To Åland and Back

June 30, 2007

To celebrate Anders passed check-ride, we set off on a evening trip to Mariehamn, on the Åland islands for dinner.

On the train from Stockholm to Uppsala, I receive a message from Anders saying that IYD is grounded due to a speed indicator which isn’t working as it should.  With the help of  Alex I am able to book IBX and change the flight plan accordingly with the Flight Planning Centre at Arlanda.

I catered up with something to drink before heading out to Sundbro to prepare the aircraft. We had decided to try a “two pilot system” with  our roles deifined as follows:

Anders: Pilot Flying

Me: Radio operator/Paper work etc.

We taxied out and took off on runway 21 and slowly started our turn eastwards as I contacted Stockholm control to activate our flight plan and receive clearance for higher altitudes but due to the clouds, we remained at 2000ft for the whole journey.  After speaking to two Swedish controllers, we were handed over to Mariehamn tower and greeted with a “hyvää iltaa” and permission to start our approach. After a smooth ride in some -SHRA  (light rain for those non-flyers) IBX greased the runway at Mariehamn and proof that Anders is used to small fields was shown as we vacated the runway without having to backtrack.

Walked in to the small but “home like” terminal building and enjoyed a good meal before stepping up to the tower to pay our landing fee of €39,04. As we came down again the terminal was now full of people going to the International Island Games in Rhodes and hence, a 757 from Finnair had been chartered to bring them there. Too bad we never had the chance to see it land as we had to leave.

Before taking off however, we had one mission left, namely to cater up with some alcohol as prices here are much lower compared to the Swedish monopoly.

The wheels left terra firma at 2320 and as we flew back one time zone, we landed at 2320 after a cruise at 5500ft with good service from ATC as usual. All that remained now was paperwork, pull the aircraft in to the hangar and drive back to Sigtuna where I jumped in to bed and slept like a log.

Some pictures from the journey:

 

 

 

 

 

 


A weekend in Luxemburg

June 28, 2007

Last weekend, time for yet another trip, and this time Luxemburg was the destination. The primary reason was to sort out a contract and the second to visit my old friend Louise and her boyfriend Tommy with family.

After a pleasant flight with SAS via Copenhagen, I met up with the client and we quickly settled what was needed before he had to head back almost the same way as I came. A quick lunch later I was picked up by the father of Tommy, Tony and taken to Hunsdorf for a short rest before the celebrations of the Fête Nationale, birthday of the Grand-Duke was due to commence.

After a good dinner and a few drinks, it was time for one of the biggest and most sparkling fireworks I have ever seen. Too bad the music wasn’t working as I think they had intended it to.

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Saturday, we all woke up with a hang-over (are we getting old or did we just drink more than usual?) had a light breakfast and headed in to Luxemburg City where I was shown around, had a pleasant lunch at Oscar Wilde’s and a coffee at Place d’Armes.

 

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Finally, on Sunday, time to head home but first a steady “Swedish” lunch and a tour around the countryside. Sad to leave and happy to come back any day, thanks guys!

 

 


With the diploma in my hand

June 21, 2007

Last weekend was the time of my university graduation. A full day of fun and joy in the Principality of Monaco with my near and dear ones starting with the ceremony via the cocktail to the gala dinner in the evening. There is really not THAT much one can say other than that it will be a memory for life. I think these pictures speak for themselves:

 

 

 

Tomorrow I head to Luxembourg for the weekend. Hope to be able to give a report when I get back


Lightning and thunder, magic and wonder- Tour du Suède

June 11, 2007

Opened my eyes at 0600 to find that it was going to be yet another glorius day and checking the weather forecast issued by Luftfartsverket only confirmed this.

Hence, I took a shower and ate a steady breakfast before heading north towards the airfield.

I met up with Anders (who helped me with the title for this entry) and together we pulled out SE-KUZ from the hangar as we were both going to share the aircraft that day.

Returned to the club house to do the final calculations for the first two legs and then watched Anders take off for his “pre check-ride” praying that there wouldn’t be any problems with the aircraft so that I could fufill my plan.

At about 1030 SE-KUZ returned and I refueled in order to do some touch and go training with Mikkel (to prove for both him and myself that I can actually land an aircraft).

A quick de-briefing/briefing later I was on my way north towards Gävle Sandviken airport. At first, the field was a bit tricky to find as smoke from a saw mill was covering my path but I found my way down and considering my lack of experience on asphalt I made a more than satisfactory landing on runway 36. While taxiing in towards the terminal, I am called up on the radio and requested to taxi up to the flying club.

There I met up with Alex, later on Sofia and went for a cup of coffee at her house. After some 90 minutes on the ground, it was time for the next hop, over to Borlänge, estimated to take 35 minutes. Took off towards the north and at 700 ft I started my turn towards Borlänge VOR. Then suddenly, I lost all radio contact with Sweden control and at first I thought of turning back to Gävle. Then, I heard a SAS flight and he helped me to relay the messages. Nothing more to report here other than the fantastic scenery:

Uneventful approach with a lot of traffic at Borlänge Airport and in to the briefing room where I found Anders sunglasses from his visit a few days earlier and the computer screen showing his blog!!

“The KUZ” parked at Borlänge Dala Airport

 

Took off again on runway 14 and set course directly towards Aros VOR (ARS) and had to stop at 3,000ft instead of the originally intended 4,500ft due to the CRAPPY!!! climb performance of the C150 on this warm day. A Norwegian Air Shuttle pilot took the opportunity to bully me for not flying a “real aircraft” but got a sarcastic reply.

On 123,45 I suddenly ended up speaking to the Prince of Thailand and an Emirates flight, en route from Dubai to JFK and after saying goodbye to both of them it was time to contact Västerås for the approach. I originally intended a right base to runway 01 but later opted for a left base instead which took me straight over the city and lake Mälaren, covered with boats, all the way to the final approach. After the third good landing of the day I taxied in to Apron 4 where Patrik was waiting to take me for dinner.

 

One culinary experience later, I was on board for my last leg of the day, back “home” to Sundbro. Took off on runway 01 and left the control zone via Björksta heading North East. Half way to Uppsala Stockholm calls me up to inform me that there is a HUGE CB coming in from the left. Starting to sweat slightly but made it safely back to base even if I had quite a shower pass over me, happy to find a clean t-shirt in the back of my car. Parked KUZ for the night, wrapped up the paperwork and headed home for a cold cold COLD shower.

Closing this entry with a “summery” picture from Sundbro at 2025 yesterday:

 

Thank you Anders for the title suggestion!


Flight planning for dummies – the work before flying

June 9, 2007

Most flights, unless it is a “play flight” in the local area, are preceded by flight planning to make sure the right amount of fuel is taken on board, winds are with in the limits, weight is not exceeded etc.

At 1400 today, this is what my kitchen table looked like:

One hour later, all the paper work was ready, as far as I could do it, lacking the winds.

The next step was to file the flight plans to the Flight Planning Center , FPC to ensure that air traffic control has all the information they need on my flight. The system that we use is brilliant (all is relative) and sometimes I wonder if they should write:

The confirmation is given via SMS and in text fom online and looks like this (as you can see on leg three a remark is sent back if something is incorrect or changed)*:

Leg 1

(FPL-SEKUZ-VX
-C150/L-S/C
-ESKC1000
-N0090A025 DCT
-ESSK0030
-OPR/UPPSALA FK RMK/SKOL DOF/070610 ORGN/ESSAZPZX)

Leg 2

(FPL-SEKUZ-VX
-C150/L-S/C
-ESSK1215
-N0090F045 DCT 6030N01600E DCT
-ESSD0035
-OPR/UPPSALA FK RMK/SKOL DOF/070610 ORGN/ESSAZPZX

Leg 3

OBS SE FORMAT PÅ KOORDINAT! /FPC
-------
(FPL-SEKUZ-VX
-C150/L-S/C
-ESSD1340
-N0090F045 DCT 6005N01600E DCT
-ESOW0045
-OPR/UPPSALA FK RMK/SKOL DOF/070610 ORGN/ESSAZPZX)

Leg 4

(FPL-SEKUZ-VX
-C150/L-S/C
-ESOW1800
-N0090A025 DCT ELTOK DCT
-ESKC0020
-OPR/UPPSALA FK RMK/SKOL DOF/070610 ORGN/ESSAZPZX)

*For you non-flyers, this means that I will be flying Uppsala-Gävle-Borlänge-Västerås-Uppsala during the afternoon tomorrow. The plan is to have lunch with Fia &/or Alex in Gävle and dinner with Patrik in Västerås

A full report will follow!


I’m Mr. Headset

June 7, 2007

Headset at work

Headset in the plane

Headset for the cell phone

Headset for the computer

In short my life evolves around this:

 

 

One hour left of the work day and I am not looking forward to spending time on a boiling train.


What do you do on a national day…..

June 6, 2007

….without any traditions?

Well, from what I saw today, I wasn’t the only one asking that question. According to a survey that was conducted recently 53% of the Swedes have no clue why we celebrate this day. What makes things more ironic is that it is only the third year which it is a holiday. Everywhere stores are advertising BBQ tips, flags, alcoholic beverages and other specials, not to mention dinner specials. Honestly it is turning out to be another peak day for the merchants. Compare with Norway, France etc. where we can talk about traditions and a real national day.

In terms of flying, I am crazy to get back up in the air again and have now found my “new” instructor.  Anders reports from his flying didn’t exactly help. Sunday will bring me a repetition of what I’ve done and my first solo navigation to Västerås and back for a hamburger with Patrik (or at least I hope he’ll be there). As it seems now, the trip will be completed with SE-KUZ who is back to cover up when GON and ICL are being services and YES I am referring to the aircraft as a person on purpose.

At work, things are moving along swiftly with plenty to do each day. The colleagues are (still) great and new challenges come up daily.