Photo Report – Stormy Skies Above Lučko

By me
All photos me too, copyrighted

Every year at around this time, our normally predictable continental weather has one of its oddball episodes and goes completely haywire. A fascinating study in meteorology, in the space of a single day you can experience anything from a 20 Centigrade temperature variation to clear skies alternating with hourly thunderstorms (and sometimes hail), dead calm to 20-knot winds, and pressure changes that would perplex even the most advanced barometer.

Today though we were blessed with just a mild outburst of the above, which was a perfect opportunity to head out to the field and do some photography. Bored of either clear skies or dull overcast, I found a backdrop of menacing thunderstorm clouds punctuated by bright sunshine to be much more exciting, and with flight activities getting finally up to speed was assured of at least some good results. In the end – after snooping around for five hours – I must say I was quite content with the results… 🙂

Fresh raindrops glisten on 9A-DMM's wing, having landed just minutes before the first shower of the day. This trusty and lovable Cessna 150M is a favorite subject of mine (though rarely featured here), being the aircraft on which I got my wings eight years ago 🙂
Our old Skymaster blending in remarkably well with both the lush spring grass and the ominous CB moving away towards the city...
The day's thunderstorm activity was indicative of strong thermals in the area - which were immediately put to good use :). Seen here are 9A-GBA and GBB - both Let L-13 Blaniks - being towed out to the runway for an afternoon-long aerobatics training session
Not far behind was AK Zagreb's inconspicuous Super Cub towplane, 9A-DBS, out and about for the first time in awhile. Looks like one of its landing gear bungees is misbehaving...
The air force too ran a few flights between (and during) showers. Based at Lučko - itself actually a joint civil-military airfield and the largest helicopter base in Croatia - these medium-lift Mil Mi-171Shs are a common, everyday sight (and do provide some welcome variety)
Showoff :D. Departing the military pad with all haste - and more than a little show - as another shower approaches from the west
It was well worth staying around until things calmed down :). Setting through a broken layer of stratus cloud, the sun had finally provided me with one of its (at the field) rare glorious moments...

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