28 Jul 2012 Paderborn (1)
29 Jul 2012 Mensanello (3)
31 Jul 2012 Aliscarlino (2)
2 Aug 2012 Castiglione (3)
4 Aug 2012 L'Aquila (3)
5 Aug 2012 Valdera (2)
8 Aug 2012 Il Borro (3)
9 Aug 2012 Rome (2)
11 Aug 2012 Aosta (4)
12 Aug 2012 Reutte (1)
13 Aug 2012 Paderborn (4)
On Saturday morning, July 28 2012, we started our holiday. We first drove to Paderborn-Lippstadt airport, where Bart, Charlotte and Rene would take the Piper Archer D-ETAP to fly to Mensanello, while Veleda and Maurits would further continue with the car to Mensanello. There was a cold front slowly moving to the east that we passed by car on the way to Paderborn. Plan A was to be in-time in Paderborn to fly ahead of the cold front to Bad Endorf where we would meet again with Veleda and Maurits, and continue over the Brenner the next morning in time for the cold-front to arrive in Austria. After take-off in Paderborn, we first flew east where the meteo had indicated good weather, but as the weather was too marginal south-east of Paderborn (where there is also high terrain), Rene decided to return to Paderborn. Plan B was to wait until the next morning, and then fly a long route around and behind the cold front via France to Italy, and so we did. On Saturday afternoon, we visited nearby Wewelsburg, while Veleda and Maurits were on their way to southern Germany.
Weather analysis charts for Saturday and Sunday
From Paderborn-Lippstadt to Mensanello
Early Sunday morning there was some bruze at Paderborn-Lippstadt, but that quickly disappeared. We took-off at about 9:30 AM to Bourg in France, west of the Alps. In the mean time Veleda and Maurits were also on their way again after staying the night at a hotel in Rosenheim, south-east of Munich. The flying conditions on the way to Bourg were good, although with a headwind. The weather over the Alps, on the other hand, was bad as Veleda and Maurits experienced while driving the Brenner route. It appeared that if we had been flying on Saturday according to plan to Bad Endorf, we would not have been able to fly the Brenner route on Sunday.
We fueled at Bourg and had lunch, and then we continued to Genova. Our route was first south, and then east over the mountains, where we saw many gliders. We crossed the French/Italian FIR boundary near Mont Tenibre. The coastal region of the Gulf of Genova was in low clouds, which we overflew at 5000 feet. At the coast near Savona we descended to 1000 feet, and then further to Genova, Sestri airport, where we landed on runway 28.
Rene first went to the office to pay the landing fees and to file the flightplan to Mensanello, and then we had the plane fueled. After forthy minutes on the ground at Genova, we were on our way again for the last leg to Mensanello. We followed the coast to Livorno, and from there we flew to Mensanello. At Mensanello, Veleda and Maurits were waiting for us.
Bart and Charlotte at Paderborn-Lippstadt
Bad weather on the Brenner route
Rene at Bourg airport
Charlotte and Bart at Genova airport
Piper Archer arriving at Mensanello
Bart, Rene and Charlotte at Mensanello airfield
Aliscarlino and San Gimignano
On Tuesday, 31 July 2012, Veleda and Rene first made a short flying trip to Aliscarlino airfield while Bart, Charlotte and Maurits were still in the process of waking-up. At a further quiet Aliscarlino airfield we were welcomed by a local instructor, who offered us coffee and water. After returning to Mensanello, we made a trip by car to San Gimignano.
Rene before departure to Aliscarlino
At Aliscarlino airfield
Charlotte, Bart, Maurits and Veleda
Piazza Duomo, San Gimignano
To Firenze (Florence)
On Wednesday, August 1 2012, we visited Florence, or Firenze in Italian. We parked the car near Ponte della Vittoria, where a rather obscure looking gentlemen told us we had to pay him for parking, or for looking after the car because we were friends, that was not really clear. It appeared that the people that arrived in Italian cars were not his frieds. Anyway, we just paid him, and then we walked along the Arno river to the historic centre.
After spending the day in Florence, we found our car back where we left it, and we went back to Mensanello. On the way back Rene bought a jerry can so we could buy mogas for the plane at a road gas station.
In Italy AVGAS is usually only available at major airports, which at the time was sold at €2.6 to €3.0 per litre, and we heard that it could go high as €4.0 per litre at some airports. In combination with the usually high landing fees at the major airports, fueling is an expensive exercise. Smaller fields in Italy sometimes have mogas, but that is usually 95 octane suitable for very light and ultra light aircrafts.
The Piper Archer is certified for 98 octane with less than 1% alcohol. In general, 98 octane appeared to be rare at road gas stations in Tuscany, where most cars drive on 95 octane. We did not find the right petrol at the gas stations we passed on the way back to Mensanello.
Campanile di Giotto
Rene and Veleda
With the Ponte Vecchio
Piazza della Repubblica
Trip to Castiglione del Lago
Thursday, August 2, brought another flying trip. This time with Veleda and Maurits to Castiglione del Lago on the southwest corner of Lago Trasimeno. On the way back to Mensanello we stopped at Siena airport for fueling AVGAS. We also filled the jerry can because we had not found the right mogas yes.
Near Castiglione del Lago
Maurits and Veleda
Castiglione del Lago
Maurits and Rene at Siena airport
On Saturday, August 4, Maurits and Rene made a flying trip to L'Aquila, while Veleda, Charlotte and Bart made a trip by car to Volterra. L'Aquila is is close to the highest summits of the Apennine Mountains, and has a cooler climate compared to other parts of central Italy, but that was not to notice when we visited.
The city was struck by an earthquake on 6 April 2009, and many houses are still uninhabitable pending reconstruction. On the way back to Mensanello we stopped at Rieti airfield, which is also a big glider airfield.
Rene at L'Aquila, Preturo airport
Rene in L'Aquila
Maurits flying from Rieti to Siena
Veleda and Charlotte in Volterra
Valdera and Monteriggioni
On Sunday 5 August 2012, Veleda and Rene made a flying trip to Valdera airfield in the morning. In the afternoon we visited the medieval walled town of Monteriggioni. On Monday 6 August, Rene first flew to nearby Siena in the morning for fueling AVGAS. Later in the day we found 98 octane petrol ("BluSuper") at €2.0 per litre at an AGIP gas station in nearby Colle di val d'Elsa, which we further used to fuel the plane.
Rene at Valdera airfield
Veleda at Valdera airfield
Passing San Gimignano
Pisa and Lucca
On Tuesday 7 August 2012 we visited Pisa and Lucca. At Pisa we visited the inevitable Cathedral Square with the leaning tower. After visiting Pisa, we had lunch on the way to Lucca. At Lucca, we visited among others, the Duomo di San Martino and the Guinigi tower with the oak tree on top.
Rene and Maurits in Pisa
Rene and Charlotte at the Duomo
Bart and Charlotte having lunch
At the Duomo di San Martino in Lucca
To Valdichiana and San Giustino Valdarno
On Wednesday 8 August 2012, Veleda and Rene made a flying trip to Valdichiana airfield and to the San Giustino Valdarno airfield Il Borro. The airfields have no ICAO code, and for Italy I use codes starting with LIS for fields that have no ICAO code on this website.
Veleda washing Sahara sand from the plane
Rene at Valdichiana airfield
Veleda at San Giustino, Il Borro airfield
Final runway 25 Mensanello airfield
On Thursday 9 August 2012, Charlotte, Bart and Rene visited Rome. We flew to Rome, Urbe airport, and it was the third time we landed there after previous visits in 2008 and 2010. As the previous times, we took bus 135 to Tubertina metro station on the B-line, and from there further into the city. When we wanted to return to the airport in the afternoon from the Ottaviano San Pietro metro station, there was no service to Termini station. We took a taxi back to Urbe airport.
Rene at Rome, Urbe airport
Bart and Charlotte with the Colloseum
Rene and Charlotte at the Piazza Navona
On top of the San Piedro Basilica
On Saturday 11 August, Maurits and Rene flew to Aosta. Veleda, Charlotte and Bart were going to leave the next day to Reutte in Austria, where Maurits and Rene were also going to fly to on Sunday. Maurits was interested to visit Aosta, as it is a popular area for glider flying. On the way up we made stops at Voghera, Cuneo and Turin.
Maurits at Voghera airport
Rene at Aosta airport
Maurits enjoying dessert
On Sunday 12 August, Veleda, Charlotte and Bart left Mensanello early in the morning to drive to Reutte. Maurits and Rene took-off from Aosta just before 08:00 AM. The plan was to leave early before bad weather was going to arrive later in the morning. The Gran San Bernardo mountain pass was clear, and we crossed it at 10,000 ft. While flying to the northeast via Sion, Andermatt and Chur, we saw all the other mountain passes to the south in clouds. North of Reutte we flew by castle Neuschwanstein before landing at runway 23 of Reutte, Hofen airfield. Halfway the afternoon Veleda, Charlotte and Bart arrived, just in time to see Maurits winch launched for a glider flight.
Veleda, Charlotte and Bart by car
Rene and Maurits over Gran San Bernardo
Maurits took a glider flight at Reutte
The next morning we first all drove to Hohenschwangau to visit castle Neuschwanstein. Although the lines at the ticket centre were not that ridiculously long when we arrived, it went extremely slow, and we also saw the queue growing rapidly behind us the next half hour. We decided to cancel the visit, as we still had a long way to go that day. We drove back to Reutte, Hofen airfield. Charlotte and Bart were going to fly with Rene, and Maurits was going along with Veleda. We had a rendez-vous at Wurzburg before the final leg to Paderborn-Lippstadt where we returned the plane.
At Reutte, Hofen flugplatz
Rene fueling at Kempten airfield
Rendez-Vous at Wurzburg for lunch
|Statistics 28 August/13 July 2012|
|Number of Flights||:||31|
|Distance flown||:||2,400 NM|
|Average speed||:||99 knots|