Menu Sign In Contact FAQ
Welcome to our forums

UL trip into Spain

Good trip ! This community seems very nice compared to « nobody knows nobody » here.

Just two questions :
How can you fly from Majorca to the mainland without FPL ?
Your first stop seems in Valencia CTR, how is it’s traffic managed ?

LFOU, France

Nice trip aart, far more relaxed and friendly than in those trips in DA42 (I flew as pax in that specific twin, don’t worry it is in good hands )

PS: I am in the hunt for a wooden prop for a vintage, the one in the back UYUYUY vehicle looks about right, how much?

Last Edited by Ibra at 16 Jul 09:14
Paris/Essex, France/UK, United Kingdom

Jujupilote wrote:

How can you fly from Majorca to the mainland without FPL ?

If you don’t enter in any controlled airspace, FPL is optional.

Jujupilote wrote:

Your first stop seems in Valencia CTR, how is it’s traffic managed ?

There is a written agreement. You only need to enter a small distance into the CTR to land in Olocau, and there is a procedure which mainly requires you to contact Bétera military helicopter base.

LECU - Madrid, Spain

If you don’t enter in any controlled airspace, FPL is optional.

Ok. Funny, because FPL are mandatory for UL flying from mainland to Corsica. I guess it is country specific.

LFOU, France

Jujupilote wrote:

Ok. Funny, because FPL are mandatory for UL flying from mainland to Corsica. I guess it is country specific.

You cross the national boundary of France twice as you fly over international waters. The default is to require flight plans in that case.

Also, flight plans could be required for SAR purposes.

ESKC (Uppsala/Sundbro), Sweden

It was not possible to do our yearly sortie into Spain in 2020 for obvious reasons, so we really looked forward to this year’s edition from which we just returned.

Two additional aircraft joined for a total of six, four of them ULM (Tecnam P92, P96, and two Savannahs) and two certifieds (Tecnam Sierra and me in the Bristell B23).

The plan: spend 3 days in total and cover the northwestern part of Spain, Galicia, for at least one entire day with just a rough idea where to land and sleep. We all find it nice to just go and improvise.

No FPLs of course. Avoiding CAS. And only to non-state run airfields. No or minimal interaction with ATC. Traffic advisories would not have been relevant anyway, we just saw one other aircraft during the whole trip, and it was not even close by. Chatting amongst ourselves on our ‘own’ frequency. The word Flying starts with an F, like Freedom.

Day 1. Mallorca to Oviedo/Gijon

Sunrise departure from our field, Son Alberti. First stop: Castellon de la Plana (LECN) right on the Valencian beach. A nice 1:45 min ride, taking it easy to cater for the 80 HP P92 in the group.

After a serious breakfast of sobrassada sausage and ensaimada pastry, brought from home (the surplus of which would be used to give to the helpful people we would meet), off to Garray (LEGY), near the city of Soria. Lovely ride over amazing central Spain. These shapes and colors never bore me. Although in a way it is a little sad sight, since the centre of Spain is more and more becoming an empty place. Many villages are becoming deserted.

Approach and final Garray..:

…where a very friendly and helpful lady fueled us up right away:

A bunch of C130’s sitting there to be dismantled I believe.

Here’s where the Tecnam Sierra joined us, coming from Catalonia.

Next stop we planned at a small field called Los Oteros (LEOS) near the city of Leon. As the day progressed, time to start looking out for the big birds. As expected, we saw quite a lot. It was never a threat, as we go slow and they are big enough to spot from far out. As usual, these biggies don’t really move or do anything unexpected, so we could just either fly past them or make a slight deviation. Because they won’t! A few times we flew parallel to them in the same direction and it’s amazing how fast they are when in cruising mode.

Southeast of Leon:

There’s plenty of fields to choose from but we chose Los Oteros because of the pool. I’m willing to pay a hefty prize to any of you who succeeds to convince the spouse to get one like this :

These fields are very convenient and service-oriented. If there is no fuel pump, there will be someone with cans to drive one to a nearby fuel station to get mogas. As most of you will know, Rotaxes prefer that kind of fuel. And of course there is food, and not from the gas station.. They cooked us a very good paella. After lunch we sat together to decide on the final destination for the day. The original idea was to end up at La Morgal, near the city of Oviedo and Gijon (LEMR), near the the north coast, but of course subject to weather. Not only the weather on the day itself but also the next day, because we would not want to get trapped. The point being that just south of that northern coast there is a huge parallel ridge of serious mountains. This creates a tremendous difference in climate between the coast and the highlands south of this ridge. The TAF of Gijon showed fine, but that airport is actually on the coast itself, and we suspected (confirmed by our wx tools and eyeballs) that the mountains themselves could be clouded up. A little to the east it looked clearer, but that was right over a restricted area, the national park of the ‘Picos de Europa’. (A little factoid: Why would these mountains be called ‘Peaks of Europe?’ Well, it was the first patch of Europe that Spanish sailors would see on their great circle routing back from America..).

We decided to give it a go and return if it would get iffy. And iffy it became.. The valleys we intended to fly were very clouded, if not overcast, and we approached the clouds from above. Then the first in the group, who had been in the area before, spotted a hole and what looked like a route. After much chatter (on our own frequency of course). We followed him and ,once through that hole, it was all smooth sailing to La Morgal, a very nice little aerodrome just southeast of the Gijon CTR.

As usual, a very welcoming atmosphere, and before we knew it some chaps were off getting us fuel and afterwards brought us to a nearby hotel.

Hangar at the airport. 15 years ago it would be Pipers and Cessna’s. Nowadays mostly ULMs:

Day 2. Oviedo to…wherever we end up when we’ve had enough

As expected, the weather did not allow us to depart early. But at around 10 LT the clouds disappeared mostly, so we got on our way west along the coast towards the northwestern tip of Spain. Lovely ride as that coast is magnificent. Suspiciously green though, so we were extremely lucky with the weather:

We decided to make a brief sanitary stop on a very small field just on the coast called Villaframil (no code). There was a group of R/C aficionados doing their thing there:

Seeing that things went smoothly and the weather was magnificent we decided to continue along the coast, round the northwestern tip, including the famous ‘End of the World’ location, Finisterre, and then fly inland a bit to a field called Fervenza (LEMZ).

Once you round that Northwestern tip the coast becomes rough for a while, which earned it its name: ‘Costa de la Muerte’. Plenty of shipwrecks there through the centuries:

But interspersed with a rough coast were quite a few wonderful beaches with crystal-clear water. Again, should you visit the area, YMMV regarding the weather and the water temperature most certainly diminishes the size of a certain body part of the men among us.


We selected Fervenza because it’s right on a lake so swimming would be on the menu. Talking about menu, of course no destination is approved before we’d got a confirmation that there would be a good lunch. Surely enough the folks there treated us on a proper BBQ.

One of our group is a devout musician and plays a rather unusual instrument called a ‘Xeremia’ in Catalan. They must have started building these when the Scottish patent on the bagpipe expired. Sounds darned similar. And the drill is that he plays it just after landing to celebrate that nobody hit terrain or each other. Of course all people on all fields love it. But most animals do too:

Actually he sometimes plays it in flight on our own frequency. One of the group members did not know this and almost got a fit. He really thought for a second that his engine would get to a screeching halt any second.

Only ULMs on the field. Including a seaplane. They are in the process of getting a permit to establish a seaplane base. It must be an ordeal having to deal with the Spanish CAA, but let’s be positive and assume they will pull it off someday. There was actually a little seaplane there, but of course it would (ahem) always and exclusively use runways, and it just made the owner feel safer if he would even have to make an emergency landing on water, or overshoot the runway.

Next leg would be along the coast again going south all the way to the river Minho, the border between Spain and Portugal, and fly up that river.

Rounding the estuary:


After a brief stop at Monforte (LENF) we decided to move on to Las Rozas (LERO), near the city of Lugo and make that our final destination for the day. Fuel available on the field and off to the city in taxis, about 20 minutes away.

Day 3. Lugo-home

We were warned that we probably wouldn’t be able to leave early in the morning due to fog. That indeed turned out to be the case, and we could only leave at around 12.00 LT. So while waiting we hiked a bit. And where would pilots prefer to hike? Well, on a runway of course. Even better, a runway with a bit of nature:

Leaving at 12:00 would make it a bit of a challenge to get back to Mallorca before SS. So this would require some efficient refueling, and just a sandwich lunch, which is a horrible sacrifice here..

Our last bit of lush green land:

A few ridges to go before entering into the highlands again:

We made a sanitary stop in Los Oteros again, but no time to dip into that nice pool. On to Garray again for a quick refuel and a bite.

Since fuel was reported to be not available at Castellon we decided to make our final refuel stop a bit further south, at a great field called Requena (LERE), west of Valencia.

The leg from Garray to Requena was exhausting. The visibility was so-so, and we got hit by the predicted heatwave over Spain. Not exactly ISA conditions at 6.500 ft: 30 degrees Centigrade. I was pleasantly surprised to see how my little 100 HP normally-aspirated Rotax still put out sufficient oomph. It became a little more challenging to look for birds in that haze.

I left the formation and went out ahead so I could mobilize the fuel station for those coming behind. Sure enough, the airport owner heard me on the radio that a group would be coming in to refuel, and he was at his pump on stand-by. Great service.

Now, all this heat tends to convert itself in some nasty weather. On approach I could already see some rain in the distance. Just after we refueled, a proper CB started dumping its contents on the field and we had only a limited window to make it back home. But we were lucky to clearly see on the radar imagery that it was petering out and moving away from our route, so we soon decided to give it a go. How fortunate are we nowadays with this info at hand. In the bad old days I would not have considered launching..

Along the south of the Valencia TMA, in the direction of Ibiza we were blessed with a nice tailwind to blow us back home where we arrived in time:

Which brings me to about 125 hours of flight time so far this year
Yes, I know, I’ll be punished in hell, but I guess it’s worth it.

Last Edited by aart at 16 Jul 17:03
Private field, Mallorca, Spain

@aart great trip report many thanks for helping us join in vicariously

Oxford (EGTK), United Kingdom

Wonderful! Is amazing how a bit of sunshine makes everything look so nice!

Thanks for writing up and positing this trip. It really deserves a new thread to reach a wider audience!

EIWT Weston, Ireland

Este reportaje me recuerda por qué aprendo español

LDZA LDVA, Croatia

Indeed @emir, although you’ve traveled to Spain quite a few times, there is still much to explore! Garray would be a very convenient stop (for you, and for many others thinking of traveling in Spain), but they don’t have JetA unfortunately, just Mogas and Avgas. Then again, your Spanish is probably at a level where you would be able to charm that lady to make a drive to a nearby fuel station for some Diesel..

Private field, Mallorca, Spain
Sign in to add your message

Back to Top