Wednesday, 27 May 2009

From Svidnik(LZSK) across Poland to Kaunas(EYKA) in Lithuania

One of the hardest tasks in my preparations was to understand Polish airspace. Already at home I prepared the route which was close to the eastern Polish border outside almost all controlled airspaces. I filed the flight plan via Homebriefing early in the morning after checking the airspace use for that day. The filed route was: LZSK- PODAN-VAREN-BALBA-ETUBO-BESOT-EPSU. I planned to land in Suwalki (EPSU) but the wind there was too strong for safe landing and taking off on 400m long runway at maximum take off weight. The other possibility was to use the longer runway but with a crosswind component of at least 25 knots. I didn’t know the quality of the runway and both runways were not marked as they should be. Therefore I decided to continue to Lithuania and make a refueling stop at Kaunas( EYKA) . I asked Olstzyn Info to change the flight plan to proceed to Kaunas(EYKA). The flight was uneventful but very bumpy due to strong south wind and we landed at a crosswind component of about 15 knots.We had a pretty strong tail wind all the way to the north and therefore we crossed Poland from south to north in a little bit more than 3 hours. The whole flight from Svidnik to Kaunas took only 3 hours 41 minutes.
After landing we taxied to fuel station where we refueled with the most expensive avgas I have ever paid until then. The price of the avgas was about 2,60 EUR. We had to pay also the landing fee and air-service charges what was a big surprise for me. In the local ARO office they complicated with the flight plan because we came there without flight plan (actually the plan should be changed by Olsztyn Info). They also canceled my original flight plan from Suwalki (EPSU) to Helsinki and replaced with a new one from EYKA to EFHF – Helsinki-Malmi. Additional complication was that the expected arrival time to Helsinki was after the airport’s working hours. It is possible to land at EFHF airport before 22:00 local time but one has to inform ATC about successful landing for closing the flight plan. It took us almost a 45 minutes in the ARO office to resolve all issues. Finally everything was o.k. and we walked to the apron and departed for Helsinki at 16:33 local time.
Despite Kaunas is a nice airport it was the most expensive one regarding the services and fuel price, but not only this, the ARO was the most time demanding office I have ever visited.

The GPS Track of Trip to Bolgaria and Finland

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