Air travel with ARROW Airservice to the North Sea Nov. 5th and 6th 2005
It takes a good dose of optimism to want to do a VFR flight with two C 172 to the North Sea at the beginning of November!
And so it first looks like it: constant gray skies and continuous rain on Saturday morning. The pilots and fellow passengers of the D-EKKS and D-EFNK of ARROW Airservice from Strausberg wait longingly for a bright light on the horizon.
But after two “sample” traffic patterns in the rain our two flight instructors announce “green light” for departure, especially as the weather report promises strong headwinds for our route, but slightly better weather.
So the two Cessnas took off with a 2 hour weather-related delay, but in anticipation of an exciting weekend flight. First, we fly north past the control zone of Berlin, then we climb above the clouds and have good visibility and a smooth ride, but with a strong headwind.
After about 2 hours and tidy crosswind on landing we reach our preliminary milestone Bremerhaven, where we fill up (no tankering option on the islands) and wear lifejackets for the short flight over the Wadden Sea to the island Wangerooge.
Only 19 minutes flight away is Wangerooge, the easternmost of the East Frisian Islands and our destination today. Our small hotel is located directly at the airport, overlooking the Tower. Also here is a strong breeze, which tears the clouds apart and always makes the sun shine through. What a pity that in November the dawn is coming up soon, we would like to have extended our walk along the beach and through the car-free area.
The next morning, we see a clear, blue sky, but again, a strong wind. Will we be able to land on the short track in Helgoland? We file the necessary flight plan and start flying north accurately. The airport of Helgoland is only 24nm away from Wangerooge, on the so-called “barrier island” (Düneninsel). We get the short 370m landing field. Even during the approach, we discover a large seal colony on the beach, but which don’t get disturbed with the approaching machines. Just before the threshold a small sand dune appears, but then the two Cessnas “sit” consecutively on the short runway.
We must hurry if we still want to take the ferry to the 61m high red sandstone island. A short tour around the historically interesting main island is very worthwhile, even if the duty-free shopping must fail for it. The short time in Helgoland gives us at least an idea of the offshore island.
The short days in November, and a few miles back to Strausberg force us to beat the return flight to the mainland. We cross Schleswig-Holstein with tailwind and see the Kiel Canal below us. We take another stopover in Schwerin-Parchim before the last stretch to Strausberg is done. Mrs Gebhardt welcomes us with traditional coffee and cake, with which the eventful weekend flight to Wangerooge and Helgoland decays.
The careful planning and prudent management of our experienced flight instructors Winfried Gebhardt and Frank Aust have made possible an unforgettable flight-tour for us pilots and passengers for which we are grateful.