Nielsen belongs to an exclusive group of about 1,500 Norwegians with private pilot license (PPL), in addition, many who have taken license for microlight in Norway (pilot + 1 passenger). With good Norwegian economy's aviation enthusiasts who have taken the advice to take certificate on small aircraft grown sharply in recent years. Many have joined forces to buy planes, or they get hired light aircraft. And what is no more natural then than to combine hobby and vacation time, and use propeller aircraft when to vacation.
January Nielsen and his wife Rigmor sat down the other day in light aircraft at basement and flew to Gran Canaria for a long-awaited vacation.
With him they had finished buttered sandwiches and coffee which they later enjoyed a great view of the French Alps on the way to sun and beaches. Perhaps not unlike many others who go on the road trip.
- We took this as a trip for the experience its part, otherwise we might as well traveled with Norwegian, said pilot Nielsen.
The flight was combined with visits to Cirrus training center for Europe where Nielsen had previously been trained on this particular plane.
- The first stop was in Poznan, Poland, where we previously had several visits and trained in a full size training simulator. Then we went to Venice in northern Italy for a longer stop.
Lucky with the weather they were also on the trip.
- We had a lovely trip with some headwind down to Venice. There we also slightly røskevær, says the pilot, - But there until Canaries was just great and downwind.
They cruised at 16,000 feet, or five thousand meters the entire trip. This height requires using oxygen, the aircraft is equipped.
- Many people think it is turbulent flying with light aircraft and that it shakes a lot, but that's only because they have tried to fly at low altitude. When coming up slightly and is at such a height with fine weather, it is incredibly stable. It was so quiet we could have coffee cups on the dashboard, smiles Nielsen.
29 years with a pilot's license
Nielsen has even flown since 1987 and has grown to log about 1,800 hours in the air. Nor is his first trip to Gran Canaria. Also a couple of years ago he flew and his wife down to the resort island.
In Venice they flew on to Florence and got a sightseeing trip to Pisa and its famous tower there, before they flew on to Cannes, France, where they took time to stop by Monaco and Nice car rentals.
They flew to Malaga, a long distance of 1200 km, where they could rent a car and take a sightseeing trip to Marbella and Puerto Banus.
Then another long distance of about 1200 km land on the Canary island of Fuerteventura as the last stop before heading was put toward the ultimate goal and after 19 hours flying they could land safely on the sport airport El Berriel south of Gran Canaria. Totaling a distance of about 5000 km in overhead between all the stops from Basement to Gran Canaria.
Although the tour mostly runs over land, it is the distances of both mountains and sea, and it frees us not from thinking a bit of security around the trip.
- The plane, a Cirrus SR22, is one of the most advanced in its class, and full of security options, says Nielsen. - It is fully equipped with instruments at the level of a commercial airliner. The only autopilot can not do is take off and land, as well as regulating Trottle (gas), he continued.
The last 12 years this aircraft models have been the most sold light aircraft in its class, the printer manufacturer on its website. Other pages describing aircraft models as innovative when it was launched before the millennium, especially because of the spacious cockpit, much pågrunn that flystikkene was moved to the sides, and because of the advanced instruments and the special parachute system to ensure safety.
- But it has indeed only one engine, and if anything the unlikely happen, it is just dragging this handle, assures Nielsen, pointing at the ceiling of the cabin.
- When triggered explosives opening of the parachute that takes the whole plane, with passengers and cargo safely to the ground, adds Nielsen.
He points to the aircraft wheel system that takes something of a buffer, before he shows the extra thick seats to strafe pilot and passengers against G-forces the vertical parachute landing gear.
- Parachute is much safer than an emergency landing with conventional sliding landing outside the airport, he assures.
Should they be forced to land in the water so there is also an inflatable raft on board with room for four people.
Not cheap travel
Before you sign up on pilot courses, hoping to escape the long check-in queues and screaming toddlers should maybe check the price. This aircraft costs about $ 800,000, or well over 6.5 million NOK, again today. And if the purchase price is enough, insurance, maintenance and airport fees, not to mention fuel on top.
The aircraft was purchased by four owners in 2011 as part of their use and have it for rent. Perhaps it was so that Transport Minister Kjetil Solvik-Olsen ended up test flight just this plane when he visited Basement airport for exactly one year ago. http://www.rb.no/lokale_nyheter/article7299027.ece
Nielsen uses aircraft to more than just hobby flying and a casual vacation trip to Gran Canaria now and down; He is often at fairs in connection with work, and then try to fly as much as possible on their own, so the plane comes to practical use.
To fly Gran Canaria, however the experience of the journey that is the main argument for Nielsen to take such a trip, and on the way home, they have chosen a slightly different route, just to get a different experience. They get also a result of two Spanish friends who will be on the trip back to Norway.
Heading north, the trip via Marrakesh to Seville where they stay overnight before taking a few days in Leon. New accommodation in Jersey and in Denmark before they land in Oslo after nearly a week on the wings. Hurry should therefore not have it ...