European Music Festival Tour, HS-TOM, June – September 2019

Chiang Mai, Thailand – Bournemouth, United Kingdom

I (Flying Ed) decided to fly Maliee – HS-TOM from Thailand to the United Kingdom and back during the Spring and Autumn of 2019 as part of a European music festival tour. The plan was to set off during mid June, and return towards the end of September as this period normally coincides with a reversal of the Jetstream flowing East to West from Europe to Asia, hopefully providing me with tailwinds in each direction.

The route was chosen to allow for range, ease of paperwork and cost of handling agents, as well as a few favorite stops like Aqaba in Jordan which is a lovely place to unwind for a few days.

My good friend K. Best from Phuket offered to accompany me as co-pilot as far as Aqaba.

The longest leg was Chittagong (VGEG) in Bangladesh to Ahmedabad (VAAH) in India, some 1,100 Nm. For this and other legs I made use of an onboard ferry tank which provides an additional 66 gallons or 2 hours flying time.

There was a lot of convective weather about over India. Having the onboard weather radar was an essential tool for navigating around the worst of it.

The landscape over Saudi Arabia was really barren. How did humans ever survive here initially?

The outside temperature at Fujairah International Airport - OMFJ was 45oC!

Approaching Austria, the Alps were a sharp contrast to the dry deserts of the Middle East.

Over the Alps, a cracking tailwind on the return leg made me a member of the 300 Knot club. The ride was quite bumpy though. Mild turbulence.

Heading back to Thailand I managed to depart Ahmedabad - VAAH Airport in India before dawn, but we had to push the aircraft from the apron to the taxi way...

Final Approach into Chiang Rai - VTCT International Airport. Home at last in Thailand. September 16th 2019.

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