sábado, 30 de janeiro de 2010

Good bye Barracuda!

Just read at Publico (national newspaper) that the NRP Barracuda made its last mission.
Will now became a museum.
Its most known mission was the one it "atacked" and "sunk" the "USS Eisenhower" aircraft carrier.
A dificult mission for any sub and even more for a sub with that technology and age (15 years in 1983).

It was delivered in October 1968. With 42 (planned for an active life of 25) Years old (Oct.2010) it was the oldest sub of the Nato fleet, a real museum in active duty...

In 2008, during Navy Day celebrations, that were carryed through at Madeira, I had the oportunity to visit it.
You can check the photos of that visit here:


Will be replaced by the brand new NRP Tridente class subs.


Remember these colors?
It wasn't that long ago (2004) but once again, you can see how things change...


Bom...acabei de verificar no site dos CTT que a lente já foi entregue...
Vamos lá a ver se no final da próxima semana já tenho novidades...

Enquanto andou ali guardada, andou meia esquecida mas, agora estou bem ansioso por ver a coisa despachada...

quinta-feira, 28 de janeiro de 2010

Eyes on: Sqd.752 Blog

Just found the (unofficial) blog of Portuguese Air Force Sqd.752 and although with little posts (its startup was on 15th Jan) it looks like it's one to be followed:


I'm suspicious, of course, as the Puma which is operated by Sqd.752 has a special place on my aviation favs. as it acomplished many years of good service here at Madeira, with Sqd.751...
Let's hope it as a long life...

quarta-feira, 27 de janeiro de 2010

Finalmente, já lá foi...

Refiro-me à minha lente "Bigma"....

Avariada há algum tempo, segui o sábio conselho de um amigo de não enviá-la para reparação durante o período do Natal / Fim-do-Ano, devido à confusão dessa altura.

De qualquer forma, o isso já foi há quase 1 mês...o tempo foi passando e já podia (e devia) tê-la enviado muito mais cedo...
Reconheço que é um grande defeito meu...por vezes sofro de um qualquer "síndrome da avestruz", protelando as coisas (enfiando a cabeça na areia....), apesar de saber perfeitamente que vou ter de fazê-las eventualmente, não servindo de nada adiar...enfim....

Esperemos que para o final da próxima semana / início da seguinte já tenham alguma coisa para dizer-me (e que não seja muito mau e/ou "doloro$o")...

terça-feira, 26 de janeiro de 2010

B738 by Austrian and other news

Last Monday, I managed to get OE-LNS, the first B737-800 in full Austrian livery!
It was the first time it came to Madeira with this livery, which, by the way looks really nice and way better than the old Lauda livery.

Had to run like hell to get it and arrived at the terminal's balcony just as it was entering the stand...

The shadowed "www" in the backgound of the "Austrian.com" gives a nice touch to the engine...

Was already outside the terminal when I noticed that the Cimber Sterling was also arriving, which is allways a nice catch, so went back to the balcony.
This livery is really nice and nostalgic....

...and a bit of a wider open shot so you can see the other new stuff of the day...

Did you see it? No clue of what I'm talking about?
Well, it's the new "Follow Me" car....hehe! It's the first time I see it....
Looks real nice!

Air Force Celebrations 2010

Yesterday, at lunch time, noticed a Portuguese Air Force Falcon 50 (17401) at LPMA's apron.
I knew that the Air Force Chief of Staff was supposed to come to Madeira and hoped he was coming to get his intentions of making the 2010 Air Force Celebrations at Madeira on the move.

At night, RTP-M (regional TV) news confirmed it: 2010 Air Force Celebrations will be held at Madeira!!! Yes!!!
Madeira Airport isn't exactly the best place for airplane exibihits or other stuff like that, so, lets see how will they manage it.
Anyway, for now, good news!

segunda-feira, 25 de janeiro de 2010

New Photo of the Week - Spotting at Madrid

Yesterday, didn't know exactly which photo would choose for Photo of the Week but then, got an email from Jetphotos.net congratulating me for this photo to be on the Top 4 of last 24 Hours.

Great! It's been quite a while since I last had a photo in a TOP.

Anyway, decided to  share some more pics of that day, at Madrid.
It was a quick stop between flights and the spotting photos were taken during landing (the week photo), taxiing or from inside the bus to/from the terminal.

Anyway, for me back then, as now, it was amazing to see all that diferent stuff...

747-200 ? Definetely not every day...

....and even less usual, in the double...

In 2005, A330's weren't usual at Madeira also...

and B767 neither....

In fact...everything was new....even the old Iberia's MD's...

sexta-feira, 22 de janeiro de 2010

First Woman EH-101 Commander at Sqd.751

Yesterday, for the first time, on the Portuguese Air Force, a woman gainned the qualifications for EH-101 Commander, at Sqd.751.: Ltn. Vanessa Gonçalves.
She is the only female pilot of this squadron and it's definitely an event worth highlighting!

I did get her flying once, back in 2008, at Porto Santo.
Medic35 was returning to Porto Santo, after a Medevac to Madeira.
The woman's voice on the radio by the helo, imediately called my attention.

The problem with helos is that you never know exactly were they'll land. In this case, with luck, I made the right choice, and went to the area of runway 01 treshold (I think that at the time it was still runway 36).
They made a very nice landing! too bad It was backlight...
Great flaring...

Taxiing into military apron...

Military apron...

By that time she still had the seat on the left (with the sunglasses).
Helicopter seats work the oposite way of comercial airliners. While on airliners the commander seats on the left, on helos it seats on the right. Someone already told me why but I don't really remember...
Anyone can clear this up?
Terminating the last procedures on the cockpit, with the tow already engaged on the front gear...

Refuelling....thank God there's a new refueling truck at Porto Santo Airport. This one seemed to be falling into pieces...

Starting to tow the EH-101 into the Hangar.

Meanwhile, a great oportunity to remember the C-212 at Porto Santo: The nurse that made the medical care of the evacuated person is calling at the ambulance to collect her at the airport.

Dedicated to Ltn.Vanessa Gonçalves. Congrats on your upgrade!
Also a word of apreciation for all the guys at Sqd.751 for all the work you do "So others may live"

terça-feira, 19 de janeiro de 2010

New Photo of the Week - Joint spotting

Last Saturday, a couple of outside spotters were around for a spotting day at Madeira.
The main purpose: to get the SBA's 767, in the morning.

I only joined them at lunch time for a "espetada" on a nearby restaurant, after which we went around before the rest of the afternoon traffic.
The first place we went was the old Noratlas, a well known wreckage at Água de Pena, near the airport.
This was Portuguese Air Force Noratlas 6419 that sufered a terrorist atack with a bomb, back in 1975, carried through by FLAMA, an independentist group that was quite active back then.
PoAF took the usable stuff and made a public sell of the wreckage.

Runway 23 quite visible, from the cockpit.

After a visit to under the runway 23 (which has an area of playgrounds and several sports) we went behind the airport, for a catch of CS-TNN take off, from runway 23. An early take off, so no interesting background...

With no more more traffic to take off, it was time to go for the landings. For the first (CS-TNQ) we went to a point where the columns are quite visible

And then moved for a closer location, on the usual "cantina" place.
This Air Berlin (previously LTU) provided a really nice sequence, from which I took this weeks photo.

An unusual sight, with a couple of planes in the runway. Runway 23 was in use but the Sata ATP, coming from Las Palmas, requested runway 05 and was waiting for the Air Berlin to clear taxiway Bravo, before entering the apron.

The Easyjet arriving from Bristol. By now, I was shooting at 1/80 and it was the last pic of the day as Aigle Azur was quite late and was getting too dark for any other traffic.

TAP's Star Alliance (CS-TNP) also came in, but the pics got real crappy.
Anyway a great afternoon of spotting and gathering with Pedro Almeida and João Melim.
You can check Pedro Almeida's photos of this day at Fórum APEA.

segunda-feira, 18 de janeiro de 2010

Grande Reportagem: Combate à Pirataria na Somália

Como disse, a SIC transmitiu esta noite, no programa Grande Reportagem, uma peça acerca do combate à pirataria na Somália e respectiva participação Portuguesa.
Estava muito interessante.
Para os que não tiveram oportunidade de ver....

Fica um abraço a todo o pessoal da Álvares Cabral, em especial ao Cmdt.Hugo Cabral....estava muito janota, a a falar na TV...LOL ;)

Grande Reportagem: Operação Ocean Shield

No último post, salientei um blog dos elementos da NRP Álvares Cabral integrados na Operação "Ocean Shield", de combate à pirataria na costa da Somália.
Nem propósito, a Grande Reportagem desta noite, da SIC, irá ser dedicada a esta missão, tendo a equipa de reportagem acompanhado, tanto quanto sei, durante 4 dias, as operações da fragata Portuguesa.

Em termos aeronáuticos, será de destacar, sem dúvida a operação do destacamento Rogue, da EHM (Esquadrilha de Helicópteros da Marinha).
Especial atenção ao esquema de cores utilizado pelo 19201, um esquema de baixa-visibilidade, bem como a "FN Herstal M3M MKIII", novo equipamento que começou a ser utilizado no decorrer desta missão.

sexta-feira, 15 de janeiro de 2010

Eyes on: Sailor News

Sailor News is the unoficial blog for the Portuguese presence to the SNMG1 (Standing Nato Maritime Group 1).
This force is currently on the area of the Africa Horn, fighting the Somalian pirates and assuring the security of maritime traffic of the area.
It's now under Portuguese command with NRP Álvares Cabral as the Admiral Ship.
The mission is near its end, when Portugal will hand over the command to the Denmark and NRP Álvares Cabral will be back home.

There's been a lots of diferent and interesting posts but this last post really called my atention as I never had seen so many dolphins around....

Anyway, well worth a visit:

For the foreign, it's writen in Portuguese, but people say an image is worth 1000 words, and there's a lot of interesting ones to see...

(NRP Corte Real, the same class of NRP Álvares Cabral on the Navy Celebrations at Funchal)

quinta-feira, 14 de janeiro de 2010

Flying Legends...

Just found this fantastic video...
If you like old Warbirds like me....

segunda-feira, 11 de janeiro de 2010

New Photo of the Week - Like a Bird of Prey

Yesterday (Sunday, 10th Jan.) we went to a baby/children's shelter at Água de Pena, near the Airport to donate some clothes and other stuff that my daughter wasn't using anymore.

Took the oportunity to photograph the afternoon arrival of TP131, the A330 coming from Lisbon, with final destination to Caracas as I hadn't photographed  this bird for a long time.

Sometimes backlight photographs have their beauties and in this case with all those shadows and reflections, the A330, coming into final really looked like a bird of prey, wings wide open and claws ready to get the prey (or in this case, the runway....lol)

Notice the tail rudder correction?...

Not an even landing...notice the right gear smoke....

A couple of Madeira Spotters guys were also "hunting" the bird, from the inside...will be interesting to compare diferent angles.... ;)

sábado, 9 de janeiro de 2010


A couple of guys from the Madeira Spotters are going, this weekend, for a spotting trip, at Mallorca.

The last time I went to Mallorca was back in 2002 and it was also the first time I flew the Tristar. (the second and last time I flew it was in the return trip....)

The  plane was CS-TMR, from Yes, which later originated White.

For most of the people, the trip was starting in a bad way, due to the delays but I couldn't complain about that...hehe!
Like I said, due to some delay, we lost our slot for Mallorca. That day, was a crazy day at Mallorca, with lots of traffic and getting a new slot was not beeing easy.
We were already inside the plane and waiting, with everybody complaining about the delay and the heat.
Usually I'm very shy on those things but, I walked up into the front and asked to visit the cockpit...and they alllowed....amazing!!!
If I can remember well, it was the first time I was inside the cockpit of a major bird and it was fantastic (specially on a bird like the Tristar).
The Capt. and F/O were busy but the flight engineer was very nice and talked with me for some time and explained me lots of stuff on the gauges and equipment of the plane...

When we arrived at Mallorca, couldn't stop beeing amazed by the amount of planes in circuit ahead and after us, for landing...

Also, lots of luck with the vacations, as the week before our arrival had been raining (when we got there, everything was still wet).
The week we were there we got a fantastic weather and sun only.
The week after our departure, rain returned hard, causing floods and some disasters...pretty lucky for us....

Yellow Cab

Finally this week went to the airport, for some spotting and pics.
The weather was unstable with rain and dark clouds alternating with some shy sun and lots of cold...(around 15ºC...yeah...it's cold, maybe not for you but definitely for me...)

Anyway, one of the catches of the day, for the period I was there, was this yellow cab, making an Air Berlin flight. Lately it's been making some Air Berlin flights but it's only the second time I get a Yellow Cab (HLX) livery, so it was a real nice catch.
(The first time I caught it...Here)

After rotation, taxiing back to runway 05, with water of recent rain still around...It was right after lunch time but the day was real dark.