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Friday, August 17, 2007

SDQ 2 day

The last time I flew with CA Bob was last year when we were still doing the Shannon trip. Bob and I had a great time at this pub, where the bartender put us to work. Ahh, those were the days. Everyone misses the Shannon trips.

This was another one of those two day Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic trips that pass through San Juan. It's not a Paris or Manchester trip, but sometimes its nice to stay on the same time zone. We have a morning and afternoon version of this 'Dingo' trip right now. I prefer the afternoon departure, which leaves at 3 p.m., but due to some thunderstorms over the Western Atlantic, our airplane was late arriving into Boston. Those storms moved out to the east and we had a nice flight to San Juan, although we were running a half hour late.

I snapped a few shots of the sun going down on my side of the airplane to add to my
flickr site. I'll share the best two here:

There were few if any buildups that we had to go around, and we made it in to SDQ sometime after 10 p.m. The hotel is about a half hour from the airport, and upon arrival, the staff there presents you with a small, cold Presidente beer. How nice. If you arrive in the afternoon, it's usually a fruity drink. It's a great tradition. Barbados also has this thoughtful perk.

Since the air conditioning in my room was set by a polar bear, I sat out on the balcony and finished my drink. The next morning, I took this picture of the view from the patio. It looks really nice, but one of the reasons that there weren't any people down there is because it was about 91 degrees (33C) and it was a bit humid. But it looked nice.

Passing through San Juan, I snapped this shot of a DC-3 that is still flying freight commercially. It's hard to imagine that after more than 70 years these airplanes are still working so hard. Will they make it commercially 10 more years? 20?

Effective August 2nd, they closed the runway in Santo Domingo and repainted the taxiway and changed the lights.  So now we're landing on the taxiway down there.  It's not much different, except for the long delay in getting out of there.  We had to wait for numerous arriving aircraft before we could 'back taxi' on the runway and turn around to take off.  But this presented a chance to take pictures of landing airplanes while we sat with just the left engine running to save fuel.  Here's an A300 landing there.

Here's Bob climbing out while the sun goes down north of San Juan. Nothing beats hand flying on a nice smooth evening.

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Neil said...

Great report Kent! As always, loving those sunset pictures, and the sea looks so smooth.

Kent Wien said...

Thanks Neil. I was just at the right place and time!

Dave said...

Great entry Kent, love the sunset shots. Bob sure seems to be working hard in that last one!

Jose said...

great picture.. as always!

Joseph said...

Kent, your mention of the DC-3 reminded me of something I was able to do at Oshkosh. I got a tour of the Basler Conversions plant, which is on the field at Oshkosh. Basler converts old DC-3s into what they call BT-67s. Basically they give the plane new, turbine engines, and extend the fuselage 40 inches ahead of the wings. Apparently the conversion is like the fountain of youth for the planes, it actually makes them perform better than they did coming off of the assembly line.

Here's a picture, if you're curious:

Great report, fantastic pictures.

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Exeter, New Hampshire, United States
Grew up in Alaska, went to high school and college in Washington State. Commercial pilot since 1990.

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