Another (Short) Photo Intermission

By me
The only photo me too, copyrighted

With the thick fog alternating with heavy rain already signalling the unwelcome arrival of the continental autumn – and long term forecasts predicting a very cold and snowy winter – I’d though it best to get a move on with my flying and log as much of my required CPL time as practically possible before the year (or the flying season, whichever comes first) ends. To that end, and despite the doom and gloom of yesterday’s weather forecast, I was out at the field today for my SE/IR checkride, hoping that Murphy would have some mercy for just that one short hour :D.

And while in the end the weather could have cooperated just a bit more flying-wise – with the atmosphere becoming increasingly unstable by the minute – it did provide me with another splendid photo opportunity… 🙂

9A-DMG, my mount for the day, waiting patiently for the CB in the background to pass south of the field. In the event, I had ended up flying through its fringe rain four times while shooting a couple of instrument approaches at Pleso, which had - apart from some bumpy, but otherwise benign IMC conditions - resulted in one clean airplane! 😀

A Short (Photo) Intermission

By me, photo too

With my forthcoming ATPL exams – the last three, finally! – leaving me little time in which to get to grips with my next Rare Aircraft post (even though it’ll be comparatively short), I thought I should nevertheless break the silence on here with, if anything, a single photo :).

A couple of days ago, I’d finally got fed up with sitting around all day and drove off to the field to catch some sun and fresh air. Planning to just hang around a bit and play with my new Canon 5D Mk II, I had spotted a free slot on our aeroclub Reims Rocket (9A-DMJ) and decided I could just as well keep my hand in and relax in a proper manner :D. Nothing fancy, just a half-an-hour afternoon buzz above town, with my camera close by should a nice photo opportunity come up… 🙂

Cruising into the setting sun on a late afternoon joyride above the city of Zagreb :). The beautifully calm air this late in the day always makes flying a pleasure! Just trim her an she'll fly like on autopilot (also, premiering a new feature, you can click this photo for a larger, 800x533 pixel version)

News – No Ash On The Horizon

Be me
The only photo me too, copyrighted

With the sky eerily devoid of contrails and the comm frequencies populated by nothing more than static and random noise, I thought I’d at least make some light of the current unenviable situation and head out to Lučko for some spotting, expecting a more spectacular sunset that usual. The surface front of the ash cloud had caught up with us in the morning, having forced a preemptive closure of the country’s northern airspace at 2 AM local (midnight UTC). Interestingly the airspace was closed for all flights, VFR and IFR, in contrast with Western and Middle European airspace where a “zero flow rate” was imposed – that is, no IFR flight flow was permitted (or more specifically, no IFR clearances would be given), leaving VFR flights to operate at their own risk. Forced to dump the idea of taking a short hop above the field – for the dubious honor of being the only aircraft flying in this part of the country 😀 – I took the camera and went to see what had Eyjafjallajökull thrown at us…

At 18:53 local (16:53 UTC) on 17 April, things weren't looking all that out of the ordinary. Only a slight, vague haziness in the distance - reminiscent of Saharan sand that had on occasion been blown across the Balkans - told of the presence of the ash cloud, here with a concentration 1000 times less than above Iceland (as per the met office)...