Reunion Island it is then.
This place is one of those undiscovered spots for me in my FS world. Luckily for me I had an entry from there on the blog which gave me the opportunity to fly there. Otherwise, I doubt it would have come to my mind with so many options.
Anyway, just like I did in Panama, I decided to fly around the Island and not to or from it. This way I would get a better chance to learn about Reunion. A quick look at the map revealed that the Island was small enough to do a whole tour in just under an hour. Good because I wouldn't have had more time than just that on this weekday evening.
I chose the C182 for this trip. Take-off was from Roland Garros airport in Saint Denis (FMEE) with a clockwise tour following the coastline. I found out there was a small airfield on the other side of the Island which would be suitable for a touch and go.
Final checks done, ready to go
Traffic was calm at Roland Garros, mostly because I don't have a lot of AI for this part of the world. There was only a heavy Air France, a regular customer at this airport. Departure weather was winds 208 at 4 with 16 miles visibility and 23C. Clouds were reported as 2000 few.
Taxing to "14"
After a quick preflight and plotting my route on the map, I taxied to runway 14. I was parked on the far end of the runway which required a long backtrack. I cut short at half of the runway and took off with ease in the C182.
On a side note, I got to try the new C182 checklists my buddy Al sent me. They are actually for the C182Q but they go perfectly with the RG as well.
I took off in a south easterly direction so I just had to turn slightly south to follow my route. The cloud cover made me settle around 3000 feet so I could enjoy the view below.
Cruising along the coast
As I flew along the coastline, I must have flown close to little communities. According to Google Map, I flew close to Bras Panon, Saint Benoit, Sainte Anne and Sainte Rose to name a few. I also found out I flew roughly along the RN2 (highway)
After the southern tip of Reunion, Pierrefonds airport came into view. Runway 33 was closer to my course but I chose to fly a circle-to-land approach to runway 15 to add to the fun.
Downwind for FMEP
At 3DME from the PFR VOR I turned right and lined up for a short final. I came in too high as you can see in the shot below.
The weather was about the same as departure, calm winds and good visibility.
Short final runway 15
After a smooth landing, slightly stalling her before touchdown, I took off with ease and banked right at 500 feet to head back to St Denis.
I leveled off at around 2000 feet for cruise flight.
It appears I was now following RN1 and flew close to Le Gouffre, Saint Leu and Saint Paul.
I also flew over a bridge at some point, I'm not sure where it exactly was but I'm guessing it was close to Port de Plaisance.
What bridge is that
Reunion Island must a beautiful place. I had friends from there back in my college days and just like all peoples originally from pleasant, tropical climated places, they were very friendly and always cheerful.
Over Saint Denis
As I approached FMEE I slowed down and lowered the flaps to enjoy the view over Saint Denis. ATC cleared me the ILS 14 and came in over the coast.
FMEE is similar in a way to Zurich in terms of runway layout. It's easy to confuse runway 12 and 14 if you're flying visual approaches. If you've done an approach to Zurich from the west, you'll see what I mean.
I tuned into the ILS frequency for the pleasure of instrument flying and enjoyed the view flying slowly down the glideslope.
Final for ILS 14
I intentionally touched down late to shorten taxi time and vacated the runway at the first exit. My landing was pretty good, once again I slightly stalled it before touchdown.
The entire flight over the Island took exactly 1 hour. 1 hour of pure pleasure and learning that is!
My next flight is set from Vienna to Kastrup (LOWW-EKCH) which I plan to do this weekend. 2 flights with GA aircraft and I'm already missing the NG and the 757.
Thanks for viewing