Polyteknikkojen Ilmailukerho ry (PIK) is a Finnish aviation club with long heritage, established in 1931. In the early days, our members designed and built numerous sailplanes and powered aircraft. These days PIK is an active aviation club for gliding and powered flight alike. The club was founded by students at the Helsinki University of Technology, which later became part of Aalto University.

This page is a brief summary of the activities of PIK. If you’re interested in joining the club, please note that the main language of official communications including pilot training is Finnish.

Gliding

The centre of our gliding activities is located at Räyskälä Airfield. Our two trainers, Grob Twin II Acro and DG-505, are primarily used for training and guest flights. The four single seaters, a Club Astir, two LS4 and an LS8, are available for club members to use for practice and cross-country flights. Club aircraft may also be used in gliding competitions.

Räyskälä is a vivid place in the summer and has outstanding facilities. The airfield sports a cafe, two public lakeside saunas, a camping area, and a motel. PIK offers a club dorm for its members and evenings are often spent at our campfire site.

The club organizes an annual cross-coutry soaring competition, where the goal is to visit as many turnpoints as possible on club aircraft.

Take-off at any moment 2019 (c) Riikka Huttunen

Powered flight

The club’s two powered aircraft are also operated from Räyskälä. The club’s treasure, the PIK-23 Suhinu (OH-TOW), was designed and built by the club in co-operation with the university and Valmet. OH-TOW first flew in 1982 and has since served the club as a towplane. The two-seater is also available for practice and cross-country flights for LAPL/PPL holders.

Our fleet received a new addition in 2020 with the purchase of a Sportavia Fournier RF5 motorglider (OH-1037, formerly D-KURS). The type is colloquially known as ”Tuulia” in Finland. The aircraft is used for flight training and is available to club members.

Suhinu on a cross-country tow gig 2019 (c) Niko Lavonen

Flight training

PIK provides flight instruction for sailplane pilot’s license (SPL) including additional privileges for touring motor gliders (SPL+TMG). Advanced training is also provided for cloud flying, aerobatics, and cross-country flying.

A theoretical course for SPL is organized every spring in Otaniemi. Flight instruction is provided as an intensive two-week course in Räyskälä. Attaining the license requires spending around 15 days at the airfield. The language of both theoretical and practical flight training is Finnish.

Airborne in a two-seater (c) Sampsa Pärnänen

RC

Many club members are also avid RC pilots. RC models are flown in Räyskälä at the end of flying days and at various sites around the Helsinki region. The RC enthusiasts have a WhatsApp channel for all things RC.

Piloting an RC-model in Räyskälä 2019 (c) Lauri Kangas

Simulators

Outside the gliding season, the most enthusiastic glider pilots fly at home in the Condor soaring simulator on their PCs. Condor competitions are great fun and teach new lessons about gliding.

Condor 2 competition (c) Lauri Kangas

Sauna evenings

The principal winter event has traditionally been the PIK-joulut Pre-Christmas event at Rantasauna in Otaniemi.

Club activities

Everyone interested is most welcome to join club activities on a practical level. This includes participating in aircraft maintenance, organizing club events, towing sailplanes in Räyskälä, or perhaps signing up for a club post.

Club members at the introduction of a new PIK aircraft (c) Lauri Kangas

Aircraft maintenance

We do most of the aircraft maintenance ourselves. Only major repairs and work required by the CAA are outsourced. In addition to the dedicated maintenance team, all club members are welcome to help.

FQ annual maintenance in Räyskälä, winter 2018-2019 (c) Lauri Kangas

Flying camps

For decades, PIK members have geared up the gliders and headed to the Kebnekaise wave flying camp in Northern Sweden. Around Easter every year, dozens of glider pilots gather at an ice field on Lake Paittasjärvi. The mountain wave can boost gliders to altitudes of 9 kilometers or more.

PIK at Kebnekaise 2019 (c) Riikka Huttunen