This was suppose to be published a long time ago 🙂 And I believe it’s incomplete.
For last 3 years we have tried to get around Europe in a light aircraft. Finally, this year we can call a success!
It was a big challenge to organize, it was a lot of luck, and it was all worth it, great adventure accomplished.
We have managed to fly over 7 countries, land at 4. Around 20 hours flown.
Way in advance we have roughly sketched our destinations. I wanted to go and fly my folks over my hometown, Ivan wanted to fly over his. That gave us two points to start with. We have also thought about flying to Serbia, for friends wedding.
First reality crash was with finding an aircraft, not so easy, not so cheap, we looked at many many clubs and rentals, but costs or time commitments were unachievable. Ivan was on a tight schedule arriving from Dubai, only couple of days before and leaving couple days after planned dates. However my flying group at North Weald turned to be our best option, cost , time were not an issue and welcoming to fly for both of us. However certain booking of all aircraft in the group for a flyout has scrapped our idea to fly to Serbia for the wedding, tough luck.
Routes and maps, a month before the trip, we have roughly agreed on routing north of Alps, with ideas to visit Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Czech, Slovakia, Austria, Switzerland and France. This because our goal for purchase of charts. Some paper charts, I’ve got at AeroExpo 2013 – unfortunately not all were available, so I had to resort to online orders… This gave us almost all maps, except southern Poland , this and central Germany was purchase a day before the fly out, in Wycombe, jointly with some last minute decision to purchase our own life vests and pen holders.
We have also found that Jeppesen has a 30 day trial app for VFR flight with maps covering UK, France, Germany, Austria and Switzerland. We have waited a bit before activating this trial period so that we can use it for the trip. This was in addition to my excellent Air Nav Pro and another trial of Sky Demon. I have covered Air Nav Pro in my review about iPad and flying in Europe, however at that time Jepps and SkyDemon apps didn’t exist. During the trip, I have also purchased the 1M German chart for AirNav Pro and it proven to be of awesome help.
Long time no fly for both of us, had to be turned into refreshed knowledge, I have not flown for a few months, to be exact, since my 1 hour doing checkout in Fort Myers at Paragon Flight. So few weeks before the trip, I’ve booked an aircraft for few circuits. That was a pleasure and 3rd landing was a greaser, I was ready to take passengers onboard. I’ve brought my friendly CFI with his girlfriend for a short nav to some close by airport, all worked out great. I’ve also booked some CFI time for Ivan, a day before the trip so he will be fresh and confident when we set off on our way. All worked out really nicely.