Following our trip there in March, we’d hoped to go back up to Shetland in July to see the puffins during their breeding season.
J had just returned from an extended business trip itching to get up in the sky, so we were geared up for a long flight. Unfortunately the weather in the North of England and Scotland wasn’t playing ball, so we decided to head southwards instead!
J had visited Lausanne on a fly-in earlier in the year and was keen to go back – I’d also been through it on a train whilst living in Switzerland and travelling between offices in Zurich and Geneva, so it was about time I stopped off.
It was an absolutely sweltering day when we arrived – it was 20C even up at 10,000ft, and as we descended the spectacular effectiveness of ‘YC’s perspex cockpit was a mini-greenhouse became apparent. It was over 35C on the ground and incredibly humid – we could not wait to get those doors open! One thing I don’t like about the TB-10 is the ‘gull-wing’ doors, which open upwards. This means you can’t open them whilst the engine is running, or to be honest when it’s remotely windy, for fear they could get damaged or even ripped off. Whilst training on the PA28s over the summer, I’ve found that these have the distinct advantage that the doors can be opened whilst taxying, which gives some relief from the temperatures!
Lausanne airport is excellent – brilliant briefing room and facilities, friendly staff and efficient customs officers. We caught the bus into town, which is also quick and inexpensive (about 15mins). The town is lovely, lots of pretty cobbled streets, gorgeous views on the lakefront and lots of restaurants and cafes.
We planned to go for a mountain flight on the Sunday – J completed a mountain flying course in Switzerland in 2012 and was excited to get some more experience flying in the Alps. Sadly the huge thunderstorms surrounding us put paid to that idea, so we walked down to the lake and rented a pedalo boat, which was great fun and absolutely beautiful.
We jumped on the bus back up to the airport on Monday morning – the airport was as efficient as when we’d arrived and we were soon airborne again. The flight back was the longest we’ve ever done in ‘YC – 4hrs and 10 minutes. But it went well – stunning views over a huge distance and a really beautiful approach into Biggin. It’s great to know we can do that sort of stretch (and even further, in fact) in one go if the wind plays ball, though I don’t know if I’d want to go much longer without a toilet stop!
I arrived back to colleagues eager to find out where we’d decided to go – I still have to pinch myself when I say we just ‘popped’ to Switzerland for a few days at a moment’s notice…it’s absolutely incredible!
- ICAO code: LSGL
- Elevation AMSL: 2,040ft
- Runway direction & length: 18/36 (775m)
- Runway surface: Tarmac
- Landing fee (at time of visiting): 32 CHF. Customs charge of 5 CHF per person and additional charge of 6.10 CHF per passenger.
- Facilities: Briefing room, toilets, tea & coffee in GA area. Cafe and shops in main terminal.
- Transport links: Frequent buses into town from bus stop approx. 2min walk from the terminal building, takes about 15-20mins to reach central Lausanne.