Texel fly-in ’17

Posted by on Sep 5, 2017 in Blog | Leave a comment

In the last weekend of August, the 2017 edition of the Texel fly-in was held. Last year was my first time as a volunteer marshaller there and I had such a good time that I was happy to be able to go again this year. With the weather forecast being very good, it was promising to be another great edition!

I set out early on Friday morning to catch the ferry. As it was looking to be a very sunny day, inbound traffic promised to be good. Thankfully I still had time to set up my tent and meet up with this year’s team, before we would all get busy. After some time, the aircraft started to arrive. Some were only there for a day, some would stay overnight and camp next to their aircraft. After a long day out in the sun, it was time to call it a day. The airport had closed and our work was done. In total we had about 50-60 aircraft coming in today, only half of what was expected for the next day. A few of us enjoyed a cold beer and dinner at the airport restaurant before heading to our tents.

On Saturday it was more cloudy unfortunately. There was only 1 band of clouds over the country and it was precisely over all the islands… At the end of the afternoon, it also started to drizzle and not much action was happening. But when the rain cleared, the cloud layer started to get thinner and we actually had a decent sunset. This happened just as we finished the BBQ dinner and one of the guys suddenly mentioned he had a drone with him. We asked the airport owner and manager if there was any chance of us flying it, he OK’d it. Cool! We set out to get some shots and drone footage of the aircraft that were still presentI (I’ve linked the final result below). But for me personally, the best moment was being able to sit in one of my favorite aircraft EVER; the P-51 Mustang. I’m sure I could get used to that seat, haha.

In the evening, we went into the city for some beers and to enjoy the atmosphere. Just like last year, the Tropical Sea Festival was held, which included lots of (live) music and a crowded city center. I wish I had drank more water during the day, because I started to develop a headache (even before we left for the city), so I wasn’t able to thoroughly enjoy it.

The next day, I woke up feeling alright, despite the fact that my headache had worsened that night. Thankfully there were mobile showers and I had a nice cold one (not by choice, but it was actually really refreshing). Afterwards, I met up with the rest of the team. It wasn’t too busy and after a late breakfast, we were told that a group of pilots had taken the initiative to take us all for a short scenic flight over the island. Wow! We met up at the mentioned time and drew straws to determine who would fly in which aircraft.

I drew the Dyn’Aero MCR4, a small light aircraft. We were the first ones to take off and headed for the coastline after departure. The pilot asked me if I wanted to take control for a bit, to which I naturally said “yes”. I navigated along the coastline to the North and over the tip of the neighboring island Vlieland. We flew over the Vliehors, which is a sandbank as well as practise ground for Air Force jets. Obviously the area was not active when we flew over. When turning in for a long final, the pilot took control again and set the aircraft down for a super smooth landing.

After we were all back on the ground, having shared stories and footage, it was back to work, since there were still aircraft coming in. In the end, we had seen some 200+ aircraft over the weekend. A really good number and nice target to try and surpass next year. Many thanks to everyone who was involved in taking us for a flight!

Drone video:

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