Coupe Breitling 2013 – Team AeroPlus

Also this year AeroPlus will participate again with a Dutch-Belgian team in the French Coupe Breitling ‘race’ (2013 Edition). Different from last year is, that we are competing with a Cirrus SR22 Turbo and thus also with another team of pilots proficient on this type of aircraft.

Cirrus Saint Hubert

The “AeroPlus Team 2013” Coupe Breitling.

Team AeroPlus competes again

Last year we barely made the finish line. We did not complete all 100 required touch & go’s within 24 hours for several reasons but finished with a score of 98 fields. First of all, we missed an important briefing during breakfast on the competition day at the departing airport of Vatry. During that breakfast meeting, we were to be informed about two of the mandatory areas. They were cancelled due to bad weather and strong winds in these regions of France. We missed this vital information and flew our route in these 2 areas as well. Secondly, we participated with a slower Piper Archer II and could simply not make the whole trip within 24 hours. The night legs took us extra time and distance. At night, many airfields are not open and this required us to fly a longer distance to get to airports which were open at night. Instead of flying the shortest possible route, our route length was getting longer than needed. Finally, we did not fly the circuits correctly and got penalty points for overflying Versailles and the house of president Sarkozy.

This year the competition is stronger than ever. We are competing against teams from Air France, the French Airforce and experienced French teams playing the game on their own home soil. Just the fact that we now have a faster aircraft to compete with, will not make it easier for us to win. The winner is not the team that flies the 100 airfields the fastest, but who can complete the ‘race’ in the shortest distance and within 24 hours.

Training at Aerodrome Saint Hubert

Last week we trained with the whole team in the south of Belgium at and around aerodrome Saint Hubert (EBSH). From there we created a route from via Luxembourg to several airfields in the North of France and then back to Saint Hubert.

Cirrus Saint Hubert

At the breakfast table, several team members are focussing on their assigned route and tasks. Some of our team members come from Belgium and are added to our team. Their French helps us to be more proficient in the air-to-air communication during the race.

Cirrus SR22 Turbo Cirrus Saint Hubert

Pushback of the Cirrus from the fuel station at Saint Hubert (EBSH).