Unfortunately the access road is pretty damaged and partially non existing, but to walk down for approximately 2 hours along the valley is absolutely amazing. The landscape is absolutely fantastic; like in the western movie.
The aerodrome is not accesible by car, nor 4×4. Just by feet, helicopter (maybe) or apparently from the beach by feet, if you get transferred there by a boat.
17 kms to get there and back (actually a bit less, but if you walk up and down the 500m long runway, this counts as well)… If you are on Strava, you can see the cute here.
La Gomera’s former aerodrome El Revolcadero was closed so far for more than 25 years. The visit of this place has been on my bucket for more than 7 years, and now I finally decided to move on and make it happen. Just wanted to travel back in time and see how it looked liked there some 30 years ago.
The aerodrome was officially opened on the 24th of April 1959 and the first plane landed on the aerodrome was a Piper PA23-160 Apache (EC-ALQ), which landed at El Revolcadero on the 15th of July 1959.
The runway was 500m long and at both ends it counts with up-sloping “stopways” helping the planes to slow down after the landing and most probably to help to gain speed during the initial take off run as well.
The runway designation was 27/09, same as the new airport which can be seen on the next cliff behind the old aerodrome.
The aerodrome (still) counts with a small hangar, tower and a small power plant building.
It’s just a fascinating piece of history, you just need to imagine that people were passing during years through the airport.
During the last years I flew a lot of times by, and need to admit that I’d love to land at the aerodrome or to see again some signs of “life” there.
The place, where the time stands still… Quiet… Visited by some curious tourists now and then, and by the goats.
Unfortunately, there is not much information to be found about this aerodrome on internet, nor images of the planes at the aerodrome, nor the date when it was closed. But definitely at least some 25 years ago, as the new airport started their operations back in 1999.
So enjoy some more images and the video of this experience, and for those who’d like to know how to get to El Revolcadero, you can find it here.
Flying in Canaries is possible the whole year, also in december. The only thing is, that due to weather conditions, sometimes you have to have patience in the weather in the case there is fog and clouds until they disappear. Luckiy it is not necessary to scratch the ice ;-).
Mostly in the winter months there is more rain in the north part of the island, where the aeroclub is situated (at 2.078 feet). Therefore it is sometimes difficult to depart in the early morning hours. It is neccesay to delay the flight and to wait and hope, that the sun warms up the air so the clouds (mostly stratus and cumulus) disappear to go ahead with a VFR flight.
Waiting for the weather improvement
On this occasion the weather on our arrival around 9 a.m. was not the best one, some very low clouds were covering the runway, so no VFR conditions were available and LVP (low visbility procedures) has been activated as well…
The time on the ground has been used efectively to polish the windscreen and windows; I love to have a good visibility and the images are pretty much better!
Preparations for the flight in the hanger
The theory worked today and after 2 hours the weather has improved and we were able to go ahead with the flight.
Today’s route was scheduled from Tenerife to La Gomera and back, with a complete round trip and some low passes at La Gomera airport (GCGM) and the former island’s airport “El Revolcadero”. The weather on route was fantastic and the wind was calm.
Route Tenerife – La Gomera – Tenerife
After departure we have followed the coastline heading south, continued to the west to La Gomera. I flew several times to La Gomera, but never came closer to the capital San Sebastián de La Gomera to see it from the air. Today it was the moment to explore how the area looks like from the air… The coastline is impressive, there is a lighthouse situated on the small cliff. I loved how the coast does look like; this part of the coast with its lighthouse remembered me at the coast of Ireland…
Lighthouse at San Sebastián de La Gomera
Harbour at La Gomera and Naviera Armas ship
We have completed the island tour and continued to the east back to Tenerife North airport (GCXO), where we have landed on the Runway 12. It is very nice to land this on the RWY 12 in the winter time, as the grass gets nice green. Following Air Europa’s 737 we have proceed to the parking.
On final RWY 12 at GCXO
Following Air Europa to the parking
I have tried to “squeeze” the whole trip into a 3 minute “short” “fast forward video”. Hope, you´ll enjoy it as much as we have enjoyed the flight!
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
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
The weather started to improve, so we have pushed our plane out the hangar…
Piper ready for pushback…
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 😉
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
We have enjoyed a short round flight around the island El Hierro.
El Hierro in sight
El faro de Orchilla
Flying along the coast at El Hierro
Landing at El Hierro Airport (GCHI)
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
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
When holding over Playa de las Américas we had very nice views over the zone.
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
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 :-).
My last flight was to the island La Gomera. La Gomera is a small airport on the Canary Islands. When you approach the runway, it seems like you are going to land on an aircraft carrier (with a little imagination ;-)).
The runway is long enough to land with a Boeing 737, but the biggest planes landing there are from the local company called Binter usind ATR72 aircrafts.
The landings can be sometimes challenging, as the airport was built not on the best place (but there are no other options), so you can have a headwind over the threshold, 90 degree crosswind in the middle, and tailwind at the end of the runway.
So you have to take care when landing, otherwise the plane can suddenly drop down.
On this occasion the weather was quite nice, some crosswind, but the landing was pretty smooth.
Here is a short video of the approach and the landing from a wing wiev. I have mounted my gopro this time on the wing trying to capture the plane and the runway.