To Antwerp and Midden-Zeeland
Flight info 04-06-2022 DEP/EHRD VIA/EBAW ARR/EHMZ PH-HLR 1:30 hrs 152 NM RMK/none
This day, a friend and I flew to Antwerp and then to Midden-Zeeland from Rotterdam. The aircraft was the PH-HLR.
Leg 1: EHRD to EBAW
Leg one was by far the most intense one. Not only because we were dealing with two controlled airports, but also because the flight was rather turbulent. This made navigation more time-consuming, but thankfully we did have technology as backup. After crossing the border we listened to the ATIS and then we contacted Antwerp TWR. They sent us directly to reporting point Alber (rather than sending us to Ekere first, as described in the Belgian eAIP) and then to a left-hand downwind for runway 11.
Some miscommunication almost led us to follow taxi instructions to a place we did not want to go, but luckily we caught this in time and asked the tower for new taxi instructions, which we then received.
We briefly left the airfield. To get back onto the airside, we had to go through security. Felt a little bit weird, going through security on such a large airport wearing reflective vests and without any luggage. But hey, we were there on a general aviation flight. I must say, Antwerp security are very, very friendly and helpful!
Leg 2: EBAW to EHMZ
During our run-up checks we had a very impatient jet plane waiting behind us. Note to self: never rush. Even when the giant behind you asks how long he still has to wait, which he did three times in three minutes, a bit excessive, no? We cannot do our run-up checks any faster than the FADEC goes…
The flight to Midden-Zeeland was uneventful. We enjoyed the view, noticed the border between Belgium and The Netherlands is no more than a very straight line of trees, and enjoyed the view. We then landed safely on runway 09.
Leg 3: EHMZ to EHRD
We did a short-field take-off upon my request, as I wanted to see this being done in a Robin.
Those who’ve had their flying lessons in Rotterdam can dream this route. Not me, so I had something to pay attention to. We entered the Rotterdam CTR over Oud Beijerland. A frequently used route, but I had never done it. We were assigned Oud Beijerland – Euromast – Papa.
Flying over the city center of Rotterdam: stunning views! And quite some RT to pay attention to. The airfield was busy! We got our landing clearance at about 100 ft above the ground, just in time.
Both of us were glad to not be alone flying from Rotterdam to Antwerp. It was a busy flight and when one is unfamiliar with another controlled airport’s visual reporting points, combining navigation, RT, and maintaining the overview can be too much. However, it was a very valuable experience, and definitely recommended!