Civilav From Mexico, joined Oct 2004, 391 posts, RR: 14 Reply 3, posted (3 years 8 months 3 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 4363 times:
Quoting Mozart (Thread starter): Was there anytime anything larger, like one of those many Venezuelan DC9s or 727s?
In 1977, after the State-owned LAV procured brand-new McDonnell Douglas equipment in 1975 (3 DC-9-51 and 3 DC-9-32), a team from the manufacturer cleared Merida Alberto Carnevalli airport for DC-9-32 operations with 14,000 lbs-thrust engines minimum and several weight penalties. But the airport was given the ok.
Linea Aeropostal Venezolana began services there in July 1977 with a DC-9-32 (YV-125C) appropriately christened "El Andino" (Merida is the highest State capital in Venezuela perched in a valley up in the Andes range of mountains). Avensa followed suit a couple of months later with another DC-9-31.
In May 1981, Avensa boldly began 727-200 Advanced services from the airport (they had bought 2 brand new planes, YV-74C and YV-75C in 1979) and the plane was an instant success as it afforded greater payload.
At the height of deregulation in air transport in Venezuela (1993), Merida boasted a daily DC-9-32 service with LAV, a daily 727-200Advanced service with Servivensa, and 3 times daily 727-200Advanced service with Avensa, linking the city not only with the capital, Caracas, but with San Antonio del Tachira, Maracaibo, Barquisimeto and Valencia.
In 1995, for a few months, Avensa operated boeing 737-300 services very succesfully performance-wise. I am at a loss to explain why Conviasa has not taken up the route. The demand is there and the damage to the tourist industry in that State (which basically lives off agriculture and tourism) has been enormous.
I lived in Merida itself from 1994 till 2003 and my kids are still there. It is an incredible "pain" to be polite, to have to drive all the way to the nearest airport in El Vigia to catch a connecting flight in Caracas.
Cayman From Canada, joined Aug 2003, 905 posts, RR: 9 Reply 7, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 4244 times:
I've had the pleasure of flying in and our of MRD maybe 40 times, but only 1 landing and 1 takeoff on an Avensa 727-200 in 1999 I think. That was a fascinating a/c to see in that airport, the runway being so tightly surrounded by dense urban dwellings, and the moutnains on either side of the valley.
The 727 would land and have to turnaround in very tight apron at end of runway, very tioght turn and then taxi back along the only active (no taxiway).
It's a coll runway, quite a hill actually.
But the 727 once airborne had some impresive climbout performance to watch on departure.
As other posters have said, it realy seems like a big ove-reaction to shut down the airport for 1 ioslated incident that sems to have been a glaring pilto error issue, may they RIP. El Vigia is massively inconveneient to arrive in Merida City.
Mozart From Luxembourg, joined Aug 2003, 2035 posts, RR: 14 Reply 11, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 3930 times:
Quoting RFields5421 (Reply 4): I have to apologize. The two charts I linked to above appear to be off-line/ removed from the free image hosting site now.
I did not save them to a local hard drive so I cannot relink to them.
Actually my mistake. I tried opening them up in a browser other than Explorer (I think Firefox or Chrome). When I used Explorer, the link actually worked.
Very interesting charts, this reminds me of that one airport in Tibet where you have to make the approach down a curved mountain valley. Except that in Tibet they have set it up for RNAV, whereas this one is 100% visual.