Aeroexpress Ltd restarted water flights over the “Hungarian Sea” yesterday. This Tuesday was the first time since 1938 that a Hungary-registered hydroplane landed on Lake Balaton.
The Cessna 206 type hydroplane landed in Keszthelyi Gulf at Lake Balaton on Tuesday afternoon. The aim of its operator, Aeroexpress Ltd is to restart water flights in Hungary – airportal.hu reported.
The plane took off from Balaton’s Sármellék Airport on Tuesday morning and approached the landing zone multiple times. The amphibious aircraft appeared over the “Hungarian Sea” at 11 am, carrying out a test flight over the water.
Airbus tutor captain Márton Széchey practised approaching, landings, take-offs, and low and high-speed water maneuvres over Lake Balaton. The Hungarian Lifeguard Service (VMSZ), the company’s official partner, and firefighter volunteers secured the flight at the Balaton’s Keszthelyi Gulf. Authorities appointed a 1.5 square kilometres circular area for the manoeuvre. As a result, the plane could land on Lake Balaton in line with the actual wind directions. Yesterday’s test aims to reintroduce water flights in Hungary just like the previous ones over the Danube did back in February
Test flights help to create the needed legal framework. Aeroexpress was founded by four Hungarians last year, however, it has nothing in common with the Russian Aeroexpress, except for the name. Among the founders, there is organist and maestro Dániel Somogyi-Tóth. He is also the founder of the Aviation Cultural Centre, which operates the Aeropark Aviation Museum in Budapest. Martin Simon does the operation of Aeroexpress through Flyby Aero registered in Bőny.
As we reported before, the founders did not chose the name Aeroexpress by chance. The legendary Aeroexpress Rt. started its operation in 1923 and was one of the first air companies in Hungary. They transported people and did postal services on the Danube and Lake Balaton. However, the number of water flights decreased in the 1930s. That was because of the development of the airport infrastructure. Later, they ceased operation entirely.
Dávid Vitézy, the government’s new transportation secretary, wrote on his Facebook page that
“as a country of many rivers and lakes, Hungary can become the next regional centre of water flight.”
He added that test flights would continue on Wednesday in Balatonlelle.
Here is a video about how the first Hungary-registered hydroplane landed on Lake Balaton:
Source: airportal.hu, facebook.com/vitezydavid