As pilots, we get to enjoy a wonderful hobby. But obviously when you look back, some trips stick out in your mind more than others.
What were your favourite flights/trips that you’ve done by GA?
For me, three trips stand out in my mind in chronological order.
The first was a series of flights that I did while on holiday in the USA. I think what made this special for me, was the fact that it was the first time that I really used a light aircraft to do something that would have been more difficult without GA. The only real alternatives that I had on that trip were very long car journeys, or a combination of commerical flights and rental cars. GA made it so much easier. Also the fact that I was in airspace that was totally new to me, in an area of the USA, that I’d never seen before (incredibly remote), the flying was simple and the weather gorgeous.
There is a trip write up from the time, posted here
The second one that stands out in my mind, was a trip to a PocketFMS flying a few years ago, at Hognas, Sweeden.
This I did with a collegue from my flying club, each flying alternate legs. We left Weston in Dublin as soon as it opened (8am) and landed in the Borkum, in the East Fresian Islands in Germany about 45 minutes before they closed for the evening (including a fuel/lunch/customs stop in France along the way).
We had a brilliant few days there, in lovely weather, spent island hopping and cycling around the various islands. We took a few days along the way in Copenhagen too, and saw some spectatular bridges in Denmark. As soon as we’d shut down the engine in Hognas two beers were handed into the cockpit! What a welcome
We spent a few days there with a big crowd and great friends, all spent in beautiful sunshine, beside the BBQ. It’s probably about the furthest from home that I’ve flown too. Perhaps my trip to Reus (Barcellona) is slightly further.
The third one that sticks in my mind, isn’t in my logbook. Rather it was the trip that Peter brought me on last year, to the EuroGA flyin at Mali Losinj. This stands out for a number of reasons. A lot of records: first time time on an IFR flight that wasn’t an airline, highest altitude in GA (FL190), first time using O2, longest flight (7 hours). But the company made the trip wonderful, both in the air and everyone on the ground. The location was spectatular, and the weather fantastic.
So what was your best trip ever and why?
The nicest one I have done was through MOROCCO … I will do that one again!
I and my wife made a trip from Uppsala to Lisbon in a PA28. 2 days and 16 hours of flight time each way. Great fun, but rather exhausting.
In this order:
Touring the Caribbean in 2012.
Departing from Tampa in a rented PA28 towards Bimini, with a stop in Fort Lauderdale to get a US exit stamp in the passport, which we discovered after one hour of waiting that in fact was not necessary. Landing in Bimini MYBS after hours with the airport closed and fenced and nobody to greet us, despite being assured on the phone that yes, they would be there (at USD50 / hour surcharge). Stayed a couple of days at Seacrest Hotel & Marina. We understood why Hemingway drank so much while on Bimini!
Flew on to Great Guana Cay MYAM and stayed couple of days at Grabbers (very nice place). I recommend Nippers & Snappers. Talk to Leigh if she is still there. From there off to Andros MYAB (which you can honestly skip unless you want to see genetically mutant mosquitos the size of helicopters). We got a flat battery there which a kind local recharged for us.
From Andros off to Eleuthera (Marsh Harbor MYEM) where I can heartily recommend Duck Inn cottages, and Tippy’s for drinks and dinner by the seaside. Then onwards to most famous Staniel Cay and its Thunderball Grotto (MYES) where you can enjoy a great stay at the yacht club (and also recharge a 12V battery if needed… lots of golf carts around).
The plan was to fly onwards to Puerto Rico via Turks & Caicos however bad weather (OVC 005 and rain) sort of prevented that so we landed in Georgetown further down in the Exumas. The next day we launched into the open sea crossing adventure – 2.5 hours to Provo MBPV (in Turks & Caicos) for a quick fuel and pit stop, and then on to San Juan Isla Grande (TJIG) – very scenic airport downtown San Juan which we reached after a 4.5 hour flight.
A couple days R&R in Puerto Rico – no place tor ecommend as we stayed at a friend’s house, but I can recommend a great panama hat shop – El Galpon) then adventure called, and a very scenic flight to San Maarten TNCM thundering over the runway treshold beach (and getting crew rates at the 5 star hotel enxt to it!). From St MAarten there was no real plan – Guadeloupe was considered but due to some pesky apron work and PPR no place to park, so we pushed on to St. Vincent and the Grenadines (TVSV) – a most awesomely scenic 2.5 hour flight along the westward side of the Caribbean. One brass band festival (featuring Japanese players – fancy that) and good night’s rest further Curacao TNCC was calling, so we set off to a 3h45 westward flight across the pond. Initially a bit worried when crossing Venezuelan airspace, as Maiquetia Radar wasn’t easily reachable – but when we eventually established comms they couldn’t have cared less about a pesky VFR along the edge of their airspace.
Old Curacao is a sight to behold, with a huge canal crossing smack downtown – when you see big ships sailing right by your terrace, you really first think the margarita was more spiked than usual…
With Curacao done and dusted, northwards to Santo Domingo MDJB – another 3:30 of endless watery solitude sans radio contact for the most part. Great welcoming committee in Santo Domingo – make sure Gen Decs, ID’s and everything is ready… in triplicata preferably (alternatively I am told a 50USD bill will do). As time was becoming an issue, next day off to Stella Maris MYLS to clear Bahamian customs, then onwards to Nassau MYNN (don’t go – you won’t miss anything…). From Nassau a stressful departure off to the US – got off on the wrong foot, with the door popping open on departure and bad weather, low cloud and dashing rain on the 1.5 hour to KTMB where the US Customs crew were very welcoming (and very amused when it took me about 15 minutes to start the hot PA28).
All in all about 40 hours and 4’000 NM worth of flying in about 20 days.
Touring South Africa – like this:
A loop the loop from Jo’burg via the Madikwe Game reserve, Kimberley (avoid), Cape (must do), Garden Route (must see Wavecrest, must see Margate), Kruger and back to Jo’Burg. A must for everyone.
I had always been fascinated with Greece and especially Crete (not sure why, at the time, since I had never been there) so, not long after I learnt to fly (2001) and having got the TB20 (2002) and having got a load of avionics teething troubles sorted (by 2003), and having got one trip to southern Spain out of the way, and having met Justine 2 weeks after getting back from that, we flew to Crete in the summer of 2004.
I have done a lot of similar stuff since but that trip (done “VFR” believe it or not ) just stands out, especially the arrival on Crete
“Where do I pay the landing fees?”
“What landing fees? Welcome to Greece!”
It’s much easier today. With the IR, one could do all the IFR flight planning, flight plan filing, AirB&B booking, in probably under an hour. All on a smartphone. Then fly one leg to Croatia, one leg to Crete. Done. But that trip was just super.
I’ve not done anything like the exotic trips that a lot of folks on here have. The furthest I’ve been is Cannes.
It still felt like a heck of an achievement parking between two biz jets, then opening the canopy to be blasted with heat. A sort of ‘wow, I got here all by myself’ feeling, just a few hours after departing from a miserable and rain soaked Troyes.
That’s an easy one. Our honeymoon and wedding, a tour of lodges in Namibia in a C182. I’ve had a lot of fantastic trips in GA, but nothing will ever match that one!
Three weeks flying in the States in Autumn 2010. Aerobatics, low level flying through Monument Valley, Grand Canyon, Vegas, Sedona, Meteor Crater…
Oh yes, I forgot about my USA trip…
I did Henderson, Bullhead, Kinghead, Jean, Grand Canyon, and Sedona – great trip!