Tag Archives: Rocamadour

Flight excursion to Rocamadour and Saint Cirq Lapopie, via Montech and Moissac

Rocamadour is a small village built in the gorges of a tributary to the Dordogne river. Several of its houses, churches and shops are partially built within the rocks. With about 500 inhabitants it receives 1.5 million of visitors per year, making it one of the most visited places in France and a major attraction for pilgrims, who among other things come to see a black Madonna in a chapel in the rock carved by Saint Amadour, hence the name of the village.

On the way to Rocamdour, flying from Toulouse there is Saint Cirq Lapopie, a small village built on a cliff over the river Lot. Both Rocamadour and Saint Cirq Lapopie are two of the most beautiful villages in the Midi-Pyrénées region and an obvious destination for an excursion, on the ground (which we did years ago) and flying.

Last Saturday, my father in-law and I booked a plane (a DR-400-120) at about 14:10 to fly over those places. In the way we would fly over Montech, to see the “Pente d’eau” from the sky (1), and Moissac, to see the Pont-Canal du Cacor, a bridge over the river Tarn made to allow the canal Lateral (an extension to the canal du Midi) to continue its course towards Bordeaux.

The flight would be over 175 nautical miles (over 320 km) and would last almost 2 hours with the integration to the aerodrome circuit, though in the end we spent 2 hours and 10 minutes with the rounds we made around the different spots. The navigation went rather well with no other help than the chart, compass, heading indicator and VOR (no GPS nor tablets). We had some doubts at a couple of points but we quickly found ourselves, once with the help of the controller.

Navigation log.

Navigation log.

This was the first flight in which we used the GoPRO video camera that I got last Christmas together with the suction pad to stick it to the windshield. With it we were able to have over 90 minutes of videos recorded that I have tried to shorten into the following 7 minutes:

At some points in the video the ground below seems to move slowly: we were flying at between 180 and 200 kilometres per hour, but at some 1,500 to 2,000 feet (500-700 m) above ground that is the way it feels. Be assured that the closer you get to the ground the faster it feels :-).

In the chart below you can see the route we followed: departure from Toulouse-Lasbordes (East of Toulouse), waypoint EN, Labastide-St. Pierre, Montech (South West of Montauban), Moissac (West of Castelsarrasin aerodrome), St.Cirq Lapopie (via Cahors) and Rocamadour (North West of Figeac).

Chart

Lastly, some pictures with the images of both villages and the flight log as used after the flight.

St Cirq Lapopie.

St Cirq Lapopie.

Rocamadour.

Rocamadour.

Rocamadour.

Rocamadour.

Navigation log as used after the flight.

Navigation log as used after the flight.

(1) See here a post I wrote about it.

(2) Actual engine running time: LFCL-LFCL: 2.17 FH (2h10′, with the aircraft registered as F-GORM, with an engine powered with 120 HP) (taking off and landing from runway 15).

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Fly Out: Les Châteaux de la Loire

Last weekend we took part together with my friend Raphaël and about 20 other members of the Airbus Aviation Society of Toulouse in a Fly Out (1) to Les Châteaux de la Loire. 7 aircraft departed from different airfields around Toulouse to reach Angers, some on Friday evening, some on Saturday morning. From then one we would enjoy some joint activities. In a nutshell:

  • On the way to Angers (LFJR, 2h50′ flight), we flew over some very beautiful villages such as Bruniquel, Saint Cirq Lapopie, etc.
  • On Saturday morning, in Angers we visited the castle and walked around the city. We then visited the museum Espace Air Passion.
  • We then took our aircraft and flew over dozens of castles along the Loire valley, from Angers to Chambord and back to Amboise (LFEF).
  • In Amboise we had an evening event with the local aeroclub.
  • The morning after and due to worsening meteorological conditions we decided to skip the “ground” visit to the Chenonceau castle (next time) and depart early back to Toulouse. In the way we stopped for lunch at Sarlat-Dome (LFDS) where we were very warmly welcome by some members of the local aeroclub.

I believe than rather than wandering with long texts explaining all of these experiences it is better to share some of the pictures we took and let you fly along with us with some captions:

Waiting for the departure time at Toulouse Lasbordes (LFCL)

Waiting for the departure time at Toulouse Lasbordes (LFCL).

Dashboard of the Robin DR-48 we flew (F-GGHT).

Dashboard of the Robin DR-48 we flew (F-GGHT). (2)

Bruniquel.

Bruniquel.

Saint Cirq Lapopie.

Saint Cirq Lapopie. (3)

La Roque Gageac.

La Roque Gageac.

Beynac et Cazenac.

Beynac et Cazenac.

Rapha, concentrated in his piloting.

Rapha, concentrated in his piloting.

Arriving at Angers (LFJR) rather late.

Arriving at Angers (LFJR) rather late.

If you arrive at Angers airport in the evening, you'd better know the theory if you want to get out.

If you arrive at Angers airport in the evening, you’d better know the theory if you want to get out.

Château d'Angers, founded by the Counts of Anjou.

Château d’Angers, founded by the Counts of Anjou.

"Apocalypse Tapestry" at Angers castle.

“Apocalypse Tapestry” at Angers castle.

Visiting the museum "Espace Air Passion" at Angers airport.

Visiting the museum “Espace Air Passion” at Angers airport. (4)

"Why is Rapha at the controls again, daddy? When do I get to pilot?!"

“Why is Rapha at the controls again, daddy? When do I get to pilot?!”

Chenonceau.

Chenonceau.

Chambord.

Chambord.

Andrea, a born flyer, and Luca, getting over it.

Andrea, a born flyer, and Luca, getting over it.

Great evening event organized by the "Aéro-club Les Ailes Tourangelles".

Great evening event organized by the “Aéro-club Les Ailes Tourangelles”. (5)

Our commandan de bord, Raphael preparing the next flight.

Our commandant de bord, Raphael preparing the next flight.

The fellows from the "Aeroclub du Sarladais" got out those table, parasols and chairs for us to have lunch with them.

The fellows from the “Aeroclub du Sarladais” got out those table, parasols and chairs for us to have lunch with them. (5)

Relaxing at Sarlat-Dome aerodrome (LFDS).

Relaxing at Sarlat-Dome aerodrome (LFDS).

Initial climb at Sarlat-Dome (LFDS), wonderful view of the Dordogne valley and Dome village.

Initial climb at Sarlat-Dome (LFDS), wonderful view of the Dordogne valley and Dome village.

Rocamadour.

Rocamadour.

(1) The term we use for an organized activity in which several aircraft depart together with a common destination.

(2) Check out about the DR-48 here.

(3) Recently selected as the most beautiful village of France.

(4) Be sure that I will dedicate another post about this museum.

(5) If you plan to fly either to Amboise Dierre or Sarlat-Dome, do not hesitate in contacting the local aeroclubs (Les Ailes Tourangelles and Aeroclub du Sarladais, respectively), they will give you a more than warm welcome!

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