Canary Island Hopping Vol.3: VFR – SPC to VDE

As promised, here’s something a little different this time. We continue our island hopping in the Canaries. Only this time I decided to go VFR with the North American P-51D Mustang. Lucky for us we found a guy in the Canaries that owns one of those fantastic WWII-birds, and he let us take this beast for a joyride between the smaller islands. This is part one, from Santa Cruz de La Palma to El Hierro, a small island which is located west of La Palma.

The flight info. This time a little more confidential…
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And our route. Well, since this is VFR flying, there pretty much is no route. After take off on runway 01 in SPC, we will turn on a Western course and ride with the wind. Before we land on 34 in VDE, I will give you a little tour of the island as we fly along the coast. Weather was not exactly perfect VFR conditions, cloudy and bumpy. But that’s just what it must be like in the Mustang. My favorite prop-aircraft. And that’s not only because of its incredible max. speed…
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We’re starting on the GA ramp in SPC. You immediately notice that this plane is from a different time. No GPS, no fancy switches – just a pure and basic flying machine.
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Our Mustang has the name “Big Beautiful Doll”.
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This aircraft is in a top condition. I just love the Mustang. It’s such an aesthetic plane.
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Once you take her to the skies, she is a pleasure to fly and a lot of fun. But as long as you’re on the ground it is like trying to dance with an Elephant.
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We got her off the ground. And she can’t wait to conquer the (cloudy) skies.
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Our 180 degrees turn is completed. Soon we leave the airport behind.
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Such a beast!
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We really have to watch out to not exceed 250kts. At least over the island…
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I wanted to see some sun, so I just broke through the clouds for a little bit.
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Quiz-time! What is wrong in this picture:
a. The Air Force star is on the wrong wing.
b. The sixth rivet from below on the flaps is missing.
c. I have the feeling as if the clouds may be on the wrong side…
Yes, that’s right! As soon as we have reached the open sea, I decided to do a little aerobatics and have some fun.
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A little later I went back to fly below the clouds.
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Looks like there’s a storm brewing here.
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But we’re quick enough to escape the weather as we’re closing in on El Hierro.
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There El Hierro comes in sight. We take the scenic route and fly around the complete island, along the coast.
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Beautiful beaches and dangerous terrain. A very popular sight in the Canaries.
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The clouds are now hanging lower, I didn’t climb at all.
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So we went descended a little bit. After all we wanna see something, right? I’ll just let the landscape speak for itself.
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What would this be without a Top Gun-style low pass!? Before landing I wanted to say hi to the tower first. Legal notice: During the making of this picture report no coffee was spilled in or around the tower!
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Talk to me Goose! Maverick would be proud of me.
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And as if that wasn’t already cool enough, we break away with a high performance, high angle climb.
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…to take our final lap around the relatively small airfield here.
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Now we’re really coming in to land. Gear down, let’s bring this beast back to the earth. Even though this is not where she belongs.
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Short final.
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And somehow we got the Mustang (she really deserves that name on the ground) back to the ramp.
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Next flight will be with the P-51D again. This time from El Hierro to La Gomera. I hope you liked this report, even though it was different from the usual ones.

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