All photos me too, copyrighted
While many locals here in Zagreb have welcomed spring back with open arms – finally getting to enjoy clear skies, vegetation in bloom and more than reasonable temperatures – we one the GA side of things had something entirely different to be glad of 🙂 . After what seemed like eternity – exacerbated by odd weather patterns and even odder legal struggles – the flying season at Lučko Airfield (LDZL) is finally back up and running like clockwork! And while its start hasn’t been as bombastic as we would have liked, the airfield is nevertheless fully operational, with things on the whole progressing slowly forwards – a development that had lured back a number of light aircraft that had made their winter residence at nearby Zagreb Airport (LDZA).
And even though the apron is not nearly as full as in years past (yet), life has nevertheless finally returned to Lučko – a milestone that naturally warrants a small photo celebration! 🙂
Life, life at Lučko! Flying in the very day the airfield had reopened, N50DD was the only airplane to succeed in the fight against the day’s strong crosswind, which had actually managed to touch the 30 knot mark at one point. Despite its reg, the aircraft is a long-time resident of various Zagreb airports, and is seen here cooling down after its 10 minute repositioning hop from LDZA.
Some of our birds though have started the new season like fish out of water! Out of the hangar for the first time in several months, AK Zagreb’s Jantar will soon receive a thorough wash, after which it’ll be given back its wings and horizontal tail surfaces (stored away in the corner of the hangar). By the end of the morning, it would be happily catching thermals above town.
A glider you really can’t loose in a crowd! Despite its staggering similarity to the Polish-built PZL-Bielsko SZD-24 Foka – one of the world’s most beautiful wooden gliders – the Delfin (“Dolphin”) was actually designed and produced by the Vazduhoplovni tehnički centar (“Aircraft Technical Center”) at Vršac in Serbia, well known locally for both its own and license-produced high performance gliders.
The spring hangar cleaning session had also given me the opportunity to visit our old Aero 3, usually inaccessible without some serious aerobatic moves over and around several rows of gliders. One of the few remaining examples of the type, this machine had actually undergone restoration several years back – a process that had, sadly, been curtailed due to a lack of funds. Planned on being returned all the way to flying status, the aircraft had also received a Croatian registration, which had never actually been used outside the official register…
A sight to warm the heart! Blue skies, bright colors and a raft of lighties eager to get off the ground. Leading the pack was our colorful gliding pair, consisting of Schleicher Ka-7 9A-GKA and the afore-pictured Delfin 9A-GHS. They would soon be joined by Pilatus B4 9A-GPA, seen just in front of the hangar doors.
A contrast that perhaps best of all illustrates why I love Lučko: we’ve got everything from gliders to transport helicopters, fun to security – and dull grayness to cheerful colors.
The field’s only aerobatic aircraft had also used the fine weather well, firing up its engine for the first time after some minor servicing (and several months on the ground). One of only three aerobatic machines on the Croatian register – and one of two physically in Croatia – DID is actually a “kitplane”, assembled by the end user from prefabricated components.