Posts Tagged ‘LGKR’
After another nice stay at the Arkadion Hotel in downtown Kerkira, we left Greece for Dubrovnik, Croatia. This leg was quite interesting in the planning phase as there is little documentation to be found, e.g. on Airspace and Procedures in Albania, which is a “black hole” what General Aviation is concerned. Also, several FIR’s were involved.
Again, flying the leg turned out to be much easier than expected. Controllers were very professional with good English, even in Albania and we were able to cruise at FL85 on what turned out to be almost a direct to destination track. Apparently, the biggest problems in that area are to be expected from flightplan submissions going wrong (i think it has to do with systems unable to detect all FIR’s crossed if you don’t file the right waypoints) and then the flight being rejected.
Fortunately, our submission through homebriefing worked fine and in no time we were on approach to Dubrovnik. The airport is situated on a small elevation above the sea, with the runway being of the curved hilltop type. This made for a firmer than usual landing, not bad, and the visual impression of the uphill slope just feels very weird.
Dubrovnik itself was excellent, nice old town and good food, as in Greece. However, in comparison, price levels are significantly higher except for maybe Santorini. Stayed at a great and new hotel “Adria” situated above the new port, but only recommended if you have a car available.
Planned Distance: 207 NM
Actually Flown Distance (TO to LDG): 197.5 NM
Top Ground Speed: 174.2 kts
Average Ground Speed: 147.3 kts
True Flight Time: 01:20
Block Time: 01:23
Megara was again a pleasure. Quick turnaround, easy fueling, and efficient ATC. About the only thing missing was a cold coke machine ;-) Now, if it also could be used directly from Croatia, it would be perfect.
Easy flight to Kerkira, IFR feeling in VMC conditions. Great ATC all the way. Listening to some Swiss music only broken by radio chatter on FL85…
Kerkira was very busy at arrival. But we knew things from the first time and handling just got us out for the evening. All the paperwork was done the next day before departure.
Planned Distance: 194 NM
Actually Flown Distance (TO to LDG): 198.4 NM
Top Ground Speed: 180.1 kts
Average Ground Speed: 150.15 kts
True Flight Time: 01:20
Block Time: 01:30
Final destination for the day was Milos Island. But due to the fact, that there is only a very short list of airports that carry anything else than Jet Fuel in Greece, we had to make another tech stop.
Basically, you can only get Avgas in the Athens region (Megara and Athens), on the eastern edge of the Aegan (Kos and Rhodos) and in the South (Crete airports). For all the islands in between you have to carry enough fuel for the way in, the way out and obviously alternate and final reserves.
Since Athens is prohibitively expensive, this leaves Megara as the only (and what turned out to be excellent) choice. Megara is originally and still is a Greek Air Force (helicopter) base that has become the prime Greek GA airport. Other than requiring another special permission days ahead of the first visit, this was a great, efficient (30min), low-cost (no landing fees, no compulsory handling, comparably cheap Avgas) fuel stop. Quite the opposite of Foggia.
For once, the trickiest part was the actual piloting. There was a strong northerly wind, which produced severe turbulence along the coast and delivered a crosswind component of 20kts+ on the active runway 08R. But the RV-7A handled it really well, would not suggest flying to Greece to taildraggers, though ;-)
Planned Distance: 194 NM
Actually Flown Distance (TO to LDG): 199 NM
Top Ground Speed: 173.6 kts
Average Ground Speed: 138.9 kts
True Flight Time: 01:26
Block Time: 01:36
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