By Boran Pivčić
All photos author
By another stroke of incredibly good luck, I had popped down to the field yesterday to get some flying done – and clear my head of all the ATPL meteorology – thinking it’d be another “nothing special” day. Initial impressions proved be right, for beside a horde of skydivers preparing for a jump – nothing unusual – all was quiet. But about half an hour later, sitting on our apron waiting for the nosewheel to be changed on our club C150, a friend of mine who works the fuel pump – among us commonly referred to as “The Sheriff” – came round and asked me had I come to see the Turbolet that was coming to town. One had been scheduled to appear more than a two weeks earlier, but for some reason didn’t. On my feet in an instant, I soon found out it was the same aircraft I had waited to catch before – and imagine my delight 🙂 (no comment 😀 ).
And due to a breakdown in communications, The Sheriff was left all alone as the ground crew, tasked with leading the aircraft round the field, parking, fuel, you name it. So while I was around, I decided to help, which later turned out to offer quite an interesting photo opportunity…
Speed limit enforced by aircraft :D. Playing the Follow Me van as we guide the Slovak crew around the field in our beat up 1980s VW Transporter
Damn these tourists, always getting lost in the most unlikely places... 🙂
A less than auspicious start to the OK-SAS' visit - a miscommunication from the control tower saw us leading the aircraft to the military helicopter apron, where it was due to refuel with Jet A. However, once on one of the helicopter stands - and finding out that they didn't mean to refuel right away - they couldn't turn round due to some apron obstacles, so the four crew, us two from the van and two mil helo pilots were forced to employ a classic manual "pushback" onto the grass
The somewhat stubby, but still good looking, shape of the Turbolet. The most popular 19-seat turboprop ever built, the L-410 has spawned dozens of sub-versions and is in use around the globe
Being an UVP version, OK-SAS doesn't have the distinctive tip tanks of the most common UVP-E version
In town for some skydive ops, the aircraft's interior was stripped out of every bit of unnecessary kit
The tight - but well equipped - cockpit of the Turbolet. The center pillar you saw in the previous photo is a bit limiting for photography though...