The most of us are flying to enjoy the 100$ hamburgers. In Spain we could speak about something similar, as for example “100$ paella”.
My last flight went to La Palma, together with my friend Daldo and his wife Virginia as passenger.
I was flying the inbound leg and we were cruising at 8,500-9,000 feet. Pretty nice views over the Atlantic Ocean, the sea was very calm, but we were having some headwinds of 20 kts which made this flight a bit longer and of course a bit more expensive ;-), that is why I speak about 200€ paella ;-).
Actually I enjoy flying high(er), as there is normaly less turbulence and you can enjoy better views. Also, in the case of an engine failure, the range of possibities of gliding or trying to restart it, are better, as you gain time. And also, you feel like you are flying a real arliner ;-). So there are only a advantages of flying at higher altitudes.
The icing was forecasted for this day at 9,000 feetm the OAT was around 2 degrees, but no ice was forming on the wings. We were cheching it constantly, for just in case, however we were not flying in the clouds and the day was pretty sunny as well.
Reaching La Palma island we have maintained 9,000 feet and made some cloudsurfing. The weather forecast for today was some rain and also a front was comming from NW. We have decided to do this flight anyway, as the visibility was ok, no clouds were in sight, and in the case the weather would starting to change, we would return back to our base airport.
After this short cloudsurfing, we have started our descent to the visual point Sierra, in the south of the island. Being so high took as a while to descent and make some nice manouvers between the clouds.
Finaly after 1,30 hour long flight we have landed at the La Palma’s “El Mazo Airport”. This airport is considered one of the world’s most complicated approaches, however with its 2,2 km long runway it is nothing special for our Piper ;-).
Our Piper was parked as it should on a nice place, where even an Airbus 330/340 could be parked. A realy big honor for this plane ;-).
We knew, that we had not much time, as the storm was comming sooner or later, so we have decided to go quickly to the restaurant Casa Goyo, situated under the extended centerline of the runway, just between the extended centerline´s lights. They have a lot of specialities, good quality-price relationship and also very good seafood. This restaurant is situated in a walking distance from the airport, some 10 minutes.
It consists of small wooden houses, where you can sit, or small rooms, where you can enjoy some privacy as well. We had some paella, which was already ready and we didn’t had to wait, as we had to be pretty quick. So to come over to La Palma to eat this small plate of paella costs around 200€ ;-); not to shabby 😉
After the lunch we took a taxi (6€) and we hurried up back to the airport to pay the taxes (18€), made our new flight plane and departed direction Tenerife. There were pretty much clouds than earlier this day, so Daldo had to climb up to 10,000 feet and fly around the clouds to avoid them. The views were even more spectacular.
Only a couple of minutes later after our landing, when the plane was parked outside the hangar, it started to rain and the visibility dropped down significantly. This was a perfect planning, in the other case we would have had diverted to the alternative Tenerife south airport.
A short video of the descent, cloudsurfing, approach and landing at the La Palma Airport. The Gopro has been mounted on tail of the plane.
We have returned a washed and clean airplane 😉