This is my first posting on the site after trolling the boards for months, and I thought I'd make up a nice trip report in order to introduce myself !
First thing to mention is that I'm not a native English speaker, so please bear with some grammar mistakes.
As i have read the excellent Pilot Report from Vio, I thought, well, perhaps it's time to write up your own impressions from your first flight in a PA28 Archer II
(EDDS) via Mengen (EDTM), Kempten (EDMK), the Alps, and Leutkirch (EDNL), even if its just an Echo class Aircraft. Yet this flight was one of the most stunning experiences not only during my PPL training but in my life. I hope that by writing this report I can share some of the impressions with interested readers.
I began my PPL training in June this jear, after having spent hundreds of hours on MSFS and finally being able to finance the training, which is not quite inexpensive in Germany. I chose a professional Flight Training Organization at STR
for my training, since taking of and landing in between airliners at a mid-sized international airport greatly enhances the thrill of being a private pilot in my eyes.
After a pleasant summer spent with 35 hours of flying in a C152 I thought it would be a good experience during my training to try a heavier type and do some mountain flying. Sadly, the month of September was pretty rainy and i spent a week in Philadelphia and NY, but i must admit that I did not think of shooting some nice cabin pictures of the LH
A343 for a trip report.
Finally, in the first days of October, a stable high-pressure system took southern Germany in its grip and if i remember correctly we had virtually no wind up to FL100 in the forecast, CAVOK, i.e. time to reserve the Archer for an afternoon.
Since this was also the first time in a 4-seater, i asked my friend to come along and take some pictures, and he did. 1.2 GB
of pictures with his SLR
You can see them all at http://www.ballonbilder.com/2006_10_10_2/index.html.
But I will include the most noteworthy ones in this post.
We met at 1pm at STR
airport General Aviation Terminal and did the pre-flight paperwork. If somebody is interested in the 3D track data, send me a mail. This is a very cool feature btw, you can visualize trips recorded with the PDA Software Pathaway in GoogleEarth. Very neat
Then we went through security and walked to the plane, D-EMLH
, a former LH
training aircraft, still wearing LH
Here she is
I got into the plane and familiarized myself with the cockpit, but its still a basic GA
plane, so nothing new, apart from the Garmin 430. It certainly does offer more space and comfort, compared to the C152
We all got comfortable and i started the engine following the check-list. She coughed pretty badly but after a couple of tries she began to run smoothly, and i liked the sound much better than the C152. Another small detail i enjoyed about the Archer is the throttle lever! Feels like flying something bigger than a single-piston aircraft.
We got cleared to taxi to exit 2 where we spent 20 (!!!!) minutes waiting for the holiday jets to taxi past. There certainly were several spots where we could have squeezed through, but the ground-controller seemed very careful this day.
While waiting we watched the plane next to us start her engines and just noticed she still had her wheel-locking blocks (chocks in german) in position at the nose gear.
We wondered if she just made a run up but my FI
decided to tell the ground controller that the plane was not ready for taxi. A couple of minutes later, we heard them call ground "F-BNSJ ..... request taxi"..."F-BNSJ confirm you are ready for taxi" "F-BNSJ affirm ready for taxi"..."F-SJ
the plane next to you is reporting you still have your wheel blockers at your front gear" ..hehe...and that made up for some REALLY funny faces looking at us and i had a good chuckle..of course nothing bad would have happened..
Then we taxied to the active 07 and were pretty soon cleared for take off and departure via Oscar. Our first leg took us to Mengen (EDTM) in order for me to get accustomed to the plane and do some airwork on the way there. I immediatley liked the Archer soon after takeoff, she does feel more heavy and robust than the C152 and certainly does have somewhat more power. In Mengen we did a couple of traffic circuits and then the FI
let me do 5 solo landings, and even considered i did a good amount of solo before, flying the heavy archer did make a difference and i was a little nervous. But everything went fine.
After the familiarization we directly proceeded to Kempten with some nice views of the Alps in the distance, most notably the Zugspitz-Massiv.
After overflying Kempten at 4500ft we prepared to enter the traffic pattern of Kempten (EDMK), which has a nice grass runway, not too long, and good practice for a student pilot
on short final:
We then had a nice coffee break at the airport cafe, enjoying the scenery and october warmth. They do have good bavarian food there !
And now for the most spectacular part : We took off and turned south in the direction of Oberstdorf, planning to climb to FL090 and entering the Kleinwalsertal.
While climbing, the view got better and better, the alps had a really fantastic visibility, and i was excited and nearly speachless as we climbed and climbed.. We leveled off at FL090 roughly overhead Oberstdorf, and I was able to pick out all the ski resorts i had been to in winter. I am really looking forward to repeat the trip in winter. I will post some of the pictures taken on this leg.
i love the contrast of the yellow wing versus the azure sky..fantastic !
told me how its possible to soar directly over the slope of a mountain in a glider, then asked me to give him the control and he took us next to the 8500ft mountain, while i catched my breath .. after that we dived into the next valley and lost some altitude to get an impression of valley flying.
Following this valley took us back in the direction of Bregenz at the Bodensee, where we turned back north in order to wait for sunset at Leutkirch (EDNL). We told Leutkirch info that we planned to refuel which was fine with them. Then at the time we stood at the pump he told us "Oh refuelling ist not possible". Well, nice he told us the opposite 5 min before entering the traffic pattern. What did we do? Did some research how much fuel is in the tank if a certain mark in the tank is still covered with fuel. We came to the conclusion that it was sufficient to return to STR
even with an alternate at Karlsruhe. The plan was to open a night-VFR flightplan and arrive at STR
in the dark and do a VFR-ILS approach, which i was very excited to perform in real. After all, i did hundredds of ILS-approaches in MSFS and now was very excited to try the real thing.
We took off at sunset and climbed to FL065. After entering Langen FIR we announced our plan to Langen Information that we wanted to do an ILS approach. Meanwhile we watched the sun set and that again sent shivers down my spine, here i was flying an airplane back to Stuttgart, enjoying the athmosphere. For all of you that plan to become pilots, the only recommendation I can give, do it. Look at these pictures
you can still see the mountains here
And after descending to 4500 ft we were cleared to enter airspace Charlie and got vectored to intercept the ILS runway 07. I told my FI
that i did not want to look outside during the ILS landing and so i did. After a while i established us and it wasnt even THAT bad. At some moment the FI
( a LH
cargo MD11 pilot ) mentioned that half a tick was a callout at LH
and that now was the time he d suggest a correction
a couple of hundred feet i looked out the front window and was awed.. This moment is undescribable. I cannot find the right words. I hope this somewhat shaky picture gives you the message, although all of you airline pilots will laugh at me, but for me this was great.
The landing was ok, i pulled a little too early, perhaps i feared crashing the beautiful light bulbs.haha. Well and then taxi back to GA
parking and kill the engine.
I hope you enjoyed some of the pictures, I got pretty carried away typing all this, so if you do have any suggestions on writing style or anything else, please share them with me. Again, you can find ALL
the pictures here http://www.ballonbilder.com/2006_10_10_2/index.html.
I would like to thank my friend Michael for taking all these pictures and being a fun passenger ! If anybody from southern Germany would like to fly with me, send me a mail, I am currently waiting for the check flight to get my license, i hope this will happen next week.
[Edited 2006-11-09 15:39:27]