I have been kept busy by flying for the past few months, and lately I’ve had the pleasure of flying to the Greek Islands of Kos & Rhodes. These are the new routes, that were launched this year. I’ve also passed another simulator check, which clears me for another 6 months! I’ve also been busy with iOS programming and have released another program called WX Brief. I’ve been releasing updates to WX Charts Europe as well to improve it and add features. WX Brief gives you access to the latest METARs and TAFs for airports worldwide, also presents them in a friendly format, and gives you access to statistics, such as the variation of temperature over the past 12 hours.
The flight to the Greek Island of Kos takes just over 4 hours, but it seems to feel less than the routes that we do to the Canary Islands due to the interesting terrain and countries we fly over. The route initially takes us past London, towards Amsterdam and into Germany. We pass the Alps as we fly over Austria, and then into Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia & Herzegovina. It is quite a beautiful view en route with the mountains to the south and beautiful lakes and green vegetation to the north. The routing takes us close to the coast of Croatia, through Macedonia and finally overhead Greece. We fly over Thessaloniki, over the Aegean Sea and finally begin our decent to Kos. Kos is a small Island, just south of Izmir, Turkey – quite close to Turkey.
There are many islands spread around the Aegean Sea, some small and others larger. Many coast lines around these islands have beautiful beaches with an inviting turquoise shade in the water. The view during decent is simply stunning. I’ve flown to Kos a couple of times now, and the approach is procedural there, without radar. The controllers can be a little more unpredictable than usual and with the language barrier, it’s important to have a heightened sense of situational awareness and try to communicate as clearly as possible. Rhodes is slightly easier in the sense that it is a radar vectored, ILS approach – which means that the controller guides you in towards the runway to land. Rhodes airport is situated just on the edge of the coast line, which makes the views on approach absolutely amazing. I flew to Rhodes a few days ago, and we were first vectored downwind, which was parallel to the coast, with the view to my right. We were then eventually given headings to intercept the final approach course and fly towards the runway and land. On the approach, we flew over the city and as we got closer to the runway, I had a great view of the coast and the beautiful turquoise-shaded sea.