Martijn Moret's Blog timeline
Created by martijnmoret on Jun 22, 2008
Last updated: 03/11/10 at 11:11 PM
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A special flight for all. One of my best friends, Onno, is seriously ill and we had promised a flight to his daughter already a while back. Since he needs frequent treatment and doesn't feel well for a while afterwards, we were able to schedule a flight on a great day just before he was being hospitalized.We decided to go to Texel, as this is a very nice flight along the coast, and I had prepared to return overflying Schiphol since this is a cool thing to do.The weather was great, the lunch at the airport restaurant a bit lagging (dutch hospitality is problematic), but we had big fun all three!Evianne got a first-time diploma afterwards.
A very rare occassion, but the Flying club Valkenburg managed to get permission for a fly-in on September 19, while the airport (former navy base) is officially closed. I flew with Koos, who owns the PH-JAJ together with Nico. This Glassair Sportsman was build by themselves! I got to fly a bit during the flight (we first played around over the haringvliet), but was of course not checked out for landing. Next to that, Koos really wanted the EHVB in his logbook because you never know if you can land there again. On our way there we flew along the coast of Scheveningen.The landing was great and we were guided by a marshaller on a bicycle. Quite a few planes had arrived already!One small set back was the landing mishap of a small amphibic bi-plane. The runway was closed, and after an inspection of a local police officer (who had never seen a runway before this close) planes could land and depart again. Unfortunately many planes had to divert to other fields. At the end of the afternoon, we departed for a 11 minute flight back to Rotterdam. Great day!
On September 12, 2009, the Hoogvlieger foundation organised another big day for more than 120 terminally and/or chronically ill kids. The goal of the day is to let them forget their hardship for 1 day, and it includes flying in a small plane! I was lucky to do 3 flights and give them the feeling of flying and being on top of the world. And what a great first-time-pilots they were!If you want to learn more (for example on how to contribute or DONATE) please go to: www.stichtinghoogvliegers.nl (website in dutch)
This video makes my heart turn around.... what is wrong with those pilots? Landing way beyond 50% of the already short runway almost ended in disaster.
While you are waiting for my new blog posts :p, you may want to check out Aviafilms.com for great cockpit movies of Boeing 737 - Piper 28 Arrow - Cessna 152 and 737 sim.Cool stuff!
Wow! Since April no blog here. Apologies. My company, Vidamore.com, is keeping me busy.So you missed out on the stories on Oostwold, flights to Texel and others. I will try to put the pictures up in the coming weeks. Happy landings!
On June 1st, there was an airshow in the very north of Holland, in an specially for this event licensed airfield Oostwold (no ICAO code so: ZZZZ). We flew there with the PH-SRU.This was on our way home, after being in a queue for more than 30 minutes. There were more than 100 aircraft leaving the airfield after the show. Great line-up.Pictures of the airshow (of other photographers) you can find at: Flickr
Today, we had planned for a Flybloggeer meeting on Texel. It was until this morning that I was able to attend, due to the fact there were no aircraft available at the Vliegclub Rotterdam. Ton co-owns a US registered Cessna 172 RG (retractable gear) and decided he recovered sufficiently from his flu to fly.We left about 11.30, as I had signed up for a sea rowing shift that morning. After fuelling up we could start on the "follow the coast navigation-plan" to Texel. We recieved clearance for a direct Scheveningen, where I could take a picture of the Cornish Pilot Gig (6 people rowing and one steering) heading out to sea. 2 hours earlier, I was in that ship!The flight was a bit shaky, as turbulence and strong winds along the coast held the aircraft captive. I did enjoy it though.A soft landing on Texel by Ton, and great to see the guys (and some lady-passengers of Jan). The group is expanding and great to meet up from different airfields: Lelystad, Hoogveen, Eindhoven and us from Rotterdam.Picture courtesy of ZwakiePicture courtesy of Zwakie
Wow, a chilling story on the website of Max Trescott about an incident in the Pyrenees..... Read on here. Brrr.
A couple of weeks back, a new type of flying car made its maiden flight. Read more here: First roadable airplane takes flightfound the embedded video through GolfHotelWhikey
2 friends are currently building their experimental aircraft in Arlington in a so-called "assisted-build" program. Which, in itself, is already very cool. In addition, I helped them set up time-lapse software, to create a 6 minute movie of the 2 weeks. They are also broadcasting live from the building hangar at certain times.I spoke to them over Skype this afternoon and they feel like boys in a big adventure (while together they are well over 100 years old)Good luck guys!
The hoogvlieger foundation, that I volunteer for, organised a "mini-event" at Rotterdam today. 11 kids were taken up in the air to have a remarkable fun day in their troubled life.And since the weather was very bad to fly this week, I was afraid that it might be cancelled. The TAF (weather forecast) did not look all that different for saturday, but the actual weather did! Great visibility, clouds up to an altitude where they belong (above 2000 feet at least), and winds calm....The aircraft I planned to use, the PH-VSY, had a bit of trouble. I taxied out to the fuel pump, and after fuelling it, it wouldn't start anymore. Low on power. It seemed to have had this problem earlier in the week and was checked, so it may be something with the battery.no powerrrrrrrrrrr...Anyway, due to a joint operation of airport handling (the yellow cars) and a hangar service man (small red aircraft towers), I could start the plane on external power and thereafter taxi back to the club. It could have flown, but you want to rule out any problem with fragile kids and parents in the aircraft. There was another aircraft available luckily. My flights today were with Miranda and Sara. Both talented pilots to be, as they had a lot of feeling for actually flying and turning the plane ("keep the altimeter on the 3" for 1300 feet!). We flew a direct Scheveningen, left at the coast, and via the river (nieuwe waterweg) and the Euromast back to the field!Great day to fly, great day for the kids!
Today I wanted to go up in the air for some circuit training. I did not fly for a couple of weeks, and I have a couple of flights planned for next saturday.The weather was influenced by a occlusion front most of the day, but at the end it would improve. So with broken clouds at 700 feet and 7000 meter of visibility I took off (had 1 pax on board as well). On downwind the runway was hardly visible. I was not in the clouds, but the 7 km visibility on the ground detoriated very much in the sky, even at 500 feet.So at the end of downwind I decided to make it a full stop i.s.o. more circuits...... it wasn't my best flying day anyway, as I made some checklist and RT mistakes.Upon putting the aircraft back on its parking we saw a VLM Fokker 50 going arround to avoid a large flock of birds. Close call, and good decision of the pilot.
Saturday-morning, 3 degrees Celsius, no wind, blue sky and sun. What a beautiful weather to be at sea in a rowing boat (or in the sky for that matter, too late though to rent a plane). While there were light chunks of ice in the harbour, the introduction hour of the rowing club was held as planned. Near to the entry of the harbour the sea rocked the boat a bit, but further out, where these pictures have been taken it was dead-calm.Next time it will be a blog from 3000 feet again, some nice flights coming up.
Some months ago I picked up working out in a gym to get into shape..... felt I was only sitting down (in my work) and moving the small aircraft by hand, in and out its parking space, is hardly called a workout.One of the things I enjoy is being on the indoor rowers. I met a number of people in the gym, that also do the real thing: rowing in a Cornish Pilot gig on the sea. I decided to try it out today and join an intro-class. Short drinking and hand-warming breakOutside it was 4 degrees Celsius, wind was calm (8 kts), and with 6 people rowing and a navigator, we did some rounds in the harbour and then went out to sea. The waves made the rowing rhythm harder to follow, and off course my oar (roeispaan) became stuck. Luckily I could get it out, after which the easy trick to do this was explained. Too soon, although my right hand got cramped, we returned to the harbour again. I enjoyed it a lot (being on or above the sea always gives me a great feeling), and will continue doing it!
Michel, former-colleague and flying friend, is currently doing his MCC training in a full motion 737 simulator. He invited me to spend a training session on the jump-seat of the simulator, for which many thanks Michel! The 2 halls with the simulator bays are already very impressive at FSC but it becomes awesome when the door closes, the access bridge is retracted, and the simulator comes to life.I was stunned by the feeling of the take-off, and although I knew the machine was fooling my vestibular systems (evenwichtsorgaan), it still is very close to the real thing.Together with his training buddy Gianni, Michel did some take-offs with problems (engine failure before and after V1 = difference between aborting the take-off or continuing to fly) and landings (runway incursion so go around). All the procedures had to be conducted in detail, including talking to the cabin, and the instructor was taking detailed notes for the debrief. I was most of the time next to the instructor and could see what kind of nasty problems were coming their way.At the end of the session we moved to another simulator (newer type, also full motion) and I got the opportunity to do a take off and 2 landings! Great feeling to fly. Of course I was completely unprepared towards a lot of the aircrafts' systems, but the basic flying manouvres weren't too bad. Probably a bit nauseating for the pax but the aircraft would still be functioning after both landings! Very cool to do, and also very helpful in my own ATPL training (which is a bit lagging). Thanks again guys!
Simple: change the name of it: There are plans (dutch link) to rename Rotterdam Airport (EHRD) to "Rotterdam - The Hague Airport". As a private pilot, living in The Hague and flying from this airport near Rotterdam, I am quite happy with it.The Hague, in dutch called Den Haag, had closed down 2 (military) airports in its surrounding the past years: Valkenburg (EHVB) and Ypenburg (ICAO code unknown). This is a great way to get back the status of "city with airport" ;)
On this last day of the year it has become a blog tradition to look back at the past year. And what a year it has been:3 Hoogvlieger days in which I flew around chronically and/or terminally ill kids with their parents/sisters and brothers. Very impressive, and make you look different towards life and what is important. I am happy to have been able to give them at least a few moments of joy.Local flights over Utrecht, Rotterdam and Scheveningen. Sometimes solo, sometimes with friends or colleaguesLocal flight in Mallorca, crossing the mountains and flying over the mediterrean sea.An introduction into Aerobatics.... loopings, spins, rolls; better than any rollercoaster- no pictures unfortunately -Trips to Hilversum, Ameland, Dinslaken in Germany to meet the Flybloggers (8 get-togethers to date, and still going strong) Weekend trip to Cambridge in the UK to visit my aunt- Not-self-flown trip to Orlando to the NBAAAll great aviation related activities! What a great hobby, and great people to share it with! 2009 promises to become another great flying year, although some major changes in my life make the immediate future quite uncertain: I'll finish working for Accenture, and continue in my own company: Vidamore BV, which provides management services for aviation related companies. I am for example involved in starting a new business aviation airline and in setting up a new hospitality concept for airports. Next to that I will be doing some shorter projects.Anyway: 2009 will be a turbulent year, and hopefully all plans will come together without too much windshears, icing on the wings, go arounds and aborted takeoffs. I wish you all a prosperous and healthy 2009 with many happy landings!Some last minute statistics:- Hours flown in 2008: 29.05- Landings made: 33 (and equal number of take-offs)- Aircraft types flown: C152, C172, DR400, PA28 (all as PIC) and R-200 (aerobatics aircraft)- Been in but not flown myself: Fokker 50, Phenom 100, Ferrari (forgot model), and some more boring commercial airliner types.
This was (probably) the last flight of 2008. Today we met with the Flybloggers on the notorious airfield of Schwarse Heide - Dinslaken (EDLD).Not only my brother-in-law but also my niece was joining the trip to Germany today. Ton was flying to Dinslaken, I did the return-trip.This morning it was freezing cold at the airport, and the de-icing of the aircraft (had been outside all night) is not the best pre-flying experience I've had.... how much ice can an aircraft collect? After a good 45 minutes of scraping, toweling and spraying de-icing fluid on the aircraft, we decided to put it in a warm (well, above 0 degrees Celsius) hangar for 15 minutes, so it could get rid of the latest ice.After taking it out of the hangar again, it still had a film of ice left on her wings, but that would wear off during flight. We fueled her up to the max and went on our way.Since we were flying into the sun, and an inversion was present (a layer of dirty air trapped because a bit higher the air is warmer), the visibility was not that good.The route was not that difficult: we flew to Nijmegen by following a river (Waal) and then to Dinslaken by following a highway (A3?). Langen information helped us a bit in finding the field and we soon joined downwind 09 (not 27 :p) of the aerodrome. A bit more wind than expected, and a flight took about 1h30.Upon arrival we heard the local restaurant was closed which would mean we would be hungry. One of the flybloggers luckily (for us) came by car and so we had some transportation to find food: Hans and I arranged for 10 Wiener-schnitzel with french fries from a nearby hotel, and we had a great lunch inside a room at the airport.After having inspected Marcel's ((see a previous post) new aircraft (great plane!) we took off in the direction of Rotterdam again.The return-flight was beautiful at flightlevel 45 (about 5000 at 1031hpa = 1.6km high) and more quick due to the wind (1h05m)Great last trip, and this sets a high standard for next year.
Flying is a dream to a lot of people. In 1969 we believed that by now everyone would use a jetpack (look mom, no wings)..... Someone wrote a book on this transport innovation that never was..... Perhaps a nice read for Xmas days... although I have some reading material left...Jetpack Dreams Trailer from Mac Montandon on Vimeo.
The great thing about flying is that you can always find an excuse to go somewhere. Today, a friend arrived in Holland (from the UK) with his newly bought aircraft. We flew to Midden Zeeland (EHMZ) to welcome him. Using the Robin Diesel (DR400), we were in 40 minutes at the airfield. It was a beautiful day.Unfortunately, he arrived later than our ultimate take off time, so we could meet&greet only over the radio. One photo during taxiing out was taken, thumbs up exchanged and off we went. Better luck next time, and we'll get to inspect your beauty another day, Marcel! Many safe landings!
Needed to get up there again. Beautiful day, and we got a plane for a quick trip to Seppe (EHSE). On the way I got the opportunity to take a picture of the Basilic of Oudenbosch, which is modeled after the Saint Peter in Rome.Great landmark for us pilots:
On this day a friend/colleague of mine stopped by to pick me up for a small tour at an altitude 10 feet. He (co-)owns a beautiful sports car. What a sound in tunnels this baby makes! Wow.Something else than roaring the skies. What struck me is how many people turn their heads, give a thumbs-up, etc. Truly something special!
I was lucky to be one of the visitors of NBAA 2008, the biggest convention on business aviation. This year the fair was held in Orlando, in the Orange County Convention Center, and there was a static show on the aprons of the executive airfield nearby.Of course it was not only pleasure (yeah right)! I was there for a business reason but will tell you more about that in future postings. Some pictures:Cockpit of the Cessna CLS+Single-engined Cirrus JetNext Generation Turboprop: Pilatus PC-12 NGEclipse 400 (single engine VLJ)Glass cockpit of a Cirrus SR-22Great convention, lots to see!
Saturday the 27th of september, the airport of Maastricht (EHBK) organized a Vlaai-In (pun intented: in dutch pronounced as Vly-Inn, and the word Vlaai is a famous pie in the south of Holland).Some 85 general aviation aircraft would fly to the most southern airfield in The Netherlands, and it promised to become a beautiful day. It was, however, quite foggy in the morning. In order to reach our landing slot of 12.00 we had to leave at 11.00 the latest.My fellow flyblogger Ton Klaassen, just recieved his JAR-permit a couple of weeks ago, owns a part of a US-registered aircraft, a Cessna 172 with retractable gear. Very cool, my first time in a complex Cessna 172. The journey wsa great, albeit somewhat hazy. The event a bit disappointing. I somehow expected a bigger event, but perhaps I was spolied by the dynamic "Hoogvlieger" day of a few weeks back.Here some pictures:"The "complex" aircraftTon as PICOverhead EindhovenAll pilots received a Vlaai (in our case: cherry-pie) before departure. It tasted great!
The Hoogvliegers foundation organises flying events for critically ill or handicapped children. The main event of the day is that every child gets the chance to be a pilot. They are the co-pilot on a very special flight, often their first, and they forget completely about their daily routine and sorrows (as do as well the parents and brothers/sisters)! Today, a big day was organised for kids from the Rotterdam region. With the help of many parties, not the least the Rotterdam airport and air traffic control, there were many things to do. Next to being a true pilot, the children get to enjoy the fire brigade water games, policing demonstration, ride with police cars with sirens on (didn't know there were so many US-trooper cars in The Netherlands), drive in big trucks etc. The VLM also sponsored flights in one of their Fokker 50, so every child got to fly 2 times today, once as passenger, once as pilot.I volunteer for this foundation as well, by taking kids up in the air, and introduce them to flying. Today I did 4 flights. Flying with kids requires additional attention before and during the flight, and it is quite exhausting. The first one began with some delay because after the engine start up clearance and the propellor started spinning, one of the passengers indicated that she needed to go to the toilet. So, engine shutdown, deboard and back to the platform. When we were boarded again, a small plane ran of the runway with a flat tire. We had to wait for some minutes before Rotterdam Delivery would let us start up.But all in all, those flights were great, the kids were great and for sure they have had a special experience.
Once and a while a group of "dutch private pilots with weblogs" meet up for a lunch. Every time we plan to come together more often, but weather, schedules, aircraft, etc prevent more than 2 meetings a year (give or take).This time, the weather almost got at us again, and the reservations of the different members created a split meeting with Marcel and Guus attending both meetings. Frank and Pascal attended the first meeting (having to leave due to the aircraft reserved by other people later in the day) and Rob, Ronald, Martijn, Ton and Philip (my brother in law) were present at the second meeting that day on Ameland (EHAL). Ameland is one of the dutch "Wadden" isles, in the north of Holland.We were locked in at Rotterdam until about 3 in the afternoon. A front came over but was terribly lacking speed. It was bound to already have been gone in the morning, but the 300-feet clouds and rain drizzle, or drizzle rain kept visibility very low. At 14.45 we decided to go, but were blocked by air traffic control, who said it was not VMC. To our surprise, 2 aircraft got clearance 2 minutes later, and a call to the tower revealed they had reconsidered.Flying north we encountered some clouds, but they were well above 1500 feet, our ceiling under the Schiphol TMA. We flow along PAMpus (beacon with the name of a small island near Amsterdam), Enkhuizen, Hoorn, crossed over the Ijsselmeer to Stavoren, Harlingen and final destination Ameland.We went to lunch at 16.45 (I had a great pancake) and enjoyed the last summer-sun-rays. Great.The flight back was beautiful. We flew the former mentioned route in reverse, but crossed the Schiphol CTR. At 500 feet over Schiphol is always a very nice thing to do. Due to runways in use (06 and 18c) we got a fancy routing around the CTR..... where was Badhoevedorp again? (no pictures though)Then south along the dutch west coast, with the sun getting ready to set, to the south and from Scheveningen-harbour directly to the field.After a bit of waiting (about 4 hours) we had a great day. Good to meet (nearly) all of you again.
Last week I flew to Cambridge, an exciting trip! The goal was to visit my aunt who lives downtown Cambridge, and celebrate her birthday (somewhat belated). I planned for this trip already in July, but in that weekend the weathergods prevented any (VFR) trip between the UK and the continent.We arrived at 9.30 at the club, and start to collect the neccessary items: life jackets, tie-downs, aircraft papers, etc. We brought some drinks and food for during the trip, next to the overnight suitcases.I had updated my navigation plan from the one I created in July already at home. The customs form was faxed to Cambridge airport operations the day before, and on my way to Rotterdam I had called dutch customs, which is needed for any direct non-Schengen flight.The weather forecast was fine for Saturday (disregarding some scattered showers and isolated CBs), but Sunday would be tricky as some front was crossing UK from west to east. However, if we would leave early there should be no problem.Blankenberge (Belgium) from 1300 feetThe intended route was Rotterdam along the coast to Oostende and Koksijde (on the south side of the Belgium coast), then cross the channel (coasting-out is the right word), and in the UK via overhead South-end, Earls Colne to Cambridge.White cliffs of Dover, mid-channel at flightlevel 50The weather in the UK was beautiful with some scattered clouds in the 3000's, and we were switching between London Info, and the tower frequencies of our waypoints. The most beautiful remark from air traffic control was London Info with a message to all stations (airfcraft): "Please have all a very good lookout, you are with many up there". Brilliant.Near SouthendAt Cambridge airport, Marshall's, we filled the aircraft up for the next day and pay the landing fee + parking for the night (29 GBP in total). The fuel was actually very cheap, and I saved some 37 euro's on the total rental price.We took a taxi to get to my aunt's house, and went into town for a lunch (one of my favourites is jacked patato with coleslaw and cheese) and a stroll.Center of CambridgeWe had a great dinner at her place, cooked by living-in summer student NaÃ¯ma and went to bed quite early for a saturday. I did not have trouble sleeping though.On sunday it was different weather. Already when I woke up, the rain was pouring down, and clouds were low. The effects of the front had arrived much earlier. I called the flying club that my reservation needed extending, and that was not much of a problem. We decided to lunch at home, and after went to airport. The sky was clearing, and the cloud were climbing at about 400 feet per 30 minutes.Pre-flight check at Cambridge airport (EGSC)After an hour of waiting I decided to take off. There might be some problems underway over the channel and over Belgium, but if it wouldn't be possible to cross the channel, we could always wait it out in Southend.The channel was indeed, full of clouds and low visibility. But Ostende had broken clouds at 3000 and 10KM plus visibility so I decided to cross. My mother can fly!Nice flight, but a busy one, being the only on board with a flying license. Having a GPS is a neccessity on these trips, it helped greatly in re-assuring the position, as well as answering the continuous "what is your ETA for ..." questions from London Info!
Whoaaa! What way to better spend a part of the holidays up in the air? I contacted the Real Aeroclub de Baleares yesterday if a flight (with instructor or safety pilot) was possible..... and it was! In their fleet they have Pipers, Warriors and Archers, as well as a Cessna 152. I have experience on the Warrior and on the 152, so no problem. A piper Warrior was available, the EC-FXS!In the early morning (hey, getting up at 7.30 is early during this holiday), I drove to Son Bonet airport (LESB). This field used to be the main airport for Mallorca untill 1959, and is now a General Aviation field for mainly flight schools and helicopters. Also the local forestrial watch aircraft and resque helicopters are based here.Unconsiously I skipped multiple layers of security, but when I arrived at the Aeroclub the lady told me I really needed the accreditation of the security company. So back to the main entrance of the airport (where the gate openend automatically when I arrived), and with my accreditation (yellow sticker with name and date) back through the gates of the Guardia Civil to the club.I had to wait a bit before my instructor and aircraft returned from a previous instruction flight, so I spend some time looking at the maps and VFR corridors. This airport is located in the vicinity of the very busy main airport, so special procedures are needed to separate the traffic. Together with the very friendly instructor, Xisca, we set the route to fly: after take-off to the west over the mountainous area of the Serra de Tamuntana.Then to the south, passing the Dragonera island, some orbit over Port Andratx (the place I am staying).Now east passing some beaches, and then back over the hills to the airfield, carefully not invading the airspace of Palma de Mallorca airport (LEPA). I did 2 circuits, with the first landing (on the 24) being completely crap (crosswind, heat turbulence, low approach over a road with trucks). The second one (on the 06) was OK, and once again low over the buildings of the outskirts of the city of Palma.The weather was hot (31 degr.AGL) and humid (70%), which impacts the performance tremendously. I seldomly saw these airspeeds in a Warrior when trying to climb. Son Bonet is a nice airport (landingfee EUR 8.06 for a Warrior, with up to 2 touch and go's and a landing). The aeroclub is a nice place, with sufficient english to overcome communication problems. Xisca did radio, for which I was glad. I speak spanish, though have not all the aviation lingo in spanish available. Xisca talked to me in (speedy) spanish, and when I didn't understand I askd her to repeat!Learned a lot lot today, on moutain flying, on hot weather turbulence and aircraft performance. Great! Hopefully I will fly one day from Rotterdam to this field!
After being harrassed by a cold, which blocked my nose for the past 4 weeks, finally I found the time, health and working aircraft for some airtime. I booked a Cessna 172, which I hadn't flown for a while (the weeks seems to pass faster and faster). And it showed..... I started off with some circuits, but the landings were crap. I made beginners-errors (flaring far too high and too brusk) and had the plane bounce up and down the runway. The 3rd one was OK, and I decided to fly a small round (exit the CTR in the south-east, at Ridderkerk, fly to the Haringvliet river, westbound to the Maasvlakte, then enter at Hoek van Holland).I asked for an arrival over the river, so I go the standard 1.300 feet, 0000 on the transponder, report abeam Maassluis, Euromast assignment. No problem of course and beautiful views on the harbour. It felt good again.... but I could notice the non-flying period..... Keeping current is the most important, some weeks might already be a lot. The final landing was brilliant though: the plane was kissing the asphalt!
Nice! After weeks of hazy flying conditions with visibility between 3 and 8 kilometers (and only an hour or 2 in the evening of truly flyable weather), last monday it was finally a great and clear day..... I had to work though. However, I managed to get home on a decent hour with plenty of time to go to the airport, and stay in the sky for an hour of so. (We can fly these days until 2200 hrs at night, when the sun sets in the West. If you take potential diversion to another field into consideration , you'll need to land in Rotterdam at 21.15).Port of Scheveningen. Former Norfolk terrain now largely empy. Because of the late decision I decided to go solo, and do some practice along the way. I requested a direct Den Haag and flew over the harbour (area I also live) and the popular beaches (nobody there though, because of the 16 degr. Celsius: sunny but not very warm).Pier of Scheveningen from 1.200 feetGreat and very calm weather, and I was truly enjoying myself up there. I flew back along the coast to the south with the intention to do some airwork.I did some steep turns (45 degr.) over left and right and a emergency landing procedure (which I need to practice more often....). I went back to Hoek van Holland (hotel) and requested a arrival via the "river" (nieuwe Waterweg)... beautiful!Following the Nieuwe Waterweg eastbound, near MaassluisSpin recovery and loopingsFor some time I wanted to participate in the "Unusual attitudes" training that the flying club is offering. In this training you learn to recognize and respond to aircraft behaviour outside of the regular flying procedures, ie. stalling of the aircraft (no lift of the wings), and spiral dives (spins). I had a briefing last week already, but we couldn't take off due to the deteriorating weather that day. On Friday though in the late afternoon, the weather was splendid, so I could do the practical side of the training.Using the PH-SVN, (an aerobatics Robin) we took off and flew to an area near Oud-Beijerland. There we climbed to 4500 feet (Rotterdam approach cleared us to FL 50 or below) and we started with the different exercises: full power stall (yes, that is possible!), low energy stall, steep turns (60 degrees or more = feel the G-force!), and an exercise in which you fly at less than 30 kts (indicated) but you don't stall. As the instructor indicated in the briefing: stall has nothing to do with speed, but everything with pitch.Then, before going to the spin training, time for the fun part! I wanted to experience a looping, so we did 3.... a cool but simple procedure (of course this was a introduction into aerobatics, so we did not focus on what can go wrong in a looping). We also did barrel-rolls and a stall turn.Next, the "spiral dive", which is what you would get if you try to recover from a stall situation the wrong way. (the good way is releasing your stick or yoke with modern planes). To get the aircraft to "spin" if to stall it, and when you feel the buffet (vibration of the wings) full rudder so you end up in a left or right spin, with the earth approaching rapidly (about 700 ft per spin-cycle). To come out of it, applying full opposite rudder and pulling up the nose (in sequential order) is the trick...... not a very frightening experience I would say, but actually very cool.From the cockpit it looks like this: WMV spin movie (by Hans van Geffen)From another aircraft look here: YouTube spin movieWe did 3 spiral dives and than returned home.... full of adrenaline, and also tired! I felt the adrenaline still the next morning!
Saturday May 10 it was nice and hot weather, which is not neccessarily good for flying...... I could feel the Cessna 152 (PH-HGO) had to work harder with this temperature. But it was a great day for meeting the other guys who are flying and blogging!I have never been to Hilversum airport before, which is almost unbelievable since it is only 20-25 minutes of flying away from Rotterdam. Although it is a grass-only airport, I had only little trouble finding it, since I prepared with Google earth to see what I could expect: first locate the Loosdrechter plassen, then a bit to the right, look for the square lake and enter the circuit from there.The approach is somewhat exciting since the trees are on very short final, as well as some houses to the left of the centerline (runway 13).At the airport I met Frank (Murdock) and Pascal (Acda), as well as Guus and his 2 passengers. Rob and Marcel had not been able to make it, for various reasons. We had lunch (Pannekoek!), and went home again.The grass runway (13), trees at the end, and hot weather made the take off a bit more exciting than usual, but everything well within limits.Back over the Reeuwijkse plassen, on which many boats were present (not on the picture though)Nice to fly a 152 again, it has been a while since I flew that type. But it felt good, as most of my flying experience has been on a cessna 152 including my first solo (more than 3 years ago!)
Today I had a flight scheduled with my colleagues Guido and Pieter. A lucky day, since it was warm and really nice weather. The aircraft I had reserved with low on hours before maintenance, so they asked me if I could take a Cessna 172 instead of the Piper. No problem for me (that's the beauty of being checked out on multiple aircraft type).I had never flown before on the PH-BSF, but it was almost equal to the ANH, so no worries. We decided to take a hotel departure, overhead the ECT terminal, over the Haringvliet to the Volkeraklocks (sluizen in Dutch), Ouddenbosch and on to Seppe for lunch!Great passengers (very keen on any sound and movement the plane made), and great weather with very little turbulence, although you could feel the change of terrain (between sand and water, and inhabited zones).Ouddenbosch was quite easily found (excessive cathedral for the size of this town, and built as a replica of the St. Peter in Rome), and Seppe is at that point visible (if you know where to look).The landing was ok, though not the smoothest I ever made. It was for me the first day that I could eat outside, and we had a great lunch on the terrace of the airport restaurant.Then back to Rotterdam, we orbited once over Strijen (Pieter lived there before, and then I called Rotterdam tower for a Romeo Arrival (via Ridderkerk at 1500 feet). We obtained clearance to "break off" that arrival over Foxtrot (van Brienenoord-bridge) to continue towards the Euromast. Beautiful views on the skyline of Rotterdam, and off course the Erasmus-bridge where Guido participated in the relay-run during the marathon of some weeks ago.I was told by the tower to maintain 1500 feet until downwind. There was a 737 of Transavia on final (see pic below and find the aircraft!) and I was number 3. After the wing of the number 2 passed abeam I got clearance to descend to 1000 feet, so I pulled the gas and turned base. I put flaps to 20 degrees. I was still high so I decreased more gas and put flaps 30 degrees. Then I felt that descend rate, speed and nose-attitude did not correspond with the flaps-configuration. I checked the flaps and saw they were not coming down. I tried the switch a couple of times, but they didn't want to come down at that moment. :(Time to decide what to do: go around or continue the landing without flaps. I decided for the latter, there was still a lot of time for going around. I created some drag to lose altitude faster, and saw that we would make it... the landing itself was quite uneventful, but for the first time in my flying career I did not make the high speed exit, so I vacated the runway via Victor4 (treshold of the 06).On the ground, I tried the flaps again and they came down! I reported the fault in the electronic system, and we had a coffee to debrief. I noted mentally to re-insert the visual flap check on downwind... somehow I skipped that between my PPL lessons and now. Great flight again!
Today I flew again for the Stichting Hoogvliegers, which organised a grand day at Lelystad airport. More than 200 handicapped or ill kids with their family, 31 aircraft (including a DC-3, a Lynx navy-helicopter and an Antonov 2), 84 ground-bound vehicles (ambulances, fire brigade trucks, police cars, american police cars, motors, Ferrari's etc) in which the kids could sit or fly created a beautiful scene and lots of noise. Also some ground activities like flight simulator, rock climbing and fire extinguishing were present and the kids had lots of fun that day. picture by Kevin (badcop)It was probably one of the busiest days ever for Lelystad airport, which had to close for inbound traffic twice. I made 2 flights (I could only stay until 13h30m) with Nikita and Alec. Great young pilots, who probably spent too much time near people with white coats, although that is not discussed on that day! They had a great day, and so did I!Find pictures (by other people) : hereVideo report of that day:
I needed to transport myself to Groningen, because I had to do some mid-(fiscal)-year progress interviews with 3 of my colleagues and had to choose from:- being in the car for 2 x 2h30m (traffic jam likely)- being in a train for 2 x 3h (working possible)- being in a plane for 2 x 1h15m (fun very likely)The choice was actually not very difficult since the weather forecast was good (alhtough some fog expected early in the morning). To be in line with the corporate policy I flew in private time but was back on duty as soon as I was on landside!The flight to Groningen was beautiful in the PH-SVT, visibility not bad but far from good, and the flightplan worked great (as did the Garmin 430 on board).I met one of my colleagues at the airport, and we did the interview right there, after which we went to lunch downtown. The other interviews were conducted afterwards and it was time to head back to Rotterdam. My Robin DR400 Ecoflyer (Diesel) was head-to-head with a gigantic helicopter of the Danich Army/Airforce that wanted to take-off, so my aircraft was pushed back a bit to prevent it from auto-flying. In the end I was gone before the Danes finished their coffee, but ok.The flight was beautiful, I went straight overhead the Soesterberg Airforce base (again) and in no time I was back in Rotterdam! The plane had 2 hours to go before a 500 hours inspection, and went to EHMZ with an instructor and a student for a first solo (links to dutch blog)No pics because my wife took the camera to Spain.
I actually planned yesterday to fly to Eindhoven (part civil/part military base) to assist in flying for the Stichting Hoogvliegers, but the weather forecast was bad for the return flight.In the morning it was still fair weather, after the fog had cleared, but the forecast predicted crosswind conditions far beyond my limits.Therefore we changed plans and flew in loose formation over Schiphol. My passenger was one of the volunteers for Eindhoven, and aviation addict: Shaddy Fouad. He made a movie of the flight:
After numerous cancellations from last August onwards (due to weather, illness, broken aircraft-parts, etc) I finally got to fly with my friend Suzanne!It was a beautiful day, blue sky and great visibility and we made a tour over Utrecht (her old house, picture above), Rossum (some members of her family live there), Kerkdriel (her new temporary appartment, picture below) and Zaltbommel (where she works). A good time to practice straight orbits ;) My approach to land was a bit fast, but the landing was quite smooth.... Awesome flight, we had the feeling we were in the sun all day.
The "Stichting Hoogvliegers" ( "High Flyers foundation" ) organizes private flights in small aircraft for (chronically) ill kids and today was a special day for Coen (as it was also for me)! This morning some 12 kids (and supporting family) of the Thermiek school in Leiden arrived at the "Vliegclub" building all anxious for a flight they were going to make. Earlier in the week, the chairman of the foundation gave a short course in aviation (e.g. how pilots talk to the tower, and why aircraft fly) and today was the big day.All kids wore Hoogvlieger shirts and after a small briefing everyone in the group was connected with a volunteer pilot. I was connected with Coen and his mother and sister. Coen wore some kind of brace on his upper legs, but I don't really know what he had..... today was about being a child rather then being ill.The aircraft I reserved (PH-SVI) returned late and we had to take in some fuel so it took a while before we were airborne. Since Coen sat on the co-pilot seat and the only door of the Piper is on that side I had to arrange some help in getting Coen in and out the plane at the fuel station.... in the end his mother could climb out from the back seat to do this, but you always learn that too late.It was very busy at the airport and we even had to wait for start up, but finally we could taxi to the holding point to do engine run up tests, and soon after we were cleared for take off.We flew towards Den Haag, made a 360 around the Pier of Scheveningen, and then on to Hoek van Holland. Via Westlerlee (green house city) and Delft back again. Coen steered part of the flight and he was a quick learning co-pilot..... the smile on his face was incredible and he was fixated on the yoke and the panel.... My guess is that he was completely enjoying himself! As was his sister Olga, who could not stop smiling.There was a lot of press present and Coen was interviewed before and after the flight, and we posed for many pictures! He got an official air-diploma since it was a first time as a pilot, and a highflyer license. I showed him where we flew and what part he steered the aircraft, and I guess he was truly proud.Great kids, great day, great foundation, ..... combining flying with making a kid very happy is awesome.
Finally: after the long period of non-VFR (visual flight rules) weather (at times that I could fly) and aircfraft trouble (the Piper electrical fuel pump did not work), I logged the first flight time of 2008 today.It was a windy day though, with wind speeds of 30-45 knots at 1500 feet. However, the strong winds came from the right direction, almost straight at the runway.I could take the Robin DR400 Diesel today again, and I invited my nephew of 9 to join me...... over Xmas he told me he would really love to fly one day with me, so this was a good day. We took some chair-heightener with us to the aircraft, had it fueled and took of behind a 737 of Transavia.Up there it was, at least, bumpy. My nephew didn't bother too much as he was impressed by it all.... We flew in the direction of Woerden, where he lives. Some orbits (groundspeeds between 80 and 140 knots) over this city and after that towards the south. Then to Dordrecht and with a city arrival (beautiful picture again of the Maas river and its skyline) back to the field.Another 737 was on final when I was on downwind so I asked proactively if I needed to orbit over Bravo. But, of course, this is called a 360 over left instead of what i said: "PH-SVU do you want me to hold ?" (which is a term when you are taxying). Duh! The traffic controller was not easily fooled and had me confirm that I was at the end of downwind and gave me a 360 over left.I rolled out that 360, and almost pulled the power lever to as I needed to lose 1500 feet over a short distance, but the strong headwind helped me beautifully. I decided to land with only 10 degrees of flaps due to the gusty winds so I kept up the speed. Being a low-winger the "ground effect" cushioned my landing, and very smoothly we touched down!We parked the aircraft in the hangar and went for a drink! Christian got his "air"-diploma and a model-plane and found it a great experience! He will need to choose now between becoming a pilot or police man....:p Mission accomplished.
Last year in the overview I wrote that total flight time for 2006 was disappointing. My total for 2007 of 27,3 hours is shamefully low..... that should not be hard to beat in 2008. Anyway, in these 27 hours+ there was some great flying:January The year started with receipt of the ATPL books from Orbit. Nightly studying resulted in great progress (the first couple of months). In order to get air time: we started the year with a great flight into unknown territory: Budel and eastern Belgium. Together with Wim and a colleague we spent a nice 3 hours in the air.February A colleagues of mine together with 2 of his 4 daughters went flying with me (in the vicinity of Rotterdam and The Hague)March Only a flight to Apeldoorn (Teuge) this month to meet up with my Flying and blogging internet friends: The Flybloggers! Another flight had to be aborted when airborne, due to the extremely low visibility at 1000 feet (less than 2000 meters), while the METAR (aviation local weather report) indicated 10 KM (on the ground).April A flight to Lelystad with Wim, to buy maps for a flight to Scotland/Ireland later that year. Also the rebound flight of the month before. We flew over Schiphol and the visibility and the sights were amazing! Never had so enthousiastic folks as passengers!May not applicable / no flights / grrrrrrJune The yearly big multi-day trip in mid-June. Plans were to fly to Islay (scottish whisky island in the northwest of the UK) via the south coast, Wales, and Ireland. We made it until Wales, but a number of weather fronts restrained us from crossing the Irish sea. Islay could not be reached. So we turned around and used our divert airports to fly to: Gloustecershire, Shoreham. We had a magnificant sunset on our Bed & Breakfast on the beach of southern England! The next day we visited Le Touquet in France! A great and memorable trip!July A lot of coastal flying this month: in Normandy (St. Valery again), in the vicinity of Texel (airshow), and close to home, while trying to locate Pijnacker (a small village near the airfield of Rotterdam). Bad news for the PH-VDM: during a windy day it was blown over while taxying at Rotterdam airport. No one got hurt, but the aircraft was a total loss.Catalina at the Texel airshow:August Montse and I went to Sweden...... by car. No flying this month. September In September I decided to get some experience in flying other brands of planes (until now only experienced in Cessna's). I was checked out (certified to fly) in a Robin Diesel, Piper 28 and a Diamond DA-40 Diesel. Great for the experience.Another FlyBlogger meeting was visited by car. The aircraft had trouble with the flaps.October A planned flight to Juist (German Waddenmeer island) resulted in diverting 2 times due to a beautiful though impenetrable cloud cover over the North of Holland. Also some "air" time in a 737 simulator at Seppe airport. Flying a small plane does not mean you can instantly fly a big one.... though my landing wasn't bad!Later in the month the shock that the PH-BVE crashed at Lelystad, and that the 2 pilots did not survive. It seems that the Cessna 172 collided near a reporting point with another aircraft. The pilots of that plane could make a successful emergency landing.November First to Juist (rebound flight) and later in the month with my grandmother of 84! Great flights!December Only 1 flight but a beautiful one: over Schiphol (again, but every time very impressive) with a colleague.2007statistics: * Flight time in 2007: 27 hours and 20 minutes * IFR time in 2007: none * Landings: 40 * 3 Islands: Isle of Wight (UK), Texel (NL) and Juist (Germany) * Total number of postings on blog as per 31/12/07: 105 entries using 32.248 words * Blog-visits: 58.824 with 117.911 pageviews, using 27.25 GB of bandwidth. A lot of readers are using RSS-software. * Best (Google and others) search queries of people ending up at my blog: 1. "using automotive gps while flying" (you can try, but ignore traffic information) 2. "funny atis weather recording" (the weather report is NEVER funny, especially not in Holland.....) 3. "stewardess fetish martinair" (talking about someone with a very specific preference. Sorry, red doesn't look good on me)Hopefully much more airtime in 2008, and progress in my ATPL ground school (new year's resolution).See some pictures of 2007
This saturday was one of those days thsat started with fog, which then cleared into a blue sky (seen from the ground). However, when flying at 1000-1500 feet, visibility was not overwhelming, and all photo's lack some contrast (hail thee, o image manipulation tools):The weather was still great to fly though! My colleague GÃ¼lyasemin joined the cockpit today, as she had never flown in a small aircraft before. We both work in the vicinity of Schiphol, so we decided to do a tour d'Schiphol (EHAM). First time she ever saw a cockpit, so here's the picture! This is a typical Piper 28-161 cockpit of the 1980's (we flew the PH-VSI):We flew from Rotterdam in the direction of Den Haag, than along the coast to Zandvoort ("meeting" a Diamond abeam Valkenburg), over Hoofddorp, the threshold of runway 36C, main tower, Bravo reporting point and to Victor (over Loosdrecht and the Vinkeveense plassen):Lot's of blue birds presentsGuess what GÃ¼l's favourite airline is....With the sun coming through the clouds, it was a beautiful site though:Although flying into the sun is quite hard. Luckily I know how to operate the ADF and the VOR/DME ;) Before we knew it, we were over Gouda and reported to the tower our intentions to land. The landing was very smooth and on the threshold.... now I need to practice again on that centerline....... hopefully this was not the last flight of 2007, I have some days off coming up.
... that my grandmother flew in a small single engine aircraft. The last time had been on Java in 1949. My grandfather worked for Dutch Military and flew a Piper L-J4 (see picture). My grandmother recollects mainly the sunday picknick's by plane to another spot on Java or on another Indonesian island.The family (my grandparents and their family including my mother) lived in Batavia (which we currently know as Jakarta), and the airfield they took off was Tjililitan airfield. Notice the DC-3 in the background!Only after I had started my flying lessons I learned that my grandpa was a pilot too, although I knew he had worked for the Dutch Airforce for a long time. The 'flying virus' must be genetically inclined!Back to 2007! It was time to take my grandmother flying! She loved the flight along the coast of The Hague (she used to live her as well, some 500 meters of my current house), over Zoetermeer where my mother and sister live and along the Nieuwe Waterweg in Rotterdam. She shot many pictures (probably with the last used analogue camera in The Netherlands) which I hope to be able to scan soon.Great flight!
(this may be funny for pilots or aviation enthousiasts only)At ATCBox somebody posted a confused ATIS lady..... ATIS is a usually computerized weather bulletin at an airport you have to listen to before calling the tower.Intrepidity cut up a recording and made a hilarious ATIS: download mp3 hereTomorrow I'll be flying again (hopefully)!
The title probably only funny in Dutch, because "Juist" means "correct, right". But it also happens to be a German island in the Waddenmeer, or Waddenzee as the dutch call it.FlyBlog 5 was planned so soon after FlyBlog 4 was cancelled due to the fog a couple of weeks ago, that prevented us from reaching the island. Since the replanning was on quite a short notice I could not get an aircraft from Rotterdam anymore. But my flying buddy Wim arranged for a Cessna 150 from Singles and Twins at Lelystad (which is a 1.5 hour drive from my place, but hey it is to fly or not to fly).So Wim and I drove to Lelystad early in the morning because we wanted to arrive in Juist before noon. We inspected the plane (PH-VRW), a nice and well kept C150 with basic instruments (including a transponder luckily), and taxied to the fuel station. There we waited in line behind the aircraft carrying FlyBloggers Frank, Pascal and Rob.We filled the tanks up (remember no fuel on Juist), and took off. We set our course straight to Juist, thereby crossing the Eelde CTR of airport Groningen. The weather was great, not too cold and less wind than predicted. The visibility was good, although the pictures show some haziness. The flight was quite uneventful, except for a engine hickup in the North of Groningen. We have no clue what it was, perhaps dirt in the engine, perhaps icing, perhaps something else. It had been running smoothly from the start, was running normally after, and we checked everything we could think double without finding anything, so we continued our journey.After 1 hour Juist became in sight. It is a small long streched island, and the airfield is located on the east side.We took the northern route to the circuit, thereby passing the only village on the island. Just before landing, you fly over some swamp land, which looks beautiful from above. The runway is made of cobble stones, and is 600 meter long. The airfield is surrounded by dunes and the crosswind is tricky in such situation so Wim had to do his best on short final to get the plane smoothly touch the ground. Airfield EDWJ in sight!After landing we met up with our FlyBlogging friends Marcel, his brother Hans from Rensburg and Guus. Great to see them again, and Hans: nice to meet you!The airport restaurant was being renovated and for that reason out of Bratwurst and even worse: Kartoffelsalat. We decided to walk to WilhelmshÃ¶he, which sounds like a climb but luckily the dunes are not that high on Juist!We enjoyed the good food, nice talks (guess the subject) and a good walk back (while ignoring the horse taxies passing by: we are into sports flying aren't we ;) ) before taking off again. The flight back to Lelystad (EHLE) was very nice (I kept the plane nicely on course) and around 6, I was home again. What a great day! FlyBlog 6: when and where?
Yesterday, the PH-BVE, a Cessna 172R of the Vliegclub Rotterdam crashed in the vicinity of Lelystad airport (EHLE) because of a mid-air collision with another aircraft. The Cessna caught fire and the 2 souls on board did not survive. As I flew this aircraft for many hours and I visited Lelystad just 6 days ago with it, a crash like this is suddenly very close. It is something hard to get out of your head. The 2 phone calls I recieved of people who heard about the accident and wanted to see if I was OK, made me realize even more that it could happen to everyone. Accidents in the air are quite unforgiving which is why everybody is being training very well, so that these accidents hardly ever happen. But there never will be a 0% chance they do.....I would like to send my condolences and strength to the families, friends and colleagues left behind. For official information please refer to the website of the Vliegclub Rotterdam.(original image by Edwin van Overschelde)
For the fourth fly-in, the target was set to Juist (EDWJ) which is a small german island in the "Waddenmeer" (link to Google Maps).It promised to become a nice day as I checked at 6.30 that morning. I planned to fly with Wim on the PH-BVE (a Cessna 172, that both Wim and me can fly). However, some fog was coming up in the north-east of the country. We expected it to clear soon again, so decided to go on our way, and divert as neccessary.Soon, while in flight over Rotterdam, we recieved a SMS from Rob that visibility at Hoogeveen (our first intended stop) deteriorated to 400m. We decided to wait until in the vicinity of Lelystad before deciding what to do. Some 45 minutes later visibility did not improve and we decided to divert to Teuge (EHTE). Dutchmill told us that visibility at Juist itself was more than 10KM and asked if we wanted to continue directly to Juist. However, there is no fuel at the island and we didn't go away full in Rotterdam, so we did not find this a very wise option.In Apeldoorn (Teuge) we had fuel and coffee in the sun, and talked to our Friends who were stuck in Hoogeveen, since the visibility was still low. We decided to go directly to Juist from Teuge, weather permitting, instead of stopping at Hoogeveen (EHHO).After a while we took off in the direction of Juist. We passed Zwolle (on the right) and the cloudbase under us (flight level 55) started thickening soon after.Beautiful view.We decided to continue to see if we could find any route with ground view, but it kept on thickening. We listened to the Groningen (EHGG) ATIS and heard that the cloud base there was at 300 feet and visibility at 1300 meters.... far below our limits!At that time we also lost visible contact with the earth surface, because of the clouds in between, so time to turn around. We decided to divert to Lelystad (EHLE).We flew back into nice weather and the rest of this leg was quite uneventful. We had lunch at Lelystad, and saw fellow-FlyBlogger Frank who had diverted as well (First to Teuge, than back to Lelystad). Nice to see you again Frank!After the meet&greet we headed home, and decided to fly over Schiphol, ATC permitting of course! But we were cleared 1200 feet inbound Central Station and after inbound Main Tower, which brings you over the Rijksmuseum:Over the Amsterdamse Bos we requested and were granted a 500 feet altitude, and than Schiphol looks like this:Very cool to do that again, and beautiful weather. We went over to the coast, and after did some orbits over Zoetermeer, where Wim lives.See more pictures here!What a cool flight (and the last one in the PH-BVE, we learned sadly)
For work I had to go to Mumbai (aka Bombay, and nobody cares about what name you use), India. My first time to India, but I enjoyed trip a lot. I really liked the charm of Mumbai, although the contrasts in the city are not like anyhting I saw before. The differences between rich and extremely poor, clean and dirty, old and very new. One thing is though felt throughout the whole city (what I have seen of it): the enormous drive of the indian people to develop towards a better future.Direct flight Amsterdam to Mumbai KLM/Northwest, operated by the latter company.Mumbai in 1 picture: new office buildings right next to a poor(er) living area, and traffic (with the specific safety regulation that the driver should wear a helmet). And you can't see it well in the picture, but the girl is writing an SMS. (although it is quite common for the driver to do the same while driving) Taj Hotel (not mine because it was about 1.5-2 hours drive from where I needed to go each morning). English influences are still very visible everywhere in this city.Cows still can do whatever they like. Though I am wondering where they go to eat. No grass in the vicinity of this new office buildingNew business area and living quarters in the distance... Mumbai is building, building, building!
The FlyBlogger group (members are a group of PPL pilots who blog about their flights/life) decided to organise a fly-in at Seppe airport (EHSE, near the Belgian border).So all set in the morning: weather was nice, I and my pax Ton Klaassen were on time at the Vliegclub Rotterdam.But on doing the pre-flight check the flaps wouldn't come down. You are able to fly and land without flaps but in an emergency you would like to be able to lower the airspeed of the plane as much as possible and use the flaps to help in that. We decided not to fly to Seppe but go by car, which is a 50 minute drive of Rotterdam. We informed our fellow-Flybloggers about what happened and since then my middle name has something to do with flaps....Here some pictures of the groupFrom left to right: Marcel, Rob, Pascal, and half of female pax of Frank.Frank.Although a day without flying is a day not well spent, I really enjoyed meeting everyone again IRL.
OK, although I am still behind with my blogs, but I wanted to share this:The past 4 weeks I have been busy in "checking out" other types of aircraft.... not only I checked them out, but I was checked out on them as well so I can fly the aircraft without an instructor.On such a checkout flight you normally study the Pilot Operating Handbook (user manual of the plane), do a walk around with the instructor, take of for some circuits, some special maneuvers like stalls, emergency landings, steep turns etc. If you're lucky you don't do crazy things, and at the end of a flight you are "checked out on type". So after a full 140-hours flying career in Cessna's I spent 3 hours in other types and I am now also checked out on:- Piper Warrior PA28 (checkout in PH-SRU)- Robin DR400 Diesel (checkout in PH-SVU)- Diamond DA40 Diesel (checkout in PH-RAD)The nice thing is that you notice differences and similarities. Engine management is almost on the 2 diesels. The mechanic flap system in the Piper and the Robin was new to me, since the Cessna's have electric flaps, as does the Diamond.Anyway, the first checkout I didn't fly too well, as I had a lot of Cessna-procedure-rustiness. The second one went better (although my emergency landings were crap, need to practice more!). The 3rd checkout flight was not bad either, and we extended it with a flight over Schiphol.Great flights coming up also, like a flight to Groningen-Eelde (EHGG), and a FlyBlogger flight to Juist.
This year's summer holidays we decided to drive in opposite direction of what we often do (in southern direction towards Montse's hometown in Spain). We planned to go to Denmark and perhaps Sweden. But most importantly, we would follow good weather (because the dutch summer did not start in 2007)!Anyway. With no plan / hotel reservations / schedule we drove off on monday morning. Taking some scenic routing in North Germany (as far as that is possible) we arrived in Sonderborg, Denmark by 1800hrs and decided to stay there for the night. Using the car GPS, a hotel was soon found. The next morning we checked to see it was possible to take a boat to Fyn (funen) but that appeared to be fully booked. The highway and bridge were a good alternative.By mid-day we arrived in Odense which is the biggest city of the Island. We slept in a 1-room bed and breakfast which was comfortable. Our hostess Marianne put a great breakfast in front of us. Odense is the birthplace of Hans Christian Andersen (so plenty of related museums), has a zoo (nice pinguin aquarium) and some great shopping areas. It is a very relaxed city.After 3 nights we continued towards Copenhagen. We booked a room via Internet since we found out that Copenhagen would be too busy to take a chance of not having a hotel room. The city felt a bit like Amsterdam. Lot's to see and do, and quite relaxed. Tivoli Gardens are great! An amusement parc in the center of the city, very relaxed '50's ambiance and some great rides.The best of Copenhagen were the watertours, since it was very hot. Also the magnificent Salade NiÃ§oise at the Custom House restaurant was better then we ever had in France.After Copenhagen we decided to cross the bridge to MalmÃ¶. It is a city but it feels like a town. Nothing happenin' except for the soccer-derby between MalmÃ¶ and Helsingborg. While we were sitting in one of the squares, a helicopter was circling over our head, and many police men were guiding a group of 50-100 young soccer fans. To us, the police force seemed overkill somehow. We had great food in MalmÃ¶ (they know how to cook fish), but we skipped the minced moose burger. The beaches are nice, the people are relaxed and although we often felt like the only tourists in town, however nobody looked weird to us (and we got quite sufficient in understanding Swedish menu's as well)!The Kalbadhus (indoor/outdoor spa built in the sea) was on our visit list but we didn't find the time for this. The weather was simply too nice.The last part of our holidays we spent on the east coast of Sweden (in the southern part that is). We found a cosy Bed & Breakfast in a forestial area close to the coast, in Ahus.We spent a lot of time walking, sitting on the beach, having huge beers and decent food. During one day of heavy clouds and light rain we visited the Skanes Djurpark, a zoo with Nordic animals. The area was huge and hilly, so put on your walking shoes. We finally saw a moose here (we hoped to see some in the wild, but probably were too much south for that).Great holidays with great weather (only a couple of days with clouds, and none with serious rain!). Too bad I did not find the time/possibility for flying. Flying in Sweden seems to be quite cheap. We drove past the airports of Odense and Kristianstad, but not much activity in general aviation over there.