Posts Tagged ‘Foggia’
The third and final leg of the day was crossing the Adriatic sea to Kerkira, Corfu, Greece. For this we mounted comfortable lifevests that we got just before the trip. Since it was already later in the day and we “lost” one hour due to time zone offset, the sun was perfect for some nice evening pictures.
Kerkira is heavily used by GA as entry/exit point into Greece, naturally due to its location in the northwestern corner of the country. Therefore the airport is quite used to hosting transient small airplanes. Nonetheless, a handling agent is required. We can highly recommend Swissport with the AOPA contract. Things went really smooth and considering the circumstances and effort, the 24€+tax are a very good value. As mentioned before, flying VFR in Greece requires a bit of advance planning, establishing contact by phone/fax/email etc… beforehand. But once that’s done, everything runs remarkably smooth and with few hassles and chicanes. If they could only get rid of these last few paperwork-nags it would be even better…
Picked a great hotel, “Arcadion”, in the center of Corfu Town, quite close to the airport and within walking distance of shops and restaurants. There we spent two days exploring Kerkira and taking a rest from the 5+ hours of flying on the first day.
Planned Distance: 232 NM
Actually Flown Distance (TO to LDG): 244.4 NM
Top Ground Speed: 187.6 kts
Average Ground Speed: 146.4 kts
True Flight Time: 01:40
Block Time: 01:49
Foggia was selected as fuel stop for its location and reputation. There are very few airfields in southern Italy which have Avgas, offer customs and are close enough to the final destination of the day, Kerkira.
The lack of proper (fuel available) alternates for Kerkira, practically require the fuel stop to be close enough to allow for a return to the departure airfield even when over the final destination.
Unfortunately, Foggia did not live up to its good GA reputation (eddh.de, other sources). We lost more than an hour on fueling expensive at 3€/l (approx 16$/gal!!!) Avgas and watching an airport rep taking forever to print a paper slip to enable us to pay the landing fees of another twentyish Euros. To top it off, despite emails and phone calls ahead of time, customs was not organized as it should have been. We were lucky that this didn’t delay us any further.
While Greece took a lot of effort for flight planning and then the actual operation turned out to be very easy, Italy was quite the opposite. At first sight, Italy is pretty easy flight planning wise, but then turns out to be quite a pain for operation. Controllers tend to have a VFR-averse attitude and airspace structure is set to mainly keep you below 2000ft AGL. Despite this, I managed to get a decent economic cruising level of FL115 for the better part of the flight, but it required hints and suggestive communication all the time.
Also, the scenery along the Italian Adriatic coast is quite boring.
So based on our experience and the excellent reports out of Croatia (which we will fly through on the way back) I would advise against taking the Italian route unless necessary for weather or other reasons.
Planned Distance: 404 NM
Actually Flown Distance (TO to LDG): 424 NM
Top Ground Speed: 182 kts
Average Ground Speed: 153.5 kts
True Flight Time: 02:46
Block Time: 02:57