Date: 1 jan 2022, 11:45 (UTC)
- METAR EBLG 011220Z 19012KT CAVOK 13/09 Q1023 NOSIG=
Flight time: 00:53
Finally managed to get in the air again. Winter time is always difficult, short days make it hard to fly during the week. The weather is very lousy usually, and even if the weather is good the runway is often just too soaked to be used.
Today, the runway was somewhat usable in some places. So everyone was briefed before leaving where we could and could not taxi.
With that, I was instructed to take-off north of the centerline, but not too much because there was also a huge puddle.
So I lined up and took off, but I don't think I was north enough, as during initial roll I was slowed down by the water. I was ready to call it off, but quickly acceleration was normal.
For the aircraft, we have a lot of runway, and I always start all the way at the back, so there was plenty of room to call it off if I noticed acceleration was not OK. But I'm sure for the condition of the field it wasn't all that great. It's very warm at the moment (for winter) but if it should start freezing soon, with all that water, puddles and grooves, that's going to be extra bad.
The down-sides of a grass strip.
Anyway, the flight itself: the air was very smooth most of the time. There were some bumps here and there. Wind was quite stiff from the South, but under 10 kts on the ground so not really an issue for landing.
I flew around from Hasselt to Schulen and then Bilzen. Visibility was very good as well.
When I was coming back to the airfield, I joined right hand downwind for runway 27 and announced me as such on the radio. I heard another pilot was on "final", but I wasn't reading him very clearly.
On downwind I looked at the field and saw - what looked like - someone approaching on short final on runway 09 (the opposite). That made me worry a little I may have missed a runway change so I immediatly left the circuit again.
This was probably unnecessary, because the aircraft did a low-pass and then turned around to land on runway 27. But I was already on my way so did another tour around Hasselt and cam in again.
To be sure, I did a radio check as I was leaving, but they were reading me and I was reading them fine.
The next approach was pretty uneventful and I landed on the part of the runway that wasn't soaked! So all good.
Parked and someone helped me put the planes in the hangar. Sadly, we were a little too quick and bumped the wing tip on the hangar door. It cracked a bit!
But luckily, the people who maintain the aircraft were there and it was fixed with some epoxy and tape in probably under an hour.
All in all, a good way to start the year.
00:53 minutes of flying time: € 95,40 (price went up to € 1,80 / minute)