Ok, I know I said flying, normal, flying, normal about what was going to be written here but I decided to make a mix today and this mix is me, take it or leave it!
In flying, particularly general aviation one quickly learns that things do not always turn out as planned. Last weekend was by no means any exception to that rule. Having decided that a weekend away from Sigtuna was more than needed I went to visit my friend and fellow flying maniac Patrik in Västerås (1 hour away). Our original plan was to fly from Västerås to Mariehamn (Åland Islands) via Stockholm where we would pick up two passengers before heading out over the Baltic Sea. However, after a lot of head scratching we realized that good old Murphy had struck again and due to the opening times of the airport in Mariehamn there was no chance to be back before the aircraft had to be back for the next “maniacs” to use it. This resulted 85 kilos less (one passenger deciding not to go), many more possibilities and a lot of frantic flight planning to come up with an alternative and quite late at night we did!
After not too many hours of sleep, the alarm clock woke us up at 0600 and we took Patrik’s “red bullet” down to the flying club where we began preparing the aircraft and just as the sun started to rise, Christian arrived from Stockholm. After some problems with the fueling and a few phone calls later we were finally ready to take off to our new destination Gothenburg, Säve with an estimated flying time of 1 hour and 36 minutes in glorious weather. After a very nice and relaxing flight down (at least for me and the passenger in the back seat) we arrived at Säve after 1h35 minutes (great planning Patrik). Picked up by Patrik’s father and taken to lunch. The only sad thing was that just as we were leaving the airport I started receiving messages about a fire at my flying club in Uppsala (more to follow).
Just before leaving Västerås
Time is valuable even for us and as we had to be back in Västerås before 1500 we could only stay for two hours. Back at Säve we met up with a student from the flying school in Västerås, Alex, who is also one of Patrik’s friends (always nice to meet new people), refueled the Piper and head back. The return was almost 45 minutes longer and much more enjoyable for me as I actually got to fly (thanks Pat) all the way to the approach (I am not quite trustworthy with those landings yet). On block was 1500, exactly when we had to return the aircraft. Completed the final paperwork and had a waffle before leaving the airport.
The evening was spend together with Patrik, Alex and Mathieu (another new acquaintance) at the top of the city’s skyscraper with glass or two of wine (one of the better I’ve had) and duck for dinner before returning home with the most expensive taxi I have ever taken in Sweden (280SEK for 8km).
Enjoyed 9 hours of sleep that night, a luxury for me at the moment, before being woken up by John asking me if I wanted to tag along to Turkey in May and bring someone along. Without a blink Patrik and I joined in and then decided to head up to Uppsala to A) Meet our friend Fredrik and B) See the result of the fire at the flying club.
Arriving at Sundbro it was not a pleasant sight that met us and the atmosphere was as far from normal as can be and seeing what had happened to the maintenance facility almost made you want to cry.
In Uppsala all we did was have a coffee, listen to tales from the army life from Fredrik and try a single malt before I was lucky enough to be driven all the way home.
Thanks to everyone (esp. Patrik) who made this a splendid weekend helping me to get through all this thesis s**t and thank you to John who offered us to come along with him to Turkey giving me something to look forward to!
(I will try to keep this blog updated more often but time is scarce to me right now so do excuse me if I go silent for a while. If there is anything you think I should write about, do tell me).