Trips / Rennes and Reims
From Paderborn-Lippstadt to Charleroi On Friday evening, 24 May 2013, Veleda and Rene drove to Steinhausen near Paderborn-Lippstadt airport. We stayed in a hotel in order to leave early on Saturday morning to fly to Rennes, in France. On Saturday morning we went to the airport, where Rene first had to find "hangar Echo". Hangar Echo was inside of the airport terrain, which is outside the aeroclub terrain where the other aeroclub hangars are, so Rene first had to go through security to walk via the apron to the hangar. Rene got the plane, and then taxied to the aeroclub terrain to fuel the plane. With the search for the plane we had some delay on our filed ETD, but the tower was willing to hold the flight plan. The flight time to Rennes was 4 hours and 5 minutes, but we had inserted a fuel stop in Charleroi. After take-off from Paderborn-Lippstadt airport runway 24, we left the control zone via Whiskey. We passed the Sorpesee with the Sorpe dam (see also Ruhr dams trip report), and further south west we passed Lüdenscheid, where in 1898 the aluminium framework of the first Zeppelin airship was built in the factory of Carl Berg. We flew between the Ennepesee and Beversee, and we crossed the Rhine near Baumberg. Near Liege we had to fly a little bit to the south to avoid very low overcast (just above or on the ground) south-west of Liege. Via Namur we reached Charleroi, where the tower fitted us in between arriving and departing RyanAir 737s. After landing on runway 25 we taxied to the pump. Operations asked Rene to e-mail a copy of the certificate of airworthiness, certificate of registration and noise certificate for the invoice, as there was no administration present in the weekend. After fueling (self service on Charleroi), Rene called Schiphol to file the flightplan from Charleroi to Rennes.
From Charleroi to Rennes After take-off from Charleroi runway 25, we left the CTR via SW. After crossing the border with France, we climbed to 4,500 ft. When we reached and maintained 4,500 ft, Lille Information asked us to what altitude we were climbing, to check if we would not further climb in the Delta airspace east of Lille. We passed Perrone, Saint Quentin airport that we had visited four weeks before (see Versailles trip report). When we got closer to Paris, the cumulus clouds where higher. We requested and received permission from Beauvais approach to climb to FL 65, the maximum altitude in the area. When we were south of Rouen, we climbed further to FL 85 between the scattered towering cumulus tops, to stay in smooth air as long as possible. After another 50nm or so, the further towering clouds changed in density to broken, at which point we descended to below the cloud base at 2000 ft. The outside air temperature went up again from minus 10 degrees celsius at FL 85 to plus 10. We passed some showers north of us and it was only a little bit bumpy. The weather improved further on the route to Rennes. Rennes approach directed us to point echo, where we contacted Rennes tower. We were cleared to land on runway 28, and on the apron we requested for fuel. After fueling we walked to the terminal. METAR Rennes when we landed
Visiting Kléber In the very quiet Rennes airport terminal we had a coffee, and in the mean time we booked the closest available accommodation near Guichen in Bruz. The car rental companies were all deserted, so we could not rent a car. We took a taxi from the airport to the accommodation. At the accommodation, the booking was not yet received, but it did not cause any problems. We freshened up, and then we gave Kléber a call that we had arrived. We called for a taxi, and with some detours we got to Kléber's place. After the visit we went back to the accommodation, and then walked to Bruz to find a place to have diner. We only found a pancake restaurant in Bruz, but it had luckely more on the menu than only pancakes.
From Rennes to Laval On Sunday morning we left Bruz by Taxi to Rennes airport. In the terminal at the information desk we paid the landing and parking fee, and then we went to the plane. Runway 28 was in use, and we received a right turn out to fly to point echo via the right hand downwind runway 28. It was a 25 minutes flight to Laval Entrammes airport, and we announced our intentions to land on runway 32 to one other plane that was in the circuit. After we vacated the runway, a parajumping plane took-off. We shortly looked around on the quiet airport, and then we went back to the plane to fly to Le Lans.
From Laval to Le Mans After take-off from Laval runway 32, we made a right turn out to leave the circuit in the direction of Le Mans. Le Mans has a well-preserved old town, but is most famous for the world's oldest active sports car race in endurance racing; the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The race runs on the Circuit de la Sarthe, a circuit containing a mix of closed public roads and a motor racing circuit; the Bugatti Circuit which is inside the Circuit de la Sarthe. The airport is adjacent to the Bugatti Circuit. We first overflew the airport and the Bugatti Circuit, before joining the airport pattern to land on runway 20. On the ground we had a chat with a flight instructor, and we could use the computer in the office to check for up-to-date weather and notams to Reims.
From Le Mans to Reims After take-off from Le Mans runway 20, we set course to Reims. On the way we passed Paris in the south, and we flew the narrow corridor between the Melun airspace and the Paris class alpha airspace. The maximum altitude to fly in the region is 1,500 ft, which is roughly 1,200 ft above the terrain. When we got closer to Reims, we entered the Champage-Ardenne region, and we saw the famous champagne vineyards. Before landing at Reims Pruney airport, we first flew around Reims, and we made some nice pictures. The airport radio operator spoke good English, and told us runway 25 was in use. After landing we tied-down the plane, we booked a hotel in Reims and called for a taxi that arrived within 15 minutes.
Visiting Reims We took the taxi to the Ibis hotel in Reims centre. After we had checked in, we freshened up, and then we first visited the nearby Notre-Dame de Reims, formerly the place of coronation of the kings of France. The cathedral became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991. After visiting the Notre-Dame de Reims we had a coffee nearby, and then we further walked the town. In the evening we had diner, and then had a coffee in a grand cafe at the square in front of the Notre-Dame de Reims, to await the light show at 10pm. After the light show we went back to the hotel for a drink and to watch some TV on the internet before going to bed.
From Reims to Bitburg On Monday morning, after breakfast, Rene checked the weather and notams to Bitburg and Paderborn-Lippstadt. The weather on the route was VMC up to the Sauerland, but Paderborn-Lippstadt was in IMC, with a forecast to marginal VMC at the end of the morning. We checked-out from the hotel and took a taxi back to the Reims Pruney airport. Rene filed a flight plan to Bitburg, and after paying the landing and parking fee, we went to the plane. We took-off at 10:05am from Reims Pruney runway 25, and headed to Bitburg. On the way we crossed the Luxembourgh TMA, and after leaving Luxembourg we soon approached Bitburg, nearby the American Spangdahlem Air Base. Bitburg airport is a former military airbase. We landed on runway 24 of Bitburg airport, where we first taxied to the fuel station to fuel for the remaining leg to Paderborn-Lippstadt. Trivia: Bitburg is home to one of the largest beer manufacturers in the world, the Bitburger brewery.
From Bitburg to Paderborn-Lippstadt On Bitburg we had lunch, and while we had lunch the weather at Paderborn-Lippstadt became VFR.
METARs Paderborn-Lippstadt, from IMC to CAVOK We departed from runway 24, and then turned north around the town of Bitburg to the north-east in the direction of Paderborn-Lippstadt. On the way we passed the Nürnburgring, where Niki Lauda had his infamous crash in 1976. Rene once was a passenger of a colleague who drove the circuit in a public session in the mid 1990s. Over the Sauerland, we passed the Biggesee, and later the Meschede Schüren airport near the Hennesee that Rene had visited in March. After one hour and ten minutes flying time we landed on runway 24 of Paderborn-Lippstadt airport. We taxied to hangar Echo where we parked the plane. After filling in the paperwork, we went back to the car for the drive back home. It was again a very nice trip....