Part 4: From Castellane (ES) to Almeria (ES)

Southern Spain

Franky and me enjoyed a lot flying around the Spanish coastline. We rapidly approached Almeria where we considering making another fuel stop. There was a bit more wind in the Almeria region, but the views were absolutely stunning.

Melilla: yes or no ?

We have been flying two hours when approaching Almeria and I was hesitating to land for making another fuel stop. Certainly, I had enough AVGAS on board to make it to Melilla in Northern Africa, but I was hesitating what to do.

When I asked the latest weather report from Melilla, ATC told me that the weather was no VMC anymore and expected to further deteriorate. I knew that 6 planes of our group succeeded already to land in Melilla. And I was hesitating what to do. Weather conditions were excellent in Almeria and above the sea, but the last part in Melilla was becoming challenging. There were scattered clouds at 800 feet and broken clouds at 1200 feet.

Hesitating

I kept hesitating and not sure what I had to do. On one hand, as I organized this flight rally for AOPA, I wanted to join my fellow pilots. And on the other hand, flying in IMC conditions scared me. When something would happen, I’d be kept responsible based upon the weather report. I’ve flown at 500 feet in the past above the sea, but this time I hesitated to go for it. Also because this is my first long fly-out with the Mooney. So I decided at the last possible moment to land in Almeria and play it on the safe side.

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