1990, Flight to Nordcap

Reise zum Nordcap / Trip to the North Cape

June 14 to June 21, 1990

We started out under the worse possible conditions…. low clouds and pouring rain. „We“ were  5 members of the Babenhausen flying club, Janko Dspot, Mike Reining, Rainer Korff, Astrid Krone and me in 2 Piper Arrows. The first leg was to take us to Westerland, Sylt, where we planned to refuel and continue on to Bergen, Norway. Rainer and Astrid flew the D-EBES and Janko, Mike, and me alternatingly flying the D-ELGH.  For the first leg Janko was PIC and Mike his co while I made myself „comfortable“ in the back seat. One seat had been removed to allow for more baggage and to give us more weight allowance.

In spite of the rain we arrived in Westerland as planned, refueled, then continued on over Denmark toward Bergen. On this second leg Mike was PIC and I was Co. The weather was better but not as good as hoped for. Our route toward Bergen, after crossing the waterways between Denmark and Norway, was supposed to be over the inland mountains, but the farther north we flew, the lower the clouds became. Rainer and Astrid were already trying the coastal route. I soon navigated Mike westward „toward the bright spots“. We soon reached better conditions and were continured northward where we landed without any problems in Bergen.

But where were Rainer and Astrid? As it turned out, because of the deteriorating weather they had decided to land at a military airfield somewhere off the coast and couldn’t arrive in Bergen until the next day.

In the meantime the rest of us found a youth hostel for the night. The personel at Bergen were extremely helpful. In fact, during the whole trip the Norwegians helped us along, found hostels for us to stay in, drove us from our planes over to the tower, etc.

The next morning we checked the weather and planned our next leg. For this leg I would be PIC and Janko my Co. It was planned to fly to Namos for refueling before continuing on to Trompsø for the next over-night stay. According to my old documents, this leg was to be 330 km.

Soon Rainer and Astrid arrived, landing on Runway 36. They taxied to a parking position near the tower while we were parked farther south. After exchanging tales of the previous days events and discussing the details for the days flight, we went to our aircraft to prepare our departure.

 In the meantime the runway had been changed to 18. I began to taxi toward 18 and soon heard the tower calling „D-EBES , taxi to rwy 18…. „. Looking out ahead of me, I noticed a PA-28 heading toward me. Again the tower radioed the other plane to turn around. They kept coming. Rainer speaks no English at all and Astrid wasn’t used to it. Soon I realised that they didn’t understand that they were being talked to, so I grabbed the microphone from Janko and said in German „Turn around, you’re going the wrong way!“ Suddenly the PA-28 stopped and started making a 360 to reverse direction… finally! We decided later that we would alwas fly as a formation and that our aircraft would cover the radio work from now on…. and that worked fine…. there were no more problems after that. This leg took 3 hours and 5 minutes according to my log book and was 330 km.

Rainer and Astrid with the D-EBES in Namsos

4th leg from Namsos to Trompsø

Sind it was my turn on the next leg to sit in the back, I could finally take some pictures of the beautiful landscape.

After refueling we continued our trip up north. The landscape got bearer, wilder, more and more interesting…..and  between Namsos and Trompsø we also crossed the Artic Circle.

 

The D-EBES in formation….

flying over a fisherman’s house

Occasionally we went lower, into the Fjords…. it was a fantastic experience.

Mike and Janko

We flew passed Hammerfest, where most people fly to on there way north. After two and a half days we reached the North Cap of Norway! The weather was hazy but quite flyable and we were able to circle the northern most point of Europe.

71° 10′ 21″

If you look closely, you can see a white point on the side of the cliff…. that’s the window of the tourist center! On the top of the cliff you can see the entrance.

Rainer and Astrid

Janko in front of the tourist center.

We made it! Mike, our pilot-in-command, is happy to have landed at the airfield in Honnigsvåg. We had radioed the ground and received permission to land. The guy arrived at the field at the same time we landed… he had been at home!

View from the tower at Honnigsvåg, left the D-EBES, right the D-ELGH.

Where ever the Babenhausen flyers go, they leave one of their stickers! So of course we added ours to the tower in Honnigsvåg. Mike did the honors.

Yes, this was our „hotel“! It was actually a quite comfortable campground with wooden vacation houses.

Mike checking out our „accommodations“!

After settling down, we got on a bus for the 2 hour drive to the „Top of Europe“.

 

The crew! This photo was taken inside the North Cap!

Rainer – Mike – Astrid

seated: Janko

Yes, I really was on the trip, but someone had to take the picture!

There’s a big tourist center at the Cap and of course we left our decal there, too. We stuck at the front entrance, over the door. I sat on Mike’s shoulders to stick it… there should be a picture of that… hopefully Astrid and Rainer still have it and can send it to me.

We had originally planned to return via Finland….. flying from Honnigsvåg to Kirkenes. The weather for our departure was fine, but Kirkenes was constantly in fog. We stayed in Honnigsvåg for 2 nights, taking time to visit the village.

Honnigsvåg a quiant little fishing villiage with not much to offer for tourists.

We decided to change our plans and fly back along the coast of Norway. Mike was again PIC and again we flew around the Cap before continueing on our way south.

Again we stopped in Trompsø to refuel and then continued on to Leknes on the Lofoten. This time it was my leg to be pilot-in-command. The flight took 1 hour 24 minutes for 165 km. The Lofoten are a group of islands off the coast of Norway. Again we found a nice camping ground to stay in and enjoyed the midnight sun at a local restaurant. It was really fun to walk back to the campground at one o’clock in the morning in DAYLIGHT!

Janko at the campground in Leknes.

The next day, June 19, we headed toward Kristiansund where we again with the help of the tower personel found a youth hostel to stay at. After our landing we had been picked up by a bus and taken to the other side of the airfield where the tower was located.

The next morning we took the bus back to the airfield. After arriving, Mike realised that he had left his bag with all his papers in the bus! Again the tower crew helped us out. They called the bus company only to find out it was in the workshop! The bus company found the bag and brought it to the field via a taxi!

I can’t give the Norwegians enough praise for their helpfulness and hospitality!!

The next leg, from Kristiansand to Flensburg, was again mine as PIC and took 2 hours and 10 minutes.  It was to be a very challenging flight. First of all we had to fly over a long stretch of open water to the north Danish coast.

On we flew to Kristiansand on the south tip of Norway. Notice the names are similar…. one with …sand, the other with ….sund.

Kristiansund, Norway

The above pictures show the changing coastline of Norway.

before Kristiansand

Kristiansand

Kristiansand Airfield

The next leg, from Kristiansand to Flensburg, was again mine as PIC and took 2 hours and 10 minutes.  It was to be a very challenging flight. First of all we had to fly over a long stretch of open water to the north Danish coast.

The pictures above show beautiful weather and very much changing countrysides. But then the weather over Denmark became increasingly bad with thunder storms and heavy rains.I tried to keep my distance from all the thunderstorms yet still trying to keep eye contact with the D-EBES. We soon lost sight of each other and it was each on his/her own. The visibility decreased… it got to be barely legal and was definitely no fun.

Back in Germany!

With the help of old friends of my husbands family we found a very inexpensive hotel in the old town of Flensburg, Germany.

On June 21 we embarked on the final stage of our journey, arriving safe and sound back in Babenhausen.

 

2010, Miramar airshow

In 2010 I took my usual trip back home to San Diego. By chance the airshow at the Miramar airbase was taking place. Of course I went to see it. Also by chance my son was also visiting so we went to the show together. I can only put in a few pictures here, just enough to give you an impression of the fantastic event.

Here is my son taking pictures and also being shown one of the military weapons. For those of you who may not know it, Miramar is the airfield for „Top Gun“.

Of course there were lots of great flying demos.

My camera is not best for taking such pictures of the flying. I’m sure Carsten has better pictures…..I must ask him.