Well, my days in Spain are drawing nearer and nearer to an end! Thank God, all this sun and warm weather is taking the better out of me. Not!
Early start this morning, up at 6.30 to get the 7.10 bus to the airport. The bus was 10 minutes late, typical! It’s a 40 minute journey from the centre of Malaga where I’m staying to the airport: 20 on the bus and 20 minutes walking after the bus to the small General Aviation Terminal.
We discussed where we would go, and the best option was Almeria Airport. It’s a busy airport located 100 miles east of Malaga on the coast. I noticed the airport was much quieter today and we didnt have to wait so long. Got clearance to depart Malaga via the “Vibas 1A” standard departure, climbing to Flight Level 100 (10,000 ft) and flying on the A44 airway to the “ALM” Radio Aid.
The departure was straight forward. It was quiet so we got to complete the entire SID. Once over Malaga VOR, we went on the A44 Airway to Almeria.
We got handed over to Almeria Approach about 30 miles out. We were already listening in on the frequency on the second radio to determine which runway was in use.
There was only the Non Directional Beacon approach in use for runway 07 as the precision approaches are on the opposite runway. I would imagine because of the seabreeze it would make more sense!
You’re expected to loose 7000 ft in about 3 seconds when you establish on the arc around the airport as the Minimum Sector Altitude in our area is 9800 feet. The arc lasts for about 4 miles and then you have to make your “Base” turn onto the inbound track to the beacon.
That all went fine, and I managed to nicely intercept the inbound track until…
The controller gave us the clearance back to Malaga:
“DNC05NC you are cleared touch and go rwy 07, after departure call sign DNC15NC, cleared to Destination Malaga, via the Kunen 1B Departure, Climb FL110”
Previous to this call all my brain cells were concentrating on the approach, but now, I had to fly the NDB approach, root out the book from the back with the Instrument Charts in it, find Kunen 1B, brief it and keep on the approach! Well, It was clear the approach wasn’t going so well, I ended up about 15 degrees to the right of the inbound bearing. There was some rapid attack headings!
It wasn’t over yet. The touch and go was a non-event, climbed to 600 feet as per the chart and turned left onto a heading of 316. This quickly followed by an argument with the tower – you are suppose to make a right turn the long way around onto the heading. So another sharp turn back on track.
Advice from my Instructor: next time don’t read back clearance and ask for a full stop and brief everything on the ground. Which makes a lot of sense!
When we finished flying the airway and arrived at MGA VOR we were advised to enter the hold there. There was a 15 minute delay. So around and around and around we went!
They eventually gave us vectors and asked us to keep 160 on the approach. The mighty Duchess was at the upper end of the green arc and the needles were moving very very fast!
We got to 4 miles from touchdown and brought the power right back and configured. All went nicely to a nice landing!
I’ve got a little over 5 hours left. I have been told that we will not go to Seville as the controllers there do not like anyone flying at all. They put you in the hold for the majority of the flight. So it’s back to Almeria tomorrow morning to use the VOR and ILS approach.
See you then,