Some days you just feel you have to sleep in! By the time Ward called this morning it was after 9 am. (today it felt like 3 am). Must be some form of “piston lag”!
Not to worry, there was still time to have a quick breakfast before jumping into a cab for the airport. Problem was that about 20 minutes down the expressway I looked at the meter and the surroundings and neither added up (well, not exactly– the meter was already 10 Euros more than last night’s trip into town). Had I not opened my mouth, we appeared destined to arrive at the main airport in Copenhagen — 35 kms from Roskilde (and not at Roskilde airport where 48Fox was parked). OK, so we sorted that out pronto and the cabbie kindly turned off his meter for the ride back —after the U turn.
Things went fairly smoothly after that. Ward filed an IFR flight plan for Wroclaw, Poland and we headed off on another great day of flying. We flew the first leg at 11,000 feet and we landed in just over 2 hours. 48Fox continued to perform really well! The power settings and fuel mixture adjustments now produce a good combination of speed and endurance that both we and she seem to like.
Kamil Mich was at the Wroclaw airport to meet us when we touched down . He and Ward flew the Mooney pictured here from Chicago (over most of the same route) a couple of years back, and they hadn’t seen one another since. So they got caught up and we had an enjoyable lunch, courtesy of Kamil, at Copernicus, the new international airport in Wroclaw.
From Wroclaw, Poland we climbed again to Fl 100 or 110 to be clear of clouds and enjoyed another 2-3 hr ride over Poland, the Czech Republic into Graz, Austria.
For me, the scenery, whether it’s flying over clouds or over countryside, is always worth the ride!
Flying with Ward for the past 35 or so hours has also improved my pilot skills and knowledge of my aircraft’s systems and equipment. Although I would not enjoy being caught alone in cloud, flying 48Fox through, in, over and around clouds with Ward has given me more confidence to handle it alone if it ever happens.
The takeoffs are easier for me to deal with than the landings, particularly at all of these new airports where each landing is a first timer for me.
I find that getting some of these runways in sight for landing isn’t always that easy. Ward helps me there as he has landed at most of them before.
Landing–If you are flying along at say 11,000’ and you are cleared to start your descent miles back from the airport, you need to set up a “controlled” descent– so you adjust your power settings, fuel mixture and trim for let’s say a descent rate of 500 ft -1,000 ft per minute.
In busy European airspace there is constant radio chatter ; you have to know where you are and be able to respond immediately to instructions from air traffic controllers— particularly if you are flying IFR. Ward handles all of the radio work because it involves waypoints and fixes and a whole bunch of technical stuff that he is professionally qualified to do. For me it’s more a question of sorting out the traffic pattern height for landing , the active runway and making sure the airspeed is under control and the final checks are all done before turning base to final to line up with the runway for landing.
Enjoy the pictures and the video we shot today, Ward is downloading the video likely in the morning before we leave for Corfu.
This old pilot is pooped and off to bed!
P.S. Special thanks to Caroline and Pim Lempers our wonderful Dutch friends who sponsored today’s legs. Love and hugs!!
Leaving Roskilde Airport for Poland
The route to Poland
Leveled off at FLIIO (11,000′) for Poland
Polish countryside en route to Wroclaw
Ward and Kamil Mich reuniting with each other and their Mooney