Saturday, August 09, 2008

Collecting the pland and the ensuing Emergency Landing

Well, I picked up my new plane today from Strasbourg. I woke up this morning at 6am to catch the multitude of trains through Germany to Strasbourg. Yesterday Matt and I were looking at the weather online and figuring out what it would work out to be....either flyable or not. I bought the tickets to Strasbourg and off I went.

On the train down, Matt was updating me on the latest TAF's and METAR's. I did the plog for the flight the night before and only needed the winds aloft which Matt supplied. I found a nice seat on the train and updated the plog on the train. But I got more than a few funny looks when I whipped out the CRP-1 flight computer and the nav charts...hahahahaha.

I arrived in Haguenau on time with no problems and checked through all the paper work and paid for the annual. Christian was a nice guy and he helped me fuel her up with MOGAS and I took her for a quick circuit by myself. The circuit was good except for the landing. She's a very slippy plane, not loosing her speed much. I got her on the ground (she sits very low on the ground) but was way too fast and as soon as the nose wheel touch the shimmy was awful. So I held off the nose for the longest time until the speed bled off.

With everything sorted paperwork wise, I took off, opened the flight plan and took off. The first thing I did wrong was not lean the mixture enough. I was using too much fuel based on my plog and was contemplating a fuel stop somewhere. That was just as I was handed over to Dutch Mil. And that's when the fun started. Dutch Mil couldn't hear me and I swicthed back to Langen Info. They heard me but when I tried to reply, they couldn't hear me. They kept calling F-GFNP do you read me. I clicked on the radio but no joy. So I squawked 7600 on the transponder and looked for a field to land. As luck would have it there was a great big runway below me. It looked military to me, but screw it, this was an emergency. I throttled back, came in over the field looking for the windsock or signals box. Found the wind sock, no signals and set-up for the approach. When I landed, some people were on a quad bike on the runway!!! I taxied back to the main apron and such her down. I knew tha tthe alternator wasn't charging the battery, that's why all the electrics stopped working. I just hoped the flaps would when I was landing.

After landing, I walked over to some folks who were walking their dogs on the airfield. It turns out that I landed at a disused RAF base, now being used by the UK Army. Cool...everyone speaks English, and all is OK. They are letting me store the plane in the old hangers overnight and a nice guy, Sergeant Spike dropped me off at a hotel, where I'm writing this and I'm hopin that the weather is good enough for me to fly back tomorrow. If it is, I'll fly in without a radio through the Class F/G in Holland and get the plane seen to there. So pray for good weather. I'll take pics and post them of F-NP at the base and load them tomorrow. But right now, I'm off to bed.

Wish me blue skies tomorrow.

No comments: