From Genk-Zwartberg to Parma (Part 3) : The bay of Genua

Preparing to take off

We are in Cannes right now, preparing to take off for Parma this morning. According to Aeroweather, skies are clear, but on the satellite picture, it tells me something different. Maybe a thin cloud layer in the Bay of Genua. Anyway, we’re going for it. It is the first time I’ll fly to Italy on this route, With all the digital tools and AIP, it was not too complicated to find how to plot a route. I also consulted my friend Maurice whilst preparing my flight.

After take-off in Cannes, I’ll follow some kind of corridor north of the Nice airfield. I plan to do so because of the break-in procedure of the Mooney. 5000 feet is recommended and I can not pass over 8000 ft.

As we’ll fly over the sea for quite a while, we have to put our life jackets on. Enough writing, time for action and taking off.

Life Jackets

Let’s go

After take-off in Cannes, I turn out right whilst climbing out. Cannes Tower quickly transfers me to Nice info, whom I explain my intentions. Thay ask me at which altitude I like to cross the area north of Nice. The 5000 feet altitude is approved. Great ! Stunning sights, we never saw the Nice area from this perspective although there’sb some work to stay out of the clouds. Nothing worrisome however

The Bay of Genua

After Genua, I pass over the open sea in the so-called bay of Genua. Beautiful sights again. My plan is to pass east of the Galileo Galilei airport east of Pisa and climb to 8000 ft to pass the Appenines.

Garmin GTN 750

However, there are more clouds than I expected on my way directly to Parma. As I’m bound not to climb over 8000 feet because of the break-in procedure for the new engine, passing via this route seems suddenly a bad idea as I might have to climb to 10.000 feet because of the clouds. So I divert plans and head northwest again towards Genoa, where the mountain tops are lower to pass the Apennines. This works well, but I have to fly for a moment on top of the clouds. The cloud layer closes below me, I don’t really like this very much.

VFR on top

The situation however improved as expected and the mountainous area below me was disappearing. The clouds opened again and I was able to descend and stay away from the clouds. At such a moment, a basic IFR rating would have been helpful, I say to myself. The Italian Air Traffic controllers have got a funny accent, but super helpful. Arriving at Parma was easy, it proved however to be a ghost airport. More staff than planes. I am the only small plane, I will soon found out why.

Arrival in Parma : Mimi Vinckenbosch and her family

My friends are already at the airport and within no time, I am at their house where we will stay overnight. Who says Parma, says ham and there’s plenty of delicious food on the table. We haven’t seen each other for so many years, it becomes a super cozy dinner

A warm welcome by Mimi and Andrea in Parma
The best Parma ham I ever tasted

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