What is the Escuadrilla del Sol?
This "Escuadrilla del Sol - Los Aviadores Finlandeses" was established in 1999 here on the Costa del Sol. The purpose of this "club" is to serve as a fraternity of mostly retired Finnish pilots who either live here in the South of Spain around the entire year or who spend at least the majority of the year here under the sun!
There are over 164 members in our "squadron" today - some pilots are still flying regularly and we even have 2 lady-pilots in the club! The ages of our members range from 40 plus to well over 80 years of age.The most important criteria in order to become member is that the person has or has possessed an official Finnish pilot´s permit.Most of our members have been pilots in the Finnish Air Force, many have been captains flying for different commercial airlines and some have been driving privately.
We have a regular official monthly meeting of the Escuadrilla on the first Thursday of each month - except during June, July and August, since the majority of us Finns usually spend our summers back in Finland. Many of our members have nowadays decided to meet also unofficially every Thursday on the same club premises for a lunch. This time also our ladies are welcome.
In addition to the monthly meetings when we usually have several official subjects handling topical matters on aviation, we also arrange trips to some interesting places: we have visited the Madrid aviation museum, Murcia air base, the Granada helicopter training centre, Sevilla, Jerez, Huelva, Rio Tinto etc. and have made several gastronomic trips in the south of Spain.
Our escuadrilla has recently taken a keen interest in the project of helping the Malaga Aviation Museum to renovate an old semi-derelict Convair 440 that is already within the compounds of the Museum. In so doing so we hope to preserve and honour the close relationship we Finns have with Spain in the realm of Andalucian tourism. The Finns have been coming here in the tens of thousands since the mid- 1950´s and, in fact, the first foreign airline to land on the brand new Malaga "Pablo Ruiz Picasso" Airport in 1959 was just this same kind of an airplane - Convair 440 - operated by the Finnish airline called "Kar-Air" with 52 Finnish tourists on board!
All in all: we are an active lot of old pilots who enjoy the joys of flying and meeting friends with mutual interests.