What follows is a description of a set of flights from Athens Greece to Straubing Germany and back. The write up turned out longer than I expected ! and I have not embedded pictures. I suggest you open in a separate tab/window the pictures albums and follow it in parallel.
Pictures from the flights described below can be seen at separate albums per flight with corresponding commentary below them at my on line gallery here http://hellasga.com/gallery/kyp . For the Athens to Munich flight especially there is one more album from my friend who flew along at http://hellasga.com/gallery/nikosmag
Early in August 2013 it was decided to visit AVIONIK in Straubing EDMS with our Athens based Socata TB20 for a repair to the autopilot system which initially looked complex but eventually proved something very simple.
The flights were to be all IFR for ease of planning and safety of higher altitude flying. One weekend that the weather was perfect all the way to southeast Germany we went ahead. We booked the airline return flight from Munich and set ahead for the flight with the TB20.
Athens to Munich
The route was easy to be found by researching options regarding Eurocontrol validation.
Aircraft equipment included a Garmin GNS530 for primary navigation and a backup Garmin G296 moving map GPS, our moving VFR map so to say. The aircraft had autopilot but we had disabled it due to the problem to be repaired at destination. That meant that the set of two 2 & 5 hours long flights would have to be flown manually by hand.
The retractable gear aircraft has no anti-ice equipment and a naturally aspirated (non turbo) IO-540 250hp engine.
A 248 Lt. portable Oxygen bottle with a flowmeter and cannulas set was also in the aircraft for the higher altitude prolonged flight.
We had to pass via Kerkira LGKR for exiting Greece anyway (since our base Megara LGMG is not an airport of exit) due to national regulations (even though in Schengen) but also needed it to top up the fuel so that we would make it 5 hours nonstop to Straubing with 1.5+ hrs reserve left per calculations.
A friend dropped us by car at Megara airport, some 30 minutes from Athens.
We departed Megara LGMG for Kerkira LGKR Friday afternoon after work where we would stay overnight for an early morning departure on Saturday. The flight was perfect with some strong headwinds and we arrived at 20:30L.
FPL: LGMG KOR L53 PARNA LGKR
The refueling at Kerkira was a big hassle. Last day of August, still in peak season, the apron was full of charter 737 and 757’s airliners and two poor refuelers were rushing to catch up with their turnaround times. As I feared we were told that at least until midnight we would not be able to get AVGAS, “come back tomorrow” one of them said as he was rushing for the next airliner. We could see it, it was obvious; we could not even catch them to talk about it. I then learned from the handler that FRI afternoon till late evening and SAT morning till noon is a no go for GA refueling due to peak airline traffic that peak period until mid. September. That worried me more for the refueling of next morning (Saturday). The good thing with an H24 airport is that (aside from sleep needs) you can turn up any time for services like refueling. This is what we had not realized and actually did by putting aside the grief for the fuel company (GISSCO) which simply caters for personnel in the absolute minimum needed style. If one of them had to go, say, to toilet or was incapacitated, half the fleet of 8 parked airliners would get huge delays in turnaround. Nice …
I later complained to the company the proper way and I got a sincere apology with a request for showing some understanding due to the harsh (financial) conditions, reduced personnel etc. etc.
We had a nice dinner in town with friends and on the way back to the hotel at about 23:30 we refueled the aircraft without delay. All the charter traffic was gone by then and the apron was calm.
We stayed at the hotel “Bretania” 5 minutes’ walk from the airport. Nothing fancy but does the job for a 40 Euro overnight with breakfast in walking distance from the aircraft.
Airport charges: 0
Handling : 20 Euro
AVGAS: 2,90 Euro/Lt
Kerkira Straubing Flight
Morning turn up at the airport involved a quick payment of the 20 Euro handling charge and the handler took us quickly to the aircraft bypassing the huge tourists’ security check queue calling “private”(flight) to the security personnel. Only for that the (compulsory anyway) handling made its money. Saturday 07:30L and the terminal was PACKED with departure passengers while their airliners were landing one by one to fill up again the apron. I then realized again that the late(ish) refueling at previous evening was a wise move.
The only unexpected event in that stage was the fact that the 5hr, 687nm long, 34 waypoints’ Flight Plan had so many waypoints that we reached the allowed limit of the GNS530 GPS! We then inserted only the destination in the end by skipping some ~5 of the last waypoints for later. The moving map Garmin 296 GPS had accepted all of them on the preparation at home stage.
The departure was textbook with the assigned SID from runway 35 and as soon as we passed few thousand feet approach radar gave us an excellent direct to right in to Albanian airspace and climb to requested final FL120.
From there onwards we followed flight plan as filed. Albanian ATC was somehow confused as to who we were after the hand off call. Then we got a squawk code and that was it, no further talk until before crossing to Montenegro airspace. We actually called a while earlier to confirm Radar Contact and all we got was “ahh yes yes, continue”.
Montenegro ATC was fine and even though we were roughly on a straight line they still proposed DCT’s. The terrain started rising as we proceeded further in Bosnia Herzegovina passing the Treskavica mountain range and stayed rough until reaching abeam Sarajevo.
Getting closer to Banja Luka of Bosnia Herzegovina there was little to no terrain below and ATC seemed to have switched to procedural until handed over to Croatia ATC which was again Radar style.
It was the first time I was passing from the southwestern Balkans and many thoughts were put to the memories of the mid 90’s bloody conflict in the area. I was looking down from FL120 as the weather was crystal clear, pondering over these areas and could not avoid imagining “here (& there) it must have been” by thinking of the news reports I was watching 20 years ago like the Sarajevo shelling for days, the other best not to be mentioned atrocities or the downed NATO F16 and 3 days later evacuation of the pilot (Scott O'Grady) right in the area I was flying above.
Then Croatia was crossed east abeam Zagreb and over to Slovenia abeam Maribor LJMB for entering Austria towards Graz LOWG. By then 3~4 hrs in to the flight we had had already the inflight meal of sandwiches bought from the airport (never identical food for both pilots just in case) and also I used the "little John" even though we avoided having coffee before flight !
Some 4 hrs in to the flight also the 248Lt Oxygen bottle started getting towards the bottom of the white arc. We started using it from full bottle capacity. We had the flowmeters set to FL120 after we passed FL110 in the climb. At this point I shut down my friend’s oxygen feed and told him that if he feels weird, well … he has to live with it since he has no other options!
As we passed abeam Graz the glorious Alps started showing up. Soon we were crossing their eastern edge with peaks at 3~4,000ft and steep dropping terrain down in to narrow valleys. This is where we met some light scattered stratus clouds at ~5,000ft.
Once we crossed the Alps and passed Linz area we entered Germany and started the descent from FL120. We passed through some clouds on the way down which were isolated FEW-BKN between 6 and 8,000ft coming from the humid air mass “trapped” north of the alps. RNAV approach to runway 27 Straubing was fine vectored by Munich approach reaching visual contact with the runway 4~5 miles out due to humid air.
Only hiccup at the stage of initial descent while loading the RNAV approach on GNS530 was again the waypoints limit. We did not consider that the approach itself adds some 5~10 waypoints. Back inside to delete previous waypoints and then loading again the approach!
The travel to Munich airport was easy by a 10’ taxi to Straubing strain station, one train change en route and then bus to the airport. All was made easy by the application “Bahn” on my friend’s iPhone which guided you step by step until reaching destination. The airline was on time and we reached home by 23:30L that Saturday evening.
FPL: LGKR NIKRO M127 TRN L604 PABSA L610 STAUB EDMS
Munich to Athens
The aircraft was ready for pick up just few days after we delivered it. The problem was much simpler than we had thought, a faulty autopilot disconnect switch which was partly short circuiting but could not be identified in Greece. We also did some other minor repairs which showed up during the main work for the switch. Weather was not good in forecasts for the Alps and Adriatic Sea area for the following 2 weeks.
The first effort was made on 3rd week of August 3 weeks later with good weather forecast. Unfortunately we had to cancel last minute since the free ticket we had booked (through the airline pilot friend coming along) could not be used due to the Munich bound flight being full full and having no spare seats for pilot’s spouses.
Next weekend, last one of August, was eventually the one to go this time with a proper full price airline ticket to Munich. This time weather was the tricky part of the story. A combination of fronts away from the departure and route to be flown area was gathering “calm” but overcast IMC in the eastern Alps and western Balkans area. It was clear that it was doable but at levels above FL130~140 especially in Graz Austria area. Flying IFR I would have to depart Straubing in IMC and fly above the Alps in clear weather at FL160. The cloud build ups were extending from southern Germany all the way to western Balkans in an “arc” form above all rising terrain areas clearing off just north of Albania before reaching Kerkira in Greece. It was still early autumn and the freezing level was at ~FL090.
The GRAMET forecast displaying profile view section of your flight’s expected weather helped a lot in this decision making process.
There were two route options after investigating Eurocontrol validation solutions. If I were to fly similar with the Straubing bound nonstop flight to Kerkira I had to fly more inwards to the Balkans, away from coast and above various terrain combinations. I would be clear of weather flying above it in all the route but I always consider the “what if …” and hence had to look for other options flying above sea in the Adriatic coast via Slovenia after crossing the Alps. That would leave all the weather to my east making it a more safe flight in the Adriatic sea postion.
Whatever combination I tried at levels up to FL160 I could not get a route to pass me through Slovenia and via northwest Croatia to reach the coast and onwards to Kerkira LGKR just after clearing the expected Austria - Slovenia weather & terrain. Interestingly enough then I tried the combination of flying Straubing EDMS to Zadar LDZD in northwest Croatia, just where the weather and terrain ended and then from there continuing onwards with a new flight to Kerkira LGKR via the ideal coastal route which was not all affected by weather. This worked fine for Eurocontrol with the only burden being the stop time in Zadar plus the fact that I would be leaving Germany for an extra Schengen/off EU destination which needed passport control at departure. Also AVGAS at Zadar was 2,26 Euro/Lt whereas in Kerkira 2,9. Actually if I had considered that from the beginning I would have not topped up the tanks at Straubing where it was 2,70 Euro since it was only a 2.5 hrs flight to Zadar.
I then realized that the via Zadar scenario offered a no need for refuel at Kerkyra, a benefit of avoiding the Friday afternoon / Saturday morning rush hour there which I knew I would face from previous experience plus the better price of fuel. Only drawback was the delay of arriving and departing one more airport in a day that I wanted to be in Kerkira by later afternoon. If there was a delay in Straubing morning departure I would end up past daylight hours in Kerkira. I would gladly do it if needed but night single engine, single pilot, over terrain, or for this case, over open water (the portion that crosses towards Brindisi Italy and back towards Kerkira) is something I avoid, at least in the planning stage, if not needed.
With all homework done and en route airports notified, cheap hotel at Straubing booked etc. I reached Munich by airline on Thursday evening at 21:00L. This time I could not afford the time or risk of an error in the two train connections and one bus ride to Straubing which, at that time of day according to the iPhone app, would take me 2.5 hrs to get to the 120km away Straubing village. So I bought my sleep time and delay risk with a 160 Euro (ouch!) taxi ride getting to Straubing by 22:30. Relaxing on the benches of Theresienplatz square by the hotel on a red wine and my cigarillo I was relaxed happily thinking about the next day’s operation above terrain and expected weather.
Friday 08:00L next morning and after a short nice German breakfast and a purchase of a lovely sandwich for inflight meal I took the 10’ taxi ride to Straubing airport.
Airport related stuff was dead easy. I self-service refueled and sent a notification to border police that I am departing in one hour for Zadar. Since it was an off Schengen/EU destination they had to be notified. Airport had told me previous day that you notify them but most of the cases they don’t come. Ohh no, they did come and they searched every single bit of my carryon bag, wallet, pockets etc. Three very polite gentlemen, they stamped my passport asked some typical questions and left.
Airport charges: 50 Euro AVGAS: 2,70 Euro/Lt
Straubing aborted Departure
IFR clearance was received and off I went with all preparations complete just after airport opening at 09:00L. The runway 09 STAUB SID departure took me straight in to the calm but thick soup (clouds) after passing 3,000ft. Once I got in it with autopilot engaged I noticed a higher than expected and ever increasing climb rate with, off course, the airspeed decreasing. All engine parameters were proper, aircraft was clean (gear, flaps) so something was wrong. No time to investigate there, autopilot disengage, pitch down, regained VMC conditions, cancelled IFR with Munich Radar and returned to airport VFR.
Initially I thought it was a wrong repair on the autopilot and you can imagine the grief with which I landed back to Straubing having also in mind the flying schedule ahead of me. We then went for a local VFR flight below clouds to check the autopilot with the maintenance person in charge. All was working fine this time except a discrepancy of 400ft I saw between the primary and back up altimeters. I asked him if altimeter (static pressure) error/missbehaviour could cause the problem, he said yes and immediately I had a clue of what was wrong, a blocked static pressure tube feeding the altimeters. It had happened in the past after an annual maintenance but it was not on autopilot flying inside IMC. On return to ground we found the pitot static pressure tube feeding the altimeter bent indeed. It’s a weakness of the TB20 that can cause this bending following “sins of the past” from other maintenance personnel if not proper material is used for this specific part. We repaired it with a proper pitot static tube replacement, did a complete pitotstatic test with an intermediate delay of 1hr for the religiously followed German lunch break when everything seizes and off I was ready to depart again with a 3hr delay. What I never understood is when and how this tube was bent and whether it was done during the works in Germany or it existed beforehand including the long flights to get there. For sure during these flights I never saw altimeter discrepancies or misbehavior and also no such report came from the 1hr long test flight which was done by AVIONIK before signing off the aircraft …
Same IFR flight plan 3 hrs later and an uneventful departure from same runway with same SID. The flight plan was taking me initially east towards Vienna via Linz before turning south towards Graz. This was counterproductive for a southbound route but was making sure I would clear major weather (if it proved worse) and fly over better Alps terrain in comparison to higher peaks in the area south of Munich. Actually this was the only route I could get from Eurocontrol but it fitted with my strategy of avoiding weather and then asking DCTs to cut the triangle once I felt fine. This is exactly what happened. Once I was clear on top above the 3,000 to ~ 7,000 ft thick clouds I stopped climb initially at FL110 and asked for a DCT to Graz which was given immediately cutting some ~100nm from the original flight plan. Later as mild but overcast IMC above the Alps was rising, so did I. FL140 climb soon and when I got close to Graz where the weather was almost EXACTLY as forecast in the GRAMET report I continued for FL160 my personal altitude record yet. The TB20 was still giving 300~200 ft/min climb at that level.
Later on in the flight once I entered Slovenia the higher level IMC to my west (the Alps) calmed down (as forecast) and it was a steady overcast above Slovenia & Croatia tops at 7~8,000ft. This is the layer I had to cross when later descending being radar vectored by Zadar approach for ILS runway 14. The layer was thick (complete overcast) and the only portion I was not all that comfortable about was the extended base leg on radar vectors that I was fully in the clouds above steep terrain in the . Typically I was safe while IFR and being radar vectored crossing the Croatian Velebit 3,000ft high mountain range at 6,000ft abeam Karlobag village but still it was an “interesting” feeling. Mainly it came from the fact that I was not familiar with the area. The fact that made it “easy” so to say is that this weather mass was “calm” without any serious bumps or water inside the thick cloud. At ~3,000ft I was out of the clouds and above sea and flatlands on a long final established on the ILS14 of Zadar. 2,2 hours after Straubing’s departure I was landing at Zadar.
The strategy of IFR flight, “pierce through” hospitable IMC on the climb, fly high above it and then go through it again on descent, worked perfectly because I had exposed the flight to the minimum possible by crossing this weather mass perpendicularly while flying to Zadar and, exactly as forecast, from Zadar onwards (literally over the airport!) the weather was clearing completely for the whole of the rest of the flight to Kerkira while I could see the weather mass east of the coast extending inside the western Balkans as forecast. If this flight was VFR ut would not have been possible without much longer track miles and for sure some serious weather dodging / scud running at low level in Austria & Slovenia.
The service at Zadar was exemplary. A follow me car guided me to the GA apron parking and then by opening the car boot some loud Croatian folk music was playing out loud in the calm apron ! The personnel were very friendly and the AVGAS bowser came immediately to top up the tanks again for the flight to Greece at a price of 2,26 euro per Lt. I popped in the airport admin. office for the formalities. What formalities ? nothing, a simple 19 Euro charge and the gentleman said I’m ready to go. I used his PC to file the next IFR flight plan like all others via eurofpl.eu and without any other papers or passport control I went off to the aircraft. I guess that reduced formalities were due to the fact that Croatia is under Schengen about to enter status but, from what I gather, already a member of EU since July (a month ago).
FPL: EDMS STAUB DCT LAMSI L175 STO M725 GRZ N737 DOL L868 GISER DCT ALANU LDZD
Airport charges: 19 Euro AVGAS: 2,26 Euro/Lt
Zadar to Kerkira
Zadar airport on that Friday afternoon was completely calm with one commercial flight departing only as I was being vectored for the ILS on arrival. My initial schedule due to the Straubing delay was already off by 3 hours meaning I would reach Kerkira some half hour after official night time. The weather was perfect all the way as forecast, the aircraft in excellent condition, the route all above calm Adriatic sea, overwater flight equipment including a 6 persons dinghy were on board, so off I went.
The IFR route at FL120 took me along Croatia’s coast and abeam Bosnia Herzegovina it veered off towards Brindisi Italy from where it would turn me southeasterly again towards Kerkira. In the Zadar to Split portion of Croatia coast there were quite a few picturesque locations including islands which I would really like to visit one day.
While settled en route I had my “in-flight meal” courtesy of a lovely sandwich bought early morning from a bakery in Straubing. While with Dubrovnik radar I asked them if they could relay a request to Brindisi colleague for an early DCT clearance towards Greece FIR entry point TIGRA which if granted would cut me some good triangular routing across Italy and back. The request was denied. Once I passed CRAYE point border of Croatia & Italy FIR’s the DCT TIGRA was granted by Brindisi and gave me a nice shortcut. The sun was almost set by then and offered some excellent views above the Adriatic which apart from that was a pretty boring portion of the flight.
Once I entered Greece airspace it was dark. Local time had changed due to Greece’s time zone from the rest of the trip’s UTC+2 to UTC+3 and I reached top of descent in contact with Kerkira approach and I could already hear the busy Friday evening charter flights coming in through the frequency. As I got closer I was cleared for the convenient overhead GAR VOR teardrop approach for runway 35 which brought me above the airport and the all lit Kerkira city and port. 2,3 hours after departing Zadar I was landing in Kerkira at 21:00L, 20’ after official night time. Some 5~6 airliners were at the apron and quite a few light aircraft at the GA apron.
Even though I did not need it, just to have some fun!, I asked the handler for AVGAS. The response came quickly after a brief VHF call to base “they told me they don’t refuel AVGAS at night, tomorrow morning only”. That was a new one but still within the style of the other incident. I did not bother, more than 4,2 hrs of fuel on board for a 1,5 hr flight next day and left for the hotel. Overnight was at BRETANIA 40 Euro hotel again 5’ walk from the airport. Since there was time enough I went downtown for a nice Kerkira specialties dinner over some red wine to recap the day’s events.
FPL: EDMS SAL W45 SPL N138 CRAYE A48 BRD L995 TIGRA T75 BETAK L869 KRK PITAS LGKR
Airport charges: 0 Handling : 0 (due to Tatoi AFW event – see below)
Kerkira to Tatoi
Next (Saturday) morning by 08:00L I was in the airport for my 09:00 departure to Athens Tatoi LGTT. The flight plan was again filed from eurofpl.eu at the hotel. The weather was “severe CAVOK” and my plan was to arrive at Tatoi at 10:30L because the flight was a participation to the “AthensFlyingWeek” (AFW) www.athensflyingweek.gr event as part of the GA Fly In portion of it. This was the reason handling charges were exempted at Kerkira due to an agreement between Swissport and AFW organizers. At 11:00L the air show was starting and had to be on time for the allocated arrival slots for last GA flights before the aerobatics went off.
Handler passed me through the enormous departure queue again and in time I was doing the preflight checks at the aircraft while a fellow Cirrus22 pilot was waiting and waiting and waiting for the fuel bowser. The sun still not in view was just rising behind the airport terminal and everything in the area was in a wind calm all too moist condition, typical for Kerkira Island with the marvelous landscape scenery around the airport getting the first glimpse of the morning sun through humid air. 20 minutes later after I arrived at the GA apron with the handler I saw the fuel bowser coming for the Cirrus as I was starting my taxy for holding point runway 17 and later convenient departure to the south. I had to wait for a preceding 757 departure to avoid wake turbulence and then was cleared for takeoff behind it.
The 1,5 hr flight was picturesque, as always in this portion of Europe, flying via the Ionian sea abeam Preveza and then Patras & Korinth gulf towards Athens while passing north abeam Peloponnese mountains.
Once in contact with Athens approach I was issued descent clearance and when in sight I cancelled the IFR plan for descent and approach in to Tatoi which was set for the show with all the exhibition stands and the display aircraft ready to go at the same apron I parked with the exception of the F16 which would later come from another Air Force base.
FPL: LGKR MALED A14 ARA J52 IXONI/VFR L53 KOR ABLON LGTT
Once shutting down the engine at Tatoi, marshaled by a friend volunteer at the event, I gathered my thoughts on the trip I had just completed. The Munich return set of flights was my longest trip yet with GA aircraft and had just broken two personal records; 5 hours en route in one flight and a cruise at FL160 (16,000ft / 4,880m).
Statistics (from the GPS) for Athens-Straubing-Athens flights: 1,819 track nautical miles flown - 12.5 hours total airborne time
Nice report. I planned to fly to Straubing these days with my TB20 for GNS530 repair but I can't reschedule some meetings and I'm sending it by DHL - GNS not TB20
Thanks for the report.
Why didn't you ask Straubing to update your GNS540 to firmware 5.03? This would give you 100 waypoints. Or do you have a non WAAS unit and the firmware update is not available for this unit?
You're spot on about the religious lunch break hour in Straubing! All the companies there follow it and the guys meet at the restaurant where you can always have nice discussions. It's a lot of knowledge and stories at one place with MT prop, Avionik and Rieger (a large Part 145). It's really aviator's heaven there, if only it wasn't in the middle of nowhere... But who am I to complain with my 50 minute flight to EDMS when you have to come all the way from Athens!
I have to go there in the next few days to fix a few remaining issues of my DFC90 install but I don't have the time and energy...
Maybe we get a discount, have to get my DFC90 checked the next days too. From my field it's only a 17 minute flight ...
Dear achima we were tight on budget and anything that AVIONIK comes up with an offer for is not cheap.
No its the non WAAS model GNS530A and frankly in 6 years of operating it this is the first time we faced the waypoints limit thing; minor issue.
We flirted with some other options since we had it there but when we saw the upper three or four digit numbers of Euro for each we decided to just do the bare necessary stuff and get it back home while we still have money to pay for the ferry operation !
Ohh no, they did come and they searched every single bit of my carryon bag, wallet, pockets etc.
What on earth were the German police looking for in your pockets?
This was an EU to EU flight...
Did they know you were Greek? Maybe that was the reason (the stuff in the news, etc).
It's a pity you don't have a "private" hangar and an electronics boffin down there
Welcome to the TB20 FL160 [or insert some other figure] club
The waypoint limit is a standard feature on almost every IFR flight I do. I load the first 15 or so (limit is 20) and the final one, and then I get a reasonably good readout of the projected landing FOB right away. Then, during the flight, delete the spent ones and load the remaining ones. I don't think this problem will ever go away because even if you have a 100 waypoint limit, do you want to load all 100? It would take half an hour...
Given that your TB20 does have the two inspection panels at the base of the front window, I am seriously unimpressed with the shop that did the work... One ALWAYS inspects under there for clearance between the controls and cabling etc, after ANY work on the two tilting instrument panels.
Great trip and great pics...
I did ask the Greek F16 stand if there was any way to fly an F16. They said it was possible (complicated but possible) up to about 8 years ago.
What on earth were the German police looking for in your pockets?
My understanding is that at airfields there is often no distinction between immigration and customs. They do both at the same time and then you are cleared to depart to the moon or where ever you want to go. At other airfields, there is a distinction between customs and immigration.
Also they have a certain number of full checks they have to do and it's fairly random -- as it should be. Even though they searched the wrong pockets (Zadar = EU), they could put a checkmark in their book.
I just realized I forgot to copy one portion of the write up in this initial post. It sits between end of Athens to Munich paragrapgh and Kerkira Straubing Flight
Mod's if you can add it where it should be since I am not allowed to edit the post at this time.
[done - hopefully in the right place]
(Zadar = EU), they could put a checkmark in their book.
First of all it was me who called for them so maybe they did not investigate if it was needed or not and jut went ahead with the checks they anyway do. The extra searching maybe it was a random thing maybe just doing their job without shortcuts. I don't know German but they were not policemen. The badges looked like border police, I guess it was these guys because I remember the green badge. Also don't forget (according to what I find on the Internet) Croatia joined EU this July but is not yet listed as a Schengen treaty member. So maybe THEY did not know yet about details. For example I took it for granted that Crotia is off EU on my planning stage. Only later I found about their recent membership that it had taken place 1.5 month before the flight by looking in to the Internet out of curiosity since In Zadar I was not asked for passport or anything. Maybe also I was not asked because it was a half hour transit during which I never left airside to officially enter Croatia.
Straubing EDMS shows as "Customs PPR", Zadar has Customs, Kerkira has Customs.
So provided you complied with whatever PPR period was required at EDMS, this flight was perfectly correct.
Schengen is irrelevant if both ends of a flight have Customs.
I suppose that Schengen (or lack of) might influence the way the police treat the inspection requirements, however.