It’s been almost 1.5 years since I started flying on line, and now have just over a 1000 hours on type! Over the past few months since my last post, I’ve been kept busy with flying, developing my own iPhone app and also getting back into Web design/development.
One of my more memorable weeks was the one that I spent in Madrid, in December 2010. It was challenging, but also enjoyable. I was on the late shift, which gave me the opportunity to relax in the morning, enjoy the hotel facilities and explore the local area. This was my first time flying from a major hub and parallel runway operations for 5 days. Madrid has four runways – two of which are used for take off and the other two for landing. The taxy times were often longer than what I was used to: around 15 – 20 minutes depending on how far the parking stand was from the runway and the traffic on the ground. I have flown into Madrid before, from Marseille, so it wasn’t completely new to me.
Madrid Barajas - view from our parking stand. Was a rather stormy day.
I flew to domestic destinations such as Alicante, Santander, Santiago, Valencia – three of which I flew to on the first day, a rather ‘straight into the deep-end’ introduction to Madrid! The next few days were more relaxed with longer sectors and I flew to Oujda (Morocco), Rome, Charleroi (Brussels), and Bergamo (near Milan). I do fly to some of these destinations from my base, however I found the different routing interesting and gave me different views on descent and approach. For example, we approached Rome from the West, giving us a fantastic view of the coast, rather than the North, where we would be flying over the Alps.
Oujda, Morocco - was rather warm here in December!
Madrid gave me a fair share of experiences and the weather was rather varied – the week started out rather stormy and rainy, foggy at nights, which covered Madrid in rather dense fog one night requiring an automatic landing, and it ended with sunny and clear skies. I took the opportunity to go into Madrid city centre whilst I was there and visited the Royal Palace and various other museums and attractions. The temperature was much warmer so it was a welcome change to be in 15C after coming in from sub-zero temperatures from UK!
The Winter period is always quieter than Summer, which gave me some spare time to spend on projects that I have always been interested in. I taught myself how to develop iPhone apps and created WX Charts Europe. This app displays various weather charts, allows you to save/download them for offline viewing, email them and have a favourites list as well.