Alright, today’s Friday
Decided to pay a visit to my non-certified renegades friends holding a formation days (or formation clinic as it’s called in the US) week-end in Trento LIMT, Italy.
Van’s RVs only, anyone interested in the activities of this RV group, see RV-Pilots.eu
I was one of the first member of the group, then basically lost interest in formation flying, but like to pay a visit and see how things are doing.
Left my base to enter the EU at Milano Bresso LIMB. 12h PN, but affordable (whatever that means to some of you, for me < 10€ landing is affordable to good. Of course, your mileage will vary). The field always amazes me with its proximity to downtown Milan.
Quick turnaround, then eastbound, flying past the quarry of Botticino, North of Brescia. To me it looks like another scene of carnage…
A little while later, by the Lago di Garda, the peninsula of Sirmione…
Passing by Asiago, famous for its cheese and as a ski destination. Very visible is the Asiago Sacrario, which is (just learned this whilst writing this…) a WW1 memorial monument.
Met with the RV formation group after landing at Trento LIMT.
3 guys from my base, a couple of Germans, 2 famous Italians Franz and Luke usually engaged in formation aerobatic airshow as CrewRV8, 4 Spanish, a nice total of 10 RVs. All letting their flaps nonchalantly hanging in the light breeze…
The training is highly professional, all based on the FFI standards, and the instructors ex military flyers, and/or FFI accredited. This ain’t no wild impromptu “oh, let’s do some formation flying”, but serious demanding training.
So we all went for lunch, after which I left the group to head home for the rest of the WE. Always a bit sad leaving all my good friends behind…
Trento LIMT is on the western end of the Dolomites, which as always, looked very tempting.
Transiting North of Lake Konstanz, I could not but inspect the famed Rhine Falls at Schaffhausen on the way back.
All in all a very nice day out
Flew down to Reims Prunay LFQA, with some friends, stopping at Le Touquet LFAT for immigration/customs from the UK. All very straightforward, although a little cramped 4-up in the Turbo Arrow – especially in this hot weather. Smooth flying conditions above a temperature inversion. Saw a couple of Hurricanes leaving Le Touquet.
Here for the weekend.
Great photos by Dan, as always.
Despite very good weather, I have no real plans this weekend. This morning, I still headed out to the airport and thought I would make a short flight with the Beech Debonair. I don’t fly it too much these days, and I just want to fly such type of aircraft at least once in 4-6 months, just to feel comfortable in it anytime for taking passengers or flying IFR. So I pulled her out of the hangar.
With nowhere particular to go, as boring as it sounds, I decided I would fly down to Mannheim (EDFM). This was my home and homebase between 2012 and 2013, after which I fled, pretty much from everything… the job, the city, the airport and the aeroclub. It felt about time going back there to have a look around.
Despite CAVOK conditions, it was very hazy, so not many nice airborne photos. BASF in Ludwigshafen.
The radio and the airport were unexpectedly busy, but at first, I didn’t think much of it. After landing, when taxying in, it dawned on me that there was some kind of event going on (without any NOTAM).
Turns out they had an “Airport Open Day”, and the good weather obviously attracted a big crowd. Let’s check it out.
The aeroclub presented itself with two of their “contemporary” aircraft…
But there was also the usual vintage stuff, like a Stampe, a Klemm and a Stearman…
But there was also some „modern“ stuff.
Obviously, the usual 300k ultralight had to be there as well.
The quaint little terminal, where the airport bar is right next to the check-in counter.
Always a good view from the top of the carpark.
An hour later, I flew back to Mainz.
Another trip to Bembridge with the family. The previous arrival was (I think) @carlmeek in a much bigger helicopter.
Bus to Sandown, where we had a walk around then lunch at Muzza’s family-run café. The food was freshly cooked, and you could taste it. Dessert was ice-cream tapas, 8 different flavours on a plate, all home-made by them using cream from a local farm.
We went to the pier, then spent all afternoon on the beach, where the children did a lot of swimming.
Yea that was me, family trip down to shanklin :)
Raron LSTA, located in the canton VS down the Rhône valley, is one of those demilitarised fields, trying to survive… they chopped the runway a couple of times, and as always, some local politics are trying to restrict traffic even more, or have the place shut. No luck yet, as luckily the resistance is good
They have held regular fly-ins over the years, such as this one:
Saturday I first set off for what I call The Haute Route…
Same as described by @boscomantico above, quite hazy in the lower levels here too. Still very good conditions with barely some wind, but some high temperatures.
Looking West, Monta Rosa in the foreground, Matterhorn in the middle, and the Mt Blanc in the background…
A slightly unusual view of the Matterhorn aka Cervin, with Breuil-Cervinia down the South valley…
Looking East, Mt Blanc in the foreground, Matterhorn in the middle, and the Monta Rosa in the background…
Of note, the wind was hovering around 5kts variable, and the OAT was -2°C… at 17+Kft (ISA would be -18.7)!!!
From here I continued to La Côte LSGP, a little grass strip close to Geneva GVA, to join with friend Marcel, and the RV-4 on which I pounded short of 20K rivets
We then loose formationed to Raron LSTA for the fly-in. Not as many participant as expected, nevertheless a very enjoyable event. The Raclette (molten cheese stuff) and the local white wine being the highlights of the event
We all had a quiet nite of rest, and everybody started to pack up, and then fly home during the morning of today.
I’ve been flying those mountains for a while now, but nonetheless still spot some interesting stuff. Today I found some icebergs (…) drifting across the small lake by the Chüeboden-gletscher (Cows-ground-glacier )
My weekend started on Friday with the mayor and his team joining members of the clubs for breakfast and the inauguration of our new hangar doors and new state of the art grass cutting machine.
The evening was spent with a couple of mechanics father and son keeping the part66
in the family whilst we tried to find out why the engine on the DA40D keeps giving overheating warnings. After much work on the water cooling system over a couple of hours the computer was plugged in to download the history and a ground run made. No problems. The problem was fixed, or was it? I flew a circuit with mechanic and computer in the front seat. All went well until 300ft and then a yellow coolant temperature warning. Reduced power and lowered the nose, back to green, started to climb slowly, not at full power, got to 700ft and the warning light went straight to red. Reduced power and lowered the nose for a circuit à base hauteur (low level circuit) . Now on somewhere between 30% and 40% power, returned to all greens. Turned final all green and then the oil pressure light turned yellow. We landed and let the turbo cool (recommended by the mechanic even in this.case but he was watching the computer)
So, whilst the mechanics pour through the computer readouts and think of a possible solution our DA40 is nailed to the ground and we have to borrow a neighbouring club’s s DA 40.
Meanwhile the Super Guépard motors on except it keeps shedding cowling clips for some reason. We’ll have to address that next.
So not a lot of flying this weekend but plenty of oily hands and there were plenty of croissants, pain au chocolat and pain au raisin to go round several times. And after the work on the DA40 a pleasant glass of pinaud with mechanic and members of the gliding club in the setting sun and temperatures still hovering in the high 20"sC🙂