This year our club
flight destination was Croatia and Bosnia.
On the first day of the flight the routing was from Rotterdam (my home base airport) to Kunovice in Tjechie with a fuel stop in Nurnberg. This was a long day with 6 hours flying time.
The next morning we went to the plane factory of Evektor were we saw how the planes were build. Impressive was the Cobra, a very nice plane.
After our visit to
the factory it was flying time again with final destination being Split LDSP and a fuel
stop in Ljubljana LJLJ. The first part leading through an area with high mountains but we
were lucky that the weather was good. After landing in Ljubljana we had something to eat
and drink and prepared for the next part of this day the routing to Split. Before our
flight to Split we were told that we could not fly to Split because there was not enough
parking space for us. After some discussion with the group we decided to fyle the flight
plans and see if they were accepted. The startup clearance for the flight to Split did not
give any problems and we decided to go for it. The routing along the Adria 1 VFR route is
very nice to fly and can be recommended for VFR flights in this region. When we arrived at
Split we found no problems and we were all allowed to land at Split airport.
When we arrived at Split we found no problems and we were all allowed to land at Split airport.
The next day we visited the city of Split and took some relaxing moments. We planned to go to lake Plivitsch but found this a bit too far away and decided to go for another option, first visit a valkenier and then visit the waterfalls on KrK island. The visit to the valkenier was very impressive and we liked the job this men was doing very much. We all made a small donation for the work he was doing. After a lunch we went to the waterfalls of KrK island were we walked around and got a good impression from this great waterfall and its nature arround.
The next morning we departed to the airport for the flight to Sarajevo in Bosnia. For this part of our flight we needed a special preparation and special permissions. We had to sign a declaration for NATO and had to make slot requests for the approach to Sarajevo. Looking on the flight maps of this area you see warnings no flying zone indicating that it is not allowed to fly here. We had to pre-arrange our flights and sign papers to be able to make this flight. The most difficult part was to find out how to deal with this paper we had to sign and what to do with assurances. It was all cleared before we started our trip. If you ever plan to go flying in Bosnia you will need some extra preparation for this.
When we departed from Split we had to climb to Fl100 being the level for ATC to transfer from Croatia to Bosnia. Due to clouds we could not climb higher than FL70 and we decided to stay at this level and when ATC asked for our level to say "FL70 and climbing". Some of our group managed to climb above the clouds to FL100. The weather at Sarajevo was good but there was broken almost overcast clouds . When we reached the FIR boundary between Croatia and Bosnia we were transferred by ATC. In the area ahead we had some high mountains and I used the ground proximity warning in my pocket fms system. Close to Sarajevo we had to change our heading to north because there was a commercial flight coming in for landing. Some time later we were flying between mountains on the left and the right side. We were warned by ATC that we were flying in a high terrain area which we could clearly see. On the pocket FMS screen I could see that further north the routing was clear and that we could continue to the approach for Sarajevo. After about 15 NM flying we arrived at Sarajevo. The planes of our group had to be parked close to each other on a small platform from which we later found that it was originally meant for only 2 aircraft. We parked here with 6 aircraft from which one is a twin.
After we passed customs we were welcomed by the airport director because we were the first privat pilots visiting Sarajevo after the war. In the afternoon we walked around the city and in the evening we walked to monuments to remember were people were killed during attacks. Later that evening we went up the hill to a nice restaurant were we had a dinner with some local specialties from Sarajevo.
The next morning it was raining and we wondered if we were able to fly to Dubrovnik as planned. There were quite some clouds and the hills around Sarajevo were covered with clouds. Later that morning the weather improved and we went to the airfield to continue our planned routing. When we arrived at the airport we were interviewed for the local newspaper and some pictures of our group were taken. We later saw the article which was published from our visit.
The flight to Dubrovnik was a nice flight but ATC between Bosnia and Croatia was not working very well together. We were forced by Bosnia ATC to climb to FL100 but had difficulties to do so because of cloud base which was scattered at 6000 ft and broken at 7 to 8000 ft. As soon as we were transferred to ATC from Croatia we were instructed to descend as soon as possible due to other IFR inbound traffic to Dubrovnic. The approach to Dubrovnic gave a great view over the city and the old part of the city. After landing we parked our planes and went to our hotel by taxi. In the evening we visited the old city of Dubrovnic and had our dinner on a square XXXX. This evening the football match from Croatia to XXXX was played and the XXXX was crowded with Croatian people looking at the large screens for the match. The atmosphere was great and fun to be. It was a pity that Croatia did not win the match but anyhow we had a nice evening and a very good meal. The next morning we departed from Dubrovnic to Rjeka a flight of almost 3 hours. The routing was following the Adria 1 VFR route and leading us to many small islands at the Croatian coast. During the flight, one pilot of our group made a fly by to take some photos of his twin airplane.
After landing in Rjeka we went to our hotel and had something to drink and a dinner at the seaside. The next day we were going to Wiener Neustadt. After fyling flight plans and paying landing and parking fees we departed for Wiener Neustadt. The flight leading us across the eastern part of the Alps was great. Sometimes we had to find a routing between hills and clouds but not having any problem with that. We landed at Wiener Neustadt after a flight of XXXX hours. Just after landing we had to find a parking place which was not very easy because Wiener Neustadt is a very busy airfield with quite a lot parked planes. After some time we were directed to a nice parking place and went to our hotel which was very close to the airfield, just 5 minutes walking. Later that afternoon we went to Wien to visit the city. The overwhelming amount of old and historic buildings was certainly worth to visit. First we visited the Schonbrun XXXXXX and thereafter we went to the city centre by underground. After some sight seeing we decided to have something to eat and drink. Late in the evening we went back to the airfield and went to sleep.
The next day we visited the plane factory of Diamond.
the trip was continuing from Wiener Neustadt to Karlo Vivary in Chech a trip of about XXX hours flying.
In the evening we visited the city of Karlo Vivary but also had some heavy rain showers with thunder storms. We spend our last evening together with a nice dinner and something to drink.
On the last day we left from Karlo Vivary to Paderborn and then after a lunch and thanks to the organization of the trip we departed for the last leg of this trip back home to Rotterdam.
During the flight in which we made about 25 hours flying time we had good opportunity to fly in a wunderfull part of Europe. The visit to Sarajevo is sure something to remember. Other highlights are the KrK island waterfalls and the great trip from Sarajevo to Dubrovnic.
The cities we visited were worthwhile to see and I especially liked the citys Dubrovnic, Vienna and Karlo Vivary. The flying between mountains and clouds was a great experience and thanks to the help of my GPS and PocketFMS I had no problem at all to find my routing and safe way to fly. The Ground Proximity display of PocketFMS is a wunderfull instrument to use in areas with high terrain.
I enjoyed this flight and hope to be able to participate in the flight next year.
Hans v Alphen.