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Spotting Trip To S.America BA/RG/GOL/EZY  
User currently offlineSpeedbirdegjj From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2003, 438 posts, RR: 3
Posted (11 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 3632 times:

26th August 2004
British Airways
B737-500 G-GFFD
SEAT 1C , Club Europe

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Photo © Nik Deblauwe

Early morning start for me today on what is a pretty normal run of the mill flight for myself. I must on average travel this route once a week, but it was as always punctual, the service was quick and efficient and an early arrival thrown in as a bonus. As a side note on this sector we (BA) often have loads of up to 55 in the Club Europe cabin and I never fail to marvel at the efficiency of the crew in managing to serve a full hot breakfast with a serving of rolls and coffee on a flight with an air time of just 33mins!.

26th August 2004
British Airways
B777-200ER G-YMMJ
SEAT 27F , World Traveller

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Photo © Paul Dopson - AirTeamImages

The flight to Buenos Aires was completely full ‘down the back’ but with a relatively light load in the premium cabins. The passenger complement was approximately half and half with some 85 of us travelling onwards to EZE.
The meal service came shortly after takeoff, in order to allow folks as much rest as possible. The main course was very tasty and consisted of chicken and pasta in a cheese sauce, along with a small salad for starter and a dessert of trifle.
The actual flying time to GRU was approximately 12hrs which was passed in a deep slumber by myself as I awoke about two hours out in time for a light breakfast which was a scrambled egg and bacon roll.
The transit stop in GRU saw the first new airliners entering the log book and our two hour stop was spent at the window facing the taxiway with my telescope in hand frantically trying to read off a Gulf V in near total darkness1 (N reg with Brazilian flag on tail, any ideas greatly appreciated).
The second sector of this journey was relatively uneventful, a small, but adequate snack of a sandwich and cake was served along with a beer from the bar. We landed in EZE 20 minutes ahead of schedule a parked on the pier in between an Alitalia T7 and a United 763 (which turned out to be one of the rarer ones N666UA – well its certainly not too common in the ‘Row).

We transferred to our hotel in the city and spent and great two days in Argentina spending most of our time at AEP, (Aerosur 732 in the hangar – Reg???), and a great evening watching Indipendiente. The hotel we used incidentally was the Hotel Regis and cost approximately £28 for the room and was very clean and centrally located.

29th August 2004
Seat 31E Economy

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Photo © Tim de Groot - AirTeamImages

We arrived at EZE early in the hope that Varig would accept our BA staff tickets and enable me to ride the so far elusive MD11. We were overjoyed when we finally reached the front of the huge check in queue and the friendly RG staff confirmed that a) it was a MD11 b) They would take our tickets and most importantly c) There was space!!.
After paying our taxes we rushed to the gate and their in all her glory sat PP-VQJ. Boarding was completed quite rapidly for the large load and we pushed back off stand on time. I could barely contain my excitement as we approached the threshold , having already heard of the 11’s awesome power, I was relishing the thought of one with such a light fuel load, and boy was I not disappointed.
After a brisk and powerful takeoff roll the aircraft entered a very steep left hand bank at what appeared to be only feet above the runway and proceeded to climb steadily to 33000ft for the two hour flight.
The remainder of the flight was relatively uneventful apart from a quite superb Steak for lunch and patch of what I would have called moderate, others around seemed to disagree, turbulence which was over in around twenty mins.

We transferred to the quite superb Golden flat hotel at CGH and spent two awesome days spotting and photographing the movements at both airports before finally having to leave to head to Rio.

31st August 2004
B737-700 PR-GOM
Seat 19A

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Photo © Fabio Laranjeira

We were unable to book our flights on GOL from the UK , as although they claim to accept international booking via Amex I was unsuccessful in numerous attempts. We did however manage to secure the same low price at the airport desk on the day of departure for only £21.
The flight was nearly full but the aircraft was immaculate and the cabin crew simply stunning!!.
We were served with a snack and a drink on the flight which lasted only 30 mins, and overall I would recommend GOL to anyone, they were efficient, helpful, punctual and most of all very competitively priced 9/10 (Ten would have been a –800 but it was not to be!)

Rio has a spotting destination didn’t really do it for me. After the excitement of CGH, the variety at GRU, and the copious PP/PT/PR – bizjets I felt a little let down by the pace and variety at both of Rio’s airports, although F.A.B 748’s certainly brightened up the log!!.

3rd September 2004
B767-300 PP-VOI
Seat ??

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Photo © Oliver Brunke

This trip had intitally been booked as the source of the MD11 ride but having riden one days earlier (and little did i know later in the day) i wasn't too perturbed. I had flown on 763's of both BY and BA before and the dated cramped and very tired interior of this old bird certainly reminede me more of the former!!.
The highlight of this rather mundane flight was the smokey deprture of a FAB 707 infront of us, certainly a rare sight for us Europeans.
The rest of the flight was spent reassuring my friend (a very nervous flyer) as to what all the noises were. However even a veteran of over 400 flights after a while some the noises even evaded me for an answer!!.

Now for the really fun part,

After waiting for a fair few hours for the BA flight to close we were a dismayed as one can be in such situations to find that the flight was full and alas no seat for me!. Never mind though there was was a Varig flight in a few hours so we spent the time consuming several bottle of Skol (the excellant Brazillian beer no the piss weak english crap!!).
We waited and waited and waited at the Varig staff desk, until the lady smiled and asked "Londres?", "Yes please i smiled", "Sorry Full!".
Fantastic , we now had about twenty minuted to decide what to do interms of plan B but our hand was forced in view of the fact that all other flight to Europe were full so MAD it was!!.

3rd September 2004
Seat 32J

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Photo © Rodolfo Philipp

I really can't tell you very much about this flight at all really, as i was asleep for the most part. An interesting observation however is that Varig turn off the inflight entertainment after about 3hrs so people can sleep. However my friend was unable to and subsequently spent 9hrs sitting wide awake in a pitch black cabin!! . Now i know you can't please everone but just thought it worth mentioning.

On landing in MAD yours truely was regretting not taking back up tickets when the lady at EZY wanted 220 Euros for a one way MAD-LGW, but with no other alternative that would have connected back to Jersey my hand was a again forced!!, ah well we said at least we'll get a nice new A319.

4th September
B737-300 G-OHAJ
Seat backrow righthand window

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Photo © Juan Rodriguez - IBERIAN SPOTTERS

As you can see our A319 turned out to have been made in Seattle and on top of that alas no -700 but an ex BA heap of Crap that already i flown 9 sectors on!!. The flight was very easyjetish, nothing to say really , they get you there, 5 euros for a small beer, another 5 for a sandwich fifteen minutes late. I'm not slaggin them off or anything, EZY are my preferred LCC in europe, but compared to the GOL Flight earlier,m the contrast was stark.

4th September
B737-500 G-GFFI
British Airways
Seat 3A Club Europe

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Photo © David Unsworth

Left on time, two G+T's a nice Salmon salad and 30 minutes later a very tired spotter was back home.

Hope you enjoyed reading this report. Any comments critisism's, questions or answers are most welcome.


6 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineDoorsToManual From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (11 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 3558 times:

Hi there, enjoyed reading all the different airlines and situations you got yourselves into. Nice to hear you had a nice time in BsAs, I know the city well, and it's great!

Do you mind if I ask how the BA staff ticket system works i.e. when do you become eligible for discounts, but more specifically how much did LHR-EZE cost you? I'm due to join BA quite soon and would very much like to know such things, as they were glossed over during the presentation on the recruitment day. Please feel free to email me if you prefer.


User currently offlineLima From Argentina, joined May 1999, 1122 posts, RR: 13
Reply 2, posted (11 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 3539 times:

Hello and thanks for the account of your trip.

The 737 that emerges from the former LAPA hangar at AEP was indeed a Lapa plane. The company was owned for a while by the same people as AeroSur and so then the similar colours.

User currently offlineBa319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8743 posts, RR: 53
Reply 3, posted (11 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 3514 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

I must say,excellent trip,and thumbs of for GOL!

I must say I do fancy a spotting trip down to S.America,the nearest i've been in MEX,not close enough!

Reading this just spurs me on to visit S.A,perhaps next year.

Tks & Rgds


User currently offlineSpeedbirdegjj From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2003, 438 posts, RR: 3
Reply 4, posted (11 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 3427 times:


Many thanks for your kind words.

DTM. I will email you with some more specifics as the answer to your question is quite complex.

Lima, Thankyou, i really enjoyed enjoyed Argentina and the found the poeple to be extremely friendly and helpful. As a side note you would know which LAPA 737 it is would you? thnx.

Ba319. Funny you should say that i was thinking of MEX next year!!. Nearer the time perhaps we can compare notes!!


User currently offlineLima From Argentina, joined May 1999, 1122 posts, RR: 13
Reply 5, posted (11 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 3417 times:

Hi Speedbird, I am glad you liked Argentina, hope you can come back one day.

I ask on the Argentine Spotter Group about this LAPA 737 and confirm the registration for you later, OK.



User currently offlineSpeedbirdegjj From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2003, 438 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (11 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 3414 times:


Thankyou very much thats very kind

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