Menu Sign In Contact FAQ
Welcome to our forums

UL trip into Spain

So we enjoyed our 2018 trip so much that we decided to make it into an annual event. Here’s the sequel, June 2019. Same squadron, Tecnam P92 and -P96, Savannah and Bristell.

The plan was to make a massive triangle in three days; Seville, Northwestern Spain and the Pyrenees. This would require quite some abilities to sit still, almost @terbang -style.

Day one messed up the plan though. Heavy winds and low clouds around our islands. Not a good idea for a formation of ULMs to launch into. So it became a two-day trip, and decided ‘to go where the wind would blow us’ (cue the music from ‘Gone With The Wind’).

No FPL, no contact with ATC, clear of CAS and just chatting between us, we crossed the Med, having decided to go to Requena (LERE). However, about one hour into the flight I had a confession to make. I would not be able to reach the destination comfortably. As being by far the eldest of the team I thought I would have the right to admit that I really would prefer to water some Peninsulan soil, carefully avoiding those wonderful Valencian orange trees of course. After I just let all these youngsters laugh a bit at this old fart, I suggested Olocau as an intermediate stop. BTW, after landing all these young brats sprinted to make it to the loo first..

Nice field, good grass, nice canteen. The locals immediately drove us into town to have breakfast with us. How about that..

After breakfast (eating comes first here) we started to talk about where to go. Decided to stop somewhere near Madrid and then make it further North, close to the Pyrenees.

First an intermediate stop at Sotos. Concrete runway, and nobody there except for some elderly German gentlemen doing their thing in a motorglider.

Town of Sotos. We enjoyed the landscape, in particular the colors:

Decided that our next stop would be Robledillo de Mohernando (sounds like a valiant medieval knight doesn’t it?), one of the major (mostly) ULM fields near Madrid. But before going there, we made a small detour to overfly the city of Cuenca, with its famous houses on a cliff. Sorry that you can’t see too much of them from my pic, better to Google ‘casas colgadas de cuenca’ if you are interested:

Towards lunch time, thermals started to show up, so the flying became a little less comfortable. Not so much hard bumps, more going up and down all the time. And we had to start looking out for big birds. Like last year, we saw quite a few. No real Airproxes though, fortunately we go slow and can avoid.

We got lucky, because there was an assembly of Spanish experimental builders having their yearly lunch! Enjoy the following parade.

I tried to fit in. No way.. Any guesses what this is? :

I did not even try to fit in (note the suit of the owner, the only right wear for this BD-5):

The assembly. Note the average age.. Not promising for the future, is it?

We came late, but got served just the same. No such thing as a Spanish watering hole running out of food.

So (again after lunch) started to make a plan to go to our place for the night. Decided on a place that looked interesting, just north of Zaragoza.

Near Zaragoza, over the typical landscape of the Ebro valley:

Well, the place turned out to be very special indeed. Clearly the highlight of the trip. I don’t know where to start! ‘Aerodromo Tardienta Monegros’ is clearly more than an ordinary aerodrome, and the owner is anything but ordinary. When you approach it, it’s a bit like to flying to an oasis in a desert. A bit of a short RWY, sloping, and stony (one of us blew a tire). Number one to land made a (we thought) funny remark: ‘land on the right side, left side partly occupied by a dromedary camel’. Turned out to be true, there are couple there based there. And I’m not talking about the PZL-Mielec M-18.. Well, that was a nice start.

The aerodrome is a multi-functional centre really. Other than the flying part, there is a hotel, and it’s being used to shoot movies (Westerns), a restaurant, and you can get driven around in buggies and other funny contraptions. Multi-cultural too, as the owner (and flight instructor, and cook, and local beer brewer, and driver and…) is very inspired by all things Moorish. His name is José Manuel Ayuda (last name means ‘help’) and the way he received us does honor to his name, not only because he fixed the flat tire:

Not sure about the cannon on the left. Probably to scare away these posh certifieds:

The hotel is subterranean, and has nice rooms:

And there is a hostel as well:

You can take a tour in this vehicle (?):

But the number plate is a clear warning:

The placemat of his restaurant summarizes what can be found and done here. I forgot to ask about the ‘Poblado Taliban’, luckily 1 km away. Maybe that is the local CAA office:

Anyway, José Manuel cooked us a great dinner, and joined us too and proved to be extremely helpful after my polite plea to get up very early the next day (Sunday) to fix us breakfast so that we could enjoy early morning flying.

And enjoy we did! Lovely clean air above this band of mist, off to the Pyrenees:

Next stop was Coscojuela. We had been there last year, and got such a welcoming reception. Airfield just under the wing

Nobody there that day though, so went on to the other place that we also visited before, Castejón de Sos. Airfield in that valley, just around the corner:

We needed fuel so the guy who hangs around threw us the key of his Jeep and gave us jerrycans to fill up at a gas station 2 km away.

Next stop La Cerdanya (LECD). This meant a nice opportunity for me to try the Bristell at altitude. Went to FL85 and was still happily climbing.

As usual it was a pleasure to visit LECD. A lot of glider activity and lunch at its great restaurant. I have to get used again at paying landing fees though, we almost forgot to part of the sum of a whole 5,00 euros each.. Forgot to ask if there is a discount for a formation of four! I’m losing it..

From there we went on to make a stop at my favorite ULM field (Avinyonet, near Barcelona). I know the people there by know, so, in spite of the field being closed that afternoon he told me where to locate the key of the pump so we could refuel.

Hop over the pond back home was uneventful.

Another nice excursion. I’m going to lure these guys into doing this more than once a year. And going to buy a Little John.

Last Edited by aart at 13 Jul 10:09
Private field, Mallorca, Spain

Muy bien, aart.

Spain really is very much like Italy…. (mostly) terrible big airport and hundreds of great little GA-ultralight airfields. Looking forward to visiting some of those, including Coscojuela, next time I am in Spain.

A pic from La Cerdanya, a month ago:

Last Edited by boscomantico at 13 Jul 10:09
Mainz (EDFZ) & Egelsbach (EDFE), Germany

Nice report Aart.
The small two wings airplane looks like a Pou du ciel

EBST, Belgium

Enjoyed reading the report very much!
Your fuel flow in the Bristell must be quite low flying at Savannah/Tecnam speeds?

always learning
LO__, Austria

Gran reportaje! Farm strips, ULM fields, aviosuperficie open up a whole new range of possibilities.

Great wry humour and some lovely turn of phrase.

Oxford (EGTK), United Kingdom

Great write-up, thanks! Spain really is a great country to fly in, these days obviously even more so in an UL than a certified bird. Guess if I was still living there I’d join the UL crowd.

Awesome flying.

The Mignet configured plane looks like one of the later Flea types, maybe an HM-380?

Last Edited by Silvaire at 13 Jul 18:43

Beautiful! Reminds me that we haven’t been to Spain for more than a year. This has to change! Thanks for the inspiration

EDFM (Mannheim), Germany

Enjoyed reading the report very much!
Your fuel flow in the Bristell must be quite low flying at Savannah/Tecnam speeds

The Tecnam 92 was the slowest with 2 POB and 80HP (the rest has 100), and was most comfortable at 80 KIAS. I did no do exact measurements but at that speed the Bristell probably consumes 14-15 liters/hr. BTW, the normal cruise speed would be 100-110 KIAS so at 80 you lose a bit of forward visibility and stability with the nose slightly up.

Private field, Mallorca, Spain

Great report Aart

You probably did the right thing to get out of the DA42 and have some low altitude fun

Yes we should definitely do a fly-in to Spain, after the September one. The wx is usually good down there, quite late into the year.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom
Sign in to add your message

Back to Top