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Private Plane to Speyer, German 9 Euro Ticket Adventures, Scotland, Mallorca

Private Plane to Speyer, German 9 Euro Ticket Adventures, Scotland, Mallorca

Old Nov 15, 22, 1:38 am
  #31  
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Nice trip report. Mainz brought back some very nice memories, I love that place. I have also become "tired and emotional" (!) after a few beers and schnapps there at Dr Flottes (I think). It's made me want to go back. And yes, it's strange seeing Woolworth. I used to work at Woolworths (I think it was Woolworths) in the UK on Saturdays whilst at school. 5.27 for a 9 hour day. I believe in Australia and NZ the Woolworths brand still exists.
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Old Nov 16, 22, 4:32 pm
  #32  
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Mainz has something fun about it, coupled with all the history there. I find Woolworths in Germany to be completely different to what it was back in the UK. Back in the day they used sell a really good range of LPs, even classical ones, as well as just about anything else that you could need. Does Woolworth still exist in the USA?

We have finally reached the stage where I will write about last summer's private plane flights and the next few posts will be about the amazing trip from Mnchengladbach (MGL) to Speyer/Ludwigshafen (ZQC), where we visited the huge outdoor Speyer Technik Museum. Although I am referring to the 3-letter IATA codes for the airports, I was very brusquely informed on the German language frequent traveller WhatsApp group that these are unofficial codes. I think that it's fun that a lot of these little airports carry those 3-letter codes we have become so used to. And they can't be that unofficial if they've had the codes allocated to them anyway. The many small airports on the Friesian islands off the north coast of Germany have all had extensive airline service over the years, by the defunct OLT among others, and those codes were very much in use for those passenger services. However, from the point of view of piloting a small plane, the codes that are used are the 4-letter ICAO ones. The 3-letter codes have no relevance for pilots because they are used for baggage and ticketing.

Last edited by Concerto; Nov 16, 22 at 4:52 pm
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Old Nov 16, 22, 4:53 pm
  #33  
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16. MGL-ZQC Private Plane (F) PP006

A planned trip with pilot friend Tek to northern England and Scotland did not come to fruition, partly due to being unable to obtain an aircraft that was available for a longer time period and partly because flying to England in a private plane is quite a complicated process. Hopefully we can schedule it for a later date but Tek will shortly be working for one of the airlines, which will mean limited free time for him. Not wishing to come to the end of the summer without achieving something exciting I suggested something smaller, such as a flight to the little airfield of Speyer/Ludwigshafen and a day spent visiting the Speyer Technik Museum. Tek replied that if we brought a friend of his then we could cut costs even further and enjoy a day out together. In the end, it turned out to be one of the best and most interesting days out I ever had, with the company of Florian who turned out to be very much my sort of person.


RWL is the German Flight Academy which is based at Mnchengladbach airport


Planning the flight route up the Rhine gorge to Speyer/Ludwigshafen


Boarding the Piper aircraft on the apron


Completing the preflight checklist

We convened early on a Sunday morning in late August in the pilot's briefing room at Mnchengladbach airport, in the terminal housing the RWL German Flight Academy. Tek, like before, completed his preparations carefully and methodically, taking care to print the weather report for our route and file the flight plan. We then went out to the Piper 28 aircraft on the apron to do the exterior preflight checks, including checking the fuel levels in both wings. Putting what little we had in the way of bags in the back of the plane, I took the seat behind the crew seats, so that Fabian could sit in the copilot seat and I found the rear seats surprisingly comfortable. Apart from the pilot and copilot seats, there are two further seats just behind, making a total of 4 seats. We started up, then went through the interior preflight checks while waiting for the motor to warm up. We all put headphones on, for noise protection and to be able to communicate with air traffic control, and taxied out to the head of the single runway at Mnchengladbach MGL airport.


Taking off on runway 13 at Mnchengladbach MGL


Looking back at the runway at Mnchengladbach (just right of center)


A close-up of the Klner Dom (Cologne cathedral) as we flew over it


A nice clear view of the Rhine river; you can see the exposed sandbanks at the sides of the river

Takeoff was a smooth affair and we were quickly airborne, first of all banking to the right, southwest, before turning sharply to the left to follow our flight path up the Rhine gorge. Presumably this manoeuvre is to avoid traffic in the Dusseldorf Airport area. We flew over the old city of Cologne with amazing views of the Klner Dom (cathedral) and Rhine River, although it was difficult to get a clear photo. It was a similar issue while flying up the Rhine gorge, whereby the sunlight on the left side of the plane was too strong and our position was mostly directly over the river which made it impossible to see. There was a clear view to be had of Koblenz, however. What I could see of the Rhine River was frightening. While there are some spots of very deep water in that river, much of it is relatively shallow and with the water level being over 2 meters lower than usual, it is rapidly becoming unnavigable. Sand bars were visible everywhere and the river barges are carrying half loads at most.


Inflight briefing about the route


Here the Mosel river disappears into the distance


This is Koblenz, where the Mosel joins the Rhine


Another rather dry looking part of the Rhine

There were some good views in the upper part of the gorge, before reaching the Boppard area. Beyond that there was a stretch of flat country with Ingelheim (!) and Mainz further to the East. There followed a largely flat region of agricultural land, which in prehistoric times had been a huge lake, maybe the largest in Europe, while the water cut through the rock to make the Rhine gorge we know now. As we flew past the Mannheim urban area on the left, the tiny airstrip of Speyer airport came into view. We quickly lost height and did two u-turns before coming in for a smooth landing. We were directed by local ATC to park at the top of the airfield on the grass.

EDLN - MGL Mnchengladbach D (UTC+1)
EDRY - ZQC Speyer/Ludwigshafen D (UTC+1)


Approaching the Speyer area


Although the Technik Museum dominates Speyer and the huge aircraft exhibitions are visible from anywhere, here is a pic of Speyer itself without the museum


Landing at Speyer/Ludwigshafen airfield


We parked the Piper on the grass as instructed and headed off to visit the Technik Museum
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Last edited by Concerto; Nov 16, 22 at 5:43 pm
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Old Nov 18, 22, 2:42 pm
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Concerto View Post
Does Woolworth still exist in the USA?
As far as I know, not since 1997. Our driver was totally surprised in 2013 when we told him on the way to the Woolworth Building that the brand still exists in Germany.
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Old Nov 18, 22, 5:06 pm
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I'm enjoying the non aviation posts!
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Old Nov 19, 22, 6:06 am
  #36  
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That's good to know because Flyertalk is an aviation forum and I wasn't sure how all these non flying posts would go down. I think that the reviews of the ordinary flights with the major airlines can be useful though, even if it's just to get an idea as to what to expect, although things can change very quickly.
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Old Nov 19, 22, 9:12 am
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I enjoy your trip reports, don't let anybody put you off. I would never entertain the idea of some of the stuff you get up to, but I'm perfectly happy to read about it with a beer in my hand.
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Old Nov 20, 22, 4:19 pm
  #38  
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Excellent! I get up top much worse things, you know!
Sorry about the delay about the Speyer private plane trip report. I have had a rather busy weekend!
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Old Nov 22, 22, 2:41 pm
  #39  
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17. Technik Museum, Speyer

This amazing outdoor space, which includes a number of large hangar like halls accommodating vintage cars and locomotives, has been on my visit list for quite some time. Our original plan was to include a visit to the Technik Museum Sinsheim which is 35 minutes away by car, but there was so much to see in Speyer that we decided to leave that for another time. The entry fee, once we found the entrance, was a steep 19. The main entrance eluded us because most people arrive by car and park in the lot in front of the museum. We belonged to those lucky people who arrived with a private plane, which involved walking out of the airfield, crossing a road and entering the large site of the Technik Museum.


If you're into vintage planes this place will drive you nuts




An Aeroflot branded helicopter and an Antonov just behind it, both of which you could climb up to visit


A Tschaika car inside one of the aircraft​​​​​
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There is enough in this huge exhibition to keep men and children occupied for hours and excited for days afterwards. The site consists of two cavernous hangars, the first of which contained a sprawling collection of vintage cars and racing models, as well as train locomotives and oddities such as devices that produce carnival music and an organ that plays itself. The other hangar had a number of cars and motorcycles too, but the highlight was the area dedicated to space exploration, including the Apollo missions. There was even a Russian space shuttle, Buran, that you could climb up into and visit.


Interior of the Antonov shown in one of the photos above


Bizarre cockpit in the Antonov aircraft; the Russians liked things sideways!


Back in one of the hangars is a piano that can play itself; that would be a dream at this moment right now

Outdoors, there was a Lufthansa Viscount Vickers 814 you could climb up and visit. But the highlight was a Lufthansa Boeing 747 which looked like it had been taken out of service around 2003, judging by the flight timetables lying around - there's just a chance that I had sat on this plane at some point in the past. There were plenty of older aircraft, including an Air Inter plane, a Russian helicopter with Aeroflot written on it, as well as a huge Antonov machine. There were also submarines and boots scattered around the grounds.


You can climb up and visit this Lufthansa Boeing 747


There was also a recovered Air Inter plane, a curious memory from the past


Thought I'd better throw in just one selfie for this whole trip report


Good view from the wing of the Lufthansa 747

Between the two hangars there was a self service restaurant, a bit like a school cantine, which was ok but at the lower end of quality. Drinks were expensive, as usual. There was also an IMAX cinema where you could watch documentaries on all the stuff in the museum, but that cost extra. Lastly, the ticket was also valid for the Museum Wilhelmsbau, showcasing smaller objects, weapons and uniforms. We didn't have time to visit it because we had to get back to the airfield and prepare for the flight back to Mnchengladbach, with the risk that MGL would be closed before we could get back.

https://speyer.technik-museum.de/de/ausstellung


In the last hangar was a Russian space shuttle!


There was even an absorbing space flight exhibition


Looking down from the space shuttle there was even an old Junkers plane


Lastly, just before leaving, a quick visit to the Lufthansa Viscount Vickers mentioned earlier
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Last edited by Concerto; Nov 22, 22 at 3:29 pm
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Old Nov 23, 22, 9:52 am
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That's a cool looking museum. I think I'd enjoy it. Thanks for sharing!
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Old Nov 23, 22, 10:03 am
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19 euros steep! No way for all that!
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Old Nov 23, 22, 2:38 pm
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That's what I thought, but when we got to the entrance hall and the other guys plonked their 20 notes down on the counter I thought, well, we came here with the purpose of seeing this open air museum. So I just went along with it without complaining, thinking, on the one hand, I'll probably only do it once and secondly, the original plan was to visit the other massive museum some 40km away in Sinsheim. This one has a real Concorde that you can visit, so my pals were really excited about fitting that in. The double ticket would have been 44, valid for 2 days.

But no way, there was just too much to see in Speyer. Really, we spent the best part of the whole day there and didn't even get close to seeing everything. What's shown in the photos is just a fraction of what there is. So at the end of the visit I almost felt, oddly, that the 19 Euros was justified despite the high cost. Maintaining that lot in a safe condition must cost a pretty penny. But I was a bit frustrated that we didn't manage to see the other museum that is included in the ticket, just outside the site but a couple of hundred meters away. And you have to factor in the cost of food in the captive canteen restaurant there, which is not great, a school canteen at best. Bring your own drinks if you can because drinks are expensive and there's a lot of walking. There are clean toilets all over the site, so no worries about that. Have a look at the website. It's quite fun to browse, actually.
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Last edited by Concerto; Nov 23, 22 at 2:44 pm
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Old Nov 24, 22, 3:01 pm
  #43  
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18. ZQC-MGL Private Plane (F) PP007

At Speyer/Ludwigshafen airfield the Piper 28 aircraft was parked on the grass beside other light aircraft. Tek was carefully calculating the amount of aviation fuel that we needed to put in each wing (20 litres in the left wing, 15 in the right) while we waited in the late afternoon sunlight. This calculation had to be accurate, because the combined weight of all three of us and what little baggage we had was no small amount. Then we made our way to the fuel pump which was in front of the main airport building, halfway down the taxiway which runs alongside the runway. It was quite an experience to participate in the refueling of an aircraft at the pump, using AvGas at the high cost of 3.35 per litre. That done, we finally taxied up to the head of the runway and took off towards the south, the same direction as that when we landed.


Tek refuels the plane, having calculated the weight, ready for the 2 hour trip back to Mnchengladbach


Taxiing back from the fuel pump to the runway to take-off towards the south


Immediate clearance for take-off and off we go!

Again I opted to sit in the rear of the little plane and enjoyed the comfort of what was only a basic seat. I was tempted to sleep, after all the wandering around in the sun at the Technik Museum in Speyer, but the landscape below was too fascinating. Once again it was apparent how parched the ground was during this summer of almost no rainfall, the level of the river Rhine being the lowest in living memory. The views of the Rhine gorge were somehow better on this flight back to Mnchengladbach, possibly because the sun was lower and created shadows which accentuated the contours of the gorge. We flew over Koblenz once again but passed further to the west of Cologne, actually getting an amazing view of the open cast mine of Hambach, which is bigger than the city of Cologne itself! We also passed over a series of power stations, including those of Bergheim, which were impressive.


Flat country on the Rhine plain near Speyer


The low level of the Rhine is shockingly visible with all the exposed sand banks


Series of unforgettable views of the Rhine gorge


There were some issues with reflection in this closeup of the Rhine

Eventually, the runway at Mnchengladbach came into view and we quickly landed at around 18h50 and parked the aircraft in front of the RWL German Flight Academy. The airport was still open, fortunately, and we sat for a short time talking about the flight and possible future outings!

EDLN - MGL Mnchengladbach D (UTC+1)
EDRY - ZQC Speyer/Ludwigshafen D (UTC+1)


The meanders in the Rhine gorge are really quite sinuous


Hambach open cast mine, which is as big as the city of Cologne


Quite a lot of industry and power stations in the lower Rhine region near Mnchengladbach
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Last edited by Concerto; Nov 24, 22 at 3:50 pm
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Old Nov 24, 22, 8:44 pm
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This is a great trip report....the hikes, the little planes, the aviation museum, and the overhead photos of the rivers. I'm looking forward to Scotland!
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Old Nov 26, 22, 12:32 pm
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Thanks very much, brandie. Plenty more coming but I fear Scotland will be a bit disappointing. When I finally got there it was the deluge, so I remained confined at my sister's place.
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