This time last week, I was fighting my way through the Alps at 10,000ft, trying to find a route from Slovenia to Austria. Since then I have been thrown back into a six day run of reporting for the BBC, but everyday I’m reminded of my achievements last week in the skies of Europe.
Alastair and I flew Oscar Romeo, my PA28, through France, Italy, Croatia, Slovenia, Austria, Germany and Belgium, clocking up 2478nm. I added 24 hours to my logbook, but the trip was not without drama. We faced a lost passport, a possible eye infection, two weather diverts, bureaucratic delays and a partially jammed aileron. It was all overcome though, with calm decision making and good humour.
I’ve just started processing all the video filmed during the expedition, and editing the first of five films about our travels. I’ve also started writing a detailed piece about the trip for my website.
I’ve learnt so much this week, and built a huge amount of confidence. Flying through Europe is surprisingly easy, and ATC was extremely helpful. For example, here’s a clip of me requesting a clearance from a Class D TMA in France.
Can you imagine it being that easy here in the UK?
Oscar Romeo flew extremely well, and we had great fuel efficiency when the engine was leaned. My favourite part of the trip was the approach to land at Pula in Croatia. My least favourite was the fight through the Alps with CBs growing around me, and my options slowly being limited.
I’m looking forward to sharing the videos with you in the coming months. I anticipate the first one in the series being released to my early bird supporters some time in the next fortnight.
Stay tuned for more news from this amazing adventure.