, we make some plans for the upcoming flying season. This year hasn’t been different.

After a dark, rainy and cold winter, there’s always, every year again a weekend with bright weather and temperatures going over 15 degrees Celcius. You never know when it happens, but it happens every year. This year, that very special date in my pilots life was March 12th, 2017.

Lucky for me, I booked already a while ago a C172SP in my Belgian club from 10.30 am till 1.30 pm for this Sunday, without knowing that we’d have such a bright and pleasant weather. My friend, with whom I travelled two years ago to the US, Ludo Holtappels called me some days ago asking if he could join. My younger brother Marc called as well and so we ended up with a party of three on this particular Sunday.

We decided to fly from Genk Zwartberg in Belgium to Midden Zeeland at the Dutch coast and planned to have lunch there.

I used the flightplan submitting feature of Skydemon to file a flightplan, seems to work very well. Great. After take off in Zwartberg, we crossed the CTR (control zone) of the military basis of Kleine Brogel (not active in weekends) and flew over the old coal mine of Beringen, some at 1500 feet (some 500 meter above ground) and enjoyed the flemish landscape

former coal mine of Beringen

The road is quite easy as one simply has to fly west of the Albert canal connecting Liège and Antwerpen, that’s exactly what we did.


We’ve flying over the radionavigation beacon of Bruno and shortly afterward we got Antwerpen in sight. This is a control zone, so we called them by radio and asked for a crossing clearance. That was approved and so we were flying directly of the city center of Antwerpen

Airfield of Antwerpen in sight
the city center of Antwerp

After Antwerpen, we flew over the mouth of the river Scheldt and enjoyed SCENIC views which all three of us onboard enjoyed a lot. Amazing.

mouth of Schelde
silting up
mounth of Scheldt on the map
more silting up
Cargo ship approaching Antwerpen

Landing at Midden Zeeland was easy. Our flight took less than an hour. My brother Marc was very happy he joined

Picture with my brother Marc

We enjoyed a small dutch lunch at the cozzy bar restaurant of Midden Zeeland whilst talking about planes and dreams. That’s what I enjoy about being a pilot.

bar and restaurant wit terrace at Midden Zeeland airfield

After lunch, we took off again heading back to Genk Zwartberg and followed the same route. No need to take additional pictures. All by all, a very nice first spring day. That’s the way I like it.

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