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Quick weekend stint to Quiberon LFEQ

With the weekend weather being promising along the Channel coast, and wanting to escape the tristesse of Den Haag, I decided on Friday with the next-forecast in hand to book a night in Quiberon and visit the Bretagne. Apart from a few day trips to Le Touquet, it would also be a first longer-distance trip through French airspace. The planned routing was, adjusting for some prohibited areas, after Rotterdam to cross Belgium via the usual COA-KOK route, the towards Dieppe, Deauville, between Dinard and Rennes, and Vannes.

On Saturday morning, an overcast around 4000ft manifested as forecast, the route looked good, and I left around half past eight local. Within all the grey, it seems there’s a blessed spot in Belgium:

Around the Baie de Somme, the overcast disappeared and the first rays of sunshine started to brighten the day!

Onward, Lille Info sent me on to Paris (Control?) which was a bit surprising for Paris as well, but they fit me in between the commercial traffic chatter and handed me over later to Deauville Approche for the TMA crossing. Here, things went a bit sideways as I could read Deauville at best 1-2 out of 5, while other traffic they talked with was coming in clear. In the end, the problem seemed to be that the our Icom A210E (apart from the squelch issues) does not work really well in 8.33 kHz mode when talking with some 25kHz channel stations. Since the route I was on seemed to not throw me any 8.33 kHz channels (have the French mostly dispensed with that idiocy at low levels?), I switched the radio to 25 kHz spacing – et voilà: Deauville was loud and clear.

Later on I passed by the Mont St. Michel, but since there were a few planes on the frequency that announced some local sightseeing, I was a bit wary to orbit closer for some photos.

Not much to say about the further routing; the French system with the approach controllers providing FIS seems to work well, and I was without any issues cleared through all TMAs I was planning to pass through on the way; It really feels that the controllers have quite a “can do” attitude.

About abeam Vannes, Nantes Info confirmed the AIP information that Quiberon would have no AFIS available, and that I should stay with them until the field in sight. More or less five minutes to the field I saw it in the distance, switched to the A/A frequency and announced my intentions. The parachute plane was active, and I delayed the landing for a few minutes since there were parachutists swooping down right over the runway.

Landed after 2:40h flight time, consumed 80 litres of precious 100LL – not bad, that’s less than 12 litres per 100km (OK, not great compared to a modern car, but quite the same as if I would have taken my 70s classic car for the trip). The slight overcast disappeared soon, and I made my way first down to the airport beach which was at low tide with people picking mussels.

Found the perfect teleworking location (but judging from the vicinity, I doubt my bank account has the right amount of zeroes …):

Glorious sunshine and I was quite piqued to go for a swim (did not pack my swimming trunks, unfortunately)!

The city centre is a mask-obligatory zone which was a bit of a nuisance due to my glasses fogging up, but understandable in the current situation. It was despite the late after-season still busy, probably driven by the brilliant weather. Had a galette for lunch, and dropped my backpack later in the afternoon in my hotel (Ker Noyal, quite OK view from the top floor, and located in a quiet parallel to the beach promenade; they close from 15 November on until April). A bit of walking around the village and stacking up on canned goodies from La Belle-Iloise, then dinner at the harbour. There’s a curfew on from 21:00, so no long evening enjoying the beach, but the hotel balcony allowed some after-dinner relaxation.

Return trip on Sunday morning was planned to leave around noon with the same routing as the route to Quiberon; the weather forecast was promising lower clouds and chances of rain from the Somme on, so I planned with Le Touquet as a weather alternative to stay in the worst case there. Still tons of sunshine and blue sky here, so I decided to leave not directly, but make a round trip overhead the three isles close by (here’s Houat from the air). Nates Info opened my flight plan after leaving the circuit, and provided traffic information since a lot of weekend flyers were around.

Last look back to Quiberon; it really is a great destination and I would like to return for a long weekend or so next time!

Cruising happily along 140 KTAS (135 KIAS) sipping 28 l/h (7.4 USG/h) at 65% power – that’s about five hours zero-fuel endurance with the 160 litre tank:

Right as forecasted, the blue sky had to give way to the promised overcast and generally more grey part of the day; around the Baie de la Somme, I had to descend to around 2000ft to remain clear of clouds, and that continued until Rotterdam with some spots of sunshine interspersed along the Belgian coast line.

Quite happy about the whole trip, and thanks to the forum for pointing me towards Quiberon as destination! Crossing France East to West was quite easily accomplished, ATC was helpful and controlled airspace was a non-issue; all in all a great experience whetting the appetite for further trips!

EHRD / Rotterdam

Nice! Against the fileds, your wiongs look semi translucent, pretty cool! Hope you got some oysters too.

Thanks. Great efficiency!

How does this flight work permit-wise? Does France give blanket permission to PH-reg homebuilts?

Mainz (EDFZ), Germany

Great little trip ! Glad you liked Quiberon. You know La Belle Illoise, you have great taste too :)

Airspace is really easy in NW France, and TMAs are really transparent.

Rotterdam to Quiberon by car is a 950km drive. Many cars would burn more than 80 liters on this trip !

Last Edited by Jujupilote at 19 Oct 07:38
LFPT, LFEH

boscomantico wrote:

How does this flight work permit-wise? Does France give blanket permission to PH-reg homebuilts?

Thankfully yes: The French government has issued information on foreign aircraft and regarding amateur-built aircraft, the Arrêté du 8 janvier 2018 relatif au survol du territoire français par certains aéronefs étrangers de construction amateur allows overflight of amateur-built EU-registered planes:

Under article D. 133-20 of the “code de l’aviation civile” (French Civil Aviation Regulations), amateur built aircraft falling in category (c) of Annex II to Regulation n°216/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 February 2008, excluding airships, with an airworthiness document and registered in an European Economic Area member State or in Switzerland are permitted to temporarily fly in France without prior permission from the French DGAC, subject to having achieved: for aeroplanes, a minimum of 15 flight hours and at least 50 landings from its completion […]

(Quoted from the courtesy translation ) local copy

172driver wrote:

Hope you got some oysters too.

But of course! I could even have picked some up myself on the beach (as were a lot of people at ebb tide); first time I saw natural oyster beds:

Last Edited by Sebastian_H at 19 Oct 07:36
EHRD / Rotterdam

Can you give an overview of the European countries where you can and can‘t go to without any formalities?

Mainz (EDFZ), Germany

Jujupilote wrote:

Rotterdam to Quiberon by car is a 950km drive. Many cars would burn more than 80 liters on this trip !

I know … In 2018 I did a road trip to visit the Falaises d’Etretat, Mont St. Michel, granite coast, and Brest. With light traffic on the highway, Brest-Paris on the return was already six hours – having the nimble RV7 now available really makes these trips for a weekend an option!

EHRD / Rotterdam

The main French / PH-reg thread is here and there is a recent update there.

The general “homebuilt privileges” thread is here.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

boscomantico wrote:

Can you give an overview of the European countries where you can and can‘t go to without any formalities?

That’s a tall order! I looked into the countries I was planning or flying to until now:

In general, I started for each of the countries from the UK’s LAA TL 2.08 and tried to find updated information where possible.

EHRD / Rotterdam

OK, that‘s not too bad, and likely covers a substantial part of your flying from NL.

Mainz (EDFZ), Germany
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