Nuits Saint Georges 2006

In the end of July 2006, four planes of the 'Vliegclub Rotterdam' (PH-SVG, PH-SVL, PH-SRU and PH-VSY) and two private planes (PH-VKA and N264CD) departed for Nuits Saint Georges - LFGZ, close to Dijon and Beaune, for our traditional club week.

Due to thunderstorms on Saturday, we had to postpone our departure from Rotterdam. On Sunday, the day started hazy with 5 km visibility and some low scattered clouds. Around 10:30, all planes were airborne. We had filed an IFR plan for PH-VSY; the flight to our first stop at Reims Prunay - LFQA at FL090 with Mike at the controls was relaxed and uneventful. The further south we went, the more the weather improved.

Final LFGZ
Final on Nuits Saint Georges Runway 11
After a sumptuous lunch with the other ferry pilots, we left for our destination. Although proceeding VFR, our route went via the TRO and DIJ VORs. Approaching LFGZ, we were guided in by Peter, using a handheld VHF on 123.500 MHz. After landing, we were marshalled to our parking position by James, the Vice President of the Aeroclub Nuit Saint Georges.
GPS track Rotterdam - Reims Prunay - Nuits Saint Georges
Hotel La Berchere
Hotel La Berchere
Château de la Berchère
We checked in at hotel Château de la Berchère, which is within walking distance from the field. In the evening, we had a welcome dinner together with about 40 people, club members and their families.

On Monday, a group of club members made a trip around the Alps via Chambéry, the Mont Blanc and Annemasse. Upon return, they had an interview with the regional newspaper.

Mike and I only made a 40 minutes local flight in the early morning to explore the area and visited Beaune later that day with a small group of club members.
Final Dijon Darois
Final at Dijon Darois
Preflight Planning
Preflight preparation of the Alps trip
On Tuesday, we visited the Apex factory in Dijon Darois, a 10 minute flight (or 45 minute car drive) from Nuits Saint Georges. Apex produced the Robin (PH-SVL was built here) and Cap airplanes. Step by step, we followed the whole production process from raw Oregon Pine wood to polishing of the finished aircraft.
GPS track Nuits Saint Georges - Chambéry - Bellegarde - NSG
On Wednesday, Elien, Mike and I made a trip with PH-VSY to Chambéry Aix Les Bains - LFLB and Bellegarde Vouvray - LFHN. I flew an ILS approach for runway 18 at Chambéry which felt quite awkward: in stead of the normal 3 degrees glideslope, this ILS has a 4.5 degrees slope. It was a very hot day; the temperature on the tarmac was above 40 C.

After refueling and paying our landing fees, Mike flew via Albertville and Annecy to Bellegarde. In the distance, we saw the Mont Blanc. The views in the Alps were, as ever, absolutely stunning.

We signed the guestbook at Bellegarde, did our preflight planning and waited for a thundershower to pass. Elien flew back to Nuits Saint Georges, where we headed straight for the swimming pool.
Takeoff Chambery
Preflight planning
Takeoff run at Chambéry
Elien plans her flight
Enjoying a wonderful panorama of the Alps and Mont Blanc
Takeoff Belgarde
PH-VSY crew
Short field takeoff at Bellegarde
PH-VSY crew
On Thursday morning, Mike did some airwork (stalls, steep turns) over the hills west of the field. Late afternoon, the club had organised a target landing contest. Mike participated and won the second prize; I was check pilot with two other contestants. After the contest, we had a farewell drink with the Nuits Saint Georges aeroclub on the Château's terrace.

To be ahead of the thunderstorms, on Friday, we departed around 09:00. Mike flew PH-VSY, and Elien and I flew PH-SVG VFR to Reims; Corine and Gerard had departed earlier with PH-SVL while Dennis flew PH-SRU. We met again in the airfield restaurant.

VCR planes at Reims
Four VCR planes in a row at Reims Prunay
Elien, with Mike as copilot, departed IFR with PH-SVG to Rotterdam around noon. With 10 minutes separation, I followed behind with PH-VSY. We were cleared to FL100 (about 3 km). VSY's autopilot surely reduced the workload during my single-pilot IFR flight.

Having just passed the Belgian/Dutch border, I descended to FL060 and later to 2000 ft. Rotterdam Approach radar vectored me for an ILS approach at runway 24. I had the runway in sight at 700 ft.

After taxiing to the vliegclub, together with Elien and Mike, who had arrived slightly before me, we parked and unloaded PH-VSY after a very enjoyable week.
PA28 Flightdeck
Over the clouds
PH-VSY on autopilot at FL100
Over the clouds, some showers developing

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