Where have you been? What have you seen?
Filed flightplans out and return on SkyD, plus return GAR form. Planned to go on into Germany but couldn't get any response for PPR.
Met by officers at Midden Zeeland as I hadn't filed the equivalent of thier GAR, they were very pleasant and allowed me to complete it there and then. Aparently they generally meet people when they arrive now.
Spoke to London Information after take off to open flight plan (initially they couldn't find it - SD sent it to Holland but not London), took a basic service from Farnborough, got a crossing from Southend and back London info to coast out and hand over to Oostende - they cleared me through their zones but I actually routed north of them. No response from Dutch Mil. Zeeland were operating a radio information advisory ATC. All very pleasant at Zeeland, 22 Euro landing fee. Grass runway, Avgas and Mogas at the pumps and pumps near office. Bustling cafe, good food, lots of locals turning up. Glider towing and skydiving going on without any stress. Great place to cycle with local routes and lakes.

ImageImage2 by Graeme Bird, on Flickr

ImageDSC01824 (1) by Graeme Bird, on Flickr
Coast in sight, good vis all the way across.

ImageDSC01831 (1) by Graeme Bird, on Flickr
A boat!

ImageDSC01836 (1) by Graeme Bird, on Flickr
Tracking the coast near Dutch boarder

ImageDSC01840 by Graeme Bird, on Flickr
End of the line

ImageDSC01842 by Graeme Bird, on Flickr
Lakes next to airfield; people camping sunbathing, swimming, cycling, boating.

ImageDSC01843 by Graeme Bird, on Flickr
Author in cafe

ImageDSC01846 (1) by Graeme Bird, on Flickr
Coasting out from Holland

ImageDSC01848 (2) by Graeme Bird, on Flickr
Coasting in at Margate UK
Tracked down the centre of the Thames Estruary and routed over Southend overhead.

A good trip if you fancy venturing further than Le Touquet, its also easy to make a shorter crossing and track the coast at 2000ft.
Iceman liked this
flyinggibbon wrote:Daft question, but was the overwater segment brown-pant inducing? Debating flying Cambridge (EGSC) - Schipol (EHAM) in early autumn in a Scottish Aviation Bulldog?

I flew direct from Cambridge to Midden-Zeeland in a C172 a few years back, coasting out via Colchester and that was a tad more than 25 minutes over water, 20 of them with no land in sight. I flew around 4500 feet and whilst out of sight of land, would spend my time looking for shipping such that if anything happened, I'd know where to ditch. But the trip was uneventful, if you know your plane, know it's been well maintained, it's not brown trouser time.

However the haze was pretty intense at times, it was often difficult to discern a true horizon so you need to learn to really trust your instruments otherwise you'll end up descending pretty quick, chasing a false horizon.
flyinggibbon liked this
Birdyboy1 wrote:Spoke to London Information after take off to open flight plan (initially they couldn't find it - SD sent it to Holland but not London)

Did you take this up with SkyDemon afterwards ?

Looks like you had a good trip.

Iceman 8)
flyinggibbon wrote:Daft question, but was the overwater segment brown-pant inducing? Debating flying Cambridge (EGSC) - Schipol (EHAM) in early autumn in a Scottish Aviation Bulldog?

Everyone has a different comfort zone and you need to determine where yours is.

I might be totally wrong but from what you have written here and on the other thread it would be easy to conclude that you have not done many/any longer water crossings but are pretty apprehensive (nothing wrong with that, apprehension and pre-planning keeps you alive longer).

But before making any purchase decisions you may want to consider to do the crossing a few times with a trusted mate in a trusted aeroplane before making an expensive mistake.

Buying an aeroplane only then to find out that you are very uncomfortable doing a particular trip regularly is the wrong outcome of the process.

I have done the crossing a lot of times and my rule of thumb is that in a non-IFR slower aeroplane I would take the shorter route and in something that is IFR capable (and therefore on the direct crossing you can climb higher) and quicker I would go direct.

The time of exposure that way is similar and for me doable (I get uncomfortable if I am more than 30 mins out from any reasonable for landing usable terrain)

I don't care that engine doesn't know it is over inhospitable terrain - I do!
flyinggibbon liked this
I have been building my confidence up with water crossings over the last few years sometimes doing the short route out and a longer one back if the horizon is good. Dover, Cherbourg, Ireland, Solent to Deauville, Holland to Yarmouth etc as well as flying all the coast of the UK over the sea (in segments). On this trip, I had the option to take a shorter cut to follow the Belgian coast. Radio contact and sight of shipping/rigs is comforting.
The foam winged Europa mono has been proven to float well (so long as it remains approximately in tact) and in addition to life-jackets I have an EPLB, a hand held marine VHF and sometimes carry flares. I bought a dry suit but its too uncomfortable to fly in in a clear perspex Europa with neck and wrist seals and rubber feet (boil in the bag).
It is an effort hand flying in marginal vis even though generally over the sea the air is still and I have a current IMC rating and the mind can play tricks after a while. However, a two axis autopilot is a definite boon and flies better than I can and I can be busy watching and cross checking, a CS prop as well means it can all be just set up and left alone. I am more comfortable if I have been flying for sometime over land before a long crossing. Also, the plane is only flown by me and I have maintained it some 300hrs/5 years so that gives me a certain level of confidence (but also some doubts:-).