First flight in 2014

It has been a while since my last flight, the meteorology was not the best one, so I had to wait long to get airborne… Then maintanence on the piper had to be done so I´ve decided to fly again the club´s Reims 172.

I have purchased a second Gopro, this one is the latest model Gopro Hero3 Black+ and the difference between the White and this one is huuuuuge! The quality of the picture is much much better than of the White model. They shouldn’t be selling this model (white), as it is realy bad.

Today there was a very nice visitor to the Tenerife North Airport; the Beechcraft B-200 Super Kingair, privately held, was resting on the ramp. The plane was there already for a couple of weeks.

Beechcraft B-200 King Air, reg. N537EM

Beechcraft B-200 King Air, reg. N537EM

My today´s flight was scheduled with the club´s Reims 172 (the european version of Cessna 172). The last time I flew Cessna was 13 months ago… So why not to try it out again, to enhance my flying experience?

Reims 172 Skyhawk II, reg. EC-JGP

Reims 172 Skyhawk II, reg. EC-JGP

I have polished the windshields and have installed my 2 Gopro´s; of course, that the cheaper version was installed outside on the vertical stabilizer ;-). Using a lot of duct tape to secure it on the plane. I have spoken to the maintenence guy and they are going to install there an adhesive, which will offer a better views and will be easier and quicker to install, as it won´t be necessary to clean and polish the surface, etc…

Gopro Hero White on the Rudder

Gopro Hero3 White on the Rudder

The new Gopro Hero3+ was installed inside and connected to the Intercom to record the ATC communications, which worked perfectly.

GoPro Hero 3 Black+ installed in the cockpit of the Reims/Cessna

GoPro Hero 3 Black+ installed in the cockpit of the Reims/Cessna

Here you can see the connection between the camera and the Intercom to record the ATC communications. To see, what do you need to connect it, you can read more in my previous post.

Gopro connected to the airplane´s intercom

Gopro connected to the airplane´s intercom

Having 2 camera will force me to get a better editor and spend even more time editing the videos… 😉 The views are realy nice. This one was taken with the camera situated outside (Gopro Hero3 White):

Cleared for take off RWY 12

Cleared for take off RWY 12

Over the clouds

Over the clouds

Unfortunately the battery died, so it wasn’t possible to record the landing… Inside, the Black+ made these pictures. I have to admit, that I preffer the look from Cessna/Reims, as the windshield is in one piece and it is not divided in 2 like at the Piper:

Take off roll

Take off roll

Over the clouds

Over the clouds

Besides this I took a lot of pictures above the clouds with my Iphone. The countryside gets so nice and green in the wintertime here in Tenerife:

San Andrés

San Andrés

Playa de las Teresitas

Playa de las Teresitas

Santa Cruz de Tenerife & Pico del Teide

Santa Cruz de Tenerife & Pico del Teide

Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Anaga

Anaga

Anaga

Anaga

I have edited a 3 minutes long video of this short local flight with the 2 cameras on board. More staff will be comming 😉

Flight to El Hierro (GCHI)

Last saturday the weather forecast was not the best one, but we have decided to go to the North Airport (GCXO) and see if it was truth… Unfortunately yes….

Not the best flying weather

Not the best flying weather

This airport is situated some at 2.000 ft and the base of the clouds in the Canaries is normaly around 2.500-3.000 feet, and the best place is over the airfield… Normaly around midday the weather improves, when there is sun and a little wind, the clouds usualy disappear.

We have used the time to prepare the aircraft, I have polished the windows and have installed the Gopro inside the cabin. Since I saw a coupple of nice videos made from the cockpit, I have decided to install it inside.

Todays place for my Gopro Hero3

Todays place for my Gopro Hero3

The weather started to improve, so we have pushed our plane out the hangar…

Piper ready for pushback...

Piper ready for pushback…

The colors are so strong after the rain

After the rain everything looks more colorful

The leg to El Hierro was flown by my friend Daldo and we had a passenger on board Oliver, who loves flying as well.

The crew on the way to El Hierro

The crew on the way to El Hierro

The crew ;-)

The crew 😉

The flight was very smooth, almost no wind and no turbulence, so we have descended near La Gomera to see closer the rocks called “Los Organos”.

Los Organos, La Gomera

Los Organos, La Gomera

We have enjoyed a short round flight around the island El Hierro.

El Hierro in sight

El Hierro in sight

El faro de Orchilla

El faro de Orchilla

Flying along the coast at El Hierro

Flying along the coast at El Hierro

Landing at El Hierro (GCHI)

Landing at El Hierro Airport (GCHI)

Arrived at El Hierro Airport

Arrived at El Hierro Airport

After the landing we went to Valverde for some lunch, came back, paid taxes, made the flightplan and departed direction Tenerife. On the way back, I was at controls and Oliver was able to fly for a while as well. He did a good job! With his experience from flight simulator he was flying the plane (almost) better than me ;-).

Our flight back, Oliver at controls

Our flight back, Oliver at controls

On the way back I have performed 2 low passes at La Gomera Airport, one at the former La Gomera’s Airport “El Revolcadero”, following the next low pass at Tenerife South Airport (GCTS).

There were plenty of clouds on the way back, but luckily Tenerife North Airport awaited us with some nice weather so we could landed without to having divert to the alternative airport.

Return flight El Hierro-La Gomera-Tenerife South-Tenerife North

Return flight El Hierro-La Gomera-Tenerife South-Tenerife North

When holding over Playa de las Américas we had very nice views over the zone.

Holding over Playa de las Américas

Holding over Playa de las Américas

It is actually strange to see, that the people were cutting from the volcano to built their houses on this hill…

Los Cristianos from the air

Los Cristianos from the air

Landing at Tenerife North Airport (GCXO). I was happy that my friend Daldo used his new Iphone 5S to make the video of my landing, with its 60 frames per second you do not see the propeller. I have edited the video with iMovie, sincronized both videos (Gopro and Iphone 5S) and this is the result:

After the landing at Tenerife North Airport, a nice Learjet was parked on the general aviation platform (reg. D-CGRC). I´d love to have a jet like that, but unfortunately my garage is not big enough :-).

Learjet 35 (reg. D-CGRC)

Learjet 35 (reg. D-CGRC)

Glider flight

The advantage of a glider is that you can’t experience an engine failure. So it seems, you avoid any bad surprises, and there is no safer way to fly than on a glider.

Flying a single engine airplane gives you the freedom, but there is always a risk of engine failure. In this case your plane turns into a glider with not the best performance, as it is heavier and it has not the same glide ratio as a glider.

Glider "Blaník", reg. OM-2709

Glider “Blaník”, reg. OM-2709

In my opinion, having some experience on a glider makes you a safer pilot, in the case you experience some problems with your engine, you are used to handle this situation with less stress (the engine failure is a part of a PPL training as well).

I took a couple of lessons on a glider and I really enjoyed them. This particular flight was made on Blanik, registration OM-2709, and the first difference you note is the silence. There is no engine, so you hear only the air soaring. Second advantage: the views… You feel like a F-16 pilot enjoying the views through the big canopy. 🙂

Flying a glider

The views through the canopy are realy great!

There are some small differences between flying an plane and a glider, if you turn, you have to add some rudder. If you are sitted in the front, and you stall it, it feels different, as the nose is much shorter that in the plane. You also can’t apply the usual throttle, but the recovery is pretty fast.

If the thermal is sufficient, you can stay airborne for hours (in my case there was no thermal, so we went down pretty fast…), so don’t pay the fuel and the flight is cheaper!

Flying a glider, you can enjoy the views like this:

Getting towed into the skies

Getting towed into the skies, other Blaník in front of us (above the towing aircraft)

Letisko Očová - Očová Airfield

Letisko Očová – Očová Airfield

The units of measures are meters instead of feet and km/h instead of knots, but as the numbers serve as a reference, this is not a big problem.

Cockpit of Blaník

Cockpit of Blaník

Here you have a short video as well of soaring in the skies.