Towards my new habitat in Uppsala, where I will move in on Friday. Right now I am busy with preparations of all sorts and there is not much time for the blog. I hope that internet will be installed so I can provide you with an entry next week.
After my last blog entry some of you have asked me about the famous keys and I thought I should recap the story Leif is talking about.
Back in July of 2006 Leif and I, together with my aviator friend John took a trip to Åland in a PA28 belonging to Västerås Flygklubb. After landing John told me he had put the keys to the aircraft in my backpack so I promised I would hold on to it with my life. Back at the airport, John asked me to take out the keys but they were not to be found. We looked around the airport and John returned in to Mariehamn to look around the beach, the mini golf course and the lunch restaurant without any luck. Finally we had to have his friend fly in the spares from Västerås and take us back to Barkarby where we arrived much later than planned.
Afterwards we figured out that John must have placed the keys in a pocket of the backpack that has a hole in it and that they must have fallen out from there.
Anders is referring to our last trip together where the keys were still in my pocket half way back from Sundbro to Sigtuna, forcing us to turn around and return them .
This shows that I should never be left in charge of keys!
With Leif substituting Anders who was home with a fever (or perhaps a hangover) and fellow aviator Jonas we arrived at Sundbro with plenty of time to spare before our EBOT (Estimated Block Off Time).
How do we get there?
While Jonas and Leif took care of the airplane, making sure it was airworthy I did some number punching and found out that our flying time would be 48 minutes over to Mariehamn and as 0830Z drew closer, we packed the last items and soon we were on our way with Uppsala clearing us first to 3,000 ft direct towards ERK NDB with Stockholm sending us further to FL55. Even if this is not a high altitude, reaching it took a while since the rate of climb was 250ft/minute in the heat. Once there, we had a beautiful view of the scenery and the algae floating in towards the mainland.
With a cheery handoff from Stockholm CTRL, I greeted Mariehamn tower and we were sent direct to a right base for runway 21. Wanting to enjoy more of the view, I took BX down to 1000 and headed towards the field. However, as traffic was coming in from Finland faster than us, we were asked to extend our approach. Then, after an almost perfect flight I did the worst “!!/()/”) landing I’ve ever done on asphalt expecting a remark from the tower along the lines of “on ground 20, 20 and 21” Instead we were assigned parking number 6 and 50 minutes after leaving Uppsala we said goodbye to our aircraft for a few hours and took a taxi downtown making sure the keys were firmly placed in my bag (there is a story to this that I won’t go into).
65kts and perfectly on the PAPI, so far
Downtown, we strolled around for sometime before enjoying a lunch at Hotel Archipelag and a meeting with an old friend of mine from Sigtuna, living on the island. Content we continued our walk around the seeman’s quarters and back through town, via a coffee to the west side.
Myself and Jonas on the main street of Mariehamn
Still with the keys
Nice old boat
Now, rather than donating another €12 to the local taxi business, we decided that a 4,5km walk back to the airport would be a better idea and set off to enjoy the scenery using Leif’s Nokia GPS as guide and arrived at the terminal after a nice stroll talking about a wide variety of things but still not knowing that our return flight would be delayed.
Back at EFMA with the keys still in hand 🙂
After checking with Mr. Tower guy about the latest weather at Uppsala it soon became evident that the bad weather that had been predicted for earlier in the afternoon had taken a siesta up north and was now moving in, making any type of VFR flying a big “nono” so we sat down to wait and call the Arlanda MET office. The friendly briefing officer told us that we could expect a delay of at least two hours. At this point, our main concern was the approaching darkness and a contingency plan was now made, should we need a bed for the night.
Leif trying the left seat
At just before 1730Z, the MET office told me that the front now had passed Uppsala and we could expect good visibility if upon arrival if we departed within the next half hour, still with plenty of margin before darkness. The flight home gave us the usual beautiful sunset and radio chatter on Stockholm control and we were quite happy when we arrived at Sundbro 4 hours delayed. Dropped Jonas downtown Uppsala and headed home for a good nights sleep.
Heading out of Åland
My soon to be new home town, Uppsala