Monday, January 5, 2009

What's Up In Cancun?

So how many people do you suppose would be eager to get on an airliner first thing New Years morning? Judging by the crowds at DFW I would say that number would be large.

My New Years Eve activities would be very limited due to my early morning departure the following morning. The 6 AM traffic on the freeways was very light....I was able to keep the cruise control engaged almost the entire 55 miles to the airport.

The day's trip was an easy one. Just a turnaround from DFW to Cancun and back.

The customers seemed slightly subdued as they filed past the cockpit door on the way to their seats. No doubt the effects of the prior evening were taking their toll.

Nevertheless, the plane was packed and we would soon be southbound at 41,000 feet over the Gulf of Mexico.

Halfway there we reported in with Merida Center and were promptly instructed to slow down as much as possible due to arriving traffic. No problem....we get paid by the minute!

The view was pretty good as we descended over the Yucatan Peninsula.

Number eight for the approach under mostly clear skies and we were slowed down to 170 knots on a 20 mile final. Crazy! They have a new runway under construction and they sure need it.One look down the flightline at all the airliners would seem to indicate that the tourism business in Cancun is alive and well.We'd say goodbye to these folks and soon would welcome another 188 for the return leg back home.

Brakes released and cleared for pushback and engine start....
Our call for taxi was answered with a clearance to runway 12 and to expect a delay due to outbound traffic as we were number nine in the lineup.Air Transat would be next after the arriving Jet Blue airbus and then us. But wait....another arrival. This one was an Iberworld A-330. We both remarked how low they seemed to be on final and we hoped they wouldn't land short of the runway. (Airline pilots are trained to cross the runway threshold about 50 feet high and to land in the first 1500 feet of the runway) Luckily they didn't land short but it was pretty close as the photo shows them about to touch down on the numbers. ( I saw a TWA 727 land short once in Palm Beach....it wasn't pretty)So we finally launched and turned northward back to Texas. The beautiful shoreline slowly disappeared behind us and we settled in over the gulf for the afternoon leg back to base.Cancun....What a busy place.



For a look at some more of my photos, please aviate over to Plane & Simple.

6 comments:

Bernie said...

What a GREAT blog (not to mention, JOB!).
Great pics as well! Would love to visit there one day, is it worth the trip from Australia do you think?

mlesser said...

Always great Len!

170kts on a 20 mile final is pretty slow for a jet, i heard a Qantas crew telling center about their "measly 380kt GS." Meanwhile my GPS said 150 or similar.

All the best for the new year mate.

Mike

Len (Barfbag) said...

Hi Bernie,

Thanks for stopping by my blog!

I can't say that Cancun would be worth a visit all the way from Australia. Yes, the beaches are nice but it's still a very poor country and not on my list of great places to visit.

I would much rather go to Hawaii or in your case I bet that some of the beaches in Thailand are pretty awesome.

Len

Len (Barfbag) said...

Hi Mike,

Good to hear from you this new year! Good luck with your flying career.

Fly safe!!

Len

Dispatcher said...

Cool post, so that's what CUN looks like. Sent a few flights there in my time, jammed with passengers.

Happy New Year, Len!

mlesser said...

Hi len

I started my own blog too if you are interested. I'l try update regularly

http://mikesflying.blogspot.com/

Cheers!