• Feature: Showtime! Part 4 Maho Madness!

    Showtime! Part Four

    By Tony Vallillo (14 January 2008)

    Showtime! Part Four

    Many of the layover hotels, especially in the international division, are really good properties - the kind of place you would book if you were on vacation. This is not entirely a matter of altruism on the part of the company. The unions (pilot and flight attendant) have a considerable input as well, and working together the company and the unions usually come up with some outstanding digs! St. Maarten is no exception. The hotel is a many-star resort property, and as I swipe the computer key in my door, I almost expect Robin Leach to greet me! But there is no time to waste enjoying the various luxuries of the room - I have a date with a few low flying airplanes! So it's off with the suit of lights and on with the shorts and T-shirt, and away I go to Maho beach.

    Busman's holiday - the view from my window!

    Warnings are prominently posted

    Maho is all of a few hundred feet from the front door of the hotel, and I immediately join the 50 or so tourists/paparazzi scanning the skies, eager for another big jet to strut its stuff on stage. Alas, the next few arrivals are merely small commuter planes, the ones that flit to and fro among the islands like dragonflies. Still, the difference in perspective from an hour ago is interesting, to say the least! Earlier, we went whizzing past this beach at the speed of heat, whereas now I'm down here watching the show, both in the air and on the sand!

    No, they don't run them this close!

    I pick a spot over by the Sunset Bar, grab a diet Coke, and start to pay some attention to the beach scenery, since the airside attractions are few at the moment! Sure enough, there are a number of beauties adorning the strand, and it looks like at least two of them have neglected to equip themselves with the northern portions of their bikinis! Just as I make this observation, however, I am interrupted by a set of landing lights in the distance - a jet! Now comes the choice - the lady or the airplane. As an aviator, I really have no choice - the airplane! As it approaches, it turns out to be a Boeing Business Jet, a 737-700 with one of the blandest paint jobs imaginable but sporting, no doubt, a multi-million dollar interior. It flashes over the beach at about 60 feet, giving the tourists a thrill. I, perched on a stool at the Sunset, am in position for a decent shot of him from the side. After this tall cool one I will stroll on over to the middle of the beach, the better to await a haircut from a 747.

    The view beachside is better than the airside view, at least at the moment!

    The choice!

    Boeing Business Jet

    These, sadly, are paying customers!

    Meanwhile, I amuse myself by observing my surroundings at the bar. There is a large surfboard, stabbed vertically into the sand, which serves both as the sign for the Sunset Bar and the arrivals board! Chalked on this surfboard are the ETA's for the airline arrivals today, ours among them. There is also a notice at the bottom of the board - topless women apparently drink free here! Sadly, at least at the moment, all of the customers at the bar appear to have paid for their beers!

    Soon another jet drops in - one of our own, a 757, and this one must be the JFK flight. He screams by at an appropriate height, not so low as to scare anyone! I manage to get a decent shot of him just before he goes feet dry. Finishing my beverage, I decide to take in the spectacle from closer up. So I meander over to the middle of the beach, right below the approach course, to await something really big!

    Alas, it is not to be. Several more of the small turboprops fly over - nothing really to bother airliners.net about! By now it is becoming apparent that our own arrival, a few hours ago, was right in the middle of the "rush hour", and it is quite unlikely that we will see any more big ones go floating over our heads today! However, several are about to leave, and leading the pack is the KLM 747 that brought in a large number of the Dutch tourists a few hours ago, a few of whom are already on the beach watching their chariot depart!

    This guy is thinking the same thing I am - where are the heavies!?

    A Dutch salute! These guys bid farewell to the bird they came in on

    After receiving his clearances from the tower, the KLM Captain trundles the big magilla onto the runway and gives the bird the gun. Knowledgeable as I am about the effects of jet blast over distance, I keep well to the side, away from the runway centerline. It is good that I do so, for the jet blast kicks up a veritable haboob of sand from the beach, launching it on its way out to sea and no doubt sandblasting anyone foolish enough to be standing in its path! Fortunately no one is, although there are a few foolhardy souls who stand by the airport fence on the other side of the roadway. At least there is no sand there, just the full force of what must be at 100 mph winds. I guess it gets the wrinkles out of your shorts, at any rate!

    Cleared for takeoff and away to Aruba

    A departing 757 sends some of the Maho sand out to sea!

    Dinner at sunset

    After waiting around a while longer, to see if any 747's might just happen to be late inbound, or diverting from some other island, I decide to abandon the vigil, and seek other entertainment. When I was younger and single "entertainment" had an entirely different meaning for me than it does today. Since I am now neither of the above, a decent meal is about the liveliest entertainment I seek! Fortunately, on an island like St. Maarten, excellent eateries abound, and several lie within the precincts of our own hotel. The convenience of this arrangement, coupled with the avoidance of cab fares (ever an enticement to an airline pilot, especially a Captain!) leads me back to our resort, where I spend another half hour perusing the menus at the several culinary establishments therein! Fish lover that I am, I end up in the seafood emporium, where the F/O eventually joins me for dinner. The flight attendants are not with us - on this last leg the cabin crew was Miami based; they were doing a turn-around, and are no doubt on their way to hearth and home at this point in time. So we pilots feast on seafood and occupy ourselves with the usual stuff of pilot conversation - schedules, the union contract and the potential for improvements to it, the general relationship with the company, news of the world, and, occasionally, family anecdotes. Not the stuff, perhaps, of masters of the universe, but ours is a simpler world. Indeed, the masters often envy us our lot in life!! To say nothing of the corner office view we enjoy! Thinking of such things, we watch the sun set into the Caribbean. No green flash tonight, though. Maybe next time!

    Breakfast by the sea

    One our ours goes feet dry

    The morrow brings more beautiful weather and a delightful breakfast on the terrace overlooking the runway. This is surely a busman's holiday! Again the traffic at this hour is mostly the small stuff, with one of our early 757's thrown in as a teaser. There is no real point in returning to Maho, since we will be on our way to the airport again by the time the rush hour begins. So instead, I enjoy a pleasant morning and lunch by the pool.

    About the time that our inbound airplane is starting his descent, we are back in uniform awaiting the taxicab for the short run over to the terminal. As we arrive, so does our steed, and soon the hordes of new tourists are pouring forth from within the beast. At this old terminal there is still an operations office and it is there that I go to summon up and pore over the flight plan. The route is a bit different from that of yesterday. The actual route is:

    N0454F340 dct PJM B520 DDP dct BQN A636 ALBEE T159 JUNUR FOWEE5

    (Note: This was the route of our actual flight that day. Nowadays, the route is a bit different - on the day this was written, this flight used the following route: N0454F380 DCT PJM B520 DDP A555 GRADI/N0447F400 A555 ZQA FLIPR1)

    The weather is beautiful at both ends and everywhere in between. All in all, this will be a simple trip, with just one item of interest - the departure.

    Because there is a sizeable mountain not that far from the departure end of runway 09, special plans must be in place to ensure a safe takeoff under all circumstances. Although we could, with both engines running, out-climb even the terrain straight ahead, it is always unwise to plan takeoffs on the assumption that both engines will be running! Therefore, our first plan is to turn right very shortly after takeoff, and fly a southerly heading over much lower terrain until we are clear of the island. If we should happen to have an engine fail prior to going feet wet, we still make the right turn, only this time to a slightly more southeasterly heading, and, if necessary, fly between two of the smaller hills that lie in that direction. This would allow for a considerably lesser climb gradient and still clear the terrain. Since our ramp weight is only 208,000 lb, a fairly light weight in a 757, we will still be able to exceed minimum climb gradients with an engine out by a large margin...the only way to fly!

    Of that 208,000 pounds, 35,300 of it is fuel. Since the weather in Miami is as good as it is here, no alternate airport is required and none is listed. In lieu of an alternate, we carry 35 minutes of holding fuel, which works out to be around 4000 lb. We should arrive in the MIA area with around 10,000 lb, of fuel, enough for around 1:15 of continued flying, should the need for that arise.

    The flight plan does indicate the possibility of turbulence at our planned altitude of FL340, over a considerable portion of the route. This is something we must inquire about after we get airborne - forecasts are just sophisticated guesses, and we will do well to get some actual pilot reports as soon as possible, for it may be that the lower altitudes are smoother, as they often are. There is also a significant headwind component forecast for FL340 - nearly 60 knots. The flight plan has a section with winds at major waypoints at several altitudes, and the lower altitudes appear to feature a considerably lower headwind component. This we must also consider carefully, since the lower headwind component just might cancel out the increased fuel burn at the lower altitudes, making for a more economical flight. In this day and age, every gallon and every dollar counts, and there are not enough of either in the world to justify profligacy.

    After signing the flight plan I proceed to the airplane, which the FO has just finished inspecting. All is in order, and after a quick briefing with the MIA based cabin crew, during which we get some useful intel on the quality of the ride coming down, it is time to load the flight plan and be off for home. After pushback and the lighting of the fires, we are cleared to taxi over to runway 09 for the second act of our SXM command performance!

    A340 center stage!

    The Maho plane-watchers are just as fascinated with the departures as they are with the arrivals. They often line the perimeter fence as we taxi into position, waving an enthusiastic farewell as though they wished it were a permanent, and not a temporary good bye. Alas, within a week or two, they will be here with us, casting a last longing glance at Maho Beach from the cabin of some jetliner, carrying fond memories of a time spent in paradise! Some of them will, of course, return - such is the benefit of cheap air travel. But for a good many of them, this stint in the tropics will be the trip of a lifetime, something to be savored in memory and pictures for years. It is always humbling to consider the small and anonymous part I have played in so many of these adventures, as this profession I have chosen has shrunk the world, and brought so many people to so many places like this.

    The waving beachcombers bring my attention back to the tasks at hand. We always wave back, and occasionally flash the lights at them, to acknowledge their benediction. Today we must wait while an A340, inbound from who-knows-where, does his act over the beach and taxis back to the terminal. SXM is such a small airport that there is little room for taxiways, and the hold-short line is a bit farther from the threshold than is usually the case, to ensure that wingtips do not encroach on the runway. Thus situated, we get a good look at his flare and touchdown, and would be in a good position to render judgment upon it if this were a contest. I have occasionally contemplated how interesting it would be if there were little remote input devices in places like the Sunset Bar or the various Aero Squadron restaurants located at the ends of runways, devices with which patrons could grade the landings, like Olympic judges! There could even be a sign at the taxiway indicating the average score! 9.2, 9.3, and a 7.8 from the Bulgarian judge!! Perhaps the daily winning crew could collect a free drink at the Sunset each evening!

    If our landings were graded by the spectators!


    Now it is our turn. Taking a last look at final to ensure that no one is sneaking up on us, I taxi the bird past the waving beachcombers and around into position on the runway. The 340 is just clearing the runway and soon enough we have only the mountains ahead of us! Clearance received, checklist complete, the F/O calls for autothrottle and EPR and away we go.

    Up and away! Clear right

    Turning now toward the lower terrain to the south

    As the hills grow bigger in the windshield, we reach V1 and then rotation speed. The F/O brings the nose up and in another second we are airborne and climbing. At a weight of just 208,000 lbs, the climb attitude is fairly steep, and very quickly the mountains are out of sight below the glare shield. We aren't above them just yet; we simply cannot see them without leaning way forward in the seat and looking over the nose. At 400 feet the F/O begins his right turn and we arc around toward the low point of the hills. No matter now, for by the time we cross them we will be way above them! Even in a 25 degree bank turn, the 757 climbs like a raped ape!

    As we roll out of the turn, we clean up and accelerate. Soon departure control has us headed west and we once again get clearance to blow by the 250 knot limit. Outside the USA, where the air traffic tends to be less dense, this has its advantages. You can gain several minutes or more by climbing and descending fast like this, and, when we are trying to make up time, climb and descent may be the best opportunities to do so. Once in cruise, it is often harder to make up time unless the winds are especially favorable.

    San Juan center clears us direct from STT to UTAHS, then to JUNUR. This keeps us well out of the SJU terminal area. Since this is one of the earlier model FMC's, we are busy for a minute or two creating abeam waypoints for some of the many flight plan waypoints that we are no longer flying over. The newer model FMC, known at the airline as the Pegasus model, can automatically create abeam waypoints whenever a direct clearance is entered. The Pegasus has other advantages as well - principal among them the inclusion of GPS inputs into the navigation system. With IRU and GPS feeding the FMC, these Pegasus units are astonishingly accurate, and map shifts have become pretty much a thing of the past.

    We need those abeam times and fuels because there is a requirement to keep the company informed of that information at certain intervals. This is an FAA requirement and it is satisfied by using the FMC to send a position report - manually on the older units and almost automatically on the newer ones. Actually, in certain areas the position reporting is automatic, a labor saving feature that we are already becoming addicted to! Before long oceanic position reports by voice radio, HF or VHF, will be a thing of the past. Actually, so will regular voice contacts with Air Traffic Control in general. In 5-10 years, datalink will completely replace voice communications for all but local tower and ground control communications, at least in Europe and North America, and probably just about everywhere else too. Too bad, because the voice calls bring variety and even occasional humor to a flight, especially in the USA, where a lost pilot can often tell where he is just by the accent of the controller! We know we're getting close to home when approach control answers in the vernacular of deepest Flatbush!!

    As we climb, I am already investigating the rides and winds aloft. This requires only a request to center, for there are literally dozens of airplanes around here at just about every altitude. Sure enough, the rides up higher are not good - complaints abound. Interestingly enough, the winds are much more favorable down low as well, adding to the benefits of a smooth ride. No doubt about it - FL 280 is what we want! And it is what we get. Now we start to really get ahead on time, because the wind is a full 50 knots less than higher up--50 knots less headwind, that is! Satisfied that we have done all we can for both passengers and company, the F/O and I await lunch!

    Acklins Island in the Bahamas

    Exuma Island

    Eventually, lunch finds its way to our laps, and we once again partake of fine dining in the sky, with the best view in the house. The original route would have brought us up the southern edge of the Bahamas chain, but this direct route puts us right up the middle of the islands, so we will have an hour or so of superb sightseeing. There is little in the world to compare with the view of these islands and shallows from this height. As beautiful as the Bahamas are at sea level, they are even more beautiful viewed from the air.

    By the time we get to ALBEE, the rides have improved up above, and the wind up there is now about what it is here - around 50 knots out of the west. Armed with this knowledge, we decide to climb higher to take advantage of the better fuel economy that now obtains at FL 360. Clearance is not long in coming, and up we go. We're now about 8 minutes ahead of the flight plan estimates, so the time at 280 was time well spent! Now we can get ahead on fuel as well, since the fuel burn will be significantly less up here.

    The Fowee 5 arrival into MIA

    As we approach JUNUR, it is time to prepare for the arrival. ATIS is the first requirement, and ACARS brings it to us without the need to listen to a recording. Information Tango: 150/08g14kt 10sm bkn065 24/15 a3005 ILS 08R, ILS09, ILS12. From DHP we will probably land on runway 09, the south runway. We brief the arrival and approach, and set up the radios. Since we are going direct to JUNUR, we set up the VNAV to cross JUNUR at 250 knots and 16,000 feet, as per the FOWEE 5 arrival. Usually we will get a clearance to descend at pilot's discretion to cross JUNUR at those numbers. If so (and we do get that today) we can set 16,000 in the altitude window when the clearance is received, and as long as we are in VNAV, Otto will start us down at the precise moment to hit JUNUR right on the numbers. Of course Otto only knows what he is told, and we have to keep an eye on him, lest he stray from the path, a possibility usually brought about by a variance between what he has been told the winds are on the descent path, and what they actually are. This can be prevented by manually (on this older FMC, via ACARS on the Pegasii) loading the forecast winds at several lower altitudes, a chore that most of us forgo, unless the vertical profile is a complicated one, such as the arrivals into KLAX.

    By this time the sun is sinking slowly into the Gulf of Mexico, beyond the Florida peninsula. Sunshades must be fetched from their storage slots under the side windows, since without them it would be difficult to spot the traffic that is all over the TCAS. The fish-finder has provided another level of protection, but it is still de-rigueur to see and avoid whenever possible. If nothing else, the TCAS makes it easier to spot the traffic, since we at least know where to start looking!

    As the sun sinks slowly into the west...

    Approaching Miami

    We cross JUNUR and head for DHP, the Dolphin VOR. From here, we are turned west on vectors for downwind. This arrival takes us just south of downtown Miami, right across the area hardest hit by hurricane Andrew some years ago. All has been repaired long since, but I well recall the thousands of houses with blue tarps on the roofs in the immediate aftermath of that disaster. The sight of Tamiami airport, now called Kendall-Tamiami, passing off to the left reminds me that among the casualties of Andrew was the Weeks Air Museum, which suffered serious damage to the hangar and many of the airplanes.

    Sunset at KMIA

    Unlike yesterday's flight, when we were number one for the runway and treated to a relatively short final, today we have a good many airplanes ahead of us, and base leg looks to be around 14 miles from the airport. This takes us beyond the developed area and into the Everglades. Farther west lies a curious lone runway, complete with parallel taxiway and very little else. This is now called Dade-Collier airport, but it was once the first phase of a new Miami International Airport. Since it lies a full 43 miles from the center of town, one has to wonder just what the planners had been smoking when they decided to locate an airport this far from civilization. Eventually the plan was abandoned, no doubt when surveys showed conclusively that alligators do very little travelling by air, and the single runway was left as an aeronautical white elephant, serving only as a training facility for those airlines that had flight academies in the Miami area. Since both of those (Pan Am and Eastern) are no longer with us, I doubt that much of anything goes on out there now.

    Soon enough we are vectored to final. The F/O is making the landing of course - unfortunately for him he gets both of the MIA landings. We could split things differently, of course, but I thought he might enjoy the takeoff from SXM. In any event, he should nail this one, since he had a chance to practice, albeit on the other runway, just yesterday!

    When we check in with tower, we are cleared to land on 09, hold short of 12. Land-and-hold-short clearances came into being shortly after I upgraded to Captain. In essence, they allow ATC to use two intersecting runways relatively independently, provided that the intersection is way down the landing runway. Here at MIA, the 09/12 intersection is nearly 11,000 feet down 09, which is enough even for me! We can refuse a LAHSO clearance, as they are called, but if we accept it we must abide by it--no excuses. The intersection may be full of airplane when we get to it!

    Three down and one to go

    The F/O squeaks it on just past the Aero Squadron restaurant (off to our right on the south side of the runway) and we turn off with nearly a mile to spare. But we must still be on our toes, since the trek to the terminal involves crossing runway 12, and this is a prime location for a runway incursion. As it turns out, tower clears us across immediately, and we trundle down to our terminal area. Ramp control clears us in after a 737, and moments later we are tied up at the dock again. Three down, one to go.

    After seeing our guests off, we retrieve the flight plan from the computer at the gate, perusing it right there alongside the agent. This is always a bit dicey, since many passengers apparently do not comprehend the significance of the 4 stripes on shoulder and sleeve, often confusing us with station personnel who might be knowledgeable about minutia such as schedules, the whereabouts of various facilities, and so on. To appear in uniform at any gate is to invite a barrage of questions, the answers to which we rarely have available. Strange as it may seem, most of us are relatively unfamiliar with the landside layout of any but our most frequently visited airports. I, for example, know little of MIA save for the way to and from the hotel bus pickup point, and the location of the Cuban restaurant at the head of the "D" concourse. This place, called "La Caretta", offers the best fried plantains I have ever eaten, and it is a short stop indeed when I don't run over there and grab some eats!

    Taxiing out, a 737 hustles in ahead of us

    But tonight's stop is short, and I must forgo the plantains. By the time the F/O has completed the walk-around, I have the flight plan in hand and am back on board loading it up. For some reason we are using the shoreline route tonight, passing up over Orlando west of the Cape Kennedy area, and thence to Charleston and Wilmington before joining the other route at Norfolk. I'm not aware of any space activity at the Cape, but there might possibly be something going on. We'll have to keep an eye out to the east!

    With all passengers aboard and accounted for, we fire up again. Takeoff will be from runway 08R, just as it was yesterday. And yes, the nose is heavy on rotation - c'est la vie! This time though, we get a left turn, and head northwest toward Orlando. By the time we get there, we can just make out the fireworks at EPCOT, which look miniscule compared to the spectacle they afford from the ground! Fireworks are almost always a disappointment from higher altitudes - they actually go off only a few hundred feet or so in the air, although it looks much higher viewed from the ground. From any altitude above a few thousand feet, they are barely visible.

    Opposite direction traffic ahead, and reflected in the TCAS

    EPCOT has the only fireworks tonight - there is nothing from the Cape. Too bad - now there are some fireworks that are spectacular from any altitude! Any space launch at night is a real thrill, even the relatively small Delta rockets that launch many of the lesser satellites. The Space Shuttle is said to be amazing, and lucky are those pilots who get to see a night launch!

    After passing the Magic Kingdom we turn northeast to parallel the coast. Soon we look down upon one of my old alma maters, Charleston AFB, South Carolina. Someday, perhaps, I will regale you with tales of flying the C-141 all over the world from there, back in the 1970's. Suffice to say that the City-by-the-Sea was a great place to live and fly, and probably still is today! Too bad I never bought any ocean front property back then, when it was affordable!

    North of Charleston, clouds cut off our view of the ground, and only the radar return of the shoreline marks the boundary of land and sea. In summertime, the radar might well be alive with huge thunderstorms; indeed, on one occasion I had to divert over 100 miles west to get around an enormous line of buildups that topped 37,000 feet. That line, which we encountered around Norfolk, ended more or less at the shoreline, but our friends in Naval Air were cavorting in the restricted areas off shore. Clearance was thus denied for an easterly deviation of a few miles. Going through it was, of course, out of the question, as was trying to get over it - that was an A300-600 trip, and the Airbus is notorious for being unable to get much above FL350 with any load at all. When I acquainted the center controller with the magnitude of a potential westerly deviation, there was a long silence on the radio, during which time I could imagine his eyes rolling back in disbelief! His initial response was along the lines of "not only no but...." I then pointed out that, since we were definitely not continuing on our original flight plan over ORF, he might as well find a place for us to hold. After satisfying himself that we were serious, he cleared us to hold at Tar River, TYI. Oddly enough, immediately thereafter every other flight behind us decided that they, too, would rather hold than penetrate that line of storms! After a bunch of other requests for holding instructions, the controller cleared us all to deviate west as necessary! Necessary, as I said before, turned out to be over 100 miles west, and by the time we got around the line we ended up going to New York via Harrisburg!

    Approaching the Big Apple

    North of Norfolk the skies clear out underfoot, and we are treated to a parade of lights all the way up the eastern seaboard, starting with Washington. Unfortunately, night time photography from a fast moving airplane is difficult at best, especially to the side. The time-exposures involved tend to blur the lights, which is unfortunate, since the east coast is one of the country's best nocturnal panoramas. Washington, Baltimore, Wilmington, and Philadelphia - they all stand out at night, limned in sodium orange, the urban outlines clearly visible. Ahead is the biggest outline of all, at least on the right coast - the Big Apple.

    ATIS tells us that EWR is landing to the north tonight, so we will be spared the additional 20 minutes or so of low altitude meandering around northern New Jersey that a south operation would entail. Even so, the passengers, at least on the right side of the airplane, will get a great view of New York in the final stages of the approach.

    At EWR, as it is at most airports with close parallel runways, landing is done on the outer runway, 4R in this case. In times of little takeoff traffic it is occasionally possible to land on 4L, but tonight it will be the right side for us. Briefed and set up, I allow Otto to handle the vectors to final, taking over when we are established on the localizer. The approach follows the New Jersey Turnpike up past Staten Island to the giant Bayway Exxon refinery. We slide down the glideslope past Elizabeth and swoop low over the employee parking lot as we start our flare. Hold a little back pressure to arrest the descent, and we are down. The automatic spoilers plunk us down on the struts and it's just a matter of getting the thing stopped before we get to the other employee parking lot on the north end of the runway! This we do, of course, and we exit left, careful to avoid entering upon 4L until cleared to do so.

    Shut down to external power, I bid the bird good night

    It takes but a few minutes to taxi to the gate, and when the brakes are parked and the checklist complete the job is done - until next week, at any rate. The F/O and several of the flight attendants are commuters, and they head out to their going-home flights immediately. I remain to complete the logbook and shut the beast down, at least to external power. As I mentioned in a previous article, these things rarely ever get shut down to cold and dark, at least while I'm around! Then it's down to the employee bus and back to the Honda for the drive home. Thus endeth another chapter of Captain V's Excellent Adventure!

    Only one question remains in your minds, no doubt - did we, in fact, make airliners.net? Sadly, at least as of now, the answer is no. Surely there were many pictures taken of us as we swooped over Maho beach, but apparently none of them made it past airliners.net's incredibly picky editors. As of this moment there are no known pictures of yours truly over Maho. That may change someday in the future, since there will always be other SXM trips to fly. Then again, I have never actually searched airliners.net with logbook in hand to see if any pictures from previous trips have made it into the big time. That will be a project for after retirement! Nevertheless, it is something of a thrill to be able to perform on such an openly public and well known aeronautical stage. As they say - that's show biz!

    Happy Landings!

    Anthony Vallillo
    [email protected]

    Part 1
    Part 2
    Part 3

    Want to fly this approach yourself? France VFR makes scenery of the island; read the review here

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