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Originally, this website was set-up in 2005 to do something useful with the domain name that I already owned. It was started with pictures of flights that we had made in the United States in previous years, and for trips that we had just started to make in Europe.

Over time, the website expanded to include trip reports with additional flight details, pictures and maps for each leg.

Enjoy viewing the website!

To the trip reports

Veleda and Rene at Hilversum airfield
At Hilversum airfield
Rene with the runway signs at Tempelhof
At former Tempelhof airport
A little background

In 1989 we were still living in the Rotterdam area. One day we went to have a look at 'Zestienhoven', which was still the name of the local airport. There we passed a wooden shack with a sign 'flying school'. I guess I had thought about flying before, but I don't remember looking at it seriously. Anyway, I stepped into the little building, I was having a chat, and immediately bought a loose-leaf training book, which was somewhat amateurishly made at the time.

After I had read through some of the stuff in the book, I made an appointment at that flying school in Rotterdam for the first flying lesson. After that I also tried a flying school at Lelystad for comparison, but eventually chose Rotterdam because of the distance (fun fact: at Lelystad the instructor was balloonist Henk Brink, who was the first to fly a balloon over the Atlantic Ocean). The training was messy and inconsistent with many different instructors, and I even started picking up hours at other flying schools due to availability. In retrospect, that's something you should pay close attention to if you were considering flying as well.

Once I had my license, we made local trips from Rotterdam to Middelburg, Etten-Leur, etc. Flying was very expensive in the Netherlands and Europe. Once in a while we went to the United States to fly there. We were in Florida, and on the west side we made beautiful trips from Palo Alto to Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, Los Angeles and Yellowstone.

Over the years, our budget became more generous and we started to spread our wings in Europe. At first still relatively modestly to Germany, but then also to further destinations. Initially I used aircraft from a flying club, but there were too many restrictions. There were many members and few aircraft, and it took extraordinary board meetings of the flying club to be able to take an aircraft for a longer period of time. Since flying is supposed to mean freedom after all, I moved on to commercial companies to be able to take aircraft with me (having an aircraft yourself is a burden in terms of storage, maintenance, administration, etc.)

Until 2013 my wife followed with the car because still all the kids came along on vacation and it is more practical to have a car at hand then as well. Moreover, we could not fit 5 people in the plane. I flew to destinations in France, Austria, Italy and Croatia, which were driveable for my wife, and we would make plane trips there.

Since 2009 I am also a member of a large flying club in Germany with (currently) 11 aircraft, two of which are so-called 'complex' (adjustable propeller, retractable landing gear). We use these aircraft regularly. Since 2014 the children go their own way, and it is no longer necessary to have a car on hand as well. From that time on, we go further into Europe, such as to Norway, Portugal or southern Italy. We are guided by the weather. If the weather is not good in the north, we'll go south, etc.

Of our children, only our youngest son flies. He is a practiced glider pilot and participates in competitions. During his training as an airline pilot, Corona put a stop to aviation. Yet he immediately got a job as a flight instructor at his flying school in Locarno, Switzerland. So the enthusiasm for flying has been passed on and taken to the next level.

Places visited as Private Pilot

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