With the arrival of Covid 19, our world changed. We got confined Immediately after the last check flight back in March on a C182 with Bernard Frechen. All of us need to stay at home. A NOTAM was published causing all private pilots were suddenly grounded.
The confinement period took way longer as we initially thought. Our Pilot community complied. However, the flight restriction was quite radical and caused problems as one needs to have a plane in the air every month to keep the engine healthy. The alternative, which is putting a different kind of protective oil in the plane, seems complicated.
With AOPA Luxembourg, we’ve been reaching out to the Minister of Transport outlining the troubles General Aviation was confronted with. In parallel, the flying clubs and schools have been putting a plan together with safety and health measures to tackle the Covid-19 virus.
All these actions helped and since this week, all flying restrictions are lifted. But it remains complicated to cross the border.
On March 14th, 2020 I conducted my most recent flight in a Cessna 182. I flew from Luxembourg to Trier airfield with Bernard Frechen for my annual check flight.
The weather was so-so, but flyable. I did some 5 touches and go’s at Trier airfield. The check flight went seamless. Not bad after a long winter break of your private pilot.
Whilst returning to Luxembourg Airport, we flew nearby the Luxembourg prison of Schrassig. I did not realize at that moment that all pilots shortly would feel imprisoned.
Corona crisis developing
As the Corona crisis was developing, also in Luxembourg, our flying club Aéro-Sport initially took some precautionary measures to promote social distancing. However, I did not expect that this would be my last flight momentary on a club airplane. The day after, a bold decision was taken to shut down operations and prepare for a lockdown of our club and the country. The situation seems to worsen rapidly. We are now all grounded for an indefinite period, whereby weeks can become months. Quiet a disaster for the people, our businesses and for us as pilots.
It looks to me this crisis is now only a developing sanitary crisis, but quite possible a big financial crisis will be following next. Possibly devastating in many ways. Meaning, no new flights anymore in the pipeline whilst the weather seems to start improving shortly. This Corona thing looks very bad, reason enough to drink my last Corona bottle in my house after today’s flight. I made the reflection that Corona was until today a Mexican beer and as of now, the name will be remembered as a devastating and destroying global virus. What a tragedy!
My family and me remember late July 2019 in Luxembourg for its extreme hot record temperatures of 40 degrees Celcius. I’ve booked since quite some time a Cessna 172 SP – call sign LX-AIO – at my flying club Aéro-Sport for a long weekend fly-out. I always enjoy when my wife and 9 year old son are joining me for a flight. The extreme hot weather won’t keep me from flying to the French Riviera. Arriving in the Aéro-Sport clubhouse, another pilot informs me that the plane I booked, call sign LX-AIO, has an error with the G1000.
As mentioned in my previous post, I’m speeding up preparations for the UPL-AOPA fly-out to Spanish Melilla in Northern Africa early May. Every weekend , I spent some time on this. This early April 2019 weekend, I booked a flight with Flight Instructor peter Ulenaers in Genk-Zwartberg. Peter suggested me to prepare a flight for Le Touquet.