My Adventure Story
N206MX (¨Smix¨) Finally Gets Its Feet Wet in Europe...
Marga and I took off from Sabadell, the General Aviation airport near Barcelona, on Friday morning and skirted the Pyrannees until they looked low enough for our fuel-laden, fat Cessna 206 on amphibious floats to hop over them.
Once across the Spanish-French border, the French controllers were kind enough to give us a straight track right to the wonderful Seaplane Base at Biscarrosse (near Bordeaux) where Jacques Lauray (a 14000 hour ex Military fixed wing and Heli pilot), Pierre Fontaine (Association Treasurer), Bernard Voreux (Aerodrome Director) and the Museum Manager whose name escapes me, met us at the aerodrome which is situated right on the edge of the Biscarrosse lake.
I chose to land at the aerodrome first, let Marga stretch her legs and get Jacques to take a brief flight with me and give me a guided tour of the lake and the dos and donts in the area. He has a huge amount of experience having flown professionally in Africa, Canada and who knows where else for decades. We landed in the lake and taxied to a very gentle ramp. Down came the wheels and we blasted out of the water and onto a nice grass lawn. It was fun and gave truth the words ¨Amphibious Aircraft¨.
We were able to quickly see the excellent Musee des Hydroaviation which is not to be missed (though we need to go back for a longer look!) and rented a car with which to see the area by land.
The next day Marga and I spent a couple of hours practicing touch and goes on the lake, tackling the ramp again and then, abandoning 6MX, climbing to the top of a huge sandy dune we had flown over. People climb it to parapente off of it or just admire the ocean from its sandy top.
Sunday, we had an early start and flew back to Spain where we landed at San Sebastian. This very pretty city has an airport that was built on land reclaimed from the sea. You basically come from the sea, point at the land and let the plane settle down to the tarmac, flying over dozens of sailboats anchored right at the end of the runway. We were met by Maite, an old friend of mine who took us for a great lunch and very quick tour of the town.
By 3.30pm were back at the plane, refueled and took off for Barcelona. The controllers had us do 360 degrees for 15 minutes right near the airport due to traffic, but after that it was a fast trip back home and we landed at Sabadell about 50 minutes before dusk.
So, 6MX finally got its feet wet in Europe the last time it landed on the water was last September in Minnesota, USA.