Weather is a bit up in the air today (not a pun, honest) so we'll file IFR for a 3 hour flight at 6000 ft from Minsk, Belarus (UMMM) to Warsaw, Poland (EPWA). We'll fly KI-N869-NELIM-SIE-OKE which uses a nice little airway. From KI to NELIM is a pretty long way, but KI is an NDB with nearly a 120 nm range! So, we get to fly an NDB outbound radial for about 100 nm with a 10-knot crosswind -- can't get any more fun than that.
It's hot in Minsk as we depart on runway 12. Clouds are overcast at 10000 and there's a broken layer extending from about 4000 up to 9000 feet so there's really nowhere to go to get out of the clouds. We could try flying around clouds, but that would easily turn a 3 hour flight into a 5 hour flight, so IFR is really just to save us the trouble.
Good thing we did file IFR because the "broken" layer doesn't look very broken for most of the flight. Little sight-seeing is possible as much of the flight so far has looked like this. At least the overcast layer has gone away.
Things start to look a bit better after we cross the Polish border. Poland had rain yesterday and is expecting more rain later today, so we may have gotten lucky with the weather. I won't complain since it gives us a chance to have a look around. Here we overlfy the city of Siedlce in Eastern Poland. Siedlce is home to roughly 75000, but reports many of its inhabitants emigrating to the West.
Closer to Warsaw the weather is being even kinder to us and we've headed down even lower. Not much further to go, we pass by the town of Minsk Mazowiecki which used to be considered a subregion of Warsaw. It's now officially an independent city with around 37000 inhabitants.
On the outskirts of Warsaw (what I would call the suburbs) we've been given right base for an ILS approach for runway 33. That means we get to see the Southern part of the city, and we get a nice look at the Vistula river on our way in. The Northern part of the city has more of the modern business so we'll have to fly that way on our way out of town.
On final with only a very slight tailwind we're almost there.
There is something to be said for not making the very first turn-off. Tower said turn off when I could so I took the first turn I saw. While I was getting ready to switch to ground frequency, this lovely aircraft decided that my turn off was his path to the runway. I sure hope it's not hungry. With only a small amount of yelling from ground we were eventually able to get everything sorted out.
I think ground may have me confused with some other aircraft because they routed us to a nice big gate. Not that I'm complaining since it's the first time I didn't have to taxi for 20 minutes at one of the major airports. Now it's time to head into the city of my ancestors and see how much trouble I can get into.
Welcome to Poland and thanks for viewing.
- Charts Belarus: http://ivaoby.belavia.info/
- Charts Poland: http://www.pl-vacc.org/pol3/maps.php
- MSFS2002 scenery BELARUS UMMM by Serg Osiepoff
- Warsaw Towers Project (warsaw-t.zip) by Conrad Rychlik
- Warsaw Okecie (EPWA) (epwa19.zip) by Marek Sikorski