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airplaine Fly-In + Pilot Report

5. Mooniacs Fly-In to Château Pommard 28/29 Sept. 2013

(by Birgit Hutz)

When the French Mooney pilots invite us to a Fly-In we need to take an evening dress and black tie with us. These Fly-Ins always take place at a special location and there is a cocktail reception with lots of champagne and an excellent gala dinner.

Mooniacs Fly-Ins already have a tradition, after visiting Guernsey, Oxford, Paris and Oostende. The 5th international Mooniacs Fly-In was on 28th and 29th of September 2013.  For the 3rd time it was organized by Gilles Khaiat and Jacques Callies. This year they again chose an exceptional venue: Château de Pommard (Pommard castle) in the middle of the vineyards of Burgundy.

As the Château de Pommard does not have its own airstrip we landed in Dijon-Longvic (LFSD). There we were welcomed by Gilles and Jacques with a small lunch buffet.

15 Mooneys and as friends of the Mooniacs one Malibu, one Cessna and one Cirrus came to Dijon. After all planes had arrived and we had time to talk and get to know each other we went by bus to our hotel in Beaune. There we changed into our evening dress and went to Château de Pommard. Our visit this year on 28th of September coincided with the start of the grape harvest in Burgundy.

Château de Pommard consists of 20 hectares enclosed by stonewalls surrounding two vineyards Castles and commons built in Burgundy’s time honored tradition.

In recent years, Château de Pommard has become the most sought after stop on the «Route des Grands Vins de Bourgogne»: a delightful break for wine connoisseurs, fine arts and traditional French gastronomy.

In the last ten years, the owner, Maurice Giraud, dedicated this outstanding Castle to the finest French wine traditions, adding a Arts Gallery for our enjoyment.

Maurice Giraud is also an avid supporter of general aviation and high time helicopter user.

Our evening began with a talk of Emmanuel Davidson about engine management.

After his interesting talk we start the more festive part of the evening with a walk through the castle courtyard to a dining hall, with a terrace in front, looking out over the vineyards.

While music was played we enjoy our champagne reception, talking and laughing until we sat down for dinner. We enjoyed an excellent French four-course menu with regional specialties and delicious red wine from Pommard.

Gilles and Jacques welcomed each of their aviation guests personally. Every pilot received a wine decanter engraved with the Mooney Logo and 5th Mooniacs Fly-In.

Every nice evening has to come to an end, so late in the evening we were brought back to our hotel.

Sunday began with a visit to the cellars at Château de Pommard followed by a wine tasting, at least for the pilots non-flying and their passengers.

Around midday the bus drove us back to Dijon airport so we could all fly back home. 

We thank Gilles and Jacques for the great organization, a wonderful weekend and are looking forward to the 6th Mooniacs Fly-In. I hope that next time there will be more German  and English Mooniacs able to join in with this great tradition.

Birgit Hutz