Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Note to self: the Dominican Republic does not run on island time!

See? I'm making an effort to write more. Keep reading and leaving comments and I'll keep writing!

Today is day 1 of 4: pretty easy day, a flight down to FLL and then flights to Punta Cana and back. You may think that the DR runs on island time but you'd be mistaken! The slam dunked us into the airport, leaving us high and fast. The A320 series aircraft are very "clean" aerodynamically. Less drag means a lot better fuel efficiency than most jets, but also means that you can't slow down at the same time you're descending.

The best technique with Fifi is to get down at a higher airspeed, then slow down when you're level. Today we had another aircraft (who shall remain nameless) come running up our behind! It was a Boeing, which can get down in a hurry at a faster speed than we can. Sometimes non-Airbus pilots just don't realize that, and in this case they ended up doing S turns on final to get some distance between them and us.

I could go on and on about how the responsible thing would have been to start slowing when we did (and we made a radio call to warn them we were slowing to approach speed), but I wasn't flying their airplane. I was just watching them come up behind us on TCAS.

Punta Cana is BEAUTIFUL, by the way. The terminal is made to look like it's a bunch of thatched roof buildings! Adorable. I'm adding this town to my list of places to visit for more than 30 minutes!


Jason Ensminger said...

Interesting...I would have never guessed that there would a significant difference in rate of descent and drag between commercial jets.

Thirdpattern said...

I didn't know that either, very interesting. I'm from Dominican Republic and makes me glad you liked Punta Cana's airport.