Home > Flyvning > To Lolland, and back in a hurry

To Lolland, and back in a hurry

September 23, 2006 Leave a comment Go to comments

Saturday we had beautiful weather, and the skydivers were holding a "skyvan boogie" boogie at Maribo. I called out on the homepage (which I incidentally ma the webmaster of) for people to join me for at trip down there on Saturday. Anders said that he would love a trip down there. Anders hat an unfortunate landing accident i May where he broke his ancle, so he hadn’t joined the crowds down there on Friday like mostly everyone else, so he would be free to fly with me down there.

We had to postpone our flight until Judith was off work, so we planned for going to the airport at 4 in the afternoon. Unfortunately they have all these insane and unnecessary "security" restrictions on the airport, and since Anders had forgotten his drivers license, he could not join me (and help me) at the hangar, so he hat to wait in the airport building while I prepared the airplane.

I Sure could have used his hands though. Being a "new pilot" on Pipers, it would have been nice, since I had to be extra careful with everything I did. Anyway – between that, and the fact that I had to refuel the plane and taxi from the fueling station to the apron to pick him up, all-in-all we didn’t take-off until after 5 PM..

So we took of to the south (Maribo is almost straight south of Roskilde) and after leaving the Copenhagen airspace we climbed to our altitude of Flight level 45 (4500 feet – 1400 meters). I chose this altitude to have a safe gliding in case of an engine failure over the relatively small patch of water we had to cross between Sjælland, Falster and Lolland. The Piper REALLY didn’t like climbing this day. It will get there eventually, but climbing at 4-500 feet minutes seems REALLY slow. It isn’t much worse than any of the smaller planes I have flown, but haiving been a passenger in the Cessna 182 Turbo RG from my skydiving-club I just know There are much faster small planes out there. I am so looking forward to trying it out 😀

Anyway, while flying down there, I switched radio to Copenhagen Information, and I could listen in as the Skyvan from Lolland requested altitude and drop and other things. I realized that we were going to arrive exactly as they were about to drop the jumpers, and while a little excitement won’t hurt, I also know that the skyvan likes to descend like a homesick bowling ball I thought I’d observe all at a sfe distance while holding a few miles southwest of the airport. That was a really cool idea since the weather was clear, We could see the skyvan and his crazy descend. Looks like great fun, but there is something abnormal about that big box doing acrobatic-like maneuvers while descending.

Anywho – the skyvan landed and we lined up for our own landing. However when I was on short final I noticed the Skyvan wasn’t clearing the landing strib, but he was loading the skydivers while on the landing strip. I asked him to confirm that he wasn’t going to clear it and he countered by asking me to land-short. It thought that was ok, we had 3600 feet of run way and he was parked at the other end, so I figured this wouldn’t be a problem. It wasn’t, so that was kind of cool to try that out.

So I landed short (way short in fact, over half the free distance was left when I stopped), and while taxiing back I passed the skyvan taxing to take off. Good thing that the skyvan has a top wing, so there was plenty of space for us to pass each other.

It was to be a short stop down there though. The delay before start, a high head wind while flying there and the hold before the skyvan had landed had turned the trip into a longer trip than expected. This mean that I actually had to hurry home to make it before sunset. I actually had to ask advise from Ulf – the pilot on OY-RSC who was dropping student jumpers when I took off. I had to ask him how best to handle Roskilde airport, in case I didn’t make it back before they switched to night VFR. I was basically told to fake it – until you make it. In fact it doesn’t get really dark quickly so I would have to land in twilight, but since it wasn’t really dark it would be a problem.

So given that I was late and I hat plenty of gas I decided not to fly economical but instead at a higher power setting that would gain me a few precious extra minutes. I also had the tail wind while going home so all in all I thought it would be ok. I watched the GPS a lot while going home, to keep an eye on the calculated ETA. It started out by predicting the exact minute where the official end of the day-VFR period ends. While cruising back the time improved a bit, so I would land legally. But it would be after formal sunset AND since the night mists were coming up the sun actually set early in the clouds so it would be a landing in twilight.

I made it back to the airport and since everybody else had landed at respectful hour – not last minute like I was about to, the airspace was all cleared and I was giving permission to do the easy approach without worrying about traffic.

This was so cool – I mean it is uncool being pressed for time, but landing in beautiful weather right after sunset was really pretty and a lot of fun. Too bad I didn’t get more time with the guys at the boogie – but hey, I have spend so much time at boogies the last 8 years that I figure I will survive anyway.

Categories: Flyvning
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