Cockpit Stories: Always The Same In Thessaloniki

I woke up feeling so good! And was ready to start the day. When in the crewroom, everything looked just fine. Weather was descent, but good enough.
The planning is Malta to Athens, short hop to Thessaloniki, to Milan and stay for an overnight.

Departure in Malta was great! No problem.

Athens

Athens

Getting closer to Athens, the ATIS said that runway 21R is used for landing. However, we requested runway 21L which was fine. The reason we asked for 21L is that it’s closer to our parking stand. Less time taxing means happier customers and less fuel burn which in turn is money! Anyway, remember my other cockpit story about separation? It happened again. 15 miles before landing, gear down and setting up for landing. Normally this is done at 3 to 4 mile. Doing it this early costs lots of fuel so I had a little…. argument with the approach controller who put us that close to the guy in front of us. Anyway, we all have our bad days so I forgive him on the matter.

Landed. Passengers out, passengers in. Same for the freight. And let’s go Thessaloniki!

Thessaloniki

Thessaloniki

The ATIS (weather) coming into thessaloniki was fine. Wind calm, 4000 meters visibility, and a cloud base of 500 feet. As I told in another one of the cockpit stories, for runway 34 we need 5000 meters visibility and a cloud base of about 1200 feet. So, runway 16 it is.

When we were descending, going through about 7000 feet, the controller told us that the wind became 300 degrees with 15 knots!! For a wet runway, this kind of tailwind we’d get is not good. However, we decided to continue and keep on monitoring the wind till the end. Crazy! We were bumping all over the place because of the turbulence. However, we ended up landing with about 10 knots tailwind. More or less.

Crazy!

So now I’m enroute to Milan!

We ended up happily here now!

Will we have to divert on tomorrows flight to Thessaloniki?…. We’ll see…

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