Spain in my Vans RV7 August 2008
After weeks of bad weather and a defective starter motor G-OVII lifts off from Thruxton at 8:00am heading for Lydd. This story really starts in 2004. Jo and I had planned a week off to go and fly somewhere new. Jersey and maybe down the Atlantic coast of France. This ended up with a trip from Popham to Valencia in Spain via Jersey, La Rochelle and San Sebastian. Upon our return we agreed it was a great trip but would be nicer in something faster than a Cessna 150!
Back to present day and I lift off with Jo in our Vans RV7 that we have built together after our trip to Spain. The past few weeks weather have caused me to rethink the route..
Crossed the channel, in France looking back towards England.Instead of the IOW into Jersey I am going via Lydd and Le Touquet. We are feeling lucky as this Saturday 23rd August is the best weather we've had in weeks. The channel crossing is nice and we pass Le Touquet and head inland to our first stop, Angers.
We departed Thruxton at 8am, and were in France by 9am.
There is some scattered cloud but nothing significant and we land at Angers after 2.4hrs flying. We refuelled - still had plenty but on a trip like this I prefer to have excess fuel - and called for departure..
First stop Angers 2.4hrs from Thruxton. A quiet airfield not far from LeMans.A French aircraft taxis past just giving blind calls.... so I copy and we depart opening our flight plan with La Rochelle as we pass!
Now heading down the Atlantic coast of France towards San Sabastian (passing La Rochelle & Bordeaux).The Atlantic coast is a straightforward route just following the coast line into San Sebastian.
San Sabastian was under cloud and misty when we landed. You can just see the runway in this picture.
Second stop in the RV after Angers (2hrs), this was the 3rd (and overnight) stop when we were in our Cessna 150.
Landing San Sabastian.
Home built and now in Spain.To be able to fly a Permit a/c in Spain you need to have permission from the Spanish Aviation Authority (for contact information see www.rvforum.co.uk)
After a climb to 7'000ft to clear the mountains around San Sebastian we headed through central Spain.Central Spain is quite barren after passing Pamplona. At Caspe we track to Valencia. I had the intention of passing overhead (via a corridor) at 7500ft.
Following the the coast from Valencia to Alicante.2 hrs after leaving San Sebastian we are almost at Muxamel (a small airfield close to Alicante). At Valencia we encountered bad weather and we had to divert around mountains and a restricted area for the Formula F1 racing on that weekend. We followed the coast from Valencia to Alicante NE VRP.
Low cloud & rain.I had been worried about the weather in the UK and northern France, so after having had such a good trip it came as a bit of a surprise to have the only bad weather currently in Spain bang on top of where I was intending to land!
Landing Muxamel - Picture taken by Jo's dad waiting for our arrival.Landing at Muxamel airfield - a private airfield a few miles north of Alicante. Landing fees are cheap (around 6 euros) at Alicante & Valencia, but here Tony (Jo's dad) was able to drive the car up to the aircraft to unload our luggage.
Parked at Muxamel.Luggage out, just over six hours flying time. We left our house at 7am this morning and it's now 4pm. We are in Spain, it's now raining in England - time for a holiday!!
Homeward bound.As you can see the weather at Valencia was far better for the return trip.
Over Dad & Mere's house.We passed over Dad & Mere's house on the way back - we would have passed over on the way down if the weather hadn't been so bad.
I was able to return direct Muxamel to Valencia SE VRP and pass over Valencia at 7'500ft routing to Valencia NE VRP. I then headed for Caspe. This was the route I would have prefered on the way down. Rather than 1500ft along the coast.
The return route was the same as we came but stopping at different locations. From Caspe we headed over Pamplona. I checked the weather for SanSabastian as it was 12:00 and rain was forcast for the afternoon. CAVOK and we continued over head San Sabastian landing at Biarritz.
Due to commercial traffic we were delayed fueling and took off one hour twenty minutes after landing. Again we tracked the Atlantic coast for a while and passed by Angers. We didn't land as they were having an air display - and there was a Mig in the air! I continued all the way to Le Touquet. I chose Le Touquet as I knew I could get a good idea of the channel weather and could do a quick turn around.
Here is a short video of the trip.