As a handful of you may have known, it was my birthday last Thursday. I had no idea what was coming my way.
I celebrated with my family on Friday and all seemed well.
My parents surprised me with a flying lesson at Rotterdam Airport! It took me about three hours to get out of my state of shock as I completely wasn’t expecting this.
The lesson was booked for the Saturday afterwards, July 18th at 0900Z in a Diamond DA-40.
If you want this aircraft to be added to IF, please check out the request here and I will forever worship you if you leave a vote.
On Saturday, I showed up to the flight school, Rotterdamsche Aero Club. The building has a beautiful bar, with many old pictures of Rotterdam The Hague Airport (EHRD).
Just a few minutes later, I was let into the briefing room, where the instructor figured out my aviation knowledge and briefed me on where we would fly.
After the briefing, we headed through security, onto the airside ramp. We walked over to the Lime “parking spots” i won’t call it a gate. Instructor gave me an external tour of the aircraft, showing me all the control surfaces and other stuff I already knew lol. Then we got into the cockpit and started the Diamond DA-40 with the checklist. The cockpit layout is very similar to a C172 with gauges, so I pretty much knew where all the buttons were located. The instructor saw this, and she deemed me ready to control the plane during taxi and communicating with ATC.
Once the plane started up, we were given taxi clearance, so we made our way over to rwy 24, following a Cessna 208 with 10 passengers, most of which were skydivers.
The Diamond DA-40 has a very special turning system, and makes taxiing very difficult. You use the independant wheel brakes to turn the plane. Left brake = left turn and vice versa. You can see my legs getting very confused in the video lol.
As we were approaching rwy 24 on taxiway V5, the instructor told me I was able to take off, as my taxiing went well. This came to my complete surprise, but I certainly did not complain. I requested departure, and the tower cleared me. Before I knew it, I rotated off Rotterdam The Hague’s rwy 24, and made a right turn, to use the motorway to guide me towards the outskirts of The Hague.
Enjoy the pictures.
I made a YouTube video, covering most highlights of the flight:
In the distance, you can see the Hague City Center. As that is a restricted Airspace, we were not able to fly directly over it.
Here is Scheveningen pier, distinctive by the wheel and bunjee jumping tower.
Then I got the opportunity to fly over my house, so we circled over it a few times.
After a while of flying along the coastline, I turned over a river that would guide me from the sea to Rotterdam center. Unfortuntalely, I have not taken any more pictures, watch the video to see what it was like.
After a while, we made our way back to the airport, and we flew overhead to enter right downwind! It truly was amazing to fly over it. To see this, please watch the video.
After the shortest 48 minutes of my life, the instructor landed the Diamond DA-40, and I was handed back the controls to taxi back to our stand.
We chatted for a while about what my options are now, and it looks like I will probably continue my training in a few months!
I went to a nearby restaurant to go spotting, only had one mildly succesful catch of a Transavia B738, headed to Malaga.
Thank you very much for checking this out, and I really hope you enjoy the rest of your day:)