7/22- Oostende, Belgium to Biggin Hill, England to Edinburgh, Scotland
Today was filled with flying memories. We took a cab from Brugge, Belgium to Oostende Airport. Upon arriving I filed two flight plans. One from Oostende to Biggin Hill and the second from Biggin to Edinburgh. We planned on stopping at Biggin to refuel, but that was only a weak excuse. It's a one hour flight from Oostende to Biggin and two more hours to Edinburgh and even with the tip tanks dry we still have over 5 hours of fuel. Before we started the engines, ATC (Air Traffic Control) said that our flight plan from Biggin to Edinburgh was rejected. We said we would refile from Biggin. We took off about noon from Oostende, where we had a good view of the resort town itself (top pix).
I first rented a plane at Biggin Hill about 25 years ago, from the Biggin Hill Flying School. I was there at the time with Bill Schramm. I joined their club and had a patch sewn on my flight suit (2nd pix). I remember I said, at the time, that I'd like to fly across the pond myself and visit. I rented a plane from Biggin again in 1980 and flew to France. Two years ago Sharon and I rented a plane there and I was checked out by Mark Vaughan of the Biggin Hill School of Flying.
We landed at Biggin, stopped at customs, had some lunch and taxied the plane over to the Flying School.
On they way, we taxied over a very memorable piece of concrete. This is the same concrete that the Spitfires ran up their engines on during the London Blitz (3rd pix). When we walked into the school, up walked Mark Vaughan and he said "Hello, Arthur Rosenberg". What a memory (4th pix)!!! He reminded us that he checked me out in one of the Grumman Tigers two years ago. We gave him our last "N5930Y hat". The fellow that ran the place gave me one of their school hats in return. It was a great feeling for both of us.
After swapping some stories and filing a new flight plan, we took off for Edinburgh. We landed two hours later (bottom pix) at Edinburgh's main airport. We were told we were number 3 to land (the long main runway was in use). I said that I would take the short (2,700 feet) runway if it would be easier for them. We were cleared to land immediately. After an exciting cab ride into town during rush hour, we checked into the Caledonian Hotel.
We plan on staying in Edinburgh until Saturday morning. We will do some walking around, but also rest before beginning the trip back across the pond. We'll fly from here to Wick, Scotland (about 1 hour), change the oil, stay over night, and head west.