Wednesday, 27 May 2009

From Plovdiv(LBPD) to Debrecen(LHDC) in Hungary via Belgrade (LYBE)

The filed route was: LBPD-RUMEN-GOL-ETIDA-PELOV-PARAK-VERIG-LHDC. While we were still occupied in Plovdiv with the formalities the cold front moved even more to the south. We initially climbed to FL080 and afterwards even to FL110 what was still not enough to clear the clouds. While inbound to GOL we got a direct to ETIDA which was just in time as the cold front was right in front of us. The temporary restricted are around Sofia was still in place. With this shortcut we were flying at the edge of cloud layer which was extending from FL080 to approximately FL120 or even higher. The freezing level was at FL080 so I had to be very careful not to accidently enter a cloud due to icing conditions. I was experimenting with different flight levels and finally we finished at FL065 where we had overcast above us and broken cloud layer beneath us. The Serbian ATC requested that we cross Serbian border at UTEKA point which was more to the north and more inside the cold front. Fortunately we were able to fly at FL065 without significantly changing our heading to avoid some clouds.

When we were already flying in clear sky I decided to make an unplanned stop in Belgrade (LYBE) just to add some more gasoline. We had pretty strong headwind of about 20 to 25 knots and the fuel scan was showing that we will have at least one hour reserve in Debrecen(LHDC). But I was not happy with that and therefore we asked ATC to change the route towards LYBE. We were cleared direct to OBR NDB and afterwards direct to YENKEE point which is the entry point for VFR in Belgrade CTR. I was offered to be number one for landing if I expedite enough and perform a shortest possible approach for runway 12. While I was in downwind ATC urged to speed-up and shorten the final as much as possible so there was no time to extend flaps as I was flying at maximum possible speed. I turned into base immediately after passing runway threshold and made a short final and landed pretty far down the runway to be able to vacate it as soon as possible. After we exited the runway and we were already taxing to apron an airliner landed. It was really necessary to speed up in order to vacate the runway on-time.

We refueled with 70 liters of AVGAS and the price was identical as at LYNI. We filed the flight plan via fax from VIP lounge where they offered us coffee and cold water.

I planned to fly from LYBE to the north directly to PARAK point at the Hungarian border. However, the ATC gave me quite different routing which was first going to south: LYBE-OBR-W1-PARAK-VERIG-LHDC with initial climb to FL100 what was the request from military base in Batajnica.
After departure we actually flew the proposed route with a shortcut given by Hungarian ATC which was from PARAK point directly to LHDC.
The flight was uneventful with good weather and few clouds at about 8000 feet. We were cleared for straight in approach for runway 05R at LHDC.
Debrecen is second biggest city in Hungary with a lot of interesting architectural and cultural monuments and rich history. Unfortunately we didn’t have enough time to make a trip to the city. The airport is former Russian military base and one can still spot many hangars covered with earth for military aircrafts.

Péter Bakó was in charge for refueling and payment of landing fee. We refueled with the avgas and officially entered Schengen area. Peter was one of the most cooperative guys I have ever met on airports. If you are flying in Hungary then you should stop in Debrecen.

I faxed the flight plan from operations office and it was immediately accepted.
After taking some final photos at the apron we departed towards Slovakia.

1 comment:

  1. what did you pay for avgas in Hungary?


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