Category Archives: Journeys

The Iconic Coastline?

Another Day, another flight

After a good night’s sleep with Alun and Joyce’s B&B it was time to leave Welshpool and had south to the coastline again. Alun was kind enough to take us back to the airport and we fueled up 90B.

After everything was prepared, we just took the advantage to have a look at one of the Helimed Choppers based in Welshpool, which was quite fascinating. You do a really good job guys!

Finally in the air, our first heading took us towards the mouth of the Bristol Channel and then further south towards Southampton. There we encountered a similar situation like in Manchester and advised London Information that we would like to stay low and fly the VFR corridor between Southampton and Bournemouth. Therefore we were handed of to Solent Radar but these guys refused to talk to us. I have no idea why…

Just after the VFR corridor, our last task was to hop over the solent and fly around the Isle of Wight to land in Sandown. This was the first airfield we found in Britain, were there was something like a systematic approach to parking aircraft. After setting up our tent and working on our dinner, we figured our why.

Surprise at dusk

The sun was setting already and the airfield became quiet when an old Landrover approached us. The guy behind the wheel was really happy to have us stay on the airfield and it turned out he was half German! And that probably explains the order in which the operation is conducted there. We really liked it.

Another goody: Sandown is completely prepared. You can rent an e-bike to go to town and they even have multiple showers for campers. Also the hole place is completely dog friendly. We will be back some day.

Day 7: Glenforsa – Oban – Welshpool

Fleeing the Rain!

After flying to Scotland’s west coast yesterday, we thought, we would have escaped the bad weather all around. Well, we were proven wrong! After a great sunset, we woke up and it was raining again. So after breakfast I gave Hugo a good walk on the beach and we assessed our options.

Kirkwall was of the list already. Sollas Beach had IMC. So the only option was to go to Oban, get some fuel and go south. After checking the endurance and the tailwind, we defined Welshpool as our final destination for the day.

Off we go

The flight to Oban was rather uneventful but even more beautiful. We soared long the sound in between the islands at about 1000ft with the clouds obscuring the island mountain tops. About half an hour later the landing on Oban’s big concrete runway occurred and we got serviced with fuel almost immediately.

Just about half an hour later we back in the air and for the first time on this trip really heading south.

Welcome to Wales

First we hoped from island to island and finally jumped over to the mainland south of Prestwick from where we crossed the Southern Upland with quite low clouds. From Carlisle on the weather improved greatly and there was even some sun shining threw the cloud gaps.

Next was the Manchester area. So we asked Manchester Radar to get a clearance threw their airspace but where kindly offered to fly the low level VFR corridor between Manchester and Liverpool at 1000ft right across the cities. With all the thermals it was quite hard to maintain altitude and not accidentally climb into the controlled airspace.

The last bit to Welshpool was really easy compared but the weather began to close in again. We landed on Welshpool’s runway 04 after good three hours of flying.

That place to stay

Unfortunately it was not allowed to camp on the airfield. But the office people quickly found us Alun and Joyce’s B&B just five minutes driving from the airport. We even got picked up! If you want to stay in Welshpool, stay with them!

Day 6: Easter – Glenforsa

Day 6? Isn’t something missing there? Yes, indeed! We had a lot of rain up here in Scotland and we had to stay in Fife for a day before heading for Easter. And on that flight I just had no time to get some photos in. I apologize!

Anyway, after waiting for almost the entire day to clear up we finally made the call at 18:30 local time to sneak threw the Glen to the west coast into the better weather. But after flying over Inverness, the entrance to the Glen was blocked with a big thunderstorm. So we turned around and followed the railway line to Plockton and continued on the coastline south to the Isle of Mull and Glenforsa.

Glenforsa actually is a little grass strip belonging to a hotel right on the “apron”. They are really friendly people over there and even though they were book out this night, they allowed my to camp next to the plane and even had a shower ready for me in the morning. All in all it’s worth a stay!

 

Day 3: Currock Hill – Fife/Glenrothes

Meet and Greet in the Middle of Nowhere

After a really quiet night on the hilltop gliderfield in Currock Hill, Hugo and I waited for our friend Nick to come by. Nick is a flightsimulator pilot and strives to get his realworld license one day.

Together we headed to town and found a little coffee shop and had kind of a late breakfast. Then it was time to fly further north.

Another first: Getting an airspace entry clearance on the ground

Hugo and I climbed back on board of 90B and taxied up the hillside towards runway 06. On the hold short it was time to call Newcastle Radar to get a clearance for their CTA. We got our VFR release a minute later and it was time to go.

After flying over the first impressions of the highlands for an hour we made it to Fife Glenrothes. But that is another story…

Day 1: Celle – Zeeland – Clacton

The weather forecast wasn’t great as there was a cold front expected to move into norther Germany during the day. So lets pack up and get in the air!

Hugo and I departed Celle at 10:00lcl heading west. In the north we could clearly see the front but to the south the weather was quite good. The only problem: between 20 and 30 kt headwind! The first half our was a really calm flight and even got a tendency to get boring. But that changed shortly after passing Nienburg were turbulence picked up. This lasted up the Dutch border where the cloud layer broke up and a lot of thermals developed.

After almost 4 hours we made our approach to Middleburg Zeeland for a fuelstop and lunch. Just about one and a half ours later we were back in the air and heading for Britain. The Channel crossing took another one and a half hours we we finally made our target for the first day.

Finishing Touches

Before Takeoff Checklist

The day is almost there! Just three days left until Hugo and I will climb on board of 90B and head for Great Britain and Ireland. But before, the is a lot of work to do! During the last two days 90B got her finishing touches as we changed the oil and cleaned the spark plugs.

The late evening test flight was very successful and with clean plugs she produced an almost unrecalled power!

Stay tuned as we try to post some words every evening throughout our trip.

Ah, by the way, did I mention we will try to meet some interesting people on the way? In Ireland we will try to catch up with Lady Bush Pilot as she is cruising around the grass strips over there.

Union Jack

British Isles 2019

How do you deal with the Brexit?

Since the dawn of time, the people of the British Isles have been a little different from Continental Europe. And today, in times of Brexit, it becomes even more clear.

But what does this mean for travel? According to the Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany, there will be no implications until October 2019 at least. Furthermore there are statements coming from the UK government to allow EU-like travel well into 2020.

Even if that isn’t going to happen, I bet that the UK government has some higher priorities than to change the rules which are in place for flying your own aircraft to or from the UK. So I will pack my personal identification card (german Personalausweis) and travailing passport, file a GAR and land at an uncontrolled airfield. As I do understand the purpose of the GAR, it provides a means for authorities to know when and where I plan to land and for them to possibly meet me there.

Who is the crew?

As usual Florian will fly the plane and Hugo will accompany him.

When do you go?

Departure in Celle-Arloh / Germany is planned for July 6th, 2019. The whole journey will take about two weeks.

Where do you stay?

First and foremost we plan to fly to smaller airfields where we have the possibility to setup our tent. But may we meet some nice people along the way and get invited for a night.

Where do you go?

Departure will be in Celle-Arloh / Germany (EDVC) once again. From there we go straight to the west for our first fuel stop in Middelburg/Zeeland / Netherlands (EHMZ). Our final stop for the first day will be Clacton-on-Seas / UK.

The next day we plan on making it north to the Newcastle area.

More stops are planned in Aberdeen, the Orkney Islands and the Hebrides. Going south again, we will follow Ireland’s west coast to Wales and down through Wessex to The Solent and the Ile of Wight.

Another highlight will be a visit in Alderney, the northernmost of the Channel Islands.

On our way back, we will see the Normandy Landing Beaches and continue south of Paris / France to the German Black Forest region and then back north and home.

Stay tuned for updates from the trip!

route around africa

Around Africa

What? Why? How?

A while ago I talked to an old colleague that life sucks and I am not happy how things are. His answer was quite a good one: “Well, if you do not like your life at the moment, change it! Many people complain about how bad their job is or how little money they have. But very few do have the courage to step out of their usual environment and change their lives!”

Up to that point I definitely was part of the first, big group of people. But after our talk an idea started to grow:

Project Discovering Eagle

I always wanted to travel. So should I break out and do a Round-The-World trip? What about exploring America? Should I go backpacking or driving a camper? What should I do with Hugo in the meantime?

Wait a second! My passion is aviation! What can I do with N1990B? But still where to go in a small single engine airplane which was designed between the two world wars? It can’t go far, it can’t fly high. It can’t even go fast. So perhaps, it is the wrong plane…

Wrong! Let’s fly to Africa! Almost no open water passages from or to Europe, beautiful and divers landscape and perhaps many friendly people. Also, speaking english and a little french, I will have a good chance to communicate.

It will be a journey one will do only once in a life time.

But still, what about Hugo? He will join me!

How long will it take?

Well, that question is hard to answer! First, let’s take it from a mathematical standpoint. The whole route will be about 15.000 nautical miles long, N1990B flies 85 knots. That makes in total almost 180 hours in the air. So that makes at least 25 days.

But the truth does lie somewhere else! Fist of all the will be problems with visas and their validity. And after all, we want to explore country and people!

So, how long will it take? I still can’t answer that. But I will take at least a year of from work to do this! If we like it somewhere, we’ll stay there a bit longer. If we don’t, we head on.

Where do we go?

The starting point of this epic journey will be our home airport in Celle/Germany (EDVC). From there on we will fly all the way through France and along the Spanish Mediterranean coast.

The last stop on the European continent and stepping stone on the way to Africa will be Gibraltar. Why? Well, it is a very unique airport which is build right across the only access road to and from Spain and due to its rock it is really challenging for pilots. In my opinion it is just one of these airports you simply have to have in your logbook!

Once arrived in the Land of Upright Man we plan to track towards Casablanca and Marrakesh.

If you look at the map close enough, you’ll see, it is not as far to the Canary Islands as commonly believed. So I decided to fly a little detour and to discover the beauty of Fuerteventura. Who can claim to have been there in a single engine airplane?

Thereafter the plan is not quite finished, yet. But what is for sure is that we want to track the coast further south. The only problem: German authorities are warning currently the there is a chance to get kidnapped in Mauritania. So I am looking for a way that I don’t need to land and refuel over there.

If we would eventually make it down to Dakar, the next problem lies just around the corner. Going further and further south, we will approach the inter tropical convergence zone (ITCZ) around the equator. So we have to find a way to sneak through in  between the thunderstorms.

Bear in mind, we will still fly under visual flight rules (VFR)!

One stop I definitely wanna make is the Kruger National Park in northern Namibia. Hopefully we will see a lot of animals there.

Another similar stop will be the Okavango Delta in Botswana, just north of Maun. There are plenty of little landing strips all over the delta. So it should be possible to get a close look.

So far south? What’s next? Well, you don’t fly 7000 nautical miles to the south without visiting the most southern point of Africa: Cape of Good Hope

On our way back home, we will make a detour to Madagascar and the Victoria Falls. After visiting Kenya we will follow the River Nil to the Mediterranean Sea.

During the last part of this journey we will hop over to Greece and follow the Adriatic Coastline before crossing the Alps back into Germany.

How do we finance such a journey?

Saving, selling old stuff and again saving!

The vast majority will come from saving enough money. But on the other hand, we are still looking for sponsors or supporters. If you like to donate a little bit, feel free to do so. If you own a company, get in touch with us to discuss, what we can offer as  return for sponsoring.

Support

When do we start?

That depends on how fast we can collect the needed money. So far we are looking towards 2023…

Can you follow the journey?

Yes, absolutely! Just subscribe to this blog. We will post all our adventures! Even better, while saving money, we will do smaller trips around Europe we also post here.