All photos me too, copyrighted
Given that the local aviation scene is still throttled back pending stabilization of the weather (which is currently trying to make up its mind between winter snows and spring thaw), I though this would be the ideal time to revisit my old The View From Up Here photo series from 2011 🙂 . Having spend quite a bit of time aloft back then (ah, the joys of cheaper fuel!), I’d naturally accumulated a fair collection of photos along the way – photos that I had eventually cobbled together into a fairly popular two-part post (#1 & #2).
And while rising fuel prices in the intervening three years had taken their toll on my logbook, my camera and I have nevertheless still managed to catch some air with a semblance of regularity – this time substituting quantity with quality and doing away with the usual day VFR routine in favor of more exciting night and instrument practice. So, for the third installment of the series, here’s what my plane and I have been up to in the mean time… 🙂
Ah, the joys of night flying: the cockpit all lit up, quiet on the frequency, the reassuringly monotonous drone of the O-320 up front – and utter blackness outside. About to finally join our intended route after flying a (lengthy) instrument departure procedure from Zagreb Intl (LDZA).
Enjoying the fresh breeze at 5,000 ft as we rumble northwards above Slovenia. Pretty soon we’d turn west towards the Julian Alps – visible in the distance – where we’d pop up to 7,000 and switch to IFR for our night-time return home.
The fog I go on about so often seen from a slightly different perspective during another instrument departure from Zagreb Intl. Lying in a depression in the surrounding terrain – and built above an extensive underground water system – Zagreb can frequently disappear in visibilities as low as 50 meters… while a couple of miles out one can enjoy perfectly clear air and deep blue skies.
Enjoying life, nature and free fuel as we play about in the skies of Varaždin in an Aussie-built GA8 Airvan. Having stopped in town for the weekend on a promo tour of the region, the crew of VH-EZS were delighted to fly a few short demo flights for the assorted journalists – with myself naturally usurping the copilot seat on all of them.
Sharing the fun with DA-20A-1 9A-DAK as we try to formate in some beautiful scenery at 3,000 ft. It’s 100 HP Rotax woefully inadequate for the task, DAK was flying pretty much flat out trying to keep up with our 320 turbocharged horses.
Having become bored of the oppressive and never-ending greyness on the ground – Northern Croatia having been blanketed by low cloud for weeks – I’d decided I might as well check on conditions higher up… definitely wasn’t disappointed!
And finally to top it all off, two fresh ones I’ve nicked from a recent post of mine 🙂 …
The joys of sub-Alpine anticyclonic weather… our flight back to Zagreb had also included a touch-and-go at Slovenj Gradec airfield, located in a valley on the opposite side of Maribor, Slovenia’s Pohorje mountain range. You can probably guess how that plan had turned out… (to compound the issue, LJSG has no met station linked into the rest of the system – so when we’d asked the met office at Maribor for a brief, all they could do was slump their shoulders and extrapolate from existing data)
A large, unbroken stratus, beautiful sunshine on top, a light aircraft and a camera – what more could one want to be content? (except a pair of gloves) Skirting the edge of an extensive sheet of stratus as the perfect cap to the whole flight.