So I thought I would give a quick overview of the recent trip my family and I did to Croatia and Italy.
EGTK - LIMG
The first leg was to Albenga to stay at a wonderful hotel down there about 5 minutes from the airport. Overall the weather was good for the entire trip but there was a lot of haze (hence the photos won’t do well) and this made it a relatively long and slightly dull trip. We were at MTOW which was fine given the long runway at EGTK.
We filed FL270 on the following route: EGTK BAMBO DCT DILAX DCT KENET DCT MID UN615 XAMAB UL612 MILPA UM135 TOP UL50 IXITO LIMG which was expected to be 696nm and take 2h43m.
There was some convective weather over the UK but the line was helpfully left of our track.
The big potential gain on this trip is to shorten the dogleg ie cut across the north east of Paris rather than over it. So far, I have never managed to get that direct.
The trip ultimately was shorter (I flew 655nm) but slower given the predicted wind change to a tailwind never really happened. A highlight was seeing another aircraft on TCAS over the alps approaching Italy. I looked down and saw it flying through the valley well below me. See if you can find it...
We stayed near the airport...
And toured some of the local towns in the hills above Albenga such as Zuccarello...
Leg stats: Distance flown: 655nm, Time in flight: 2h54m, Jet-A1 used: 824lb/470l
LIMG - LDSB
The trip from Albenga to Brac was quite straightforward. As Peter frequently says, under IFR at altitude, flying is simpler than VFR. You file, takeoff and they tell you what to do.
Departing we got a nice view of the tower and old terminal. In practice it is very modern and nice and we think the service you get there is fantastic.
Route was: LIMG GEN UM730 TORPO M730 SPL LDSB at FL270 which was expected to be 387nm and take 1h26m.
Over the top of Italy was fairly painless. Got plenty of directs then on approach to Spilit was given Brac NDB direct. It is spectacular coastline although it was quite hazy that day.
Brac is a lovely island with a great airport perched at high altitude on top of a cliff.
We loved the island and can't recommend Croatia enough. Very friendly people, great beaches. Food perhaps a little more mixed but overall a great experience.
We stayed in Splitska which is a great town around a small bay.
Looking over towards the mainland.
Leg stats: Distance flown: 385nm, Time in flight: 1h40m, Jet-A1 used: 491lb/280l
LDSB - LIMG
We then headed back to Albenga to stay with some friends near Barolo. This time the weather was building near Brac but clear over Italy.
The route was the reverse of the previous: LDSB SPL M730 TORPO UM730 GEN LIMG. So 387nm and expected to take 1h26m this time.
The airport here is nested in a circle of hills and is a little daunting in VMC but would be nerve wracking in IMC.
On approach to Albenga you can see how close the terrain is:
Leg stats: Distance flown: 386nm, Time in flight: 1h47m, Jet-A1 used: 517lb/295l.
LIMG - LIEO
We next went down to Olbia in Sardinia for the final leg of the trip. It is a truly amazing General Aviation terminal with more private jets than most major airports have Boeings.
Route was: LIMG UNITA UL50 ELB UL12 TINTO Q710 GITRI LIEO at FL270 which is 296nm and expected to take 1h05m.
The route is a big circle around Corsica which keeps you in Italian airspace the whole time.
We took the mandatory Italian box:
The arrival into Olbia was very turbulent and ATC descended us far too early in spite of my protestations. It tried for a visual approach given the ILS was slow but apparently these are not allowed in Italy. I considered cancelling IFR and landing VFR but I was not certain that would get me down quicker as there were aircraft everywhere.
Arriving in Olbia (that is the GA apron):
One wouldn't want to get out and get sunburnt:
Leg stats: Distance flown: 296nm, Time in flight: 1h25m, Jet-A1 used: 441lb/251l.
LIEO - EGTK
My return to the UK was, given the forecast winds absolutely max range for the aircraft. It turned out that the actual winds were a little worse than planned so it became a flight where we arrived with the absolute minimum legal reserves. Fortunately this could be monitored the whole way and I had plenty of options (LFAT, Shoreham) had I decided that the fuel state was going to be too low.
The plan was: LIEO POZZO UP980 DIKEL UZ800 PIGOS UM622 BARSO UM733 LAULY UH37 BRY UM733 PIREG UT421 BIG/N0265F240 L9 KENET DCT BAMBO EGTK at FL280. This was 839nm and was expected to take 3h24m.
It was an almost direct track except for the mandatory dogleg around Paris which was duly shortened. ATC were very good and professional all the way. In my experience so far, being in the high 20s FL gets you a very good service and this trip was no exception. Climb was continuous to 280 and the descent was late as per my request to conserve fuel.
It was much clearer this trip.
Approaching the French coast near Monaco:
Over the alps:
Sadly we landed to the lowest temperature we had seen in two weeks and light rain (the only rain we had seen for the entire trip). Oh well, welcome back to England.
Leg stats: Distance flown: 815nm, Time in flight: 3h35, Jet-A1 used: 995lb/567l.
A good trip. Always nice to see Brac - a super destination.
Justine and I will go to Mali Losinj LDLO, just up from Brac, in September, and explore the area properly.
Great report - thanks for supporting Croatian economy
Nice report, nice plane, nice fuel burn :-) thx for sharing
Nice trip. makes me very envious!