The biggest general aviation festival was held in Hella, the town and aerodrome in the middle of the southern valley of Iceland. Flugblogger discovered how private pilots celebrated the 100th anniversary of Icelandic aviation and learned details about the Icelandic aviation championship.
The main part of Icelandic aviation festival “Everything, which flies” (Icelandic “Allt sem flýgur”) has started on the rainy and cloudy Saturday morning of July, 13. It seemed that the night before was pretty cold, which did not stop many participants to camp on the grass parking site of the Hella aerodrome. The whole district, which included dozens of tents of all kinds, together with homes on the wheels, has appeared there on Friday evening.
Near the camp, there was a tent with hot coffee, snacks and souvenirs. Among them, there were aviation-themed T-shirts. Flugblogger had met the chairman of Icelandic National Aviation Association, which unites all aviation organizations in the country, Matthías Sveinbjörnsson, wearing one of these T-shirts. He shared with Flugblogger his thoughts about the weather.
“The weather is just good in my opinion. We had a little bit of rain this morning, but it is clear now. The ceiling is fine, not so much wind. I am even in my T-shirt!”, said Matthías.
He added, that much more people had attended the festival this year, compared to the previous one. Besides campers, many pilots had arrived in Hella on their aircraft from all over Iceland. Most of them had shown off their aircraft in the air when shortly after midday they started to take off one by one to perform several low passes over the aerodrome. There was no schedule for demo-flights on the festival, so everyone had a time slot for the show.
“There are only two scheduled events today. We have DC-3 TF-NPK, which is the cornerstone of the festival. It can be seen here every year. The plane will fly at 3 o’clock. Then we have “candy shower” at 4 o’clock. There is a paramotor, which flies with candy and drops them from abode to children. Children of all ages” told Matthías.
The Saturday evening on “Allt sem flýgur” was the end point of the whole week activities. Several days before the Icelandic Aviation Championship was held in nearby of Hella. It was held for the second time after the debut last year. The pilot Halldor Kr Jonsson was among participants of the competition this year. He shared some insides about it.
“I flew only one task because I didn’t have a plane for more. The task was to find 10 churches in the southern area. They are all in different places from Hella: far to the east, far to the west, up to the north and down to the shore. There was about 1-hour flight to find them all”, told Halldor.
He emphasized, that there was no time limit for the search, however, the jury considered how fast pilots completed their tasks. Halldor was flying with his fellow Jamil Allansson, who was the navigator during the flight.
“There was a lot of traffic on this task, some of them were faster than others, so we had to be careful and look around during the flight. To complete the task, we had to find the churches, took pictures of them and mark them on the map. It was hard to find some of them because the pictures in the briefing were old, so the surrounding area didn’t look exactly the same. But it went very well, we found all of them after 1 hour. We think that we found all of them correctly”, told Halldor Kr Jonsson.
Halldor thinks that competitions like this championship improve the skills of pilots, who fly VFR in Iceland. Such pieces of training allow them to train the basics, which always needed for the successful performance of a flight.
“It improves in the way, that pilot has to and finds something according to a location on the map, he has to follow a map. Therefore, it improves his skills to identify things on the ground. When he is flying VFR flights, it is very important to know locations on the ground and compare it to the map. It is not always easy. So, such tasks make to work this out”, told Halldor. “There was another task yesterday, to draw “100”. This task makes pilots better with flying designated headings. When they are drawing something, it is all about the headings. There were precise headings and visual targets. Then pilots had to do circles in the air for the “00” when they had to know what bank angles to maintain according to the speed turn. So, they had to calculate everything ahead. It all gives pilots skills, that is why I like these competitions very much”, he added.