A plan had been made to visit Menorca for the Royal Aero Club Air Race,
to be hosted by our friend Gabriel at his home field of San Luis in Menorca.
We would then head down to Almeria to see Jenny, Tosh, Linda and Ted.
Dee, Paul and Rob in the Lance.
Thurrock 0730 (0630Z) Taxiing for departure.
Lining up 25R
Climbing out from Thurrock International..switching to London Info 124.6
Climbing through the scattered cloud layer east abeam QE2 bridge
Cleared to FL090 to SFD, Drake, then Etrat and enroute to Limoges for refuelling.
Balan STAR and procedural ILS Approach.
After Refuelling, a cheap visit to 'C' to pay landing fees.
Then Makox SID enroute to Menorca
Back above the weather at FL090
....apparently others (Craig & Alistair) were stuck below in less than VFR
With little to see but cloud, we called back for inflight catering.
Rob presented us with Plates, Sandwiches and a selection of beverages
Cloud breaking as we approached Perpignan
It was sunny over the Med, but Menorca was shrouded in low cloud.
Arriving Menorca, we broke through the cloud @800 feet
Following the Menorca Coastline @600ft
Left Base for San Luis
We arrived in the afternoon and after 'Muchas Cervezas' while we waited for the P68
with Mitch, Kim, James and Jenny
...and some more when they arrived....
We finally made it to the hotel at S'Algar....where we then went to Dinky's for more Drinkies!
Fishbowls of G&T!!!
Next Day (Saturday) we were all a little worse for wear, but headed to the field.
...Rob & Paul to supervise some octagons and Dee to prep the Lance for Sunday's flight to Almeria.
We then headed back to the hotel to use the pool as the race was not scheduled till 5pm.
Shortly after arrival at the hotel, we were given the sad news that an aircraft had crashed,
claiming the lives of Bruce and Ian Hook.
A shock for everyone...Our sincerest condolences to their family and friends.
Racing was naturally cancelled on the Saturday and a memorial dinner was held that evening.
Harbour at Cala d'Alcaufar..where we spent the afternoon chillin...
Departing San Luis which is parallel and right next to Mahon (pictured) enroute to Almeria.
Passing Portopetro / Cala d'Or......Mallorca
Passing between Formentera (picture) and Ibiza
Finals at Almeria
In the saloon at the Oasys - Western Theme Park
With Jenny having a ciggy, Tosh takes the opportunity for a snap with one of the dancing girls
Loaded and ready to depart for the journey home.
After a complex IFR re-routing from Almeria, where they only gave us part of our flight clearance,
we arrived in Gerona....via another STAR and ILS procedure.
Rob had to re-file the flight plan, as although we had received an ACK messgae from IFPS,
our flight plan had been rejected due to our chosen FIR boundary crossing waypoint.
Leaving it off the flight plan allowed it to go through!
Departing Gerona after refuelling...
We left via 'E' and then direct to Kanig before joining the airway at PPG.
Settling down again to some in-flight refreshments enroute Limoges
Rob & Jenny stretching out in the back...
Back in to IMC at FL080..inbound Limoges
After STAR and ILS in to LFBL, we looked at the time and weather forecast for UK..
Result...we opted to stay overnight....tired, late and poor forecast = recipe for statistic.
Departing Limoges we climbed back to FL080
Forecast for the UK weren't that good, so we elected to prepare for EGMC arrival
(...round the world arrival!!!)
Thankfully it cleared as we approached mid-channel...so we continued VFR to EGSX.
Coasting in....Soverrign Marina, Eastbourne.
Crossing the Thames - Tilbury
EGSX - North Weald
After putting the Lance to bed and refuelling, we were picked up by Mitch in the P68
Jenny flies us home!
Finals 07 Thurrock
A good trip and a lot of real IFR flying.
Shame we didn't get pictures of Dee and Rob replacing the drain covers in the swimming pool