danvs From Brazil, joined Jul 2009, 226 posts, RR: 0 Posted (3 years 2 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 9051 times:
CGH-SDU Oct 9 2010
Total flying time: 38 minutes.
I went to Rio to participate in a congress which would take place during the holiday of Oct 12.
After getting info in a Brazilian forum regarding what airport would suit me best (considering the congress would be at one of the westernmost neighborhoods of Rio), comparing prices and schedules and weighing cost x benefit, I ended up buying CGH-SDU with Gol and GIG-CGH with TAM.
For those who aren’t familiar with São Paulo, CGH is the second busiest airport of Brazil both in terms of passenger traffic and aircraft movements (GRU is #1). It’s the airport which offers the highest yields for airline companies among all airports in Brazil, due to the fact that most of its pax are business-related.
Situated at 2633ft above sea level, it has two parallel runways, 17L/R and 35L/R, the larger one offering 1940m (6365ft). Because of the runway length, the location (in the middle of residential and commercial areas), the number of gates and the previous accidents that took place at/near the airport (TAM F100 and A320), CGH suffers limitations and has restricted its operations to 30/hour.
Traffic at CGH are composed mainly by TAM’s A319/320 and Gol’s B73G/738, besides executive and general aviation at specific times.
CGH was crowded, after all it was the beginning of an extended holiday.
Fortunately, I had made my online checkin, so I didn’t need to get into the check-in line at the airport.
The main lobby of the airport still boasts the architecture of the 30s (when the airport was built). It was impossible not to feel some nostalgia of the times when the Electras still operated… May be it’s even more nostalgic to those who are over 40… I simply forgot to take a picture of the lobby! Here’s a picture of it that I found on the internet: http://www.fotolog.com.br/echotangocharlie/8489069
After passing without any problem through security, I spent my time watching the movement through the glass of the departure area. One cannot compare it with the old restaurant with an open-air terrace where one could spend the afternoons in the late 80s/early 90s watching airplanes takeoff and land.
My flight is the first one on the list.
Not long after I sat down to wait for my flight, a voice on the loudspeakers informs (as usual in CGH): “Passengers for flight Gol 1516…. Due to the repositioning of aircraft, boarding will take place at gate…”. Then all pax headed to the new gate. It’s incredible how they change gates at CGH, every now and then you can see flocks of pax walking from a gate to another one.
There it was, the almost brand new PR-GGY, only 8 months old!
The airplane was full, but boarding was really calm.
Waiting for push-back. You can see a Gol 73G painted with VRG colors.
Holding point of runway 17R.
With CGO VOR out of service, we followed the RNAV Cosme C departure, with a left turn after departure.
Clear skies over the layer of clouds.
Space between seats is adequate for me (1,72m / 5’8 ft).
For such a short hop, Gol offers candies and non-alcoholic beverages for free. I wasn’t thirsty or hungry (I just wanted to enjoy the view), so I just asked for a glass of water.
Although it was a flight which took less than 40 minutes on the air (and with all 187 seats occupied), FAs managed to serve everybody and get all the garbage before final approach. Amazing!
View of the sea, near Ilha Grande.
More of the blue sea.
Flying over SCR VOR and turning left...
SCR VOR was the point where I would know if I would get the privileged view of the Sugar Loaf from the plane. If we continued straight ahead, that would mean we were executing STAR Afonsos 1. However, as we turned left, I knew the arrival was Nova 1 and that would mean I wouldn’t get any wonderful view of Rio… But that’s OK, I would see GIG from above!
This is the arrival we made (Nova 1):
This is the arrival Afonsos 1, which offers a beautiful view of the Sugar Loaf:
If the runway in use at SDU is 02R, they make a left-hand visual circuit, offering even better views and even more impressive turns over Rio.
It was only over the large refineries of Rio outskirts that I finally could see the ground…definitely.
View of GIG, but no traffic taking off or landing.
One more turn to the right and I could see a little more of Ilha do Governador, where GIG is situated. You can see the bands of rain over Rio in the distance.
On final, passing over the Rio-Niteroi bridge.
The view of Guanabara bay and its picturesque attractions is magnificent.
Flaps down on maximum, short final runway 20L.
Perfect landing of Cpt. Pronin in this short runway (1323m / 4340 ft). The braking/deceleration is impressive.
Some people preparing to fly.
View of the Rio-Niteroi bridge far away.
View of the Sugar Loaf and another B738. Pic taken from the bus that took me to the terminal.
Leaving SDU's lobby, I faced this beautiful painting on the wall, probably in honor of Santos Dumont.
AR385 From Mexico, joined Nov 2003, 5502 posts, RR: 26 Reply 2, posted (3 years 2 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 8861 times:
Excellent and very original trip report. SDU is unique in so many ways. Historically it cannot be set apart from the history of Latin American civil aviation development. Operationally, it´s gotta be one of the most challenging airports out there. SDU is on a league of its own.
This trip report brought back so many memories. I was based in Rio for a few years and most of my flights were SDU-CGH-SDU. I have great memories of being seated on the right of a Rio-Sul 735 taking off and banking sharply to avoid Sugar Loaf.
The building I worked at was in Rio Branco avenue and the window of my office was located between Niteroi bridge and the threshold of SDU. The whole day I had a procession of RG, VASP, TAM and TransBrasil 737s, a320s, F100s and assorted GA jets going by my window. Amazing. To this day I don´t know how I was able to concentrate on my work.
One time we took off for CGH and enroute SDU closed due to storms. We diverted to GIG. My girlfriend was pretty pissed since she had had to face rush hour driving to SUD, and then, finding it closed, proceeded on to GIG. How often does that happen?
danvs From Brazil, joined Jul 2009, 226 posts, RR: 0 Reply 7, posted (3 years 2 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 7305 times:
Quoting aflyingkiwi (Reply 1): Great trip report on Gol who seem to offer a decent service for passengers in Brazil.
Yes, Gol and TAM are the main airlines in Brazil, being responsible for almost 90% of the air traffic. Gol has a good safety record and flies new airplanes. Initially, Gol started with a "low-cost, low-fare" philosophy. Not long after, it abandoned the "low-fare" part . Nowadays, it's still a little bit cheaper than TAM, but it's definitely not a low-fare company especially when compared to European/American counterparts, for example.
Quoting Palmjet (Reply 6): I also very much enjoyed your high quality pics !
Thank you for the compliment! I used a recently acquired point-and-shoot camera.
Quoting AR385 (Reply 2): Operationally, it´s gotta be one of the most challenging airports out there. SDU is on a league of its own.
It is indeed. First officers of the main airlines are prohibited to land airplanes there; landing there is a task reserved to captains.
Quoting AR385 (Reply 2): I have great memories of being seated on the right of a Rio-Sul 735 taking off and banking sharply to avoid Sugar Loaf.
Well, this is a really beautiful takeoff. I'll spend New Year in Rio this year (my first time) and I made sure to book a window seat on the right of the airplane to enjoy the view of the Sugar Loaf, Copacabana and Ipanema. I hope weather permits!
Quoting AR385 (Reply 2): The whole day I had a procession of RG, VASP, TAM and TransBrasil 737s, a320s, F100s and assorted GA jets going by my window. Amazing. To this day I don´t know how I was able to concentrate on my work.
This was when SDU had tons of traffic and GIG was almost deserted. Some years ago, GIG was "reborn", taking flights from SDU, leaving it basically with Rio-SP traffic. Since then, SDU has been "reopened" to more and more domestic destinations, and its traffic is getting close again to that of GIG's.
Quoting AR385 (Reply 2): One time we took off for CGH and enroute SDU closed due to storms. We diverted to GIG. My girlfriend was pretty pissed since she had had to face rush hour driving to SUD, and then, finding it closed, proceeded on to GIG. How often does that happen?
Rio's TMA is complex not only because of terrain but also because the main airports (SDU and GIG) are too close to each other and with runways whose approaches intersect with each other. SDU's approach procedures depend mainly on the runway(s) in use at GIG.
Besides that, SDU doesn't have an ILS. It offers a RNAV approach to runway 20L/R, with minimums of 400ft of ceiling and 2000m (1 1/4 mile). If the wind favours the use of runway 02 (which requires a visual approach), then the minimums for a circle-to-land raise to 1300ft of ceiling and 4800m (3 mi) visibility.
Whenever weather is below those minima, all arriving aircraft usually divert to GIG.
TravelsUK From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2007, 134 posts, RR: 0 Reply 9, posted (3 years 1 week 3 days ago) and read 6181 times:
Quoting danvs (Thread starter): Not long after I sat down to wait for my flight, a voice on the loudspeakers informs (as usual in CGH): “Passengers for flight Gol 1516…. Due to the repositioning of aircraft, boarding will take place at gate…”. Then all pax headed to the new gate. It’s incredible how they change gates at CGH,
They always do that at GRU too! I don't remember once having ever boarded my aircraft from the gate that was printed on my boarding 'card'!
DanVS From Brazil, joined Jul 2009, 226 posts, RR: 0 Reply 10, posted (3 years 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 5690 times:
Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 8): Nice report and pictures, especially interesting as I plan to visit Brazil next year.
Thank you! And welcome to Brazil next year. I hope you have a good time here, be it on business or for pleasure!
Quoting TravelsUK (Reply 9): They always do that at GRU too! I don't remember once having ever boarded my aircraft from the gate that was printed on my boarding 'card'!
True! It might be because GRU and CGH are always operating at their limits (limited # of gates) and any flight delay / early arrival messes everything up. Or, it's simply the result of bad management of gates by Infraero.
I never really managed to see through the Gol/Varig operations. Does RG fly under its own name or is it like you book Gol and there might be either a Gol or a RG plane at the gate? Or can you see in the booking which one operates the flight? Because I will be in Brazil next year and I want to fly the two of them.
DanVS From Brazil, joined Jul 2009, 226 posts, RR: 0 Reply 13, posted (3 years 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 5172 times:
Quoting MD11Bob (Reply 11): is it like you book Gol and there might be either a Gol or a RG plane at the gate?
Exactly. They're all Gol operated flights, some of them in airplanes with RG painting scheme.
You won't be able to see during booking whether the airplane will be wearing a G3 painting or a RG painting scheme.
Quoting MD11Bob (Reply 11): Is that an aircraft carrier on the very right side of that picture?