Sightseeing in Noord-Holland

Flight info 17-11-2023 DEP/EHRD ARR/EHRD PH-SPZ 1:20 hrs 116 NM RMK/great company

After many a cancelled flight over the recent weeks (I think I’ve gone flying twice out of the eight attempts), we finally got to go up and have a look at the world from above again!

I wasn’t alone today, no. I had great company, one of Vliegclub Rotterdam’s bar employees joined me. We’d worked a few days together, with me sitting behind the front desk and her working the bar. I figured if you work at a flying club, you should experience a flight at least once!

So the two of us watched the weather, and finally around noon I decided it was good enough to go for a flight. There were some showers, but we could see where they were. We could also see through them, so even though they washed our airplane within the first ten minutes of flight, they didn’t pose any problems for remaining VMC.

We took off and left Rotterdam via a Hotel departure. After Hoek van Holland, we turned north to follow the coast all the way up to IJmuiden, north of the Schiphol CTR. With a roundspeed of around 125 kts, this did not take long (to my colleague’s surprise – planes do indeed go fast)!

We then turned east, using the Paard van Marken (a lighthouse in the Markermeer) as directional guidance. We flew past Alphen aan den Rijn, where Amsterdam Info told us to watch our altitude and to be aware of possible wake turbulence due to traffic landing at Schiphol. It’s always a treat to see those big planes passing overhead! So close, but always with 1000 ft in between… 

Given the … interesting (for lack of a better term) weather, we had lovely clouds to look at during our sunset flight. We took off at around 3:30 PM LT, which meant we were going to come back for landing close to the end of UDP (which was 5:02 PM on this particular day). We ended up landing four minutes before sunset, actually!

Quick note: landing after sunset wouldn’t have been a problem, since I had recently completed a solo night flight, which meant I was (am at the time of writing) good to go flying with passengers after dark (given I have a working airplane).

We landed back on runway 24 and taxied back. Nothing really out of the ordinary happened during the fight, except that this was my first time flying in Amsterdam Info area while the mandatory listening watch is active. In addition to talking to Amsterdam Info, they also had us squawk 7020.

Let’s hope the weather gets a bit better and we can enjoy a full winter of flying!