Saturday, 22 November 2008

2008/10 PCA in the Algarve

click on the title to see the video on DailyMotion

During our 10 day stay in the Algarve we had time to do all kinds of things in still beautiful weather (most of the times anyway). The first week in Luz was reserved for golf and relaxing. First stop after landing in Portugal, as always, was a visit to our prefered restaurant the Dolphin. The Dolphin is a South-African restaurant in Praia da Luz, and if you once have the chance of going there do order Oom Tom Schalks Kudu Filet, with mushrooms in garlic sauce as a starter and of course a descent Dom Pedro for the finishing touch.

During another diner with our friends Joost & Marijke who are residents in Portugal, we made plans for local flights in the Algarve on Monday.

The video starts with a beautiful sunrise above the Atlantic Ocean on Saturday morning and some heavy rain falling out of the thunder clouds over the land. Funny to see that at the same time the sun keeps shining brightly as most of the times the clouds disappear above the cold ocean water.

First Marijke and I made a flight with Joost. 3 adults, not to heavy and full fuel tanks. There was almost no wind, and the wind kept on turning. Sometimes it changed all over sudden in a respectable tailwind. Taking off in the direction of Portimao there is a hill just in the take off direction. When we landed our approach was from this direction, but when taking off the same hill suddenly looked a lot bigger.

Later on we saw other planes, like some Cessna's take a short cut route directly to the right over the airport building to avoid the hill. We sticked to a conventional circuit but barely made it. We chose to use a short field take off technique, with flaps in the first position. Always difficult to judge whether it is better to make a flapless take-off to build up more speed followed by a steeper climb.

Heading to the west we had a magnificent flight over the Alvor basin, the harbour in Lagos and the typical rock formations at Ponte de Piedade. Further down our route we circled Reserva da Luz and flew over Burgau and Sagres to Cabo de Sao Vincente, the most south-westerly point of Europe. There are high cliffs over there with a nice light house at the end of the road. Around the corner the landscape is rough, but with beautiful beaches where Sander sometimes goes for wave surfing.

When Marijke flew with Marijke later on, on the same runway in similar conditions there was no problem whatsoever. About 125 kilo's less makes a huge difference. The second flight turned out to be a short flight because of an approaching thunderstorm from the north.

On Friday my sister and Rens arrived together with Walter and Christine on the daily Transavia flight to Faro. We did plan to make an additional flight with them, went to the airport, filed the flight plan, were on our way to prepare the plane ..... and found out that we left the planes keys at home. Smart.

Pancake Airlines Crew is trained by Dwarf Powered Gliders ( and Wings over Holland ( Information on the PH-PCA Diamond DA40 can be found on You can click on the title link to see the HD video on DailyMotion.

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