VSH trip: Hilversum to Koblenz-Winningen

Flight info 30-05-2022 DEP/EHHV ARR/EDRK PH-VHA 2:00 hrs 176 NM RMK/VSH day trip to Germany

A while back, before I knew when my final PPL exam would be, I signed up for a flying trip organised by Vliegschool Hilversum. An email arrived with three options. One option was too early (I was surely not going to have my license then), one option was too long (three days in England is awesome, but too expensive for me) and the other option was perfect: flying to (and through) Germany for a day!

As the trip date of May 30th was nearing, so was the date of my PPL exam. Eventually, I did my pre-license test on May 17th and scheduled my exam on May 19th. Unfortunately, poor weather had us postpone the final exam flight until May 21st.

Since KIWA is notoriously slow with giving out pilot licenses (or anything, really) I applied for the quick procedure, hoping the license would be in before the trip. It wasn’t (it arrived three days later, on June 2nd).

However, the organizers of the trip were so kind to fly with me so I could still join as a pilot, but without the paper license.

I had the most awesome day. We departed from Hilversum with – I think – nine aircraft. All to Koblenz, which I was told is a very beautiful approach. The two-hour flight in itself was beautiful too. Germany truly is a general aviation utopia.

Being quite unexperienced (and even more unexperienced with lands that aren’t as flat as a pancake) I needed my full attention for flying the circuit and the final approach, since there was a river way below the runway and a very high bridge over that. Beautiful, it looks a little strange flying on final, but when one keeps focusing on the runway, the flying part isn’t so much different!

As a learner’s takeaway: it was good that I was not flying alone on this flight. Flying abroad is practically not very different but one should not take it too lightly either, as each place has its own customs, habits, and procedures.

And in Germany, not everyone speaks English.