A long cross-country flight with Flight Design CTLSi from LRTM (in Romania) to EDGE Eisenach (in Germany) in late autumn seemed to be a more difficult task than I expected at first look.
After a nice trip with friendly voices on the radio, made it all the way to LOAN, an airfield close to Vienna, without anything unusual happening.
The west-northwest wind, was bothering me the whole time but after checking winds aloft at different altitudes, with head winds of over 30 to 40 knots, I figured that flying low was the only option if I wanted to make it with one full tank to Eisenach.
My CTLSi is an LSA. That means 600 kgs MTOM, with a 100 HP fuel-injected engine, uses between 13 to 18 l/h, depending on how fast you want to get to your destination.
Filled up all to the maximum, meaning 125 liters in both tanks with 5 more liters in the header tank, I had no doubt of making it to the destination in one leg. After checking the weather once again, I departed, but as soon as I was airborne I knew it would not be very easy. Winds were increasing as I passed the Czech border and the clouds ceiling were descending. I attempted to go between the layers without much success, so the CTLSi and I went under the clouds again. During that time, it went from OK to very marginal flyable weather and the whole time the headwind was over 30 Knots. Hmm… not so happy about this trip.
Entering Germany at EDQM (HOF PLAUEN) I had planned to fly direct to Eisenach EDGE, but the cold front was entering from west-northwest, forcing me to change plans. It did not matter how much I tried to find a hole underneath… no success. In order, not to stop I had to circumnavigate the worse part of it so after checking my SkyNavPro, a very helpful device satellite covered with the weather map on my cellphone, I decided to turn left, inbound Würzburg and stay ahead of the bad weather, from EDFW, Würzburg, to Frankfurt Main, following the same course line. Once approaching EDDF it seemed the clouds bases were a bit higher and from solid overcast it turned to broken and from broken to scattered clouds. Now was the time to turn to the right and fly north inbound Kassel. After passing clouds on the right side to allow me to fly directly to Eisenach, my airfield of destination.
From a simple flight that would usually take no more than 2.5 to 3 hours, this flight took me more than 5.5 hours, in one leg!
I was monitoring the whole time how much fuel was in the tanks because the last thing I wanted to do was land for more fuel, but the fuel indicators told me that there was enough fuel to fly for couple of hours more. That was a very helpful and comfortable feeling.
With the comfort of the big cabin, the safety of the solid fuselage construction and most importantly the trustworthy 100 HP Rotax 912iS fuel-injected engine with the amazing low fuel consumption, it seemed again to beat the bad weather at her own game. I made it in time for the Avieur Fly-in at EDGE in Eisenach, organized by Flight Design GA.
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