Photo File – The View From Up Here + Rare Aircraft Intermezzo

By me
All photos me too, copyrighted

Having noticed recently that my last post here was dated August 2017 (!) – and that my backlog of topics stalled for lack of information has been growing steadily larger – I decided it would be high time for me to dig through my collection of fresh photos and finally get a move on with my posting. Unfortunately though, not much had actually happened since August 2017, meaning that my GA inbox was pretty much empty. However, having spent quite a bit of time in the air lately, I did realize that I have a bunch of interesting aerial shots available – which could be turned into a perfect (and visually pleasant) distraction until something in my post queue actually started moving forward… 🙂

Those wonderful autumnal pleasures: a light aircraft, a deep anticyclone, an open window – and a full spectrum of colors outside. Enjoying the calming and serene view as we hop between the peaks of southern Slovenia’s Kočevje Hills – in years past, interestingly, a strongly-enforced no-fly zone due to the proximity of a major Yugoslav People’s Army military installation.

Yet more aerial splendor as we follow the western face of the Kočevska Mala Gora hill line. What better way to relax after a busy working week than hop into the skies in a light aircraft with the sole purpose of enjoying the low & slow view…

Winter is definitely not coming (despite it being December) as our little red Citabria zips past two of Pula, Croatia’s most notable landmarks: the Kaštel medieval Venetian fortress – and the Arena, one of the best-preserved amphitheaters in this part of Europe (even today the country’s most popular concert venue).

The moment you realize that no, you cannot keep up with the sun in a turboprop, and that it’d be best to just return back to course. Another deep anticyclone, a quick vector by ATC to clear us of traffic nearby – and just a tiny bit of luck and timing is all you need to make a sunset aloft all the better!

A transit of southern Germany under unbelievably clear skies – or a cheap knock-off of the Universal Pictures opening animation? You decide!

Real planets have curves – which are obvious even at turboprop altitudes. A soothing and humbling view of the Tyrrhenian Sea, with the distant horizon broken only by the sharp mountains of southern Corsica…

Bonus content: even though the GA season has (so far) been a complete and total bust – not an interesting lighty to be seen in six months – there nevertheless still are a few silver linings to this dark cloud. Having been all over the place during the winter, I had found myself with plenty of opportunity to snap some large turbine machinery, among which were several fine examples for my “boy did you take a wrong turn somewhere” file… 😀

Despite having given us such classics as regulation governing the size and shape of cabbage heads, the spiritual capital of the EU – Brussels (BRU/EBBR) – still does have some good use… for where in Europe could one so easily stumble upon a VIP Mad Dog from – of all places – Chad? At one time operated by Austrian Airlines as OE-LMO, TT-ABC is one of several jet aircraft owned by the Chad Gov’t, and is – sadly – rarely to be seen outside the Francophone world.

It’s not often that the same Il-62 appears twice in front of your camera at the same airport – especially if it is one of only two airworthy freighter conversions in existence. Parked at Zagreb (ZAG/LDZA) for three days now, EW-450TR of Belarus had naturally been an instant hit with the locals – so much so that we could reconstruct it from photos alone! Interestingly, it’s fast becoming a common sight in Europe, despite being as clean as a Victorian coal mine and as quiet as an 80s The Who concert…

And talking about taking wrong turns: an Mi-8 from Southeast Asia on the Adriatic Coast. Flying from Laos to Croatia – 8,500 km as the crow flies – in a 20+ year old Mi-8 at speeds barely above 100 knots, the crew surely must have some fascinating stories to tell! Interestingly, 34245 had flown into Zadar (ZAD/LDZD) direct from Brest in Belarus (BQT/UMBB), some 1,100 km away – a hop made possible thanks to long-range tanks mounted on top of the fuselage. Indeed, Zadar would turn out to be just a technical stop to top up with fuel and get some shuteye; 34245 would be seen departing for Palermo (PMO/LIPJ) already by noon the same day. Note also the absence of the Mi-8’s characteristic dust filters on the engine intakes, usually characteristic of early civilian members of the Hip family.