Tag Archives: VOR

Flying to Corsica (2/3)

This post is a continuation to a previous post in which I described the first leg of our flight from Toulouse-Lasbordes to Corsica. If you haven’t yet taken a look at that one, I would recommend you to do so, as you would miss basic information and dozens of beautiful pictures of the French Mediterranean coast.

In the previous post I included images up until Cuers. There we refueled the aircraft and I took the controls of the aircraft, with Jean Louis (Asier‘s flight instructor) always by our side. This time Asier took the pictures.

Flight 2 (Javier at the controls): Cuers – Saint Tropez – Corsica – Sanguinary islands – Ajaccio – Propriano

Some curiosities about flying over the sea:

  • the distinction in the horizon between “land” and sky wasn’t very clear thus it was very important to pay attention to the instruments in order not to lose references and keep a horizontal straight trajectory;
  • as we progressed we always tried to spot ships down in the sea so in case of accident we would try to reach as close as possible to them, Jean Louis would do a water landing and we could be easily rescued;
  • we needed to increase altitude up to flight level FL55 (5,500 feet -~1,700m- vs. about 700ft that we held at some times of the first flight along the coast) so we could keep receiving the signals from VOR on ground at the coasts.

First sight of Corsica: Piana.

Flying around the Corsican coastline: Cargèse.

Notice Jean Louis (the instructor) with the life vest on.

Cemetery of Ajaccio, looking like a village.

Jean Louis & me, at Propriano airfield.

The aircraft, a DR-44, put to rest for the weekend at the airfield.

Since we are normally flying within continental France we are not required to produce a flight plan for the air traffic control. This time as we wanted to cross over the sea to Corsica it was required to do so. Thus, this was the first time we prepared one (another learning point!).

“Olivia”, French site where to file a flight plan.

One remark: it is incredible how much eases the communication with air traffic controllers having sent the flight plan beforehand, as they expect you and they know beforehand more or less the information you are going to provide.

And so we made it! We flew from Toulouse to Corsica 🙂

It took us about 4h30′ of flying time (both flights combined). You may check the Garmin records of the first and second flights by clicking on the links, and the route we followed in this second flight in the picture below:

Even though I have mentioned above that we had planned for the contingency of having to water-land in the sea, the fact that the trajectory in the Garmin records stops at half way through Corsica in the middle of the sea does not mean that we indeed carried out such maneuver. Explanation: since we flew so many kilometers as compared to running (the normal use I give to the device), the memory of the GPS reached its maximum as it recorded one “lap” for every kilometer…

(to be continued…)


Filed under Aerospace & Defence, Travelling

Flight destination: Corsica

I often use a version of Eleanor Rooselvet‘s famous quote “do one thing that scares you everyday“. It’s not that I try to do something that scares me, but something which either brings me out of the comfort zone or that I simply would tend to procrastinate.

Today’s scary thing is flying together with my friend Asier and his flight instructor, Jean-Louis, to Corsica. Prior to taking the decision of joining this “adventure” about 2 months ago, I had barely made 10 flights amounting to less than 8 flight hours… in the last week I was learning with my instructor, Thierry, the basics of flight navigation, the use of charts in flight, the use of VOR, etc., in order to profit the most from this experience. It definitely feels less scary now. And then, I’ll always have Jean-Louis by my side at the time of piloting the airplane. I’m happy to be stretching the comfort zone.

In the previous days I also learnt a lot with Asier on how to plan the route, noting headings, altitudes, radio frequencies, air spaces, aerodromes, etc.

Planning the flight to Corsica.

The head of the MBA I studied in Seville used to describe it as a “experiences accelerator”; in the context of flying this trip to Corsica (a group activity of the Airbus Aviation Society I belong to) really feels like such an experience accelerator.

If everything goes well, we’ll be in Propriano (LFKO) before 15:00. Then we could have one or two days of visiting the island, either by car… or by plane. Ajaccio, where Napoleon was born; Bonifacio; the dolmens close to Ajaccio… I’ll keep you updated when we’re back :-).

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Filed under Aerospace & Defence, Travelling