Great trip, thanks for your effort sharing it with us. Looking forward to part three.
Well, this part has only one (albeit rather long) flight. Also, there was little scenery to see, as the two days of good weather were now over. Anyway…
As I woke up early in the morning, the front (the one that I had been watching for the last four days) had reached most of Britain. In the northeast of Scotland, it was still CAVOK, but anywhere south and west would be a grey, rainy day in Britain.
My plan had originallly been to spend another night in the south of England and then fly over to Groningen early the next morning. But due to all the rain, it really didn’t make sense to spend another day in England, so I just told myself “sod it”, and decided to just depart straight to Groningen a day early, thus avoiding flying through that front entirely.
Creating a flightplan just as I wanted it was a bit of a challenge. The idea was to route down the east coast of England as an uncontrolled flight (there are no low-level airways there) and then to turn to the left when reaching the southern part of the North Sea, joining (controlled) IFR at the Amsterdam FIR boundary (REDFA). It took me a while to get it just as I wanted it, and in the end, it looked like that:
After a mediocre breakfast, I took the bus back to the airport. All went smoothly. I passed through the Highland Aviation building and was sat in the aircraft in no time. Here you can see Highland Aviation’s premises as well as their Avgas tank.
After departure (Inverness is class G only) I initially climbed to FL60, as I still had to cross the Cairngorm and Grampian Mountains, whilst the freezing level was just above that. I was in cloud occasionally, but still got a few glimples of the landscape.
Dundee was still very much in the clear.
I got a radar service from Lossie and then Leuchars Radar, as per the UK LARS chart. It was a weekday after all. As I reached England, I went totally IMC, for the next 30 minutes or so, but there was still very little rain and it was very smooth.
Hand-off to Newcastle Radar. A transit of the Newcastle CTA was no problem. I broke out again just south of Scarborough and from that point on, remained in VMC.
The front had however already reached parts of the southeast of England, so I feared getting overtaken by the front in the area of REDFA:
Turning east a little bit sooner sounded like good idea. Going straight for MOLIX (after passing the danger areas off the Lincolnshire coast) was the new plan. In order to keep everything tidy, I asked London Information (who I was now in contact with) to inform Amsterdam that they should later expect me at MOLIX rather than REDFA. This worked very well, and London acknowledged to me that Amsterdam was fine with that.
The rest of the flight was also uneventful. Even before coasting in, Amsterdam offered me a direct to Eelde, but I had to decline and continue inbound to SPY for some more time, since there were again a few big showers in the north of The Netherlands.
Reaching the continent again.
There was was some more cloud ahead, so I climbed to FL120, but by that time, this was welcome, as there was a nice tailwind. Again, pretty good NMPG values….
Since Eelde had runway 23 in use (and they wouldn’t allow me to fly an instrument approach for runway 05), I elected to make a visual approach to shorten my flight.
I touched down after 3 hours and 20 minutes, coming all the way from the northeast of Scotland. The SR22 is just such a machine!
Parking at a place that most Cirrus pilots around here are familiar with: General Enterprises / Cirrus Europe in Eelde.
Customs officials came over from the main terminal to check my passport. That was very convenient for me.
Even though I had arrived half a day early (without giving them any warning!), the staff from General Enterprises started working on the aircraft shortly after my arrival. Of course, the first thing to do on an annual is always getting the cowls off and draining the oil, as long as it is still warm.
Before heading into town, I checked out the other GE hangars where they work mostly on those Vision Jets nowadays.
But even more so, in that hangar, I spotted an old SR20 which looked quite familiar… not the reg but the paintjob…
I checked out the data plate, and, sure enough, this was „our“ previous aircraft. A 2000 SR20, S.N. 1092. Now almost 2 decades old! I had a closer look at it. The aircraft looked like it was in fairly decent condition. Only the interior was partly very worn. These very early SR20s can now be had for less than 100.000€.
My father and me had picked up that aircraft, new, at the same place, 19 years ago….
A very pleasant surprise it was. Like meeting an old friend. I don’t know if the aircraft was merely in for maintenance, or if it was for sale. I forgot to ask…
Anyway, I headed off and took the bus to the city of Groningen, expecting to stay for two nights. A very decent hotel (half the price of that grotty hotel in Inverness!) was quickly found. For a change, I had a nice pizza for dinner.
What a great trip write up, and a lovely story to finish.
I would have been the same to see that aircraft if I were you.
Thanks for sharing Bosco.
Time to wrap up this trip report…
I awoke to the sound of light rain. The front that I had successfully escaped from the day before had now reached the northeast of the Netherlands. No big problem for me though. The aircraft was in maintenance, so obviously no flying was planned.
Spending a whole day in Groningen was not to my liking, so decided that, despite the weather, I would go on a tour.
The northeasternmost parts of the Netherlands are not very pretty, or interesting. Instead, I had always wanted to vist the Ijsselmeer, an hour and a half (by car) west of Groningen. In fact, by doing that, I was hoping to reach the trailing edge of the weather and to clear of the rain (which wokred out nicely, in the end…) .
A decently priced rental car was quickly found just outside the city centre of Groningen, so off I was
Here is a map of the eastern parts of NL. Groningen the far right, the Ijsselmeer to the left.
I took me about a little over one hour until I reached the eastern shores of the Ijsselmeer, and just as I arrived there, little bits of sunsine came out. I ended up visiting three cute little villages there: Stavoren, Hindeloopen and Warkum.
Still in the late morning, I got a call from General Enterprises….Such is never a good sign when the aircraft is in annual….
…However, the info was merely that they would likely be done with everything by end of the day, which was great, as it would mean I would likely be able to fly back home the same evening. Cool! Anyway, still some time to kill…
I took the highway along the “Afsluitdijk” to cross over the to western shores of the Ijsselmeer. The Afsluitdijk is major causeway, damming off the Zuiderzee, a salt water inlet of the North Sea, and turning it into the fresh water lake of the Ijsselmeer. The dam serves as a sea barrier to protect the inland against flooding.
I then visited two more beautiful villages/towns there: Medemblik and Enkhuizen.
Then I crossed the second major dam of the Ijsselmeer, the “Houtribdijk”. It leads directly to Lelystad, but I didn’t really have any more time to visit the airfield there, so with a short stop at Urk (for ice cream) I returned towards Groningen. I have to say that I have enjoyed spending a day on the shores of the Ijsselmeer.
Lucky for me, Avis (from whom I rented the car) allowed me to return the it directly at Eelde airport.
At 17:30h, I met the director of maintenance of Generel Enterprises and he handed the key over to me. Of course, I made a rather thorough pre-flight inspection, and everything looked in order.
Weatherwise, I was now well behind the front, but as I would be flying east for 150 miles on my way to Luebeck, I would almost catch up with it again. Along all the route, there would still be some quite “lively” TCUs and occasional showers, but very decent cloud bases and visibility below. Hence, this was one of the days when IFR was a no-no, yet VFR, below the clouds, was perfect. An interesting aircraft parked at EHGG as I taxied out:
Nice early evening light…
Passing the beautiful town of Leer.
There was a nice tailwind, too.
After exactly one hour, I landed at my home base and put the aircraft into the hangar. Another wonderful, though short, but very enjoyable trip completed.
Thanks for the report and as always, for the inspiration
Nice trip report, does not look a busy season in those villages,
The high wing twin jet at EHGG looks like an Antonov 72 or 74? not sure who still operates these in NL but they can make it into microlight runways ;)
That airstrip near Fort Augustus (Glendoe) seems to be a very pretty one. Is the runway also suitable for airplanes with a wider wingspan or could a TMG get problems with the fence?
Overall, Scotland got my attention a bit more, thanks to this report. The scenery is worthwhile! Isle of Skye should also be marked on my bucketlist.
The northeasternmost parts of the Netherlands are not very pretty, or interesting.Absolutely correct. And much Dutch people from other parts of the country never visit “the far northeast” either, except perhaps the city of Gorningen. However, Friesland does have some pretty (touristic) places and the province “Drenthe” as well with nice villages, forests and lots of historic Dolmen.
Then I crossed the second major dam of the Ijsselmeer, the “Houtribdijk”. It leads directly to Lelystad, but I didn’t really have any more time to visit the airfield there, so with a short stop at Urk (for ice cream) I returned towards Groningen.You almost passed my old place of residence (Dronten). Lelystad itself isn’t nice at all, in fact, it’s a quite ugly and unpleasant place (including Almere). You won’t see any tourists there, except for the outlet center “Batavia Stad”, which is outside the city itself and quite good for shopping. You passed it on the end of the Houtribdijk.
Great trip and report! Thanks for sharing!
And much Dutch people from other parts of the country never visit “the far northeast” either, except perhaps the city of Gorningen.
And every so often 100,000 of them go en mass to Assen
Glendoe is quite impossible in any motorglider, as long as the fence is up.
The runway is 20 meters wide, so even in a regular low-wing SEP plance, it is a bit challenging. The SR22 has almost 12 meters of wingspan so you have just 4 meters of space either side IF YOU ARE perfectly on the (unmarked) centerline…
Otherwise, since you love the mountains, Scotland is definitely one for you. The mountains are not very high mind, but the landscapes are still fantastic. On par with Norway, but different.
All my notes on Scottish airfields are here.