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9-10 September 2017 fly-in - Astypalea LGPL Greece

I’m not sure about tomorrow’s crossing the Apls. Today’s stuff is moving NE but new stuff is forming. @Peter, if you have the urge to depart tomorrow maybe you should consider flying first leg accross the Adriatics to Italy and then land somewhere in Southern France and then continue second leg to Shoreham. It’s bit longer but it looks flyable. Wednesday overall looks better.

Last Edited by Emir at 11 Sep 15:36
LDZA LDVA, Croatia

Yes; might fly to Cannes and refuel. Otherwise I am looking at flying to Lille LFQQ which is about 15 USG before Shoreham and should work with the headwinds.

Not sure Wed looks better because these formations (change from cold to warm front) are usually TS

But as Harold Wilson said, a week 2 days is a long time in politics

The IR image is the ultimate decider.

3 planes today:

Today, at Brac, a happy looking Italian couple in a Cessna were flying to Bolzano. It didn’t occur to me to say something, but I phoned the airport soon to tell them to get the pilot to look at the radar image! Not all pilots check wx and I know at least a couple who are dead. This is the image at their departure time

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Peter wrote:

Not sure Wed looks better because these formations (change from cold to warm front) are usually TS

You know that I’m not familiar with Channel crossing

LDZA LDVA, Croatia

Strange to think I was in Brac as recently as Saturday. Say hello to Ecija!

Tököl LHTL

I think the ladies at Brac Airport have quite a following around Europe And rightly so – nobody else is so dedicated.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Astypalea landing during the fly-in:

Last Edited by atmilatos at 12 Sep 04:14
LGMT (Mytilene, Lesvos, Greece), Greece

I got back yesterday, with two epic flights.

Having got back to Dubrovnik from Greece, I managed to do one short flight to Brac at max power at 2000ft, getting there just before the TS moved in

The following day (yesterday) there was no way to fly N or NE over the Alps

so I filed for Cannes in S France. Departed Brac in drizzle, just like the UK a week ago but warmer, and with cloud really close to the runway end. The previously mentioned Italian couple were there, so they did in fact cancel the day before. The wind was about 50kt from the W so I had that on the nose the whole time, but at max power still made Cannes in about 4hrs. The nasty bit was Nice’s old and ludicrous practice of keeping everybody at 1000ft way out over the sea (20-30nm) where there is obviously no Nice traffic; this was hot, extremely rough and unpleasant. The landing at Cannes, on 22, was interesting too, with big gusts but mostly down the runway.

I got fuel, paid up (€100 for the tech stop) and filed the FP for the leg back to the UK. Then I got hit by the usual thing (a French strike)

which chucked in a 2hr delay, which meant Shoreham would be closed. I had only my phone to hand but Achim very kindly replaced the FP with one which departed VFR through the affected region. It was damn hot and I sat around the back of the fire station in some shade, trying to sort out the route. They must have thought I was planting a bomb. The departure was pretty rough too, with ~50kt wind blowing over the terrain there and making 45 degree bank one way and then the other, again being kept below 1000ft for a bit. The departure goes via VRPs and you have to get these right and have a moving map which shows them. ATC were good and fairly quickly gave me an IFR clearance (clearly they were not the ones on strike) but not below FL160, on the way to which the rate of climb varied from -500fpm to +1500fpm according to which mountain one was flying over (I have a pic showing +1000fpm at FL160 ). But I got there eventually, fairly quickly actually, but the Windyty wind forecast was rubbish and instead of it being westerly it was northerly all the way to the UK, varying between 20kt an 60kt. I flew all the way at best power (eventually going to best MPG once it was clear Shoreham would be closed so I had to watch the fuel) and missed Shoreham by just 30 mins. However about 1.5hrs was wasted at Cannes… I diverted to Biggin Hill which on weekdays now closes at 2300 local which is wonderful. French ATC would not allow any shortcuts unless really pushed.

The wind turned right around over the UK and the ILS to 21 had a 180kt GS on the way to the LOC. Due to a mixup on my part, filing VFR to Shoreham, London Control refused to accept me at FL100 so I got dumped by Paris onto “London 124.6” which is just FIS which says “remain OCAS” so out comes the VFR chart and a descent to 2400ft. The last hour was quite spooky, in the almost-darkness and with bits of clouds passing by in the descent. I had the sferics and radar images and knew there should be nothing in there, and the stormscope was clean.

You just can’t beat an ILS. The only thing better than getting visual on an ILS at night is a warm bed with a warm gurl

Got wet getting out – again Landed with 25 USG. The cost of a Biggin diversion is a £80 taxi, x2.

I am done with flying for a bit This sort of trip needs a Jetprop but really I won’t again do it again alone, to Greece and back. But flying friends (without complications) are very hard to find.

It was a brilliant meet-up. Different from most of the others we did

I have about 500GB of 1080P videos

EDIT: Biggin charges an extra £150 if you land after 9pm local! I didn’t know this and landed 5 minutes before 9pm.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Peter wrote:

The cost of a Biggin diversion is a £80 taxi, x2.

No Landing Fee ? No PPR ?

Wow, lots of factors changing in that return set of flights.
Glad you are back home.

You see ? some times VFR is the best way but off course it has shortcomings.

But flying friends (without complications) are very hard to find.

I fully agree on this and if it were for family members not accustomed to turbulence etc. in light planes you would have had an even worse experience like screams or moans in the “turn back now and land immediately” style.

BTW I love your Biggin picture of final approach 21.

Last Edited by petakas at 13 Sep 09:32
LGMG Megara, Greece

Peter wrote:

The departure was pretty rough too, with ~50kt wind blowing over the terrain

Been there on that one myself from LFMD when I had a PA28, on that day there was12mb difference between Cannes and LFLU (120nm) where I gave up and landed after 2.6 hours, you have a lot more stamina than I have.

Overall a very interesing write up, thanks.

Biggin is about £30 to land, plus some unimportant amount for the parking. No PPR AFAIK but I don’t think they care. Very few ATC airports in the UK would refuse a landing clearance. Gatwick probably would refuse but it must be £700 these days, anyway. Some Hitler-type FISOs have been known to do it.

VFR is a good way to beat striking ATC. The ATCOs you will actually be speaking to on the radio will probably not be the ones on strike, so they couldn’t care less. You just need to get the FP into Eurocontrol and get a service from a radar unit so you don’t go busting CAS (that latter bit is not going to work in the UK, where most CAS is Class A and the units servicing it will never service a VFR flight).

That Biggin ILS pic is one of a large number where I won’t reveal the number

The problem with finding “flying mates” is generally that men (in N Europe especially) tend to work 24/7 so are not time-flexible, and women eventually bring “complications”, with the complications being just different according to whether you are single or attached But for my next trip of that length I will have to sort out somebody.

I was actually glad that Justine just got onto the Skyexpress Dash-8 or whatever yesterday morning and then onto Easyjet. But also she had to be back home for today, due to guests etc arriving.

I will write it up properly in due course. I have close to 1TB of video footage for a start… 99% crap of course but one still has to put in some time, to cut it, subtitle it, and put in the sound track (edited to remove any dodgy stuff ) and the GPS track. Plus tens of GB of raw shots; just doing them in Lightroom. All the wx data has been saved before each flight.

Regarding stamina, yeah, but when I am airborne, all that matters to me is that I have a bottle to pee into, and the fuel totaliser is showing something like 20USG at destination (plus or minus the alternate situation) I would never land due to boredom or needing to pee.

Just before the UK:

The initial limiting factor on yesterday’s flying was Brac’s later opening on Tuesdays (0900Z). And I wanted to get back before today’s wx:

which isn’t going to get better (for high altitude IFR) for a few days.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom
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