Flying Dutchman

My youngest brother has become a flying Dutchman :) He got his Private Pilot License early this summer, and has been taking friends and families on flights across the Netherlands. I kept getting emails with fantastic photos, and was impatiently waiting for my turn to come :)

So the day after I arrived in the Netherlands to celebrate Sinterklaas, my brother and I drove to Lelystad Airport – even though the weather forecast wasn’t looking very favourable. As he’s flying small planes without advanced instruments, he has to fly “visual” which means he can’t fly in the clouds and needs a certain distance from the clouds as well as a minimum horizontal visibility in order to fly. When we arrived at the airport, it was POURING with rain, and the wind was strong and gusty. We could forget about flying in conditions like that, so instead he showed me around his club, and we had a fantastic lunch at the airport restaurant.

Then suddenly it stopped raining, the wind decreased and bits of blue sky turned up. The restaurant emptied, and small planes popped out of all the hangars on the airport :D So we hurried back to the club as well, and got ready for a short flight…

My brother pulling the plane out of the hangar Ready to go!

Originally we were going to fly to Texel and Ameland, and make a daytrip out of it, but it was almost 14:00 now and we only had time for a short (30 minute) flight over Flevoland before people at the club were going home.

Here we’re flying over Harderwijk, where we could see the dolphins swim underwater in the Dolfinarium (Sea World), and the theme park Walibi.

Harderwijk, with the Dolfinarium (Sea World) in the foreground - we could see the dolphins swim underwater! Attraction Park Walibi with lots of roller coasters - pity it's closed for the winter

Flevoland is a “new” province in the Netherlands, the land was reclaimed from the sea and made into a province in 1986. That means it’s flat like a pancake, and the farm fields are relatively large and straight. And all the towns are new of course, but in the first photo you can see an older town that used to be on the shore of the Zuiderzee.

Elburg, with a moat around the city centre Modern (and identical...) houses in Dronten

We saw LOTS and LOTS of windmills, and they’re planning to build even more. After 30 minutes, it was time to land again. We landed with a 22 knots crosswind, which is quite tricky. You have to land with one wheel first, to avoid the wind getting underneath your plane and tipping it over when you land. I thought it would be a scary bumpy landing, but my brother did amazingly well and landed it very softly :)

Lots of windmills Nice clouds :) Ready to land... you can see the landing strip in the distance

It was a fun flight, now I am looking forward to come in summer and do a longer flight over the Netherlands or perhaps even into Germany :)

2 Responses to “Flying Dutchman”

  1. Ben says:

    Great photos! It must be great to have family with their own plane and pilot’s licence. ;-)

    • Hanneke says:

      Thanks Ben! He doesn’t have his own plane yet, but he can rent one through his club :) Good deal, as they are VERY expensive ;)