summer solstice

summer solstice

Visibility: light haze in the red dawn of the morning
Temperature: 16°C
Wind: 250°, 6 knots
QNH: 1021hPa
Location: EDAY (Strausberg)
Equipment: D-MALJ Rider MD3

The shortest night is one of the shortest nights for me. Last night we sat together at the BBQ telling stories about flights past, covertly glancing at the clock and not wanting to turn in just yet. The room in the pilots lounge is very comfortable. A shame that the bed will be used for a short nap only.

The morning is calm the breeze is gentle. The pilots are giddy like a bunch of school boys. The moment of truth is at 4 am. There is a draw for the honor of the first flight amongst the pilots. But then we find out that one of us has his birthday today. So he gets the first flight and the rest just finds buddies and airplanes.

Sunrise is at 4.43 am today, VFR flying is legal from sunrise -30 minutes. We are #3 aloft at 4.17 am (2.17 UTC for the log book). The morning is very calm and the flight is incredibly smooth. The sun is slowly coming up on the horizon when we turn back. There are other pilots waiting for their turn.

After touch down, we don’t taxi to apron but hand the aircraft over right there. A bunch of the others are by the side of the runway, chatting and taking pictures. Its quite a sight and I realize I have never walked on the pavement of the landing strip.

Breakfast is served at 6 am. We all have been up for hours and coffee and food is most appreciated. We conclude the morning with a group picture. On the way back, the roads are empty and I am home making coffee as the wife awakes.

Dear summer, I hope you stay for a long time after this welcome!

To be continued…

 

(originally posted on June 29, 2013 by tilbo at aloft.blog.com/summer-solstice/)

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