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Friday, March 25, 2016

Fortaleza and Ed Force One

February 2016

What seemed to be just another LIS-FOR flight, had a slightly different story to tell. One of our A330s went tech at Natal and needed some spare parts to be repaired (engine starter and start valve).
The airline found the fastest way to deliver those parts, making a technical stop at Natal on our flight to Fortaleza. When we landed at Natal we could see the lonely A330 waiting for repair with its #1 cowlings opened. After a quick turnaround we proceeded to Fortaleza without more delay.

View from the room at night - Avenida Beira Mar:




There was nothing particular to report about this quick layover and soon it was time to return to Lisboa.

In some way, it made me remember my very first flight as a professional with the very same triangle route: LIS-NAT-FOR & FOR-LIS.

March 2016

Another flight to Fortaleza and the same view from my room...


After a long haul flight it feels good to refresh ourselves with beer. That's what I did with some colleagues. On our way I found this inflatable GOL airplane:


But the highlight would be the "Ed Force One" of Iron Maiden, that I found at Fortaleza "Pinto Martins" Airport, just before our departure to Lisboa. What a sight this wonderful B747!

Seen from the inside

Had to open one of the doors to avoid reflections...

And a view of our cabin just before boarding started:

CS-TOF Economy Class

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Rio de Janeiro: not so Marvelous this time...

March 2016

When you just want to get a tan and a good relax time and your wish is ruined by typical end of summer thunderstorms and by a huge street protest...

The first day of my stay in Rio was marked by heavy rains and lightning. The rain caused major problems with cars and people circulation. The second day we were already warned for a huge street protest against the Government.

-o0o-
Street Protest

The protesters began gathering in Avenida Atlântica at Copacana still in the morning.

The view from my room

Soon a large and noisy crowd invaded Copacabana accompanied by the sound of several helicopters capturing images for the TVs and light aircraft towing banners with messages about the protest.



I must say that Brazilians are the best protesters I know. Instead of the usual plain, monotonous or even violent protests that we see around the world, Brazilians face it like a real party where they have fun at the same time they transmit their angry message. They sing, they dance and they bring their tambourines!

Copacabana panoramic view

"Fora Dilma": time for Dilma to leave!

-o0o-
Back to Portugal

So my plans for this layover were a total failure... It was time to cross the Atlantic again, heading to Porto - the second biggest city in Portugal.
Some photos I took after the arrival in the morning:

A330 wing view/CS-TOP

Wing upper surface detail

CS-TOP named "Pedro Nunes"

At Porto, I spent almost all the time to have a deserved rest after the long red-eye flight. The following day I would finally fly back to my home base - Lisboa.

-o0o-
OPO-LIS flight

Even if it started to rain short before our pushback, I took the opportunity and the fact I had a window seat for a photo report of the flight. The aircraft for this flight was the A319 with CS-TTP registration, named "Josefa D'Óbidos".

Before pushback, still loading the holds

Engine #2 view

Taxiing to runway 17

Lining up after backtrack

Tarmac of cargo area - on the left, euroAtlantic's B777

One of euroAtlantic's B767s also parked at OPO

Port of Leixões

Engine #2 inlet


Finally above the clouds during our climb

Already descending to Lisboa - slats deployed

And, with no surprise, the weather at Lisboa was also miserable...

Landing on runway 21 - ground spoilers and idle reverse!

During disembark I tried to go artistic with this last shot:

Cateringpor truck

It's always good to be back home... Even if it rains!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

BTL 2016 - TAP Fleet's Retrofit

March 2016

Last weekend I visited the yearly Tourism Fair in Lisbon (BTL). TAP's stand was the most prominent of the exhibition. There we could see the new Business Class seats that are installed in the two A330-200 that will be soon introduced in the fleet.

At the same time we were invited to try the new seats, a leaflet was given to the visitors telling us the retrofit plans of the current fleet (for both medium and long haul aircraft) and the features and configurations of the new aircraft, including the A330neo that shall arrive in 2017.


Also at TAP's stand we could find a nice model of the A340 in a generous scale.

CS-TOA model

A340-300 vs A330-900


In the same pavilion, there was also the stand of Azores Airlines - the new brand of SATA Internacional - featuring a large whale tail.

Azores Airlines

Later that night, it was time to meet the real CS-TOA for another transatlantic flight! Here's a look of the cabin before boarding.

CS-TOA economy cabin