Last legs Lisboa-Cherbourg-Budel

December 20, 2011



Our two stowaways scrolling through Lisbon


direction France…


bye bye Portugal


hello France (Normandie)


On both trips some God wanted to show us that it is already winter in Europe. Bad weather, icing, outside temperature at FL260 minus 43 degrees Celcius. We could not even have used our boots at these temperatures (one of my forgotten ground school lessons, refreshed by Urs on the flight to Cherbourg) in order to avoid the destruction of our boots.

The boots are situated on the leading edges of the wings and they are blown up (like bicycle tubes), at temperatures not colder than minus 40 degrees Celcius, each minute or each three minutes to get rid of the ice formed. This would otherwise influence the airflow over the wings and thus finally reduce the lift creating by the winds going over the top of the wings. All technical stuff, but knowledge badly needed in these circumstances.

Strong hail greeted us at Cherbourg. Pilatypus was the only aircraft that day. Two smaller aircraft were parked on the ramp. Finally, finally, finally we landed at an airport where we were not only not the smallest aircraft, but at the same time the largest.

In Sophie’s house in Morsalines, near to Cherbourg, Margharita gave signs of being frozen. Urs and I made quickly a large fire, whilst Sophie hurried to open a bottle of red wine. Margharita had to admit that she did exaggerate, whilst shifting her chair backwards three times because of extreme heat. In spite of the heat created, she insisted to go into a hotel. This is exactly the reason why you should never allow stowaways on an aircraft. Only problems, though in this particular case the stowaways made excellent choices of hotels in Marrakesh and Lisboa. Let us call it a draw.

The next day, 18 November, I made my last trip to Budel where I disembarked. Urs continued with the two stowaways to Locarno to have Pilatypus in position for another 100 hours service with Pilatus in Buochs, starting 2 January 2012.

18.222 Nm on two Qt of oil (plus a neglectable quantity of Jet A-1 fuel) with an engine we can fully trust.

Thanks to everyone who has been able and willing to read my blogs. I hope you have enjoyed them as much as we have enjoyed our trip.

Next year plans: either Round-the-World via Kazachstan, Mongolia, South Korea, Japan, Aleutian Islands, British Columbia Canada and USA or to Egypt, East Africa, Madagascar and South Africa.

finally at Sophie’s fire place…


Post by Harry Heijst | December 20, 2011 |


  1. Welcome back to Europe. I watched your blog and was virtually on this trip with pilatypus… gorgeous! My favorite destinations on your trip was Patagonia. I’ve never thought I be fond of this sort of ice area.

    PS: Harry und Urs, wenn ihr bei euren nächsten Route eine Destination Madagaskar wählt, werdet ihr vermutlich erneut mit einem “blinden Passagier” rechnen müssen 🙂 Aber vorerst freue ich mich euch wieder gesund zurück zu wissen!

    by Claudia | 21 Dec 2011 | 01:29
  2. Never a ship sails out of bay but carries my heart as a stowaway!!!

    by stowaway | 21 Dec 2011 | 12:02