report by Matt Rowlinson
I spent a couple of days in Madrid this week and thought I would update you all on the mound at Madrid. As some of you are aware, there was works going on on the mound. This has now finished and in my opinion access is now easier than it use to be! Whereas before once you had crossed the footbridge you had to crawl under the fence and tread across the scrub land, now once you’ve crossed the bridge follow the path down to the roundabout and take the 1st road off to the right which leads you between two car rental storage places. Follow the road up to the top and you will see a gravel track from the road and this leads to what is left of the mound where the power sub-station is still located. We were not bothered all day apart from a local photographer who came up early morning. Unfortunately the ants are still about!
For the hotel, I went for a change and booked the Ibis in Barajas itself as to cut out the need to get from the Holiday Inn round to the mound. We were allocated room 124 on the 1st floor which gave a South-facing view. This gave distant views of landings on 33L and further distant views of 33R. Nothing could be read off so having an SBS/Flight Radar 24 access in necessary to tie movements up. Having arrived the previous evening (Wednesday) at 22:30, no spotting was done until the Thursday morning. Most of the day was spent on the mound which was baked in 30 degree sunshine before retreating back to the room around 6pm where we carried on until 9pm. The log for Thursday looks like this:
Movements seemed to be drastically down on recent years, obviously the poor state of the Spanish economy and the loss of Spanair has hurt the airport as there was a few times where there was nothing moving which tested the patience in the heat! The Transaero B747 was transporting Zenit St. Petersburg back to Russia after playing Athletico Madrid the previous night. As you may notice there is a few biz-jets in the log which is a result of Torrejon closing to all-except military movements. South American carriers still operate in force to Madrid, 3 x Avianca A330’s (2 most days), Aeromexico B777, Aerolineas Argentinas have changed to a daily A340-300 instead of a B747 and there is still multiple daily LAN flights which were all B767-300s during my visit. The RAM Express ATR was certainly a nice evening surprise! After a quick start things certainly slowed up in the afternoon and so I slowly made my way up to 40 frames and 10 scrapes! Fridays log to follow on shortly!