Sunday, November 22, 2015

Flying the Pyrénées from LNFQ

This year again, we did go for 2 weeks joint family & gliding summer holyday close to an airfield. Not in this alps this time, but closer to our home, in the Pyrénées.

The choice : LFNQ - Mont Louis la Quillanne, a quite specific airfield. It is located on east side of Pyrénées very close to spanish border in Catalunya (20km from La Cerdanya), on top of "col de la Quillanne" pass.

One clear interest relates for the nice environement for family activities. There are numerous things to do, like hiking, going to local Zoo, visiting castles (this is a border area...) or bathing in thermal springs. And for sure, an airfield is always a nice place to run and play, providing some ground rules are set !

Another good point : accomodation sits directly on the airfield ! Take off & landing can be spotted from the house...

LFNQ is sitting as high as 1700m (~FL056 QNH) (!), but with a 1100m confortable grass strip.  QFU is either downhill & tailwind for moderate to medium breaze, either uphill when north wing is installed (with some local rotor & dowdraft).
Luckily towing A/C is a typical Morane 894 Rallye with a 235hp engine, that is big engine allows to have a good safety margin when taking off, even with two seaters.

On the other hand, landing is always uphill, with the altitude effect & tailwind more than 140kph ground speed in flare is common ! Still with a quite soft 1100m grass strip, there is quite some room for breaking...

Sending a text before landing is possible to get welcoming crew ! ;-)

In term of flying,I got a "tour" of the neighborhood with Jean louis, a local instructor & X-country pilot. Then I could discover local specificities.
Here are the direct surrounding of the airfield : from right to left,  Mont louis & the airfield over the "col de la quillanne" pass, Matemale lake, Super Bolquere & Font Romeu ski resorts.

I could fly over some place we have visited with the family, like Llivia & (a little area of spanish territory inside fFrance), with its former castle on top of the hill.

Also Dorres outdoor  thermal springs (just on the wing tip).


Bouillouses lake &  Carlit landscape

Mediterranean see is not so far away, and sometime you can see Perpignan. Puigmal montaign is a natural border for humid air coming from the coast, with often clouds over several heights.

My main goal from a X-country flying perspective was to get accustomed to east-Pyrénées area. After some team flying with local pilots, I had learnt enough to understand the big facts & tips to cross Andorra.

We also worked along higher summit along french border - seeing some place I used to come for skiing.

A new area to learn, a new range of summit name to memorize... And sometimes, local name does not fit with wht is written on maps ! This kind of workload means not so many photos, sadly...

Having learnt new areass, I came to the point to make the link with the parts I know when flying from Jaca, on the west part of Pyrénées. Once Aneto was reached, I could almost have flown with the eyes closed... Still flying from the east changes the perspective, and I tried some new ridges & peaks, going further north into Luchon area.

At the end of the stay, weather was so good that I could use all this new knowledge and fly quite far west, as far as Jaca surroundings. Longer flight was crossing more or less 2/3 of the chain with ceiling around 4000m, 230km away from LFNQ - I wish I hadn't forgotten my oxygen at home...

Well, quite a nice holyday period, many thanks to LFNQ people for their welcome !

More information on LFNQ on the website :

Sunday, January 11, 2015

2014 shots

Again some airshots from 2014, waiting 2015 flying season to start !!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Back in the Alps

I had not been flying in the alps since 2009... We came back for 2 weeks in  Aubenasson with the family (like in 2008...).


The airfield lies next to the Drome River, south east of Valence.

This is quite a nice place for mixing family & flying, with some days flying, and some days walking in the mountains around !

Saou forest - which provides nice slope just near to the airfield - is quite unique sight.

This year was the opportunity to discover a bit more Vercors mountains, with southern but also northern wind...

In term of big flight, weather was somehow choppy, still at the end of the stay it has improved & reasonnably nice flights were possible, to le Verdon or Les écrins.

I could check a few time that Pic de Bures Mountains is still the same serious-looking  moutain...

I was also happy to get my dad in Aubenasson's club Duodiscus to have a bit of "rock surfing".

 Also thanks to Christophe for letting me his nice Libelle - this was a first for me !

Well, those were nice holydays...

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Flying in Spain -2013

The now classical video from shot in spain in 2013.

Not the best weather ever this year, still some very nice flying experience, with friends or alone. There was a lot of north wind, hence very often wave related phenomenons... A good opportunity to test Butterfly vario !

Monday, February 18, 2013

Winter purchases...

This winter I have baught a new sailplane model, first time in years...  Helios was really a good choice. Amazing to see how are made those new DLG, and flying is superb !
Modern 2.4GHz radioset also now goes with downlink as a basis, that is you can have altimeter & variometer reading on the screen, and sound into an earplug !

More info on Helios :

Also play the game "spot the difference".

I have indeed baught the Butterfly "dream vario". It is very well built, installation of the sensor box requires some care... I will hopefully see in flight how this piece of technology is robust, and actually bring something to my flight technic !
I just hope I won't miss too much the 303 interface for simple but efficient navigation...

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Shots from 2012 v2 : in mountains

Some other shots from flying Pyrénées mountains this year.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Shots from 2012

A video made from various flights along past season...