Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The holiday begins....

Well the holiday has begun and Matt and I kicked it off in style. When I picked Matt up at the airport in the evening we rushed back to drop off his bags and ran back out the door to go to Lelystad for a quick bimble around Amsterdam.

It's Matt's first time flying in Holland and since the weather was truly gorgeous, literraly not a single cloud in the sky, I thought it would be nice to show him Amsterdam from the air. I had run Wouter in Polder Aviation earlier that afternoon and booked a C1
50. Our steed for this mission was PH-GRA. Apparantly the guys were going home early that evening, so Wouter said he'd fuel up the plane and leave the keys in the cockpit for me. Pretty sweet.

So we arrived in Lelystad, pre-flighted GRA and fired her up. I have to admit, it was a tight squeeze in there and we both said we were glad we're doing the long haul journey in the U.S. in a C172.

Lelystad was pretty quiet that evening, and shortly after taking off I called up Amsterdam Info, gave them our position and let them know we were on route to the Amsterdam Sector. They passed along our info to Schiphol and then passed us to Schiphol Tower. I simply LOVE calling those guys up because I chatting away amongst the KLM and BA pilots and I feel like a REAL pilot then :-)

Anyway, Schiphol gave us a squawk code and told us not above 1000 feet....SWEET. We descended to around 800ft and came in above Centraal Station and did some orbits of the city. Matt was a real shutterbug, snapping away with the camera. Then we finished up and left the sector letting Schiphol konw when we were clear. I gave Matt the controls for the flight back and he brought us home to Lelystad. I then asked Lelystad Radio for a straight in, to which we were told "Keep a sharp lookout". We then set her up for the landing and I told the controls back. Few notches of flap and a gentle descent and shortly followed by one of the best landings I have EVER had. I joked and told Matt not to expect them all to be like that when we're in the U.S.

We secured GRA, completed the paperwork and then headed off for a nice beer in the Martinair restaurant.

What a nice way to start to our holiday.

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