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
The next morning, we discover the Parma area. Not many tourists around for mid -August. This region is so beautiful and full of historic buildings. Wonderfull! We enjoy it very much. Mimi brings us to “La Rocca”, that seems to be the best store to get ham and cheese from Parma.
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.
There’s a lot of rain on its way to Luxembourg on this long August 15 weekend. I planned to go to a pilot’s fly-in in Kalinigrad initially and meet there with a Polish pilot, and attend an AOPA supported event, but as I fly VFR, seems not to be a good idea to go that direction due to the poor weather.
Time to work out an alternative plan as I booked the Mooney of the flying club in Genk Zwartberg for several days
As it rains on August 15th, I decided to go working and had a long and productive day in my office with the outlook of a nice new flying adventure on August 16th.
I drive to Hasselt to visit my mother, who’s 89 years old now. After staying overnight at her house together with my son, my mother drops me off the next morning at the Genk-Zwartberg airfield. Today, we are going to pick up the Mooney of our flying club. The plan is to fly the Mooney to Luxembourg, whilst trying to land on the new Parking 5 which just reopened for General Aviation visiting pilots
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.
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).
On May 1st, our group of AOPA Luxembourg planes (8 in total) was all supposed to land in Béziers in Southern France. That would be the first gathering of our group. As we were already ahead as being in Macon, we took it from the relaxed side on this Labour day. I took only off just before noon towards Béziers.
In the past, I’ve used the low altitude VFR corridor East of Lyon to cross to this narrow area. This time I climbed out to a Flight Level and following IFR waypoints, we passed Lyon from the Western side leaving the hills and mountains under us. The excellent weather proved to be helpful.
Our fly-out to Melilla starts ! By late Tuesday April 30th in the afternoon, our Mooney got out of the 100 hours maintenance by Smets aviation at the Genk-Zwartberg airfield. Ready to go !
As I learned from the french AIP (Aeronautical Information Publication) and the NOTAM’s (notice to Airmen) that there are plenty of military exercises on this April 30th on my route towards France, I managed to speak to a French Army captain who informed me that after 6pm, the exercises are over for the day. He learned me that no exercises were any planned above Flight Level 75 on my route. The weather outlook was favorable (scattered clouds) and so we took off around 6pm local time quite heavy packed.
Only a couple of days to go prior that our UPL-AOPA Luxembourg group flying to Melila starts. The trip will be more than 2200 Nautical miles all together, to be performed in 4 flying days. Quite intense to say the least.
I intend to fly with the Mooney M20J , with call sign OO-LVT starting in Genk Zwartberg (EBZW) where it is based. I received a call that the plane of which the engine and propellor are to be replaced this spring, will undergo on the last two days of April its 100 hour maintenance.
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