Flying with the jets

Flying with the jets

Visibility: CAVOC, more than 10k
Temperature: 23°C
Wind: 140°, 6 knots
QNH: 1028hPa
Location: EDFE (Egelsbach)
Equipment: D-EFRV Cessna 172P

There is a lot of moisture in the early morning air but the sun is bright and the day promises to be nice. I am on my way to EDFE, Egelsbach. The airfield is one of the busiest for general aviation in the country. What makes it more demanding than others is its proximity to the very busy Frankfurt International Airport and the fact that corporate jets and piston single trainers co-exist here.

I’m in the area for a few days and decide to take an introductory flight with a local flight instructor. Who knows, I might come back here by air some day and a head start can’t hurt. It has been since the fall that I last flew a 172. But when I sit down I feel right at home. The instructor goes through the check list with me, we start up and go. The airport is not hugh but even this early it is buzzing with activity. There is even a seperate radio frequency for the ground traffic. I have never seen that at an uncontrolled airfield.

A smart looking black citation jet is starting up next to us. It is right behind us on taxiway Alpha to runway 09. The controller asks us if we can take the last but one ramp onto the runway (Foxtrot) and let the much faster jet pass and take-off before us. We are more than happy to comply and enjoy the front row view of the sleek beauty roaring past us and taking to the skies.

Cap at 1.500 feet

The traffic pattern at Egelsbach is in a relatively small box of airspace that is cut out of the controlled airspace of Frankfurt International Airport. The approach is routed through a set of compulsory reporting points and the maximum altitude is a mere 1.500 feet. The field itself is at 385 feet, so there is not a lot of safety margin over a woody area with hills rising to the south. It feels tight in a Cessna and I have to salute the jet pilots making this approach.

We leave the Egelsbach-box via Echo, turn south-west to pass Kilo and approach again via Delta 1 & 2. The base leg into runway 09 is very close to the controlled airspace and the instructor makes very sure we do not penetrate it.

We repeat the exercise a few more times until I start feeling comfortable. It was a good idea to do this with a local instructor and I am looking forward to my next visit – flying!

To be continued…


(originally posted on July 19, 2013 by tilbo at

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