A quick 3-day vacation in Croatia.

ckurz7000

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2006
Messages
3,444
Location
Vienna
Aircraft
ArrowCopter
It's this time of year again, when one thinks of leaving home for places exotic or otherwise pleasurable. Even though this year we decided to stay home and have everyone come to visit us, the opportunity presented itself to lock up the house and take a brief sojourn. The Adriatic is only 2 hours per gyro from our place and an inviting destination, so we decided to dip down to Croatia for three days. On bookings.com we found a nice apartment that rented cheaply yet offered enough amenities to make it comfortable for us, including a private terrace and ocean view.

On Thursday my wife and I each packed a small backpack. I planned a trip from LHFM (Fertöszentmiklòs) via Maribor (LJMB) for refuelling to Rijeka (LDRI) on the island of Krk. It is 180 nm and takes two hours in the ArrowCopter. The refuelling stop isn't strictly needed but my wife likes to stretch her legs after an hour or 1:30 hour at most.

Here is the route we took:

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I couldn't fly directly to Croatia anyway since Croatia isn't a Schengen country and a passport check is required leaving from Hungary. Since Fertöszentmiklós doesn't offer this service, we had to stop somewhere at a bigger airport either in Hungary or Slovenia (which is a Schengen country). In the morning I filed two flightplans (one to Maribor and the other from there to Rijeka), which is a matter of minutes over the internet. We drove to the airport only to learn that a bad storm a week earlier had destroyed the roof of the hangar where I keep my ArrowCopter. The gyro was now in another hangar and, to my big relief, undamaged. Needless to say I performed a thorough preflight check but couldn't detect any wrong. So we got it out, loaded and gassed up, ready to take off at about 11 o'clock.

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The flight from LHFM to Maribor is pretty straightforward. we were handed off from Budapest INFO to Wien INFO and finally to Maribor APPROACH.Visiting this airport is always a bit strange because it calls itself international airport with a runway longer than 7500 feet, one terminal and five gates. BUt I have yet to find one single passenger there. The traffic they get is some single mot general aviation traffic and the pilots from FlyNiki doing touch&go training in their A320's there because of the lower landing fees.

We were met by a handsome Slovenian lady who accompanied us thourgh passport and security checks. They fired up one of their brand new x-ray machines to scan our tiny backpacks. And the staff as well as us had a mutual understanding of the humor in this. After filling up the tanks and paying the landing fee (17 EUR with a 50% reduction because ours was a "technical! landing) we were again in the gyro copying our clearance out of the control zone : "OEXKM, cleared to leave the control zone via MS2, after departure turn right, cross MS2 at 1500 feet, sqawk 7003, advise when ready to taxi." And that's exactly what we did.

After a while the hills got higher, the woods denser and the possible landing spaces fewer and far between. These were the foothills to the coastal mountain ridge called the Velebit in Croatia. We were handed off from Maribor APPROACH to Ljubljana INFO, to Pula APPROACH and finally to Rijeka APPROACH. I was flying at 5500 feet, about 2000 feet AGL to give me some options should I need to land unexpectedly. Yet Rijeka can't hear you until you're only a couple of miles out because the mountains intervene. Once you clear the final ridge, the azure colored Mediterranean opens up in front of you and you see the airport on an island only 5 miles ahead and at sea level. But this is what gyros are good at: losing altitude in a hurry.

This is the airport of Rijeka on a long left hand base leg to runway 14.

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After landing we were taken by bus to the gates and accompanied through immigrations. We then caught a cab to the town of Njivice, where we had rented the apartment. Here is a picture of the town from the air:

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Our apartment was only about a quater mile from the beach, an easy walk. The ocean view was as promised from the terrace:

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Here is an impression from the beach:

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And a view from our favorite hangout, a bar on a pier:

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Having arrived on Thursday, we left again on Saturday around noon. The next photo shows a view of the north end of the island of Krk with the airport at the very tip.

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On climb out we were offered a nice view of the Mediterranean between Krk and the Istrian peninsula:

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Flying gyros has afforded me some of the most astounding and magical moments in my life. And Croatia with its innumerable islands and clear sea is a prime destination to enjoy all a gyro can offer.

Greetings, -- Chris.
 

Vance

Gyroplane CFI
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
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16,525
Location
Nipomo,California
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Givens Predator
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2400+ in rotorcraft
A great story well told Chris.

Thank you for sharing the fun.
 

j bird

Gold Supporter
Joined
Nov 11, 2005
Messages
1,715
Location
Cave Junction,OR.
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Dominator/Airworthiness Certificate 9/06/12
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26.5 duel,RAF,Sparrow-Hawk,Cavalon,Calidus.
Chris, fires burning all around Southern Oregon, Northern California, haven't seen the sun much in weeks. Your story and pictures of your jaunt took me out of my environment for a while, loved it !!!!!!!!!!!!!.
 

kolibri282

Super Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2009
Messages
2,875
Location
Duesseldorf
Quite a long time ago we sailed in Croatia and it is still the one trip my kids remember most vividly. Dropping anchor in a secluded bay and just jump into the crystal clear water was tremendous fun. Flying there must be great fun indeed, so thanks for sharing!!
 

ckurz7000

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2006
Messages
3,444
Location
Vienna
Aircraft
ArrowCopter
Thanks to all for the kind words. Writing a report and choosing some photos for me enhances the experience of the flight adventure. It's a pleasure sharing it with folks who can appreciate it.

-- Chris.
 
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