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Club Events - Over the Sea to Rotterdam
Tulips to...?
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The CIX VFR Club
Club Events - Over the sea to Rotterdam
Tulips to...?
A very successful trip to Rotterdam to celebrate the Club's 1st Anniversary                        Wednesday 2nd February 2005
Go to Picture Gallery No. 7 to view larger versions of the pictures here.
Four members took part routing from Biggin Hill via Dover, Calais and Ostend to Rotterdam. It was the Club's first ever International Flight, but there were no adverse incidents to mar the evening. Pete A almost slipped up by setting his flight clock so that he almost arrived at our destination in the dark. "The street lights were on for some time during my approach from VRP Hotel" reported Pete.
All four aircraft left Biggin at the same time, with Pete A in the Chippie G-CPCA and Peter D in Cessna 172 G-GYAV heading off direct to Rotterdam. En route over Kent, courtesy of the photographic VFR Scenery Pete was able to actually spot his parents abode and fly almost overhead.
Biggin Hill Outbound Listening watch on Thames Radar
Colin B in the Hurricane and Tony D in the Spitfire once again flew as a loose formation with the call sign "Spitfire-Hurricane".and dropped into Manston to top up their fuel. However, it turned out not to really necessary for the Spitfire which still had 63% left in the tanks on landing at Rotterdam. Apparently the Spitfire can carry a lot more than the Hurricane.
Tony navigated for the Spitfire Hurricane pair, and Colin did most of the talking as they had for the Marham trip. Not that there was very much to do. We had ATC cover at Biggin Hill and then by Thames radar until approaching Manston, but nothing else until we were approaching Rotterdam.
The Club's first appearance in the International Flights box of Servinfo G-CPCA coasting out at Dover
The two warbirds took off together from Biggin Hill - though the Griffon engine fitted to the mark XIV was more powerful than the Merlin in the Hurricane meant that Tony got a bit ahead. After departure all aircraft maintained the required two miles on the runway heading, then a gentle turn to the East, heading for Sevenoaks. The warbirds headed towards Detling VOR and Manston, refuelled and took off again for Dover. The other two routed direct to Dover. Such was the speed differential all four aircraft crossed the Channel within a couple of miles of each other. Spitfire-Hurricane dead ahead over the water Bandits 6 o'clock - as seen from the Spitfire
Naturally the warbirds made landfall first over C and after that, in reality, the group flew as two pairs, the Chippie and the cessna matching airspeed. Colin had a look to see if there was any ATC in Belgium, but couldn't find anyone to talk to, so they continued until in sight of the airfield at Ostend, where there was a 747 SWA1036 on the runway waiting to take off. Coasting into France in a group G-GYAV overhead Ostende, no sign of G-CPCA behind
"Spitfire-Hurricane" and the other two aircraft each in turn made contact with Rotterdam as they passed overhead the Haamstede VOR and were cleared for a "Hotel" approach not above 1500 ft. having studied the Rotterdam entry procedures in advance of course, this was straightforward. Turning right at Hotel, each aircraft passed further reporting points Whiskey, Sierra, and Tango for a right hand downwind join for runway 24. Tony in the Spitfire landed first, while Colin did a short circuit to allow the Spitfire to vacate before making his landing. They taxied to the Alpha apron, and waited for the others to arrive. Surprisingly, in spite of the speed differential, this was only about 20 minutes later. Koksijde Millitary A/D - and there's Charlie Alpha A very neat "Constant aspect" approach by Tony in the Spitfire
Peter D arrived next, and after embarrassingly overshooting the final turn had a bit of a stiff breeze to fight to get back on the centreline, which resolved into a somewhat challenging crosswind, though not as challenging as it had been the week before at Marham! As mentioned above, Pete A in the Chippie arrived as it was going dark. Spitfire-Hurricane waiting for the two Peters G-GYAV touches down on 24.  Contact two ahead
We all lined up for the team photos then Rudy invited us all in to the Rotterdam Flying Club for a coffee, and we sat there chatting about the trip Charlie Alpha only just got down before nightfall. Gathering in the dark on the (rather soft) Apron at Rotterdam
Our Thanks to Dutch VACC and in particular Rudy Megens, the Rotterdam Approach Controller for staying on line for our later than planned arrival.
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