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Leg 67 - Lugano LSZA to Herten Rheinfelden EDTR

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Thanks Kieran.


After the race Malta, and knowing I had flight coming up, I decided to take the FW190 ahead and fly to Lugano to grab a little down time and catch up on some needed maintenance, the race having taken quite a bit out of the old bird. That, and mulling over ways to beat Sharon in the next one.  


Come morning and I arrived at the airport to collect the baton, finding Kieran doing a thorough check of the 737. Kieran duly wished me good luck and I made my way, baton in hand, to my aircraft for the leg. Or rather, I didn't actually have one: it turns out that the FW190 needed more maintenance and would be staying behind in Lugano. Instead, I had secured a charter flight to deliver some cargo to Herten Rheinfelden. In addition, the Swiss, having heard of the earlier troubles experienced during the ATWC, were taking no risks and had detached two Mirage 3's to fly escort along my flightpath. So this promised to be a safe flight. That flightplan would be to fly pretty much straight to Herten Rheinfeld, taking just a slight detour to the east to avoid the highest of the Swiss Alps. 


And here's my aircraft for the leg, the Quest Kodiak. 



Taxiing out to the runway, in this case departing to the north.



Turning onto the runway for a rolling start. I'm a bit rusty on the Kodiak and the aircraft is fully loaded, so best to punch it.



Lift off. 



Leaving lovely Lugano behind.



Ahead lie the Swiss alps.



And I'm soon at cruising altitude of 12500ft. To the west lies the high ground I wanted to avoid - the Western Swiss alps, with the Mont Blanc massif just out of sight.



A few minutes later and I've cleared the highest of the mountains.



That's Lake Lucerne below; a popular tourist destination and one I unfortunately did not get round to visiting. My attention is quickly directed elsewhere as it starts to get turbulent.



And that's why. I've got some storms building over the Rhein with the occasional flash of lightning.



There's the Rhein itself. Visibility, at this altitude at least, is starting to deteriorate.



Turning into a gentle, banking 360 degree descent. It's still choppy but it seems the visibility lower down is good.



Low enough and now to find the airport. I've got a prominent meander in the Rhein ahead; the airport should be just beyond it to the west.



Bingo! There it is, to the south of that forested high ground.



On final and considering the length of the runway I'm going to be using full flaps. Then all of a sudden the turbulence melts away and apart from a few flashes of lightning, I have a smooth approach. The only weather I end up dealing with is 10 knot headwind.



Which kicks in about here. A good thing too, as that runway is short.



Short final.



Touchdown! Reverse thrust and the Kodiak comes to a stop with space to spare. The radio crackles to life, the Swiss pilots signing off and congratulating me on a successful flight. I hear one of them chuckling, so maybe by successful they meant "like watching paint dry." 



No matter. Job's done and the baton is safe and sound. 



I trundle over to the terminal building to wait for John and organize transport back to Lugano. From there, it's off to Southampton to watch the baton cross the finish line.


Over to you John.


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Wow that is very impressive Marcellus!


Super PIREP and love the Kodiak in the Aussie Camo livery.


I can almost smell the fish and chips wafting over from Blighty now!



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