LSGL Lausanne Switzerland to OLBA Beirut Lebanon May 2011

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Antoine
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LSGL Lausanne Switzerland to OLBA Beirut Lebanon May 2011

Post by Antoine »

Hello All,

Per Kai's idea, here's the new thread to consolidate the posts that relate to this trip.

Will add photos asap. Here the trip summary and statistics:

The trip started on monday May 23rd from Lausanne, Switzerland, LSGL, a VFR airport.
Day 1 took N807DS to Dubrovnik, Croatia, LDDU in IFR/Z, 576 NM 4:53 hours
Day 2 to Rodos island, Greece, LGRP in VFR/IFR, 670 NM 5:28 hours
Day 3 to Beirut, Lebanon, OLBA in IFR, approximately 400 NM, 2:59 hours

Day 4 Left Beirut on Sunday May 29th. IFR to Rodos, LGRP 3:28 hours 430 NM
Refuel, international arrival paperwork and continued IFR to Mykonos LGKM. 1:25 hour. 149 NM
Day 5 IFR to Kerkira/Corfu, LGKR. 2:28 hours 312 NM
Refuel, departure paperwork, flew to LFKC, Calvi, Corsica, France 4:41 hours, 576 NM
Day 6 IFR/Y to LSGL 3:12 hours, 391 NM

Trip Statistics (Times are block to block).

LSGL-OLBA trip: 1650 NM, 13:20 hours 383 liters, 100 USG. Average speed 121 (block to block!)
OLBA-LSGL trip: 1860 NM, 15:14 hours 458 liters 120 USG. Average speed 122.

All-in trip fuel consumption: .062 USG/NM, 16.13 NM/USG or 12.9 L/100 Km.
Cruise fuel flow: at or under 7.5 GPH at or above 130 KTAS. :)

Landing/parking/handling costs:

LDDU Dubrovnik 47€
Greek airports: 37 € + overnight parking LGRP 14€, nil in LGMK
Beirut: 100$ (70 €) 4 nights
Calvi: 30 €

Fuel costs per liter

LDDU: 2.53€
LGRP/LGKR: 2.53€
OLBA: 2.87 $ = 2.05€
LFKC: 2.29€
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Tim H
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Re: LSGL Lausanne Switzerland to OLBA Beirut Lebanon May 201

Post by Tim H »

Sounds like a fantastic trip.

"Cruise fuel flow: at or under 7.5 GPH at or above 130 KTAS"

What were your (average) MP and RPM settings and altitiude?

Tim
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Re: LSGL Lausanne Switzerland to OLBA Beirut Lebanon May 201

Post by Antoine »

The missing report! OLBA Beirut to LGRP Rodos to LGMK Mykonos

Refueling with a touch of nostalgy: I was invited to join the saturday party right on the tarmac and got to meet about a dozen pilots and instructors from the Aeroclub who gave me the warmest welcome. I met an english gentleman from IAOPA, Martin Robinson and we had a nice chat.

The Aeroclub folks refueled N807DS from 20 liter jerrycans, through a gigantic funnel that was fitted with a piece of natural suede as a filter. Simultaneously a large quadturboprop of the Kuwaiti Airforce (go figure) started all four engines successively and did a never ending runup just next to us. I wore my noise cancelling headset to save my ears!

Then, that SOB turned his fat ass to us and started taxiing as if we didn't exist. He almost blasted N807DS into the fence and I reacted just fast enough to stop the refueling before we broke something. The canopy bubble slammed shut but luckily no one was hurt...

On sunday, I arrived at the aiport rather upset after an unpleasant family event, and it took a great effort to make me calm down and concentrate for the flight.
Handling was absolutely perfect, just as upon arrival and I once again dazed at the magnificent jets that were filling the GA Apron.
I learnt that GA represents 30% of OLBA's total traffic and is therefore very welcome. Very few SEP planes, though! There is a plan to double the size of the GA terminal.

Had a soft drink and a friendly discussion with Michel, the owner of the local Aeroclub.
Eventually, I felt ok and decided to go.
Took off at 11:35 local and climbed towards Cyprus in smooth air and blue skies in moderate headwind.
That weather didn't last: Cyprus was all TCUs and rather unwelcoming, just as TAFed.
So I asked for a diversion and flew alongside the south coast. I had great difficulty persuading enroute controllers to let me switch to another airway, as the weather was building up and the stormscope was coming alive.

Arriving at Rodos, the TAF turned out to be correct, maybe a tad optimistic SCT 2000 TCU...
I hit a wall of mean looking TCUs, fortunately not dense enough to block me out.
After zigzagging for a while, I asked for my descent clearance and successively went from FL 110 to 90, 70, 50, 40, 20. The friendly controller apologized for not letting me any lower in IFR and asked if I wanted to cancel. I said no, tidied up the cockpit and let N807DS slip into the cloud bases, not knowing what was above.
Turned out to be absolutely ok, so I proceeded part in IMC and part in visual.

Suddenly, I saw a patch of blue sky above me and the enormous towering top of the TCU I was about to enter. NO GO!
Autopilot disconnect, steep turn to the left and I called Rodos approach. My heart was beating really fast and I hand flew the vectors to the ILS 25.
Uneventful landing, "N807DS please expedite" this time Swissport were there and delivered very good service.
All of a sudden it looked like France here! F-reg piston planes were arriving every 5 minutes or so. Turned out to be a 9-plane group headed for ... Beirut! We had a nice chat.
Refueled (they refused to fill my Jerrycans) and took off for Mykonos in menacing skies. Surprisingly, the sky cleared very quickly, beautiful islands on the way and I landed at Mykonos in CAVOK.
Was offered a visual straight-in instead of the terrible VOR/DME approach that looked like it was invented by a sadistic examiner for an IFR checkride!

Nice landing, Swissport handling again (Kai I had no chance of changing this as they did a lot of work for me, such as the PPR I did not have for Mykonos...)

I noticed people looking at me slightly disappointed, no captain attire...

The night in Mykonos was unforgettable. I gave my cabby the hotel reservation which my GF had organised and I had printed at Swissport. He took me there: stunning place... but they didnt have me in the system. So I gave them my print out, filled in a form, and was walked to my SUITE by a very friendly employee. He said I got an upgrade, and oh man what an upgrade it was. Gorgeous private terrace overlooking the sea, etc...
I went for a swim in the salt water pool, and as I draped into the luxuriously thick towel, a smiling young lady with the sexiest voice comes roaring at me "Antooooooine, I'm Elena, welcome here, but we have a problem"!

Turned out my cab got it wrong, I was standing dripping water in the wrong suite, wrong hotel!!!
Elena (the nice lady) said she was the reservations manager and she would call the other hotel and fix it.
She came back smiling and whispered "you pay the other room and get this one for free".
Thats how the evening started.
A fantastic "nouvelle greek" meal, a few drinks and an open air night club later, it was 3 AM and I crashed into bed, after having checked weather and regretfully cancelling the idea of staying another night.
Next day, I pulled myself early out of bed, jumped into the pool at 0730 or so and got to breakfast where an attractive Albanian waitress was looking in slight frustration at two MM couples...

I paid my bill, Elena had even given me free breakfast, so I left a nice tip for the staff.
Rushed to the airport, flightplan, weather and full blast to Kerkira/Corfu LGKR: I had to rush home before the major cold front hit France. The Alps were already out of the question and all that was left to save was a decent freezing level for the IMC part of the flight over France.

The weather was challenging, lots of TCUs along the way, and the controllers were obviously not used to assisting small planes out of icing. I constantly felt the surprise at my requests.

My O2 had mysteriously ran empty at OLBA (was half full) and the FL110 trip added to the short and well slightly wild night took their toll on me. I was fighting for concentration on that leg.

The landing approach in Corfu was stunningly beautiful. The scenery woke me up, I landed long and exited quickly, Swissport was there...

Must stop for now, kids need dinner! Tim will answer your question later tonight. I have made notes.
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Re: LSGL Lausanne Switzerland to OLBA Beirut Lebanon May 201

Post by Antoine »

Tim I use WOT as of FL070 or so.

RPM is in the 2100-2150 range up until FL100 then gradually more as you come closer to FL120.

The engine will happily lean down to 7.5 at FL 080 and closer to 7.0 at FL 110-120.

Hope this helps
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Re: LSGL Lausanne Switzerland to OLBA Beirut Lebanon May 201

Post by Kai »

Hello Antoine, I will shuffle the other posts over one of these days. I am a bit busy as I am travelling.
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Antoine
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Re: LSGL Lausanne Switzerland to OLBA Beirut Lebanon May 201

Post by Antoine »

I have uploaded part of the pics to picasa. Having difficulty with the iphone ones (including the ones I took in IMC, too busy for the camera!) The reflexions from the canpy have unfortunately caused the usual blur and quality loss. Sorry about that...

https://picasaweb.google.com/FlyingFish ... eirut_2011#

Enjoy!
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Re: LSGL Lausanne Switzerland to OLBA Beirut Lebanon May 201

Post by Robin »

Antoine

Great photos, thanks for posting the link.

Such beautiful scenery.

Very inspired.

Cheers

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Re: LSGL Lausanne Switzerland to OLBA Beirut Lebanon May 201

Post by Erik »

Beautiful pictures Antoine, Thank you for sharing!!!
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Re: LSGL Lausanne Switzerland to OLBA Beirut Lebanon May 201

Post by Tim »

Fabulous write up and great photographs, Antoine. It makes me want to take a week off work and head out for a long trip. Hard to beat those views though. Croatia and your family villa looked especially nice.
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Re: LSGL Lausanne Switzerland to OLBA Beirut Lebanon May 201

Post by Rick »

Spectacular photos, Antoine - what beautiful scenery! Thanks for putting all the effort into writing up your adventure so guys like me, who will probably never have the privilege to fly in such far-away places, at least can get a glimpse of what it's like. Whenever I land at a somewhat-unfriendly FBO somewhere here in the states (I've only found a few), I just think back to postings like yours and Kai's, and realize how much worse things COULD be - and suddenly I have tons more patience!
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