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  UPDATED Friday 3rd Feb 2006
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VACCHUN Christmas Fly-In December 15th 2005 and we were ready. The Annual VACCHUN the VACCHUN Team at Our Favourite Pizza RestaurantChristmas Fly-In was held today between 11:00z and 23:00z   So off I went from Manchester with heading for BUDAPEST for the second trip in 9 months.  It's always a pleasure to meet these guys because they are about the friendliest bunch I have ever had the pleasure of flying with.
The trip started well with a visit to the BUDA side of the Danube for a Pizza and some Beer and a general discussion of how Saturday's event will be managed.   ATC were on-line for 12 hours serving all positions throughout Hungary.  

Boeing 737-300 of at Manchester Boeing 737-300 of at Manchester Boeing 737-300 of at Manchester

Being a very progressive group of enthusiasts, several new ideas were used during this fly-in.     We had a new system of ground handling operated by the Operational Control Centre (OCC) which has been specially written and developed by Gergely Csernak for this fly-in, there was actual Visual Ground Handling using projectors, so we could actually monitor Ground Traffic as it moved and finally never before used was a system of Live ATIS constantly updated as it happened (which you are hearing now if your sound system is on).  And there are already some new ideas in the pipeline for the next Event

 The Team In Action The Team In Action 2 It's Getting Busy

And to top it all, we had a beautiful view of the city from our vantage point when time allowed us to take a break.

Budapest by Night Budapest by Night Budapest by Night

Traffic started to arrive on the Screens as soon as the event went 'live'....Arrivals, Departures and Transit traffic.  Positions manned were The Operations Control Centre (OCC), Delivery, Ground, TowerApproach (East and West, and when it got really busy, there was even a Traffic Director on air) and of course LHCC Centre.

OCC Ground Handling Chart on Projector-Great Idea Actual Visual Monitoring of Ground Traffic and still they keep coming

Controllers did a 2 hour shift and then took a 2 hour break. We serviced over 350 flights during the 12 hours on-line with neighbouring VACC's going live to deliver traffic safely to our borders.   We saw Traffic from The CZECH Republic, Germany, Poland, Holland, The UK was well represented, France, Belgium, Slovenia, Bosnia, Serbia & Montenegro, Italy and many other countries too numerous to mention.  Hower our thanks go out to all pilots who participated and made our event such a success.

Concentration or What ! Csaba Matrahazi at Work Peter Perlusz Doing The Business

Is There A Probem? No Just Watching Malev900 Hold Position,then Follow Company 767 to Holding Point A3

Dani at Work Peter at Work Attila at Work

Hmmmm....I'll Have to Stack Them Did these guys work hard - Attila looks very pleased with himself Gabor Varga and Dani

Also Special Thanks are due to: 
Gabor Varga for his organisation.
Peter Selmeci and Dani Vertesy - The Directors
Attila Abraham for his Innovation an Live ATIS
(and me for the Perfect Pronunciation)
Balazs Kozma for His Efforts
Gergely Csernak for his OCC Program
Adam Orban for the Ground & Apron Views 

Daniel Deak Takes A Breather  Budapest by Night

and Finally All The Controllers Who Participated without who we would not be able to stage an event of this magnitude.

Peter Selmeci in his Uniform - Impressive Peter Selmeci in his Uniform - Impressive Peter Selmeci In His Uniform - Impressive


And as a bonus on this trip, I just got myself invited to the HUNGAROCONTROL Operations Room courtesy of Attila (it's always handy to know someone on the staff). Hungarocontrol is responsible for safety and Air Navigation Services of all flights either Arriving, approachdesk.jpg (76421 bytes) Departing or Transiting Hungarian Airspace and is situated in a building very close to the threshold of 13R at Ferihegy BUDAPEST Airport.
Once processed thru security you enter the complex and then on past the Coffee machines into the Heart of the Operation, the Main Control Room. It's a fresh air-conditioned atmosphere which is buzzing with activity. Enroute,Centre,Approach Controllers and Traffic Directors all going about their business efficiently and friendly.
HUNGAROCONTROL Main Control RoomBut the highlight of my visit was spending over an hour sat at the Centre Desk with a guy named Árpád Lakatos or 'Hushi' as he likes to be called. He was amazing, conducting his aerial ballet whilst going into great detail explaining every single function and proceedure in the minutest detail to me.  I was transfixed at this guys personality and professionalism.  And on top of that he was just a nice guy as well.  Of course Árpád Lakatos - 'Hushi'Aviation safety is of Paramount Importance and Hushi also educated me on the Fail Safe programming built into the system.  I could have spent a week sat there listening to him, but unfortunately all good things must come to an end and my next stop was Terminal 2B at Budapest for the trip home.    So I have to extend my thanks to Attila for organising the trip, to all the Guys at the Hungarocontrol for who nothing was too much trouble even when I asked some dumb questions and especially to Hushi for the time and attention he gave me which made my visit an amazing experience....Thank you Gentlemen.