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airplaine Fly-In + Pilot Report

Travelogue Troyes – Île d’Yeu 2017

(by Lukas Straubinger und David Kromka)

Great was the interest in the journey to Troyes and the Ile d'Yeu organized by Philippe Coffinet.

In various ways the Mooniacs traveled from all over Europe to Troyes. A total of 27 Mooneys, a Piper Malibu and a car crew with three Mooniacs could be greeted in Troyes by a small snack at the facility of Troyes Aviation before the check-in to the nearby hotel was completed. The annual general meeting and a wonderful late night dinner was the further highlight of the day.

The Friday morning was all about flying. All pilots were invited to a mMooney-specific technical seminar. The scope of the topics ranged from the manual extension of the landing gear, the oil analysis to the topic of the 8.33kHz radios. Not to be missed is the typical French lunch buffet served by Troyes Aviation. For all those with less technical interest, a bus was available to allow for a shopping visit to a nearby outlet.

At lunch time, everyone was ready for the upcoming cultural program. By bus, we visited the small champagne cellar supplying the former President Barack Obama. The champagne cellar DRAPPIER in Urville warmly welcomed all Mooniacs and inspired with a guided tour through the several hundred years old cellar of the house. At the end of the tour was the already very expected tasting with the finest drops of the house on the day program and some Mooniac was glad not to have to fly on this day and calculated due to the purchased champagne boxes exactly his maximum take-off weight for his Mooney.

In the evening, our bus driver took us to Colombey-Les-Deux-Eglises to visit the former residence of the French General Charles de Gaulle. Impressed by the entire complex, the tour group stayed on the spot to finally return to the common hotel at the Troyes airport, as the highlight of the day was yet to come. The EMPOA invited the entire group to a Galadiner in the Hostellerie La Montagne, which has no less than a star in the Michelin Guide. In a very nice ambience sounded the evening many new acquaintances were made, as well as existing maintained.

Tired and very satisfied all participants reached by bus after midnight the hotel. Quite a few stayed in the hotel lobby with a Cognac and were already looking forward to the journey to the French Atlantic coast ....

Off heading West

After a sumptous breakfast our Mooneys took off into sunny skies overhead the Champagne region. Only our vice-president Philippe needed a second try since a temperature indication gave strange values. But thanks to professional support of the crew at Troyes Aviation it was possible to rule out a serious deficiency and D-ETLS was on its way to the west as well.

Some Mooneys landed on the way in order to refuel since Île d’Yeu does not offer AVGAS. The island is located some 25 kilometers of the coast and approaching it is fairly straightforward. Nevertheless it is an aviator’s dream since landing on the runway in the northwestern corner of the island permits some nice coastal sightseeing before touchdown.

The local flying club reserved ample parking space for our speedmachings on the little hard-surface apron and a marshaller arranged our Mooneys in a nice formation. Since eating is a serious issue in France and must not be forgotten, directly after landing we went off into a tent at the airfield that was being put up just for us. We were being served a nice „Choucroute de la Mer“ in which several kinds of fish and seafood were being mixed with potatoes and kraut and this was being washed down with lots of wine and beer. Some Mooniacs did not want to leave to the hotel at this time and a little circle of friends stayed to enjoy the airfield ambiance with red wine and cigars.

The Mooniacs were being lodged in two different hotels in the small port town of Port Joinville and ventured off to explore the waterfront and the numerous cafés. But soon they had to board a bus that brought them to the opposite side of the island where one finds the charming lobster port of Port de La Meule. After a little walk to the nearby chapel or along the harbor all sat down at the restaurant where a home-made punch was being served. After a starter with clams we enjoyed fish again. The evening passed way to fast but the hard core of party-hungry Mooniacs went to dive into the local nightlife with the French pilots. Live music and lots of other people set the stage for a night out that lasted until way after midnight.

On Sunday morning the himmel was a bit hazy at the beginning and temperatures were fresh. But this was no problem for our island sightseeing with the little tourist train. During two hours we were being acquainted with all important points on the island.

Some Mooniacs had to head back home to homebase on Sunday already. Our friend Henri-Jean invited some crews into his home where we could enjoy a little apéritif. In the course of the afternoon around half of our crews took off towards the continent. The other Mooniacs spent another nice evening at the Port Baron restaurant in Port Joinville before heading home the next day or continuing their tour towards Belle Île. A successful EMPOA tour came to a close during which the aviation as well as culinary quality of France was shown from its best perspective.

Lukas Straubinger und David Kromka