Planning a two day trip to Wroclaw, Poland
The weather outlook for central Europe was great for the week of February 13, 2017. A high pressure area over the continent would bring sunny weather. The weather was too good not to fly, and I decided to make a trip to Wroclaw (German: Breslau) in Poland, and took Tuesday and Wednesday off. On Monday I sent the mandatory request to Wroclaw airport for the visit the next day, which was approved. On Monday evening I drove to Paderborn-Lippstadt airport in order to leave early on Tuesday morning. After I arrived, I checked the latest aviation weather reports. The weather outlook was not that good after all. From Erfurt to Wroclaw it would be IMC in the morning, becoming marginal weather later during the day. This is the TAF for Wroclaw from Monday evening;
TEMPO 1318/1408 1300 BR OVC003
PROB30 TEMPO 1411/1416 5000 BR SCT013=
The aviation weather outlook for the West of Germany was perfect. Before going to bed I considered a day trip to the Saarland as an alternative for Wroclaw. I first sent an e-mail to Wroclaw operations to give a heads-up that I perhaps would cancel the trip to Wroclaw because of weather. The next morning the weather forecast for Wroclaw indicated CAVOK in the afternoon. This is the TAF for Wroclaw from Tuesday morning;
BECMG 1407/1409 1500 BR BKN003
BECMG 1410/1413 CAVOK=
However, I was not sure how the weather would develop the next day for the return trip. With the centre of the high pressure area over central Europe, there was a chance that possible fog would take hours to clear up. I decided to postpone a trip to Wroclaw for another time, and make a trip to Saarland instead, just to enjoy the flying.
Weather chart Tuesday morning
Satellite picture Tuesday morning
From Paderborn-Lippstadt to Saarbrücken
After breakfast I parked the car near the hangars, and picked up the papers of the airplane. It was the first time I was going to fly with this particular aircraft, a Piper Archer with registration D-ELHC. After I rolled-out the airplane from the hangar and checking the plane, I tried to start the engine. The battery had not sufficient power, and the engine had to be started with external power. After taxiing to the fuel station and fueling the plane, it had to be started again with external power, but that would be further no issue anymore after the plane had flown for 15 minutes or so.
The weather was very good. After I cleared the apron via Operations, I contacted Paderborn Ground for further taxi. I taxied to holding point runway 06, where I did the run-up checks. Ground forwarded me to Tower, and I received cleared for take-off to depart via reporting point Whiskey. At Whiskey I contacted Langen. The route was pretty much direct, south of Frankfurt Hahn airport. The restricted area 116 (Baumholder) was active and had to be avoided, so I flew in between Baumholder and Ramstein AFB. When I approached Saarbrücken, I flew via reporting points Echo 1 and Echo 2 to the airport, where I landed on runway 09.
Piper Archer D-ELHC
From Saarbrücken to Saarlouis
After a coffee and paying the landing fee at Saarbrücken airport, I returned to the plane for the short hop to Saarlouis airport, only 18nm to the west. The departure was from runway 09 again, and then I left the CTR via November point. At Saarlouis, Düren airport I flew the right-hand circuit for runway 07.
Saarbrücken airport tower
River Saar near Saarlouis
Final runway 07 Saarlouis airport
Saarlouis, Düren airport
From Saarlouis to Paderborn-Lippstadt
After paying the landing fee at Saarlouis airport, I returned to the plane for the flight back to Paderborn-Lippstadt. This time the route was north of the Frankfurt-Hahn CTR, and for a part along the River Moselle. I crossed the new stretch of Autobahn that is under construction, that also includes a new bridge over the River Moselle. The route was further north of Koblenz, to Siegen, Meschede, and entry of the Paderborn-Lippstadt CTR via Whiskey point. I landed on runway 06, and then taxied back to the hangar. After finishing the paperwork I drove home. It was a nice little trip.
Dillingen an der Saar
Henne Reservoir, Meschede