Den Norske Piper Cub fly

No, I don’t speak Norwegian, certainly not more than a word or two, but I do believe this blog title is spelled correctly. And if it isn’t…I don’t really care!

Last week I ventured to Norway and Sweden for a change, mainly for the NATO Tiger Meet at Ørland and the airshow at Malmen. After arriving at Trondheim airport by SAS, my brother and I were picked up by our good friends Patrick and Lucien who were travelling by car: a vintage 26-year young Mercedes. Patrick had a little surprise for us in stall: a little bit of flying!

We had to push our aircraft outside first ourselves: an original former Luftforsvaret (air force) L-18C, more commonly known as a Piper Cub! The pilot turned out to be a Dutchman living in Norway, born in the same town where I am living now, and gaining his PPL (Private Pilot License) at the same airport I grew up nearby.

It goes without speaking that real pilots start their aircraft engine by hand. By the way: that’s not a rock there, but a big heap of still melting snow…
In the mean time these two eager photographers were waiting for their (first) flight in a Grumman Cheetah
One happy passenger returning after his flight lasting a good hour
Discussing some fighter tactics after the flight…
And then it was my turn. First enjoying the marvellous view outside, such as the beautiful fjords
However the real purpose of all this flying was to do some “air to air” photography. This also former Luftforsvaret SAAB 91 Safir, rented by a group of Brits, was a more than welcome subject!
The pilots of the Cub and the Safir had no reservations or trouble flying in close formation, but the Cheetah pilot needed some persuasion. But he too got the hang of it by the second flight. Note the camera’s pointed from both aircraft (at me!)
Flying between sunshine and downpours…
One happy backseater!
Turning finals for the third landing attempt. The previous two had to be aborted whilst already on the runway because of gusts of crosswind which threatened to swing the poor Piper Cub around and maybe even wreck it (together with the pilot’s ego). It resulted in some “exiting” moments I can guarantee! But I am happy to report the third landing was a complete success!

All in all…an unexpected and very good start of our stay in Norway. Flying backseat in a Piper Cub is absolutely awesome and is recommended to anyone!