Thursday, June 3, 2010

International Flight

External inspection completed, my instructor and I board the aircraft. We're going too Maubeuge in France, for some touch and goes !!!

propeller area...................Clear
Ignition switches................Both

ACFT: << Carleroi Ground, OO-VNI, good after-noon >>

Tower << OO-VNI, Bonjour, go ahead >>

ACFT: << Charelroi Ground, OO-VNI, request taxi instructions for a VFR flight destination Maubeuge via Thuin. >>

the controller cleared us for the run up checks on our present position, and then told us to hold position, so that a B737 from Ryanair could pass... Nice...

Tower: << OO-VNI, you're cleared too taxi to Sierra 1, runway 07 QNH 1020 >>

ACFT: << taxiing to sierra 1, QNH 1020 >>

They cleared us for take-off.

The moment the aircraft first hooked up to the air we could feel it was going to be a bumpy ride. We lifted off. 
At 500ft above the ground: fuel pump off, we turned right on crosswind leg and afterwards in downwind, to follow the route we planned towards Maubeuge.

I was fighting against the thermals, and I must say my stomach was too.

We leveled the flight at 2000ft and flew west for about ten minutes. We could barely see the airport, far ahead of us, that we started our descent too 1500ft, and integrated right hand downwind runway 05.

In front of us was a Robin DR400, and above us, several gliders were climbing up a thermal.

At 1500ft, I performed the downwind checks:

Fuel pump............ON
Carb heater..........ON
Fuel selector........Change

The runway is 45° behind us, it's time to turn in base leg.
Throttle back to 1500rpm I kept level flight to 70knots and then started the descent. 
Trimmed the aircraft and turned right away on final.

On final I turned off the carburetor heater so in case of a go around the engine would deliver all it's power... The runway is coming closer and closer, and my first touch and go too.

Full crosswind was tending too blow us to the right of the runway. We passed the threshold,
While fighting against the wind to get the plane on the centerline and flare for touchdown, my instructor helped me put the plane in the runaway axis, rudder to the right and stick at the opposite. This was really scary... 

When the main gear touched down, I was paralyzed for a second , before I could actually put back the plane in take-off configuration... 
I have to say, seconds in life doesn't mean much, but in aviation...

So back in the left seat: flaps up, full throttle, full rudder to the right, nevertheless, we nearly went off the runway, and i'm not exaggerating ! 60 knots, lift off...
At 500ft, fuel pump off and there we go again !

back at Charleroi !
thermals almost won against my stomach

I'm telling y'all
this was
the most emotional flight
of my life :D...

My dream just  meters away, but years ahead...

I performed 3 touch and goes before setting back course on charleroi. I got sick during the return leg so the instructor took back the plane and I thank him a lot for that !

I now have 3H12 total time in the pa38. I love this aircraft !

Sorry I couldn't film but I haven't received the mouts for the camera. But next time I will for sure.


  1. Maybe I was in one of the gliders overhead Maubeuge this day! I'll check in my Logbook ;)

    Don't stop to tell your stories, I love this kind of blogs!

    See you soon in the air and good flights ;)

  2. well thank you Joffrey comments like these give me the motivation too pursue this blog. alors tu étais en vol ce jour là. Sa bougeais beaucoup non ?