Thursday 20 June 2013 10:44 UTC
Where have you been? What have you seen?
‘Allo, ‘Allo, ‘Allo.
First off, I dunno why the pictures wont work for the full report but work if I only post one at a time. If anyone knows how to fix it then please ping me a PM, it kind of becomes boring without the piccies.
Second off, a health warning – to all the grammar and spelling pedants, if you read this please take extra medication and order additional therapy. You gonna need it after this report, THE EDGE is back in town.
The funny thing was; I was stooging on the internet planning another Swiss trip trying to decide where I wanted to go this time, as you do, when up popped Aero Club Geneva. . Hmmmm, Geneva did not even enter my head as a destination for a pleb pilot such as myself. I initially dismissed it as being International, the aggravation and costs of flying in there would just not be worth it BUT me being me – stubborn - I emailed Aero Club for information on how GA mixes at Geneva and so forth. My email was rewarded with so much helpful and informative information. Their help, the Chairman no less, was invaluable to me for the eventual successful outcome of the trip. . I say eventual as the first departure date came and went due to, no not weather, no not aircraft going tech BUT for the first time ever, a personal situation that could not have been considered. . Never mind that is life I thought and dully shelved the trip as when I tried to re-schedule the trip my hints for possible dates to the then co-conspirator met with a wall of silence. Don’t blame them really. . Anyhow, being an impulsive sort of chap, I texted LysanderV8 a fellow formite who allows me to fly his aircraft and asked “Wanna do a trip to Geneva”? Cor blimey the answer came back YES, well, a little yes. . There are still same brave souls out there.
And so the weekend adventure in Shrek began.
Shrek is a beautiful 1967 PA28-235 owned by LysanderV8.
As I was the mastermind of this adventure I elected to do the outbound leg, Shoreham to Geneva on the Saturday and Richard would do the return leg on the Sunday. I like to get the landing at a destination as to me; it only then feels right to claim a new destination in the log book.
I chose to fly the route: Shoreham – DVL – LGL – CHW – VMP (PTV) – DCT Bellegarde where you join the laid down VFR procedure for Geneva.
Richards’s route back would be the departure procedure – Bellegarde – LFGZ – TRO – CTL – Saint Quentin – BNE – LYD – Shoreham. With 318lts of avgas to play with, we could do this trip with no stops and get half way back if we wanted.
The trip did not start well for me. . I telephoned the ATC at Shoreham to check if they had received my flight plan. No came back the answer. Oh I said; I have the receipt from Sky Demon saying it had gone into the system successfully. Well, we don’t have it and there ended the first conversation. Hmmm, The Edge is not happy now. When the Edge becomes unhappy, its time to tread carefully. . I called Geneva and ask them if they had received my flight plan and the answer was? YES, we have received it. Back on the phone to the Shoreham folk and I tell them that the flight plan is in the system and all is well with the world. . Not a chance, they wont depart me without having received a flight plan. . I ask what they suggest I do. “File another one” came back the answer. So, what happens to the one already in the system? “Oh, then just write it out manually and let us have the details. To cut a long story short, I dropped off the receipt to the tower personally and departed to Geneva a bit sad at this service. Could Shoreham ATC not have called whomever to see if the plan was in the system, could they not have got the details that way? I usually get a good service from Shoreham so this did leave me rather miffed. Hind site is 20/20. Once I knew the plan was in the system, I should have just departed, cleared the Shoreham zone and contacted London Information and gone my merry way. Less aggravation.
ANYHOW, the trip down to Geneva was straightforward. Departing off 07 with a right hand turn out climb to 5500ft, nose bleed height for me as those that know me will tell ya, and wait for the bum to go num from sitting for 4 hrs. 4hrs to annoy the the Terrier.
Richard at times would I think have liked to throttle me as the below picture will attest to. Well, with 4 hrs chock to chock to kill, singing and talking ***** are really the only form of entertainment, once the radio work had calmed down and the French left me alone, innit.
“Will you bloody well stop singing Bloomer” “Pleeeeeeeeze stop talking for 5 minutes, pleeeeeeeeeze”.
No, Bloomer is happy. “Weeee are saaaaiiiling , weeee arrreee saaaailling” and as you can see my dolcet tones seemed to calm Richard or numb him.
The interesting bit of the trip started with the run into Geneva. . Class C is forbidden for VFR and you need to drop down to 3500ft by Bellegarde and valley run to point SW which starts the final run in which was to W – NW – GW then onto the down wind. From Bellegarde the transponder should be switched off, I forgot and got told by Tower to switch it off in a polite but firm tone of transmission. . I elected to use the short grass runway on the North side and so I was cleared to finals 05 grass with a 146 joining me on finals 05 hard. Awesome. . I had stopped taking pictures by this time as Richard was ready to murder me for flying, taking pictures, talking and singing all at the same time while fitting in the radio as well, , so the pictures on finals are courtesy of the Terrier. .
And all parked up. . Gawd, Richard needs a medal he survived 4 hours of my flying!!
The first pleasant surprise, Avgas is cheaper than some places in the UK coming in at 2.7985CHF a litre including VAT. I thought it would be eye wateringly expensive. I must learn not to think. Shrek being fed – 177 ltrs for 4 hrs chock to chock. I could have done it in a lot less time but that would have pushed the fuel burn up substantially.
We were unable to settle landing fees etc as they could not raise an invoice the day before departure? A shuttle bus ferried us airside from the North side, C1 to the South side C2 free of charge. We had to go through security 4 times over the two days, North and South side. A non event you would have thought and it would have been had Richard taken off all things metallic. . Once maybe twice BUT four times he set off the machine and commanded securities attention!!! . Perhaps my singing does more damage than I first thought. OR perhaps it was pay back for me not wearing the high viz vest. I have learnt that it drives him bonkers and we usually end up in an argument over the issue of high viz. Personally I don’t see the point of wearing that high viz carp. If you can’t see me then your really ought not to be airside. It certainly was not a gambit at trying to get the attention of a pretty young lady, there weren’t any I don’t think, all blokes, I think.
The hotel in my opinion was over priced BUT it was convenient for the lake and transport links. The bathroom facilities were a challenge to say the least. I think even Samsonite on the forums would have struggled and she is tiny as those that know her will attest too. . What I had not bargained was the Geneva Festival. Yip, it was in full swing when we arrived. Looooooots of noise to the early hours. Hmmm, Richard thought I had gone out partying when he was awoken to a drunk singing outside his window and then he realised it could not be me as the drunk sang in tune. I wonder what he is trying to say……
The Terrier buying us the train ticket. 3.50 CHF one way, you can’t buy the return ticket on the same day? Strange.
The Terrier getting in a round of drinks. . Can’t remember what that cost.
The Edge talking more ***** in the Terriers ear. . A picture tells a million words.
Odds and sods
Sunday, we arrived back at the airport to depart, the same security procedures as arrivals. For the return leg Richard had elected to launch from the hard runway which requires a PPR and slot time so while we waited for the elected time to come to the top of the pile I decided to have a zizz on the wing and Richard disappeared off to re-look at his planning.
The heat on both days in Geneva was just too much for me and I threatened to fly back in my underpants as I don’t cope well with the heat but from the look of terror emanating from Richards face when I mentioned this I compromised and ended up flying back barefoot with my pant part rolled up. – BLISS.
The second surprise for me was that 60CHF was the total cost for Shrek to stay at Geneva Airport. Of that, 30CHF was the landing fee. Now that is cheaper than some airports in the UK. Well worth the money and I would certainly do Geneva again and again and again.
Taxing down to the hold of 23. Taxing? I thought we were on a race track.
At the hold and The Terrier doing whatever it is that pilots do to make it a safe flight.
And we launched with the return trip presenting a unique set of challenges.
Arrival back at Shoreham had the Richard crawling in at 500ft under carp weather.
Overall a superb trip. I hope that the Terrier enjoyed it as much as the Edge did. As with all my trip reports, well the ones I think are of interest I post with the humble VFR pilots in mind. I did this trip with my humble Garmin 96, crossed checked to the VOR’s cross checked to the map.
Richard on the other hand had his ipad and 296 so if you prefer you can also use the high tech stuff as well it also works well.
SO, for those that have itchy feet but not the confidence, go for it, grab a few fellow pilots to share the costs and gain a life time of memories. I am confident when I say LysanderV8 (Richard) and Bloomer that being me will not forget this trip in any hurry. .
Now the planning starts for the Faroe Isles. Anybody wanna share this trip with the Edge? Up to Wick on the Saturday, a day trip to the Isle on the Sunday and back home the Monday? Should be good fun, onboard entertainment guaranteed!!
Last edited by Bloomer on Wed Aug 15, 2012 6:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
Like that, you mean?
I removed the rude words that give the pix engine a headache. That got the pix to appear.
Resizing the pix to a constant size would make it easier on the eye - see this thread about RIMG tags, but I'm not patient enough to sit and edit that many lines.
Moderatio in omnibus
Thanks Keef. Much appreciated. I will see if I can do that when I get home from work.
Like the writeup Bloomer. I've been in and out of Geneva a few times, and it has being quite painless on all occasions. I've used the hard and grass runways with various aircraft types.
If you need any advice on flying to the Faeroes, then give me a call - I went there with Gareth Davies and Janie a few year ago. You could really do with some time there to explore as it has some great scenery.
You are still dangerous! You can be my wingman anytime.
JEEZ YOU GUYS. You fly all the way to Switzerland and you didnt spend an extra day flying around the country. I lived there 10 years and got my PPL there. There are so many great nooks and crannies to explore and the place is gorgeous from the air. Fly into Saanen (Gstaad) - coolest approach in the world, fly over the Thunersee and Interlaken - spectacular. Drop into Samedan - highest airport in Europe. Go to my old airport at Bex and see the Jetman practice there. The possibilities are endless.
. Thanks for this. I have actually done Switzerland before and explored the nooks and crannies. Unfortunately, I did not have an extra day to spend there due to work commitments. . But you are of course correct that if opportunities arise and one has they time (and money) one should always try explore as much as possible.
Iceman, thanks, I will be in touch once I settle on a plan of action for the Isle. Cheers.
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