September 16, 2018 - 443 views
Let's start exploring Iceland by air!
We are departing Keflavik Internation Airport in a DA-40 TDI aircraft, that offers a confortable four-seater trainer equipped with G1000. Slowly taxiing for departure, we are held up by the Tower on the Sierra taxiway before what used to be runway 02-20 (Now 01-19). Easily one of the best places around the airport for a bit of plane-spotting, our incoming traffic is one of Icelandair 's 757 aircraft in their classic yellow-and-blue livery. We will take off in a southern direction rejoining the south coast for a bit of sight-seeing.
We skip the Selfoss area, as we will focus on it during another flight. Instead, we fly straight East, arriving over the giant Eyjafjallajökull (or "Island Mountain Glacier"), a ice-cap covered volcano rendered famous for blocking all air traffic during its eruption in 2010.
With its head in the clouds, the glacier-volcano provides us with spectacular light and scenery, and the Icelandic weather shines through mist and rain.
Staying under VFR conditions, we get a good view of the puffy layers of clouds sticking to the glacier's sides, working our way through light chops as we glide closer.
Cruising in our DA-40 TDI, we're slowly descending to avoid a mass of clouds forming over us.
We are over one of the many glacial rivers flowing out of Eyjafjallajökull, and splashing themselves into the cold Atlantic Ocean.
Time to check our route: we are just west of Skógafoss, going towards the southernmost tip of the main island.
We are finally arriving at the southernmost village in Iceland, Vik, located on the main ring road, around 180 km southeast of Reykjavík.
Here in particular, we can see the formations of Dyrhólaey, a massive arch that the sea has eroded from the headland. Dyrhólaey, that means "hole in the door" has cliffs that extend up to 120m above the sea, and we circle around this geological beauty before setting our heading bug straight West.
The light is changing, and night will soon be upon us. We are leaving the crowded uncontrolled airspace of the south coast to rejoin our base in Keflavik. We just have the time to catch the gold in the sky before letting our wheels gently kiss the ground.
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