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What have you done with, or on your aircraft this weekend Jan 13-14, 2024

OK, I’ll kick off one of these.

A certain well known forumite has a severe problem in that he simply is unable to kick the habit.. Being retired for quite some years now, he still feels that uncontrollable urge to fall into his airline routine to get out early in the morning, fulfill his mission and return to home base, sometimes with a lay-over somewhere.

In record time, our captain covered the distance from a rather foggy CH to sunny SP, specifically my neck of the woods. The destination was LEPT, one of my lovely little watering holes on the island.

Of course I had offered my handling service, and ready to serve him I could see his steed scream in from Barcelona, heading straight for the field. Straight? I should have known better.. I suddenly saw a severe change of course towards the north-eastern coast, at 600 feet or so. And then FR coverage stopped. It so happened that a friend was on duty at LEPA tower, and after checking with him, our lost captain was caught in the act. As if flying all day from up north wasn’t enough, he decided to do some sight-seeing before landing. Tower sent us the specifics. Here he is, approaching the field from the opposite direction after his stroll along the coast:

As any pro would do, first refuel. And it finally became clear to me that the real reason for this habit of nonchalantly hanging these flaps out is simple. This way all the fuel that inadvertently sloshes over the wing finds an easy path down:

Once off-duty, a well deserved chill-out in Desirée’s FBO, for me the FBO of the century:

A lay-over in Manacor. Regretfully for our captain, during dinner he did not have the pleasure to look into pretty faces of flight attendants, but had to contend with mine.

Next day, flight preps at the FBO:

Of course, our captain made me a little jealous. I needed my air-fix as well so arranged for a group of four to do a Menorca lunch. While our captain was high-up on his way to Corsia and the Alps, we made a little puddle jump. Some soar with the eagles, others scratch with the chicken I suppose. But at least I got a nice shot of my wingman:

Private field, Mallorca, Spain

Looking through my spreadsheet about life limited parts, I noted that the airframe needs an inspection in February, 5 year oil / coolant / fuel line replacement in May so decided to see if the factory could do both at the same time. As the weather was also good, set off from the home base, flew down to Herzogenaurach for a coffee break and then continued onward to Slovenske Konijce. Initially I was intending to land at Eggenfelden or Vilshofen but the METARS were predicting low cloud hence the stop just short of Nürnberg. A good choice as the cloud base still hadn’t risen sufficiently to allow VFR traffic in either of the original locations, the closer we got to the alps, the heavier the cloud coverage became.

Due to various airspace restrictions around Salzburg, instead of flying direct to Ljubljana and then onward, we nipped through Linz Airspace, continued flying eastwards towards Vienna until we could turn south and head direct for Graz. When approaching Maribor from the North, we could see what looked like a solid overcast layer in front of us, but I’d already spoken to the owner of the factory who claimed the weather there was “perfect”; the Slovenian GAFOR (checked before leaving EDQH) was indicating O for the route I had intended so I continued, only to sink through a relatively strong inversion, well, one of the strongest I’ve seen in quite some time – from above, you couldn’t see the ground but dropping below 5500 feet, the visibility downwards improved massively. Well, only to be expected – the temperature was +3° at 7500 feet…. and -3 on the ground….

On arrival at the factory, we were shown around the test rig to allow the Slovenian FAA to approve the engine mounts for the turbine they are fitting to airframe 14; at the same time, a second G750 was leaving for it’s new base in Speyer – S5-MTM; that aircraft is powered by a 915iS. Hope the owner enjoys his new steed, it did the 340NM trip in 2hrs 20 minutes, burning 26 litres per hours. This year the manufacturer intends to complete and supply 5 aircraft to new owners, including the one with the photo camera and turbine for operations in Africa.

As the work will take a few weeks to complete – better to have it done during a time period where flying is more luck than guaranteed – we then flew back from Ljubljana to Düsseldorf via Paris…. What surprised me first of all at Ljubljana airport was the Air Tractors which had been converted to twin seat Air Boss operations

but also the number of abandoned jet aircraft at Ljubljana airport….

Now begins the wait for the completion of the work….. as long as the weather isn’t VFR, then I’m not too bothered. As previously said, better to have it being maintained during the low season…. but the ability to fly down to Slovenia during that window of good weather was appreciated…..

EDL*, Germany

Nothing as exciting as the above Just a day trip over the sea, for lunch and discussing aviation and other stuff

There is a vast high pressure over this bit of Europe, bases 1000ft or so and tops around 2000ft. +1C on the ground, +8C on top!

Puzzling what produces these lines

Packed beach

Isn’t this one related to the Scilly Isles crash (G-LIZZ)?

Mine next to a “proper plane” (one with a jet engine)

Yeah, one more

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

aart wrote:

I’ll kick off one of these.

Thats pretty funny aart. Looking on Googlemaps LEPT seeks pretty short. Did said forumite manage to add enoiugh fuel and get off the ground at LEPT to get all the way back to Switzerland?

Upper Harford private strip UK, near EGBJ, United Kingdom

Peter wrote:

Isn’t this one related to the Scilly Isles crash (G-LIZZ)?

In a way. It is the aircraft that replaced G-LIZZ.

ESKC (Uppsala/Sundbro), Sweden

I flew to Spa and back (EBSP) to take advantage of the nice weather and stay proficient. Just before I went I saw they activated the military low level zone (250GL – 500AGL). And while I don’t have any pictures I had the pleasure of spotting some low level flying F16s. One of them passing in front of me from right to left fairly close maybe 1500ft below and maybe at distance of 5NM, making a steep turn when basically in front of me and then continuing on. It was freaking awesome to see. And then at Spa I witnessed a guy take his first solo.

It was nice to fly a bit again.

Last Edited by hazek at 13 Jan 21:24
ELLX, Luxembourg

LEPT seeks pretty short. Did said forumite manage to add enoiugh fuel and get off the ground at LEPT to get all the way back to Switzerland?

Thanks for asking @Buckerfan. Thing is, the Balearic Islands are pretty close to CH, just a few of hours at my sedate settings. The benefit of visiting this group of politically independent islands regularly is to have one’s own handling agent at disposal, whichever field I would be landing at. ATC is usually informed of my arrival thru handling, and on a first name basis will provide me with all the necessary data for a safe arrival at my chosen field, as happened yesterday on Palma’s approach frequency.
This dedicated handling agent usually helps in refueling, providing transportation, translation, accommodation booking, entertainment (good fun talking about each one of you guys behind a good plate of Gambas al Ajillo and local wine ). Of course, once the refueling operation is complete, said handling agent will also check for due flaps retraction, and once satisfied with the inspection will give the ok to leave the field…

Now re LEPT, I first had a look at the SD plate which states a length of 200m, which is right on my no obstacle limit for landing (-50 for TO). A closer look using the fantastic Aterriza site revealed a runway length of 500m which more than caters for my ship, and probably yours too. On top of that, there’s an underrun (which of course I landed on 🙈) and overrun of a couple of hundred meters each way.
Here’s the place… try to spot the runway

My eco settings give about 6:30 flight time on the standard tanks to FSPS (fan stops pilot sweats), and today’s return took 2:07 to Propriano and 2:39 across Genova/Milan/Alps/find a hole in the fog/return to base. The hole? Spotted abeam the Pilatus mountain, proof here:

A couple pics, yesterday, leaving CH, the Tour d’Aï and de Mayen (which I used to fly inverted thru in the Cap-10B when younger…), and the end of Lac Léman…

Béziers, 24H PN due parking space (I asked…), landing and going ahead of this LCC will save some time, still a good entry into the EU, landing fee €8.40, reasonable and almost cheap (for my sense of reality…)…

ain't the Destination, but the Journey
LSZF, Switzerland


Isla de Majorca and Cap de Formentor…

And a pretty dead LFKO, but for 2 kerosene burning beauties…

Spotted that runway yet? Alright, there it is…

ain't the Destination, but the Journey
LSZF, Switzerland

You guys are incredible.

I’m sitting at the computer playing around with the Garmin 400W trainer software unlocking all tricks that I haven’t found yet. My training aircraft and aircraft I’ll sit the IR exam in (Cessna 172RG) has a 430W and I want to be proficient on the instruments. So – ground school for me. Re-memorizing all these rules of thumb. But very eager to finish that soon and to fly out and get use of my next rating.

Also a good time for training, because it’s this weather that’s the rating is made for. Was planning to fly last Friday, but several things came in the way. First, I initially wanted to do the training with a “normal” Cessna 172, but reportedly there was found a crack in the engine. It is grounded now for unknown time. Was a quite low-time engine, around 400 hours Lycoming O-320. Something must have happened to that engine, because I think it’s really hard to harm such an engine. However, we checked options and switched over to a 172RG that I’ve already flown some times. And then the weather deteriorated. Weather here is just like in @Peter’s pictures, however from below it’s not so nice. Cloudbase around 600 feet AGL with patches of fog below. And as my field is VFR only that’s impossible to fly (legally). But again going through the decision-making process and talking about options to an FI is just gold nuggets.


Dan wrote:

Spotted that runway yet? Alright, there it is…

Now that’s enough room for any one of us…when do we have a fly-in there?

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