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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Hamburg

October 2011

I haven't been to Hamburg perhaps since more than two years ago. I can't even remember. The hotel remains the same near the airport and you need to catch the train to go to the center. We arrived late on Friday and it was time to experience Hamburg's nightlife.

Next day, lunch in a restaurant nearby Binnenalster lake (Jungfernstieg station) and then the usual promenade. I could see the new iPhone 4S at the big Apple Store you have there.

The geyser


Due to its streams, canals and rivers, Hamburg has more bridges than Amsterdam or Venice.

When I went back to the hotel, I thought it was too early to fall asleep despite the 3:55 am wake-up (2:55 am - Lisbon time). So I decided to go to the airport (a 7 minutes walk) and see if there was anything interesting there.

To my surprise, I found that Hamburg (Fulsbuttel) Aiport has an Observation Deck and it was there that I spent a couple of hours enjoying the aircraft movements.


The observation deck was crowded and I learned that not only you could find people trying to say a last goodbye to their friends and relatives before their departure, but also many aviation enthusiasts and plane spotters!


One of those enthusiasts had a bag with a big Aeroflot logo which made me remember the t-shirt I bought in Moscow. Really nice!


At Hamburg Airport, you can mainly see Lufthansa, airberlin and lots of charter and regional movements.

airberlin A321

Edelweiss Air A320

At a point I was about to ask one of the spotters if the A321 was the biggest aircraft to operate regularly at Hamburg Airport since I could only see narrow-body aircraft types. It was when I saw the impressive Emirates' 777-300 landing!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Recife and Oceanair

October 2007

LIS-REC-SSA-LIS

These were some of the last flights we did for BRA before their demise. They had problems with their 767 fleet (one of the airplanes was even older than our TriStar) so they chartered us.

LUZ708 was the callsign of the transatlantic flight to Recife. We had a really nice layover in Recife and then we were moved to Salvador flying with Oceanair (now called Avianca Brasil).

Our Hotel @ Recife


Boa Viagem beach



Boa Viagem beach

26-10-2007
Flight: REC-SSA
Aircraft: MK-28 (oh well! just an ordinary Fokker-100...)
Reg. Number: PR-OAI (ex-AA)

DC-8 @ Recife, a classic airliner of BETA Cargo

Efficient check-in and nice passenger's terminal at Recife. However, our flight was delayed one hour and a half. When we arrived, our aircraft was departing to Maceió and we waited until it returned to Recife again.
It was my first time flying a Fokker-100 (ups!) MK-28... The guy from Oceanair tried to convince me these were different designations for different aircraft! As some of you might know, Fokker-100 has a very bad reputation in Brasil due to several accidents and incidents with TAM, so Oceanair decided to "change" its designation to the public.

Oceanair's "MK-28" had a 2-3 seat configuration with a total of 20 rows that makes a capacity of 100 passengers. This flight to Salvador had a 100% load factor and my seat was in luck the 15B over the wings. Very nice pitch for your legs and very comfortable airplane.


Fast turnaround and then taxi to runway 18 for take-off. The sound of those Rolls-Royce Tay is very particular. I knew that Fokker-100 didn't have slats, but I didn't know it could take-off even without flaps extended!

After lift-off we passed over Boa Viagem beach and it would be a one hour flight until Salvador. While up there, we witnessed a fantastic sunset.




Oceanair's cabin crew served us a milk bread with melted cheese and I asked a "Guaraná" to drink. Everything was free of charge.

I took a safety card as a souvenir of this nice flight where you can see the MK-28 designation!


After this we would immediatly board our L-1011 CS-TMP for our red-eye flight to Lisbon. This awesome photo by Carlos A. Morillo Doria illustrates our departure:

Airliners.net: www.airliners.net/photo/Luzair/Lockheed-L-1011-385-3-TriStar-500/1294188

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Golden Roundtrip to Mount Pilatus

September 2009

-o0o-
Zürich

Awesome landscapes you can see during this tour to Mount Pilatus and Lucerne.































Cruising on a boat towards Lucerne...


... and the famous Chapel Bridge (Kapellbrücke).