Over the Pyrenees!
We witnessed amazing views over the Pyrenees last week on our way to Barcelona. The day was particularly clear with little haze. The flight only took us around 2 hours and we were in clear skies and temperatures nearing 30C – a stark change from the weather back in UK!
We flew to Kaunas the next day, and as usual, on this route, we got a direct routing, saving us some fuel and time. Just towards the end of our landing roll, I saw, what appeared to be a fawn, or baby deer, cross the runway! I had to look again to check that I wasn’t imagining it. I let the tower know about it and told them that it had now happily trotted off into the woods. I’ve seen cats, dogs and rabbits crossing the runway, but this is a first!
It was my turn to fly to Alicante, and so I experienced flying a 20 degree offset VOR approach to Runway 28. We were initially given a direct routing to the initial approach fix, where we had slowed down and began configuring for the approach. The 20 degree offset meant that we approached the runway from the right-side, or slightly from the north-east rather than directly from the east (facing west) completely aligned with the runway as we usually are. I’ve done offset approaches before, but the most I have been is 8 degrees in Murcia, which doesn’t look too far away from the extended centre-line. At the start of the approach, we spotted the runway and it was positioned to the left relative to us rather than straight ahead, and as we got closer, the gap closed. I decided to configure slightly earlier in order to reduce the workload later on, and so that I could concentrate on flying manually and aligning the aircraft with the runway early on, to ensure and establish a stabilised approach. It turned out to be much easier than I thought it would have been and it was good fun! In addition, the views on the approach were amazing, since it took us over the sea facing south-west initially, and then we turned towards a more westerly heading, facing the land.