May, Paris This year France hosted the Football World Cup. Air France applied special colors to a number of aircrafts from A320's up to 747's. We went down there to chase them. Visits to CDG and ORY was necessary as a number of aircrafts were based on each airport and to make it worse they had different colors on each side!
Of course we also stopped at LBG to get some bizjets, this time approx 30 of them. In total I got 390 new airliners for my collection with some of the higlights being DC-8-72 French AF, Tu134 Air Moldova, 747 TAAG, Il86 Armenian, MD-80 Fairlines, 727 Gvmt of Cameroon and 727 Gvmt of Senegal.
June, Goraska / Gdansk Flying An2 from Västerås to Goraska can be quite an adventure. This trip was going to give more than enough for most of us. First unplanned stop was in Norrköping after radioproblems. Landing on the runway but our Ant didn't like it and groundlooped out to the grass. Weeeha! Radio fixed and we continued.
Clouds were building up south of Sweden and with an Ant certified for VFR only, we climbed on top as long as possible. Then suddenly a steep dive through a hole in the clouds and counting treetops in the Polish woods for a while. When reaching Warsaw we were running late already and darkness came closer. We were also running out of fuel and rather than landing in the city our pilot decided to find an alternative. A closed military airfield next to Warsaw was the best we could find and a flyby was performed to make sure it was possible to land. This time we headed for the grass beside the runway and at the same time we touched down our pilot screamed "shit" and kicked left rudder causing our poor Ant to groundloop once again, this time onto the runway. Farmers had left piles of hay which we didn't see until too late. With a flat tire we taxied off the runway and we were met by a jeep.
Miltary staff belonging to the helicopter based here helped us get in contact with the air traffic control and also our hosts in Goraska. They brought a sparewheel for the Ant and the day after it was flown to Goraska and the airshow. We stayed a couple of days and weather got worse at home. When storms changed directions and heading for Poland we decided to go as close to home as possible and took off for Gdansk. Landing in strong crosswinds on a newly mowled strip added more excitement to the trip. After cleaning the wheels from lots of grass we taxied to the terminal. It was almost impossible with winds you could easily lean against. Weather got better some days later and we continued home.
September, Madrid / London
Flew British Airways via London to Madrid. Transfer at LHR was enough for some hours by the approach 27R and I took the Subway to Hatton Cross followed by the usual stroll across the hangar area.
Arriving late evening in Madrid and joined my friend who arrived earlier with Swissair. No hotel prebooked and we started walking from the terminal to the approach. Halfway we got tired and went to sleep in high grass next to a petrol station. It gets pretty cold during the nights I can asure you...
Waking up quite early, long before dawn, trembling by cold, we continued the walk to the approach. Weather was clear from the beginning and loads of Iberias came in during the morning. When sun was to high we decided to change side of the approach. But first we found our way to Iberia hangars. Very limited view from landside but we got some of the huge amount of stored aircrafts.
Then walking all the way back to the south side of the approach where we found a small backyard next to a hotel. The police were by the time not very understanding in Spain and after being harassed a couple of times and weather getting crappy we finally checked in to this hotel.
Another day in bright sun with clear blue sky and another bunch of Iberias many differnt types.
The Cygnus DC-8-62 flying for Iberia was propably the highlight of this trip.
My friend left with the morning Swissair flight and I made it for the last time to the approach this early morning. I remembered it being extremly chilly and before the sun came high enough to warm me up I was once again cold to the bones...
Afternoon once again spent in the hotel backyard keeping very low profile as I was now alone and had no interest of being harassed again. Then back to terminal getting ready for my British Airways flight back to Heathrow. Asked specificly in the checkin for a window seat, only to find onboard I got a wall seat without window. Fine! I slept well during the complete flight.
After a late evening flight, resting until dawn in the terminal I found my way once again to Hatton Cross.
At 15.00 the usual swing to the other runway, today meaning a quick walk in the direction towards 27R.
Spent the complete day at Gatwick starting this dull morning at the observation deck.
Weather cleared up and I made it to the other side of the approach to get the sun from behind me.
Flying home from Heathrow and got some last ones this trip through the terminal and aircraft windows.
September, Oslo Going for the last time to Fornebu. Final flight operating out of Fornebu took off some weeks later and all traffic moved to Gardemoen. Due to heavy fog we could unfortunately not land at FBU and after a late goaround we headed for GEN where one of the shortlived Color Air 737's were pictured.
Then bus to a very cloudy FBU. We were hoping to get the M87's based in Norway and finally one of them appeared. Flight home was delayed due to the fog wouldn't move... Bored beyond belief as no other traffic could land either, we were almost asleep when we could finally board our return flight.
December, Tenerife Some of my friends played golf all day and the nongolfers spent days at TFS and TFN. We rented a Twingo which made a good job on the perimeter gravelroads. At TFS the fence goes parallell and near the runway with the sun from behind it was perfect for our "job". Alternating between touchdowns and rotates we were quit happy. It was no problem to quickly move to the touchdown zone if you saw something you expected to vacate early. Like the SAR F27 coming in one day. We decided to try getting the touchdown and raced down the perimeter just in time to get perfect shots - bad mistake. Instead of slowing down the Fokker kept speed up, took of again, climbed to maybe 5 meters, retracted the gears and continued like that down the runway...
When getting bored we drove off to TFN to get some Binter ATR's but traffic was very slow there. I wanted to get the Canarias Viscount still parked there but it wasn't possible without ramp access and the hospitality they gave my friend some years earlier was all forgotten. They demanded an unreasonable amount of money to help us and we turned the offer down.