Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Birthday Trip To Split (LDSP)

On December 28th 2009 I was celebrating my 55th birthday and for this occasion I invited my wife Lili for a one day trip to Split in Croatia where I have never been before.
As Croatia is not part of Schengen area we had to fly first to Portorož (LJPZ) to exit Schengen area and then to Split airport (LDSP) - Kaštela, located about 35 minutes drive away from Split town. The airport is located in a wonderful surrounding. I used this opportunity to do some training and I asked for a simulated ILS approach to RWY 05 which was immediately approved. The planned route from Portorož to Split was: LJPZ - PS1 - CRE - LOS- SAL - DVN - LDSP. Unfortunately I had to divert due to parachute activity over Lošinj airport (LDLO) and the actually flown route was over Zadar airport (LDZD) direct to DVN NDB which is entry point (final approach fix - FAF) for ILS approach. The weather was excellent although there were some cloudy areas in Kvarner golf with base at 3000 feet. So I asked for 5500 feet which was our cruising altitude all the way to DVN where I had to descend to 2800 feet in order to be at the right altitude for simulated ILS approach.

After landing we had refueled with AVGAS 100L. As usually the price of gasoline was low - 1,20 EUR per liter. Although I'm using MOGAS most of the time I have to purchase some AVGAS from time to time according to the instructions in STC for mogas. The landing fee was 26 EUR.

We took a regular local bus from airport to Split town and we enjoyed very much the scenery with many lemon, orange and mandarin trees full of mature fruits.
In Split we passed the old historical part of the town and had some coffee and cakes at the fabulous seashore, called "Riva" where we very surprised to see so many people. Obviously they came to Split for the new year holidays.

The route back was LDSP - ZDA - CRE - PS1 - LJPZ. The weather changed a lot and we were flying at 3000 feet below the cloud layer with the base at approximately 5000 feet which was occasionally going down to 3500 feet. As in the morning when we had a good tail wind also on the return we had a good tail wind and the average cruising speed was between 115 and 120 KT.

Here is the photo album of the journey.

GPS Track Of The Trip To Split

Sunday, 27 December 2009

New aviation weather portal for Slovenia

Recently Environmental Agency Of The Republic Of Slovenia published a new portal for aviation which is part of the weather portal for Slovenia. The aviation weather information, which includes also SIGMET and AIRMET, is available at http://meteo.arso.gov.si/met/sl/aviation/. The portal now includes also a detailed wind forecast for Slovenia for FL025, FL050, FL100 and FL140 for time +6h +12h +18h and +24h. This kind of information will be very useful for all who plan flying across Slovenia. Unfortunately the portal is currently available only in Slovenian language but one can figure out what kind of information he will get when clicking on the menu as most of the menu items are well known English words.

One can also get the output of Slovenian ALADIN model weather forecast which includes also neighbor countries from part of France on the west to part of Bulgaria on the east, part of Germany on the north and part of Greece on the south. According to my experience in past two years the ALADIN model forecast is pretty reliable and extremely useful for planning. I am always using it when flying to Italy, Switzerland, France, Austria, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Albania, Macedonia, Serbia, Poland, Bulgaria or Romania.

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Preparing for Flight in Foreign Countries

On December 20th, 2009, I had a presentation for my fellow pilots and students of my former flying school "Janez let", where my Piper is still hangared. I had this presentation at the occasion of the new year gathering of all former and current students of this flying school which is some kind of a tradition in this school. This year there was another presentation about flying to Scotland what I really appreciated. Sharing this kind of experience is very valuable and important, especially for those young ones who are still in struggling to get PPL.

Here is the link to my presentation in English language and the other one in Slovenian language.

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Robert Tupta - In Memoriam

Robert Tupta, a pilot and instructor, died on 16 of July 2009, a day after the air crash with Viper SD4 airplane at Raznany airport.

Robert was "
great pilot and fantastic smily person. We loved him! We can not stop crying." wrote Koka, his friend, in mail to me, when she informed me about this sad event.

Unfortunately I had never the opportunity to meet Robert in person, I just knew him by exchanging mails with him and few phone conversations. He helped me organizing my refueling stop in Svidnik in Slovakia and at the time of my visit he was in Sanct Petersburg in Russia. I contacted him again when I was preparing my trip to Riga and then I got a reply from Koka with sad news.

I was deeply impressed how friendly he was and willing to help. He asked his friends to help me at that time. After my trip he was interested to know the details of my flying from Slovenia to Bulgaria, Finland and back home.

When I visited Svidnik for the first time I saw his AN-2 airplane parked there. Here is a photo of his airplane taken at Svidnik airfield with his friends.

As I am a religious person I prayed for his soul and I truly believe he is awarded in heaven for his kindness and help because Jesus says:
Whenever you did it for any of my people, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you did it for me.” (Mt 25, 40)

Robert's grave is at Humenné, little town on east part of Slovakia. His friends have built a marble slab for memories at Svidnik airfield to light candles for him and remember him in regular monthly gatherings. They are now preparing a book about his life as well.