Stop the closing of the Helsinki-Malmi airport !

Helsink-Malmi airport to be closed ??? 
Dear fellow pilot,

We got the sad news that there are advanced plans to close the Helsinki-Malmi airport (EFHF), which is a catastrophy  for general aviation in Finland and Europe.

Hereunder is a petition which needs to be sent to the Finnish members of parliament. It aims to support our initiative to keep the airport of Helsinki-Malmi open.

Don’t think that you are not concerned, every airport faces their problems and that is when pilots come together and support each other.

Please copy paste the text below, fill it out and email it to


Peter Sodermans & Marco Felten
private pilots


Subject: Legislative initiative Lex Malmi
To: All Members of Parliament of Finland
Distinguished Member of Parliament of Finland
Helsinki-Malmi Airport is a world-class historic and cultural treasure. It is a beautifully preserved 1930’s international airport, of which very few have survived to present day in their original use. Such a proud, living monument of an independent nation’s history deserves the respect of the present and future generations.

It is all the more important to save the living historic aviation milieu of Helsinki-Malmi Airport as it is the backbone of general aviation and pilot training in Finland.

The planned destruction of this unique historic environment to make room for a suburb cannot serve the greater good of society, especially when considerable areas of unused land exist elsewhere in the city and its surroundings.

We, the undersigned, wish to see Helsinki-Malmi Airport preserved as an active airfield of great historic, architectural and functional value. 

Please support legislative initiative, Lex Malmi, to preserve Helsinki-Malmi Airport, listed among the 7 Most Endangered heritage sites in Europe in 2016 by Europa Nostra and the European Investment Bank Institute. 
Keeping Malmi Airport in operation does not pose a problem to residential construction in the area. Aviation and residential construction are not mutually exclusive. Both are a part of the prosperous future of the whole capital region and especially all of Finland.
By decision to save Malmi Airport, Parliament of Finland would lead the country of 100 years independence into a new century with courage and determination.

Organisation if applicable

LX-AIO was visible on Flight Radar 24

I upgraded to the gold version of the app called Flightradar 24. They call themselves the facebook of aviation 🙂 

FR24 uses the ADS-B out (called extended squitter) of commercial airplanes. Here one FR24 station receiving the signal is enought to track an airplane as it constantly sends its GPS location, speed, altitude, etc…
The  airplanes of Aéro Sport are capable of doing the same but is is not activated on LX-AIO and LX-AIE. For the other club airplanes our transponder is not capable of ADS-B(ES).

On the other hand FR24 uses a process called multilateration (a bit like triangulation used for navigation). In order to figure out where the Aéro Sport airplanes are, the system needs at least 4 stations receiving the signal simultaneously. Multilateration position is calculated based on the time difference the signal needs to get to the different stations. Station time stamp quality differs widely based on the quality of the type of station. Coverage differs widely throughout Europe and station density is quite sparse in eastern Europe.

In order to maximize the chances of tracking me (at least partially) on our journeys on FR24, one tries try to fly as high as possible in order to maximize the range of our signal, effectively improving the chances that a larger number of stations can send data to the servers.

Here’s a screenshot I retrieved from our flight from Montpellier towards Fayence some days ago in the LX-AIO

The outcome

We finally agreed that I handed over our Cessna 172 to Guido Peterzelka and his wife as he needs to be back in Luxembourg on Tuesday morning at latest.

We have some spare tickets left for a regulair airline flight to Luxembourg, so the decision is taken that Guido and his family fly the Cessna back on Eastern Sunday towards Luxembourg. The weather was a bith rough in Avignon ( 2!5 kts of headwind with gusts to 40 kts) , but Guido managed to land the Cessna safely in Luxembourg at sunset. 
Next weekend, he returns to Fayence with a regular airline together with a technician in order to fix his plane and fly it back to Luxembourg. Let’s cross fingers it all works out for Guido. 
My Eastern 2017 journey ends somewhat different than what we planned, but it was a memorable vacation which I’ll never forget.

Changing plans !

It is no option that Guido Peterzelka continues his flight to Luxembourg in his Beech Bonanza. If the engines heats up again without the oil pump seal issue being properly adressed, he could eventually in the worst case get fire on board as oil can ignite because of the heat. He made several calls with his co-owners and technical support. His plane stays grounded in Fayence till next weekend, that’s for sure.

So our stay in Fayence takes a different turn, the Eastern bells nevertheless passed on Sunday bringing eggs ro the kids. In the mean time, we enjoyed some good moments together visiting the Saturday morning fresh market in Fayence. Wonderful place, I like it a lot.

Problem in Fayence

We’ve landed yesterday in Fayence coming from Sabadell and our friends travelling with us on this journey through France and Spain, the Peterzelka family, planned to fly this afternoon from Fayence to Leverkusento celebrate Eastern with their family..

However whilst preparing to take off with their plane, something happened. Whilst they were lining up, smoke came into their canopy and they had to evacuate the plane. Very bad ! They’re making some calls now to see how this is gonna to be fixed. Seems a problem seal with the oil pump at first glance. It will change the rest of our journey
They already had some kind of higher oil consumption as usual throughout our journey because of a small leak nearby a seal at the oil pump, maybe this is linked to what happened today. Very bad, likely no big thing, but it needs to be reviewed and fixed by a technician.

Flight from Sabadell to Fayence along the coastline. Stunning views

Our next stop is Fayence in the Var nearby Cannes. I don’t dare to fly on a direct course over the sea. We have swimming vests, but no dinghy’s in case the motot of our plane stops working. Of course, the plane does not know it is flying over the sea, but I’m not taking the risk and that’s why I planned a road along the costline to Fayence. There are many restrcited zones in France, but if one flies high enough, I’m often above these zones. Plenty of wind today, but that’s not of a concern. We refuel our plane in Sabadell and take off at 2pm sharp for a flight of a couple of hours in our Cessna 172

Even before crossing the French border, I’m already in touch with a very friendly air traffic controller of Montpeller. He’s very helpfull and guides us whilst overflying many airports allowing the need in me to take many pictures.

The weather worsened when we approached Fayence, Cannes was already fully covered with clouds. I know this area quite well, so we flew under the cloud base and landed with a long final appraoch in Fayence. Our friends, the Peterzelka’s landed just behind us.

Barcelona and Gaudi

Never tried this before, but it proves to be a convenient way to explore the city of Barcelona…and different from a Cessna

We stayed in the Catalonia Ramblas hotel, which proved to be an excellent choice. Perfect location in the center of Barcelona and excellent beds. We strolled the whole day through the town
Our son does not miss any opportunity to eat the Pimientos del Padron, hoping he will get a spicy one. I fear that one he got his spicy one, his quest for Piementos will be over for a longtime..’

Safely landed in Sabadell

We  just safely landed in Sabadell nearby Barcelona and are now enjoying a beer on a sunny terrace with a pilot friend of Guido Peterzelka, named JördI Osterloh.

Next route : from San Sebastian towards Sabadell nearby Barcelona

This Wednesday morning, the weather looks good and I have prepared a flight all over Spain from the Atlantic shores to the Meditarrean nearby Barcelona, where we schedule to land at the Sabadell airfield. We’ve booked a hotel at the city center of Barcelona for 2 nights. On the left sight, we’ll have the Pyrenees mountains. Sounds like a good plan.
In advance of this trip, I read and heard that Spanish airports are sometimes troublesome. Not for us. All the experiences we had were good, but I must say we were well prepared and I contacted all the airports in advance. A simple call can do miracles. Communication is the key.
The flight as such was absolutely wonderfull. Stunning views of northern Spain which looked remarkabely green at this time of the year. Big ( BIG ) fun and a highlight of this private pilot vacation with my family. Enjoy the pictures below.

My son likes to be the co-pilot, asking all the time questions ….:)
And than, suddenly out of nowhere, a mountain ridge in front of us with a famous construction on it. The monastery of Montserrat. A tourist spot by excellence , but the best views you get from the Cessna LX-AIO passing nearby.

San Sebastian : Europe’s food capital

This Tuesday is another non flying day with only tourist activities in San Sebastian. The climate here is a rather humid one. The place is known to be a European food capital and hosts some of the best restaurants one can find. We are truly tapas lovers howver and always keen on trying the Piementos del Padron. Today, we simply have been strolling into town at a relaxed pace and enjoying the particulary beautiful town of San Sebastian with plenty of characteristic places. How nice !