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Swiss Brass Championships, Secret Airports of the Ruhr, Fine Wines of Bordeaux

Swiss Brass Championships, Secret Airports of the Ruhr, Fine Wines of Bordeaux

Old Jul 22, 22, 9:11 am
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Swiss Brass Championships, Secret Airports of the Ruhr, Fine Wines of Bordeaux

1. Introduction

The second quarter of the year, namely the period from April to mid June, has become horrendous for me with rehearsals, coachings and recitals every day including Sundays. This is because the Conservatoire have their exam recitals and certificates during the same period and everything is shoved into the same period. With their infinite wisdom and their unerring talent for nonexistent communication (typical of music and the arts) all the music schools, ordinary schools and music societies want to make all their recitals at the same time. And of course, the English Theater in Geneva insist on doing their main production of the year at this time too. So, sacrifices have to be made otherwise the whole thing becomes impossible. The hours I have to do at this time are inhuman and no regulated or unionised entity would ever allow such a timetable. But I am my own manager (doing the planning is the most tiring and burdensome thing of all) and I know that I have free time for more or less the rest of the year on the same salary, so I can do other projects and get writing (mid November to mid December gets pretty busy too).


I flew with this Piper aircraft from Mnchengladbach to Dinslaken Schwarze Heide airfield

So in terms of actual travel, this part of the year is pretty restricted because I have to stay put and see hundreds of students through their exams. However, Easter time was free - it never used to be, but the Swiss Solo Brass Championships, which excels at non communication, shifted their dates so that the contest takes place before Easter rather than after. Along with that and the Concours Jeunesse Musicale Suisse I found myself roaming all over Switzerland, completing hundreds, maybe thousands, of kilometres by train. It's a shame we can't collect miles and points with the Swiss trains, like we can in Germany.


1st class on the SBB Swiss train service from Lausanne to Zurich

So, coming up will be a couple of train reports including my trip to Germany at Easter. There will also be reviews of a couple of flights with private aircraft, booked through the flight sharing platform Wingly. And in late June, once everything has calmed down, I make a trip to Bordeaux to try some fine wines, using a business class offer with KLM. I will also write up reviews of the hotels visited.


Arriving in Martigny with the train on 2nd April. This was the final blast of winter weather

Last edited by Concerto; Jul 26, 22 at 2:50 am
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Old Jul 22, 22, 11:13 am
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I was hoping to find the next installment soon. Thank you.
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Old Jul 22, 22, 11:14 am
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Looking forward to this thread!
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Old Jul 22, 22, 3:30 pm
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Yes, sorry, I had intended starting this trip report earlier, at the beginning of July. But despite being on holiday now, there seems to be so much to do and I was feeling a bit lazy about it all. Hopefully I can get this one uploaded a bit quicker, on a daily basis or every two days.
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Old Jul 23, 22, 8:41 am
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2. Summary of offers

The second quarter of 2022 was a bit odd as far as special offers go. With the ongoing Ukraine situation hanging like a black cloud over Europe fuel prices have been soaring to levels last seen in 2008. The Corona situation, although still present, has mostly disappeared from the media and life has been getting back to normal, so there is less need for airlines and hotels to incentivise people to travel. At the time of writing I don't expect there to be many major offers in the third or fourth quarters of this year, although with the Ukraine situation it is difficult to say. For most of the second quarter I was extremely busy and there was no chance for travel between mid April and mid June.


Evening at the lakeside in Montreux, taken two days after the snowy picture in the 1st post above


Slightly surreal pic of the famous bridge in Lucerne

Lufthansa Group was offering double status miles until the end of June, something I already made use of during my trip to Mlaga in late March, earning 20,000 miles in one go for a D-class fare. If they continue that offer I will almost certainly make use of it later this year. Air France KLM were offering 50% more XPs on all their flights until the end of June, including codeshares. Not as generous as the 100% offer during the second half of 2021 it was still a pretty good deal and I booked an ex Germany 2 for 1 business class deal to Bordeaux for late June which would yield 90XPs for 300 (a shockingly good 3.33 per XP). Not every airport in Germany offered the deal and DUS was absent, so I booked it from FRA via AMS (booking it via Paris CDG would have meant two of the flight segments were domestic, which would yield a lot less XPs). In this offer, the following destinations were available: FCO, BCN, BOD, CDG, NTE and BHX, a slightly odd spread. I chose Bordeaux because the timings and dates worked, although Birmingham had wide open availability (but I didn't want to go there).


The flights with KLM Cityhopper were quite pleasant


Flying above thunderstorm clouds on the way to Bordeaux, which involved quite a detour to avoid them

Not really a special offer as such, but during the last Black Friday offers I had amassed quite a few vouchers for the flight sharing platform Wingly. So I began exploring those small airports that are mostly used for private aviation and are scattered in unusual places all over Europe. It began with a trip starting at Mnchengladbach, which was previously considered the second airport of Dusseldorf but now has no scheduled traffic. It took me to tiny Schwarze Heide aerodrome just north of Oberhausen, which serves as the airport of Dinslaken in name but is geographically much closer to Bottrop or Hnxe. At the time of writing it appears that the aerodrome may be sold to the town of Hnxe, or even to developers, which would be a pity.


The Piper aircraft with which we flew to Dinslaken and back to Mnchengladbach


Close up views of the lower Rhine River valley

With the hotel chains, I did not need to do many stays this quarter. But Hilton had a really good offer of 2,500 bonus points per stay until the end of May. IHG also had an offer of up to 50,000 points for achieving a certain number of stays (I got 4,000 points for two stays). The main news was an overhaul of the IHG rewards program to something called IHG One Rewards, which appears to be mostly positive and offers more consistent benefits to truly loyal customers. Much of the way to those benefits, such as free breakfast (a real innovation for IHG), suite upgrades and lounge access, has to be achieved by actual heads in beds, so to speak. This means actual stays and not just gaining the right number of points by activities such as credit card spend. There is a lot to read through and digest here, so I will have to study whether it is worth continuing to pursue platinum status (at 60,000 points over 40,000 I don't think it is). The other hotel chains didn't have anything that interested me (I don't do Marriott, Hyatt or Radisson). But during the second quarter both Meli Rewards and Shangri-la Golden Circle (now revamped as Circle and greatly devalued) have moved over to a revenue based redemption system, which almost totally removes all value and interest in those schemes. Like with the airlines and their massively declining service quality, it's beginning to make more sense to just forget loyalty and book independently, in function of need and price.


A standard Holiday Inn Express room in the HIX at Kriens, near Lucerne


The rooftop suite in the classy Maison Fredon guesthouse in Bordeaux

Lastly, a word about train schemes. In Switzerland I have the GA (General Abonnement) which gives me the freedom of the country on any form of transport (the way I move around makes it essential to have it). A new development for holders of the GA is the introduction of super saver upgrades to 1st class, which are also available for those who have an existing 2nd class ticket with the half fare card. The dynamic pricing means you can score real bargains for upgrades, such as CHF9.60 from Montreux to Zurich.
Over in Germany there are loads of Sparpreis offers, despite rising fuel costs. For example, I saw 13 for a one way second class ticket from Schaffhausen to Duisburg on many dates. Many other city pairs had great prices too, even relatively close to booking. But the biggest innovation was the offer of a monthly pass for June, July and August in Germany for 9 per month for 2nd class travel on all regional transport, including buses and trams, but not including IC, EC and ICE intercity trains. So you could theoretically go from Garmisch-Partenkirchen to the Baltic sea, or from Basel Bad to Stralsund, as many times as you want but it would take over 16 hours to do so!


Changing between regional trains at St. Maurice in canton Valais


Leaving the ICE intercity express train on arrival at Duisburg Hauptbahnhof
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Last edited by Concerto; Jul 23, 22 at 9:20 am
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Old Jul 25, 22, 3:12 am
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3. Solo Brass Adventures and Swiss Youth Music Competition

There are many competitions for brass instruments, whether for brass band or for brass soloists, and many hopeful candidates, with their families, teachers and band leaders. This is a world which is quite particular, a universe in its own right with many things wrong with it as well as good aspects, like in most universes. I don't want to imply that the brass world is a closed universe, but, musically speaking, you are far away from Purcell, Mozart, Tchaikovsky or Puccini here. Brass music is not "classical" by definition, it's "brass music". At these competitions it's often a testosterone fuelled cascade of notes played as fast as inhumanely possible and a lot of noise, with piano accompaniments that are largely unplayable as they are written. Which leads to the reason as to why I am doing this, there simply being very few pianists who are able to, or want to, play this sort of repertoire. Nowadays I know most of the repertoire (although I get a few new horrendous pieces to learn each time) and the young people are used to working with me. It's also nice to have contact with their families, the other teachers and musicians as well as the people in the different places we go to each year. And I have a number of talented adults who also participate, the oldest this year having an age of 55.





This year we were in Lucerne, based at the Sdpol music complex in Kriens which houses the main music school of Lucerne, several different sized concert halls, practice and teaching rooms, a pleasant open plan caf area and a separate building for the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra. The facilities were excellent, with a Steinway piano in each concert hall and rehearsal venue. Even the pianos in the practice studios were accurately tuned to match those in the concert halls, meaning that the younger candidates didn't get nervous and confused in the tuning process standing on the stage while waiting for the signal to start. The Swiss military apparently did much of the organisation, with cadets leading us from the warm-up room to the stage with perfect Swiss punctuality. There were four of us including myself playing for the small instruments (cornet, trumpet, bugle) and three who played for the big instruments (euphonium, tenor horn, trombone, bass). Most candidates came from canton Valais, which is the most enthusiastic center of brass playing in Switzerland. It was a long, tough weekend, starting at 08h30 on the Saturday and going right through to the finale at the end of the afternoon. You have to keep concentrating, because slips can happen very easily. It's a bit like climbing a mountain in a way.


A view of the Sdpol complex at Kriens beside Lucerne


View of one of the interior halls during the competition, jury hidden behind a screen in the corner

I was glad to be staying at the nearby Holiday Inn Express, just 12 minutes walk away, although I was absent from my room most of the time. It was not cheap, probably due to the brass Championships and the fact that most of the canton Valais was staying there! This part of Kriens (a suburb of Lucerne) didn't exactly have a pulsing nightlife, but there were a couple of passably good restaurants nearby, such as the Kuonimatt steakhouse restaurant, which offers 10% reduction to guests staying at the HIX (although they became a bit sniffy about honouring them as the evening went on). I think that my Valaisan brass player friends managed to drink every bar dry in Kriens. My group lingered at the bar in the Holiday Inn Express until the early hours and I reckon the HIX earned enough that night to pay for an extra safe at the Swiss National Bank. Some wanted to go on to various places where you could dance on the tables but, just for once, I declined because somehow I had to get through the next day of playing and there were only about 5 hours remaining for sleep.


This musical instrument fountain is located in the regenerated Flon district of Lausanne

I don't get it right every time. In the afternoon I was convinced I had no more candidates to play for, so I found myself at the bar knocking a bottle of Zurich white with a very good friend, which was probably a bit naughty. Suddenly, one of the organisers came running up to me: apparently there was a young candidate standing on the stage waiting for me to play for him! So I ran onstage, plopped the music on the stand and was ready to play just as the bell went! That was a close one!
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Last edited by Concerto; Jul 25, 22 at 3:51 am
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Old Jul 26, 22, 2:30 am
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4. Holiday Inn Express Luzern Kriens

During the weekend of 9th April the Holiday Inn Express in Kriens, just next to Lucerne (10 minutes by bus from the main station), was completely booked out by families and teachers from canton Valais. In fact, the front desk revealed to me that it was overbooked and they were hoping that not everyone would show up. This was the weekend of the Swiss solo brass Championships, which I was playing for, so it was very much a working weekend.


Holiday Inn Express Kriens, Luzern

The downstairs open plan reception and entry area was reasonably inviting, with multi coloured cushion seats and recliners, an open plan business area and kids mini playground, as well as the bar area and the breakfast area further to the left. Front desk service wasn't all that great, but by remaining calm and pleasant everything worked out fine and the platinum benefit of free drinks was offered. The bar area wasn't that great or cosy in any way but they had a reasonable enough selection of wines, enough to impress my winegrower friends. The hotel really made a hell of a lot of money out of the huge number of drinks sold on both nights to my friends and colleagues.


Seating area and television some distance away from reception

Back to the front desk and I had to really push on the last day to get a late check-out, despite being a platinum member. It was finally (and pleasantly granted) and I had until 14h00, which was good because I really needed it. The previous day they let me check into the second room I had booked, a twin room at 08h00 in the morning already.


The bar area, which at the time the photo was taken was totally calm


Quite a lot of these were consumed


This was surprisingly drinkable, given that Lucerne is not exactly known for its wine production - it can be found at the station in the Drinks of the World shop

In the room there was really a lack of storage space for two persons' belongings, although I applaud modern hotels for removing excessive useless cupboard and wardrobe space. In the design of the new HIX hotels there's a sort alcove like an open flap in the wall, where a hair dryer and iron could be found, along with an ironing board stacked against the wall (useful if you're playing a series of concerts as I was). Tea bags and instant coffee were provided but there was no kettle due to kettle repairs (reception provided hot water for tea). Toiletries were of the dispenser on the wall type but pretty good quality. One issue with the shower in both rooms was the fact that there was no door, sliding or otherwise, but the shower unit was open to the rest of the bathroom with just half a door pane of plastic glass, so the bathroom became quite wet. There was also very little storage space in the bathroom for personal toiletries as the area around the sink also became quite wet. No complaints about the bed and quality of sleep though. I would definitely come back here if the price is right. I think CHF130-150 was too much for what was on offer.


The quality of the room is a little bit higher than the standard Holiday Inn Express that we have been used to


Standing at the window looking back into the room


The shower and washroom
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Old Jul 27, 22, 6:54 am
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5. On the train: Montreux - Zurich - Stuttgart - Duisburg

5. On the train: Montreux - Zurich - Stuttgart - Duisburg, 1st class for CHF9.40 and 500 BahnBonus points

I decided to go back up to Oberhausen and the Ruhrgebiet by train for the Easter holiday. This was partly motivated by the fact that I had a Bahnbonus upgrade voucher (for Deutsche Bahn in Germany) that was due to expire at the end of April. The other reason was that flight prices were really steep, no matter where I left from (I checked Geneva, Zurich and Milan). However, it looked like being a bit of an epic journey. The usual route from Switzerland to the Rhineland and other points north is through Basel and down the Rhine past Karlsruhe and Mannheim to Frankfurt. Looking at the timetable from Basel Bad station, all options involved several changes and quite a long bus ride between Freiburg Breisgau and Offenburg, due to major engineering works. When I plugged Montreux into the system as the start point, it came up with a routing via Zrich, Schaffhausen and Stuttgart, and did not offer the usual routing through Basel whatsoever.


1st class accommodation on the Swiss SBB train from Lausanne to Zurich


There is no service on Swiss trains, just a better seat and less people in the carriage

So on the DB app I finally selected a 2nd class Super Sparpreis ticket from Schaffhausen to Duisburg (which still counted as an international ticket because the start point is in Switzerland). Note that Super Sparpreis gives no flexibility or refund in the event of a Corona infection preventing travel. The next tariff up is normal Sparpreis which allows for a refund prior to departure against a fee of 10 Euros. Amazingly, just 10 days before departure, there were a huge number of cheap tickets on this route, running as low as EUR13. But I selected a routing with just one change in Stuttgart with a long transfer time of around an hour (a useful buffer with the endless delays on German trains these days). This cost EUR29.90 and I applied a EUR10 voucher from the promotion with Ferrero chocolate biscuits (vouchers were hidden in packets of Hanuta and Duplo biscuits), so I paid EUR19,90 in the end. Then I used a 500 points upgrade voucher from the Deutsche Bahn BahnBonus programme to upgrade to 1st class.


This is the Rhine Falls at Neuhausen just before you reach Schaffhausen, the last stop in Switzerland. I took this from the window of the train


The train from Zurich to Stuttgart was marketed as a Deutsche Bahn train, even though the rolling stock belonged to SBB. This 1st class carriage had previously been used as a panoramic wagon on scenic routes. 2nd class was completely jammed, standing room only

In Switzerland I have the General Abonnement (GA) for unlimited 2nd class train travel (as well as all city transport, buses, trams, boats). I decided to upgrade to 1st class for the trip from Montreux to Schaffhausen, which would normally have cost about CHF32 if you have the GA. However, there is a new feature on the SBB Swiss trains app which might interest some of you here, which offers Super Saver upgrades when purchased in advance. In my case I paid a total of CHF9.40 to upgrade from Montreux to Zurich, a total bargain, 10 days in advance. It is not possible to have a Super Saver upgrade for itineraries with a stop and I wanted at least an hour in Zurich before boarding the booked train to Germany. That gave me a bit of a buffer in case of delays and gave me the chance to buy some lunch provisions (and a bottle of red Blauburgunder from canton Zrich).


Stuttgart railway station is an eternal Baustelle.


I managed to find somewhere to have a beer during my layover there, which was shortened due to delay on my inbound train

On the day of the trip I left Montreux at 08h48, which was quite early considering the endless work I had during the previous days. What with getting home late and preparing my bag there wasn't much time left for sleeping. So I was glad to be in 1st class, although I didn't sleep on the way to Zurich (I did my hours and accounts instead, which meant filling out detailed forms and signing them, easy with the tables provided in 1st class). In Zurich I headed for the nearest Coop pronto (a convenience store offshoot of the main Coop supermarket brand) to get some provisions for the coming trip. They do wholesome prepacked salad bowls which are useful when you're on the move. The real reason to go to Coop pronto though was to use an expiring voucher for 10X Superpoints. When I got there I saw there was also an offer for 20X Superpoints on Appenzeller Qullfrisch beer, so I walked out with 260 Superpoints! For those frequent flyers not in the know, these points can be converted to Miles & More miles at a ratio of 2:1.


1st class on a German DB train, with a WiFi network unlike on the Swiss SBB trains


On the high-speed section of the line we almost touched 300kph

The trip to Stuttgart commenced rather badly because the train was utterly jammed, with passengers standing everywhere. This short stretch was in 2nd class and I managed to secure a decent forward facing window seat which made me wonder if I really should leave it and move to 1st at Schaffhausen (the German upgrade voucher was valid from this point). I did move and I was very glad I did, because one of the 1st class carriages at the head of the train was a panoramic wagon, such as those used on tourist routes in Switzerland like the Gotthard Express. The train was indeed a Swiss SBB train which meant there was no WiFi offered, like there is on German DB trains. The trip through the Baden Wrttemberg country to Stuttgart was pleasant and there a real sense of space because of the lack of people in 1st class.


1st class on Deutsche Bahn is not particularly comfortable and there is little recline of the slimline seats


I appreciate the free WiFi on most German trains. In Germany, the internet has finally progressed from something they thought you shouldn't really have and therefore should pay dearly for it, to something that is more widely accepted now

Stuttgart main station was a total mess when we arrived with a good 20 minutes delay (which justified me choosing an itinerary with a one hour stop in Stuttgart). The station is a huge building site and people are jammed into narrow walkways and all service points, such as shops and ticket counters, are in temporary buildings. I managed to find a sort of caf that was about to close (why is everything always on the point of closing in Switzerland and Germany??) where I opted for a local Stuttgart beer instead of coffee and sat at a table outside, a bit of a concrete jungle opposite the DB Reisezentrum. The next part of the trip, all the way from Stuttgart Hbf to Duisburg Hbf, was very pleasant and efficient, arriving 2 minutes early in Duisburg (which is a miracle for a long distance train in Germany). It was my first time on the high-speed line from Stuttgart to Mannheim. Later, the train ran down the high-speed route from Frankfurt airport to Cologne, attaining a speed just short of 300kph. The onboard service included some nice dishes on the menu which were reasonably priced, but many of the items were unavailable. So I opted for the chili con carne, a dependable and good dish, which cost only 9.90. In 1st class food orders are delivered directly to your seat.


The onboard menu is actually quite good and not too expensive
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Old Jul 29, 22, 6:22 am
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6. MGL-ZCV Private Plane (F) PP002

For my first flight with a private plane, I found myself on Easter Sunday at a deserted Mnchengladbach airport meeting a pilot called Tek. MGL airport used to have scheduled flights (there are photos of planes in Crossair and Augsburg Airways livery in the empty main terminal) but now it is used mainly for private aviation and there is an important flight school based there, RWL. I was brought into a large meeting room and Tek talked me through the various flight preparations, which included all the weight calculations for the right amount of fuel, as well as the flight plan and the weather. Tek did everything the traditional way, using paper maps and charts, with no electronic devices such as iPads in sight.


Traditional preflight preparations


Our Piper aircraft, waiting for preflight inspection


Tek loads the paperwork into the plane


Inspecting the engine


Checking that there is no dirt or water in the aviation gasoline

After a coffee and picking up a water bottle from a dispenser machine, we headed out to the aircraft on foot, a Piper 28C sitting on the apron near the main building. Tek was fastidious in his detailed examination of the plane, checking the fuel levels and the oil, studying the engine in great detail and looking over the body of the aircraft for damage, running his hands over everything. Following that we headed back to the pilots briefing room to print out the NOTAMs and the flight plan before going back to the aircraft to start the journey.


Preflight checklist once in the aircraft


Taxiing out to the head of the runway at Mnchengladbach airport


Up in the air, after leaving Mnchengladbach


We flew over Krefeld and Moers, keeping Duisburg to the right (East)


Crossing the mighty Rhine river

The Piper was a different beast to the Robin DR400 I tried back in January and felt more solid and less flimsy. All the same, space in the small cockpit was tight, with only 4 seats including the pilot and copilot (myself!). Tek went through the extensive preflight checks in detail, finally starting the motor and propellor. We eventually headed out onto the taxiway, quickly reaching the top of the single runway 13 and took off immediately once there. The plane quickly climbed, being buffeted by the wind somewhat, while I enjoyed the views over Krefeld, Linn and Hlser Berg, picking out the various hikes I had completed in the past. Visibility was good due to the low altitude (about 3,000 feet). We then passed Kempen on the left and Moers on the right, keeping Duisburg to the far right. The meanders of the river Rhine were visible all the way down to Cologne (Kln) in the south because it was such a clear day. We crossed the Rhine at Walsum, just north of the huge Thyssenkrupp steelworks, then flew over the forested landscape of Kirchheller Heide. After a sharp bank to the left while losing altitude we finally looped to the right and landed at the small aerodrome of Dinslaken Schwarze Heide, having come in from the southwest. A bunch of plane spotters were there to welcome us! Tek and I had communicated using headphones, due to the noise from the propellor, but once again I had difficulty deciphering the commands from ATC.


The small airfield of Schwarze Heide comes into view


A look at the controls as we made a steep turn to line up with the runway


Short final at Dinslaken Schwarze Heide

Aircraft PA1

EDLN (MGL) Mnchengladbach D (UTC+1)
EDLD (ZCV) Dinslaken Schwarze Heide D (UTC+1)

Last edited by Concerto; Jul 31, 22 at 9:49 am
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Old Jul 29, 22, 4:57 pm
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Amazing TR. Your flight on the Piper is absolutely fascinating! The views are spectacular at low altitude flight.
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Old Jul 30, 22, 2:59 pm
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Yes, it was an amazing trip. Thanks for your comments! Tomorrow I will post my report about the return trip to Mnchengladbach, with some more views of the region.
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Old Jul 31, 22, 6:03 am
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7. ZCV-MGL Private Plane (F) PP003

The Flugplatz-Restaurant at Dinslaken Schwarze Heide aerodrome is very good indeed and pilot Tek and I enjoyed a Schnitzel Wiener Art (Vienna style) before embarking on the flight back to Mnchengladbach airport. While at Schwarze Heide I noticed that the little airline Meerexpress, which offered flights to Norderney and Juist in a small 9 seater plane, had already gone bankrupt, without even completing its first year of operations.


This is the tiny airport of Dinslaken Schwarze Heide, taken a few days later when I came back to visit the Flugplatz restaurant again


The restaurant at the small airport serves excellent schnitzels and other items, but does not accept credit cards


This was taken when I visited the airport in October 2021, when the Meerexpress company still existed

Tek inspected our plane once again and we went through the pre takeoff checklist before taxiing out to the end of runway 08. Takeoff was almost immediate and we quickly left the runway, quicker than I expected, soaring into the sky with wonderful views of the small airport and the surrounding forest. We flew back on the same flight path as the outbound, crossing the Rhine river just south of the town of Dinslaken, then traversing down to Moers on the west side of Duisburg, crossing the arrow straight A40 highway which serves as a navigational aid to pilots of light aircraft. We passed very close to a hang glider, just as on my flight over the Alps in January, and I was perplexed once again as to what he was doing on a flight path. There were some lovely views as we passed the navigational waypoint of KILO 2 just east of Kempen. We then aimed for the runway at Mnchengladbach, passing KILO 1 on the way. Landing at MGL was very smooth, although we remained airborne just above the runway for quite some time (in seconds) before we made contact with the runway. This was due to fairly high wind speeds. Back in the briefing room at Mnchengladbach I bade farewell and thanked Tek before visiting the defunct passenger terminal of the airport. There, in the empty departure areas, there were photos of Augsburg Airways and Crossair planes on the taxiway, along with other airlines.


Preparing to fly from Dinslaken Schwarze Heide back to Mnchengladbach


Lining up to take off from Dinslaken Schwarze Heide; part of the propellor was caught in the photo


If you into windsocks here is a good look at the windsock at Dinslaken Schwarze Heide, as well as the airport buildings


Another view of the airport from higher up, when we were banking sharply to the right to head back to the Rhine river and Mnchengladbach


Back across the Rhine river


Tek is keeping an eye on the navigation


This is the A40/E34 looking west towards Venlo; it is used for navigation purposes by pilots, a bit like Interstate 15 between Los Angeles and Salt Lake City!


Lining up to land again on runway 13 at Mnchengladbach airport


Some abandoned Aer Lingus aircraft on the apron


Leaving the private terminal, which is where the RWL flight school is based

Aircraft PA1

EDLN (MGL) Mnchengladbach D (UTC+1)
EDLD (ZCV) Dinslaken Schwarze Heide D (UTC+1)
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Last edited by Concerto; Aug 7, 22 at 5:08 am
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Old Aug 2, 22, 1:10 am
  #13  
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I just want to add some photos that I took in what used to be the passenger terminal of Mnchengladbach airport. Nowadays the terminal looks like a ghost hall, although there is some evidence of renovations taking place.


Main terminal building at Mnchengladbach airport; the main door was closed due to what looked like renovations


It is difficult to imagine what the layout in the main hall was like


Here there are definitely some renovations going on


It would be a good idea to bring this airport back to life as an alternative to nearby Dusseldorf


In an adjacent building was lurking a Junkers 52 plane
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Last edited by Concerto; Aug 2, 22 at 3:17 am
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Old Aug 4, 22, 2:37 pm
  #14  
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Frankly I didn't know Mnchengladbach has an airport till I saw it a few months ago on my navigation system when I was driving by. When I looked after it at Wikipedia it was quite interesting. Funny to see you report now.
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Old Aug 7, 22, 5:16 am
  #15  
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It seems that Mnchengladbach was a serious passenger airport in the past. I believe Sabena ran flights there are recently as the 90s. In the post war years my father was posted to work in Mnchengladbach, probably at the airport because it would have been used by the military in those days. He said Mnchengladbach was pretty boring though. I have personally found the country around these cities, like Krefeld, Duisburg, Moers and Mnchengladbach to be full of surprises and things to discover, as you will see in my upcoming hiking trip reports.

I imagine that if this was England, most of these airports would be long closed and sold on to the usual developers. The Manchester area is a similar industrial area with large population in England, but the only serious airports are MAN, LBA and LPL. There are few small airports for private aviation and many small airfields are controlled by the military or RAF. In the Dusseldorf region you have DUS, CGN, NRN, DTM and FMO, not to mention countless small airfields.
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