From Luxembourg to Fayence with friends

Cessna 182

The initial plan was to fly together with Luxembourger Guy and my son Alejandro to Billund, Denmark to visit Legoland. Denmark is complicated this year because of Covid-19. Therefore, the plans changed and we agreed to go for a weekend with Guy, his spouse Chantal en my nephew Franky to Fayence in Southern France. The Cessna 182 with call sign LX-AIX is perfectly suited for this.

Take-off in Luxembourg goes smoothly and we are heading south. Views are stunning as always. Some two hours later, we land at Bourg-Cyzerat (LFHS) for refueling and changing pilots. Corona 19 made a victim as the airfield restaurant disappeared. Continuing with an empty stomach is not an option. Whilst considering options, I get into talks with a Czech pilot who also landed at Bourg. He transports some stuff for a Quad. The van driver of the quad company is willing to drive us to a nearby restaurant. Great plan for hungry souls ! The ride proved to be rough as we had to stay in the back of the van (completely dark, sitting on the ground between machines)

Norderney, here we are !

Summertime is flying time. The weather is under influence of a low pressure system over Scotland, bringing many Thunderstorms and heeps of rain over the Beneluc. I therefore have to very precisely time my flight from Genk to Norderney. I am hesitating because of heavy winds. A call with my Flight Instructor Kristof Goosssens convinced I can give it a try. And so, I take off at Genk Zwartberg heading north at high speeds

CB over Norderney

Luxembourg to Koblenz

Alternative flight

Since the club plane we booked for a week had only had only a couple of engine hours left prior to go for revision, I have to develop an alternative for the planned flight to Southern France. So, we decide to go for the day to Koblenz. I plotted a route flying over all the Moselle castles and the dormant Volcano of the Eifel Region. The weather is nice and so we head for Koblenz

Luxembourg to Koblenz in a Cessna 172

Deconfinement with restrictions

No Pan-European rulesetting

There is non Pan-European common approach with regards to General Aviation, it seems unfortunately not part of the EASA mandate.

Every country is putting its own set of rules in place. In Belgium, one can resume flying with a set of sanitary and security measures, but one can only fly in non-controlled areas (no CTR or TMA crossing).

Covid-19 uniform
Covid-19 uniform

AOPA Luxembourg

The digital road with Zoom

With the current lockdown in Luxembourg, our pilots are all grounded. We have no idea at this moment how long this crisis will take and how we will come out of it. In the mean time, life and club life goes on. With AOPA Luxembourg, we will have tomorrow evening our first video conference call using Zoom communication software. Quite a difference for our club. Typically, our board gathers once a month Continue reading “AOPA Luxembourg”

Part 3: From Béziers (Fr) to Castellane (ES)

The longest day

This May 2nd became a day to be full of adventurous flying. Every team topped up their planes with AVGAS as we’ll have to cross most of Spain. There will be no AVGAS available for our planes in Melilla, so I planned to make a fuel (and toilet) stop somewhere in between Southern France and Southern Spain. I choose landing in Castellane (LECH).

We had to park our planes on the grass over night in Béziers
Continue reading “Part 3: From Béziers (Fr) to Castellane (ES)”

Preparing for Melilla : crosswind exercise

We’re preparing for the UPL-AOPA flyout to Melilla scheduled on May 1st, 2019, which I intend to fly with the Mooney M20J of Limburgse Vleugels. In order to be “well-prepared” with this Mooney, I try to fly it more often nowadays after a forced break last winter due to a license admin issue.

This Sunday afternoon, I invited my nephew and student-pilot for the Melilla fly-out, Franky Coene to join me for a short flight from Genk Zwartberg to Mönchengladbach. A short but intense flight as we have to contact Brussels Info to activate the flight plan, as Beek Tower for a crossing clearance for the Maastricht CTR. Then switch to Langen Info, watch out for intense glider activity and finally prepare for landing at Mönchengladbach. We focused on using the Garmin GTN 750, a really nice tool.

The reason to fly to Mönchengladbach is because they had this Sunday a full (90° degrees ) crosswind blowing, the same crosswind as what Melilla’s airfield is know for. With this Mooney the maximum demonstrated crosswind is only 11 knots, whereas a Cessna 172 can go to a demonstrated crosswind of 15 knots.

It was great and fun exercise

OO-LVT is the call sign of the Mooney 20 J of Limburgse Vleugels

Checkflights

At the beginning of a new flying season, private pilots go for a check-flight with an instructor as the flying clubs we typically rent planes of require this. At Aéro-Sport Luxembourg, I performed such a checkflight. Annoyingly enough, it consisted about making oh so many 360 circles in downwind due to commercial traffic at Luxembourg airport and traffic controlling keeping us waiting and waiting…. Not very inspiring, but always usefull as an exercise

the Cessna 182 of Aéro-Sport