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Greek islands 2014

Rather than adding to the end of the Corsica fly-in thread, I am starting this one fresh, even though the Greek trip continued from Corsica.

Corsica to Corfu

and this is the cause



Final for LGKR

Corfu to Sitia, Crete

I got two new dings in the prop, discovered after landing at Corfu, so I got them either after the start of taxi at Calvi or on landing at Corfu, and it’s fairly obvious which is more likely.

These can be filed out but if you keep getting them…

Calvi needs to clean up its act. It’s not a five quid “UK one quid all day breakfast” place.

Anyway, a most pleasant flight today Corfu LGKR to Sitia LGST…

A nice parking spot at Corfu

and got away really quick – even quicker after a huge military twin turboprop aborted the departure and taxied back to parking.

Enroute…

Forgot to look up this airport

Lots of haze. I am going to have to get to grips with Lightroom and raw files

With 52 USG computed LFOB on LGKR-LGST, the TB20 can fly from one end of Greece to the other without a refuel and with good reserves

Plenty of buildups but FL110 was just right all the way, with a couple of “to avoid” heading changes. Of course I would never do that just to get a better photo of some place

Santorini in the haze… this one will need more enhancement than the whole of Big Brother

Final at Sitia LGST – an awesome pic like it always is. This one is a bit short so I had to use all my skills

Pretty efficient handling etc – €35 if you remember to bring your AOPA card (US AOPA will do). Avgas in drums so I definitely added the IPA

The bowser meter under-read by about 3% which is completely unusual for Greece!

A day and a half here is gonna be tough

Tracking:

That one shortcut is very rare for Greece, IME. Total airborne time about 2:45 hrs.

One of these turned up

with an “interesting” reg

Sitia to Samos

LGST-LGSM tomorrow 0600Z – tracking

Obviously I am hoping those doglegs won’t be flown… it is a Eurocontrol artefact.

Final route flown

Samos to Kalymnos

Ths is via ia a torturous opening times timetable

Kalymnos LGKY

At 2000ft

The airport opens for a couple hours only, for this

The notamed opening times are in fact wrong. The Tuesday 0830-1200 slot is in fact gone now

That is really appalling!!! One could fly there and find the place closed. What is the point of issuing notams for the opening hours if the notams are crap?

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

One more from Samos… there is a vacancy for translators who specialise in brand identity work

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Kalymnos was nice in a sort of barren way…

The route from Kalymnos to Leros was the shortest flight I have ever done

We managed to get away fairly early in the morning, 9am local

The Greek airport paperwork took 45 mins as usual, with about 5 forms to fill in. Total cost €23 of which €12 is the passenger duty. The cost of the staff involved (who do nothing productive about 95% of the time) can only be seen as a redistribution of wealth from the mainland to the islands.

Here is Leros

Is this far enough downwind…. no not yet

Left base

Final, with an “interesting” obstacle clearance posed by the trees immediately before the runway

and with some big insect having splattered itself on the window

The place was packed out


We got parking next to the yacht club

The staff could not do the paperwork after landing (only before departure) so off we went.

Leros is more scenic than Kalymnos and has a lot more greenery

A British “in need of some decoration” estate agent would feel right at home

So far it looks great and unlike the last one, this hotel has a working shower! It is also outstanding value, at €84 total for 2 nights for a huge apartment.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Nice report and nice pictures!

Kalymnos brings back good old memories from last year. Since not many people seem to be interested in natural sponges anymore and the sponge population isn’t as abundant as it once was, the island has found a new source of income: It is one of the TOP rock climbing destinations in Europe (my other hobby that has a vertical and a risk management component).

Here’s some photos of a climbing trip to Kalmynos last year, which I think paints a nicer picture of the island compared to the sloppy aerodrome NOTAMS.

Btw image drag’n’drop is so good, I’m afraid I’ll post too many pictures now.

Essen-Mülheim (EDLE), Düsseldorf (EDDL), Paderborn (EDLP), Mönchengladbach (EDLN), Germany

Great pics! That’s my choice for one of the future trips, next summer latest.

LDZA LDVA, Croatia

Next stop after Leros was Ikaria LGIK.

The flight was another hugely complicated VFR one which being an IFR pilot I struggled with

The total cost at Leros was €23 of which €12 was passenger tax on 1 person – this is the fairly standard cost for these small non-ATC island airports.

They kept us inside the terminal for about 20 mins because this thing landed (on the runway!) and taxied up and sat there with the engine running for ages

Lined up on the runway

I lost radio contact with Leros almost immediately – after about 1-2 minutes in the climb. I filed for 5500ft but the bases of the scattered cloud were about 4000 so I levelled off at 3000ft. A nice flight in the relatively early morning

Passing many small islands on the way

Ikaria runway is now visible in the middle

There was the twin turboprop arriving at the same time so we separated by mutual agreement. I let him in first because he was a lot bigger than me I had him on TCAS at 10nm – the first time I saw a plane on TCAS (let alone visually) in all of Greece.

Final for Ikaria

I thought that twin turboprop was chasing us around these islands (or vice versa) but it was a different one, apparently. I spoke to the pilots – it has a 2000nm zero-fuel range and flies UK direct for maintenance.

There is loads of room for a big fly-in but with no customs and no avgas…

The staff were really nice to us, with lots of smiles.

Ikaria is another great value scenic island, this time with big clouds forming over the mountains due to the wind

I found this radio in an old car – I thought about getting it recertified and maybe it does 8.33. I can think of at least one UK 145 & 21 company which would issue an EASA-1 form for it

The local communist party HQ

This was in the harbour – maybe an F104?

Really fascinating and full of switches that still worked. Also interesting were the standard 2.25" and 3ATI and 4ATI instrument cut-outs – so little changes….

We have one whole day here (tomorrow) and then off to Samos on Saturday for avgas, then immediately to Lesbos to drop off Justine (taking an airline flight to the UK), then on Sunday morning early to Zagreb, then Shoreham.

The notamed airport opening times cannot be relied on, quite, on these small island airports. One has to phone the airport. Nearly all of them don’t reply to emails or faxes… I saw one of my faxes on the desk in the tower at Kalymnos; they obviously didn’t reply to it.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

This will be the last instalment before we head back for the UK…

The opening hours for Ikaria which I was handed when I passed through, as a correction to the notamed ones, turn out to be exactly 3 hours ahead of the notamed ones, and with Greece being UTC+3 it looks like they are simply in local time. That’s odd because I discussed this with them specifically… Kalymnos did have an actual difference though. We tried to cross-check tomorrow’s notamed opening time of 0850-1010 UTC by checking the Olympic flights to LGIK but could not get any flights website to work – they all transfer far too much data. So it will be 0930 UTC to Samos tomorrow and it is a very short hop.

The sea is even warmer than it was in Corsica! This was a nice beach

Food is excellent, healthy and pretty cheap. These two fish came to €15 total, which is about half the price of some more trendy location

Unfortunately the myth of Ikaria residents living to 100 or 110 is just a myth. It may be true of those who are 100 or 110 now, but it isn’t true of the younger generation here who are mostly huge and they smoke.

We have not been able to see things like museums, or get bus rides. There are no bus timetables but buses are rumoured to exist. I know they exist and here is a proof:

The main archeological museum, open in 2013, is still firmly closed and was an absolute bugger to find


Ikaria is a great place to hang out for a couple of days but by then you have done it. It will be nice to head for home… The mobile data is GPRS only and probably about 1 kbit/sec (on both Vodafone UK and a local Wind data SIM) so extremely slow. I have not been able to call Greek numbers from here either (on Vodafone UK) and emailed a friend in Greece to make the calls for me, to arrange avgas for tomorrow at Samos, which is an absolute must otherwise (with about 60 USG left in the tanks) I will have a more complicated route back to the UK. They do have avgas but the hours of availability are “variable”. Anyway, it now looks booked and OK. Also Samos and Lesbos are both PPR for parking (in reality both have massive amounts of room).

I am looking forward to meeting a bunch of Greek pilots tomorrow afternoon and evening, at LGMT

The trip writeup for this one is going to, ahem, take a while

It was super to have Jojo and Dublinpilot’ company, to Calvi and Samos respectively

This is the whole trip, with the following exceptions

  • the return is shown via Zadar but is now planned via Zagreb
  • the three small islands of LGKY LGLE and LGIK are not shown and they were DCT hops from and back to LGSM.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Ikaria sunrise

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Departure from Ikaria LGIK today. The “rock” is Samos, about 30nm away

This beats Shoreham Beach anyday

Right turn after departure

Right base into Samos. It was bumpy as hell…

After a refuel, a right turn after departure

This was the rock which caused the turbulence – the wind of about 30kt was flowing across it from right to left

Plomari – home of the best Ouzo

Left base visual approach into Lesbos LGMT

Final LGMT

Parked at LGMT

A man from the Greek CAA went through all my papers.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Hoping to get from Lesbos LGMT to Zagreb LDZA today – tracking link

There seem to be enough gaps on the IR

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom
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