Flying through orange clouds…!
We’ve had some great weather the last couple of weeks, and I hope it continues! It’s given me nice views of UK as I’ve been flying South towards my destinations during the day, which other than recently is often shrouded by clouds. The sunsets have been amazing, with different colours in different layers of cloud and levels of the atmosphere. Many times the views have resembled surreal paintings.
Coming into Malaga was amazing as usual, and the sun was setting just as we were about to leave for UK. Malaga is the new Ryanair base, which opened just a few days ago. A friend of mine was greeted by a welcome party with full festivities, musical instruments and the press on the day it opened – which was to their surprise, as they didn’t expect it! As we were taxying towards the runway, we passed the 4 aircraft that are now based in Malaga parked on the stand. Quite a few new bases have opened since I’ve joined, and the newest one is Barcelona El Prat – now we have 3 airports serving the Barcelona area.
I did my first SRA this week when returning from Palma – to aid in controller training. We were happy to do this, as we fully briefed it and we were fully visual as well, without a cloud in sight! A SRA (surveillance radar approach) is where the controller gives us headings, tells us when to start descending to the MDA (minimum descent altitude) and gives us advice on what altitude we should be at certain points of the approach. I think if I were to do this in IMC conditions, I would be a little nervous as I’m putting faith into the controller whilst I am quite close to the ground on headings to steer and when to descend! Palma was unusually quiet again, and luckily we had no slots to delay us this time! The views coming in are amazing, as we got closer, the cliffs and mountains on the northern side of the island began to materialise. Once we passed them, we were given a right turn for a straight in ILS approach onto 24L – one of the westerly facing runways. The view on departure is also amazing – we can see the resorts, the beautiful blue/turquoise lagoons and beaches….!
The next day, we set off for Bergamo and we began descent just as the sun was setting over the Alps. Needless to say, but the view was just magical! The clouds turned bright orange & pink and almost looked as if they were on fire. I have never gone through an orange cloud before then!
I’ve got another busy week next week involving destinations in Ireland, Northern Ireland, Poland & Portugal.