kappel
Posts: 1836
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2005 6:48 pm

Bumpy Descent Into MAD.

Sat Aug 13, 2005 10:01 pm

27th july I went on vacation to ALC via MAD on IB. I noticed that the descent into MAD was unusually bumpy. Felt like going down and up, down and up. Plane was an a320. About an hour-and-a-half later, on an MD88, we left for ALC, and the climb-out was again unusually bumpy, for lack of a better word. I was just wondering if this is normal in MAD? It was my first time there, and actually everywhere else i have flown, i have never noticed this before, just n MAD.

On a side note, my experience with IB (my first in 3 years) was positive. Helpful and friendly cabin and ground crew. And the cheapest fare out there for AMS-MAD-ALC-BCN-AMS. Cheaper than HV and with about 3-4 inches more legroom. And without the very annoying and mostly boorish HV pax that fly to the spanish costas in the summer. And the on-board service, well, you get what you pay for. Extremely low fare, so don't expect any frills. I certainly was very satisfied. Only problem is that they have a company logo that says "punctuality is our aim".... well, it seems to be only their aim, beacause all my flights (4) were delayed, even caused me to miss a connection in BCN. But that was also nicely remedied with a stayover in a nice hotel near the airport with dinner and breakfast coupons.

Still, overall, when flying to spain, i will again choose IB over KLM or HV.
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Toulouse
Posts: 2193
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RE: Bumpy Descent Into MAD.

Sat Aug 13, 2005 10:18 pm

MAD always seems to have very heavy turbuelence in summer, I imagine it's due to the heat and probably also the terrain. Maybe someone else with a bit more knowledge can confirm this. But yes, I have always noticed how unsuaually bumpy flights into (especially) and out of MAD are during the summer (in winter, I've enver noticed this, that's why I put it down to the heat).
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AlitaliaMD11
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RE: Bumpy Descent Into MAD.

Sat Aug 13, 2005 11:21 pm

I have flown into MAD a lot of times and have almost always experienced some bumpiness on approach. You find the most bumps in the summer months.

After the fifth time you get used to it.

I think the bumpiness has to do with the heating of the earth.


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kappel
Posts: 1836
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2005 6:48 pm

RE: Bumpy Descent Into MAD.

Sat Aug 13, 2005 11:46 pm

Quoting AlitaliaMD11 (Reply 2):
I have flown into MAD a lot of times and have almost always experienced some bumpiness on approach. You find the most bumps in the summer months.

After the fifth time you get used to it.

I think the bumpiness has to do with the heating of the earth.

The thing is, I didn't notice it anywhere else, be it ALC, BCN, or even CUR or PBM. Maybe because MAD is in the interior of the country?
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Goldenshield
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RE: Bumpy Descent Into MAD.

Sat Aug 13, 2005 11:53 pm

In many hot climates, turbulance is caused by the ground reflecting the sun's energy back into the atmosphere through a process known as convection. The air is naturally unstable in convective air due to how much energy that the various area of ground can absorb. The various 'cells' of heated air interact with one another, causing turbulance. Windshears and eddies can also result.

[Edited 2005-08-13 16:58:44]
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kappel
Posts: 1836
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2005 6:48 pm

RE: Bumpy Descent Into MAD.

Sun Aug 14, 2005 12:03 am

Quoting Goldenshield (Reply 4):
In many hot climates, turbulance is caused by the ground reflecting the sun's energy back into the atmosphere through a process known as convection. The air is naturally unstable in convective air due to how much energy that the various area of ground can absorb. The various 'cells' of heated air interact with one another, causing turbulance. Windshears and eddies can also result.

Yeah, but like I said, in other hot countries i have not noticed this. (check the falg, i come from a hot country) I guess what could also be a factor is that in PBM and CUR i usually fly in an B744. Does that also make a difference?

Anyway, thanks for the replies, most informative!!!

[Edited 2005-08-13 17:04:46]
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Goldenshield
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RE: Bumpy Descent Into MAD.

Sun Aug 14, 2005 12:13 am

Turbulance is turbulance no matter the aircraft.

Humidity plays a small role as well.

Also, bodies of water tend to absorb great deals of heat, so you will feel little, if any, turbulance if you were landing on a coastal airport, or on an island.
Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.
 
kappel
Posts: 1836
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2005 6:48 pm

RE: Bumpy Descent Into MAD.

Sun Aug 14, 2005 12:28 am

Quoting Goldenshield (Reply 6):
Turbulance is turbulance no matter the aircraft.

Humidity plays a small role as well.

Also, bodies of water tend to absorb great deals of heat, so you will feel little, if any, turbulance if you were landing on a coastal airport, or on an island.

OK, so will explain most of it. MAD is of course far inland, as apposed to ALC and BCN. PBM is also inland, but not as much as MAD. I think I have got my answers, thanks a lot Goldenshield and welcome to my RU list for that!!!
(if it matters at all, but you're also my first.

I am also a bit surprised that no one commented on my positive experience with Iberia. Usually people on a.net are quick to jump to IB's throat. Just thought I'd add a positive sentment to that.
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bullpitt
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RE: Bumpy Descent Into MAD.

Sun Aug 14, 2005 1:47 am

Hi nice comments very positive. IB has done a big effort to improve it's puntuality and at the moment we are not the worst although MAD needs to open it's new runways to allow the companies to improve on puntuality as it's often due to congestion at the airport.

To this I would like to add that IB has been among the 29 major European company, that has lost the least amount of bags. Another sample of how and why IB is still in the black.
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kappel
Posts: 1836
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2005 6:48 pm

RE: Bumpy Descent Into MAD.

Sun Aug 14, 2005 2:01 am

Quoting Bullpitt (Reply 8):
Hi nice comments very positive. IB has done a big effort to improve it's puntuality and at the moment we are not the worst although MAD needs to open it's new runways to allow the companies to improve on puntuality as it's often due to congestion at the airport.

Unfortunately I dindn't notice the improvement on punctuality on my 4 flights, but at least they apologised and put us up in a nice hotel. But after those horror stories told here on a.net about IB crew, I must say, they were very friendly and very helpfull when I needed them most to be helpfull. i forgot something on the plane, they immediately placed a call, and within 15 min. I got my stuff in the terminal.

What I noticed is that a lot of Brits were complaining about IB. This I can imagine if you book a BA flight, expect BA service, but then get a low service flight. Then you're going to be disappointed. But I knew I was buying the cheapest ticket out there, and I knew IB's on-board service is no-frills (on european flights), just like Transavia, but IB was cheaper and offers lots more legroom. That's why I chose them.
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philb
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RE: Bumpy Descent Into MAD.

Sun Aug 14, 2005 2:07 am

Madrid is at an altitude of 1900 feet (one of the highest cities in Europe) in the centre of a peninsular with mountains in an east/west arc to the north.

Summer heat in the area can be intense and this reflects back from both mountains and the flatter ground to the south. Convection currents /thermals will grow during the day. If humidity is high these could eventually set of thunderstorms but if the atmosphere is dry the thermals will be more active nearer the ground and will dissipate with altitude.

Over the mountains you may also get mountain wave activity, depending on wind speed and direction, and any thermal activity over mountains will be rougher than over flatter ground as the thermals tend to be quite narrow and move, so peaks and valleys disturb them more than flatter ground.

If the day has been hot and dry, the worst time can be around an hour or so before dusk as the ground has stored heat, the sun is at a low angle and not heating the air as much and, as hot air rises, the stored heat is no longer trapped by heated air at altitude and it rises very quickly.

If you think approaches to Madrid are bumpy, try Reno NV on an August evening when the temperature has hit around 105 by mid afternoon. That can be brutal - and very interesting to listen to if you have a radio or if you are on United and listening to Channel 9
 
kappel
Posts: 1836
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2005 6:48 pm

RE: Bumpy Descent Into MAD.

Sun Aug 14, 2005 2:15 am

Quoting Philb (Reply 10):
If you think approaches to Madrid are bumpy, try Reno NV on an August evening when the temperature has hit around 105 by mid afternoon. That can be brutal - and very interesting to listen to if you have a radio or if you are on United and listening to Channel 9

Really? What kind of conversations would I be picking up? I tell you, the descent to MAD gave me sweaty palms. I don't wanna know what Reno will do to me then!!!  Wink
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IBERIA747
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Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2003 3:43 am

RE: Bumpy Descent Into MAD.

Sun Aug 14, 2005 10:12 am

Quoting Philb (Reply 10):
If you think approaches to Madrid are bumpy, try Reno NV on an August evening when the temperature has hit around 105 by mid afternoon

.

I don't know how it gets at Reno, but I have experienced tremendous approaches into MAD on many types of aircraft, with temperatures above 105 and strong winds.

I can clearly recall the most "brutal" episodes.

1. On a KLM B737-400 from AMS. The purser had to come on the PA to try to calm down the people right after landing. People were screaming during the last minute before touchdown.

2. Iberia 747-200 (EC-DIB) from MIA. Captain had told us in advance about heavy turbulence on final approach so there were no surprises except for the "brutality" of the drops and bumps we had for about 4 or 5 minutes. I have never been shaken like that on a 747. The good part is that the Captain managed to make a GREAT landing. Many people clapped thus relieving the stress.... Many screams could be heard also during approach.

3. British Airways A319 from LHR. That was crazy. The roller coaster started while the F/A's were still standing and walking accross the cabin to make sure everything was secured for landing, picking up the last cups, etc...
Everything flew across the cabin...even the F/As who fell over the passengers.
It lasted for about 10 minutes until we finally touched down. It was one of the hardest landings I've ever had btw.

According to some pilots I've spoken to, if the weather around MAD gets stormy during a hot summer afternoon then you better cross your fingers and hope to be diverted to another airport as the final approach and landing can become quite unpleasant.

A bit off topic, I have also experienced some bad turbulence at ATL.
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philb
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RE: Bumpy Descent Into MAD.

Sun Aug 14, 2005 7:47 pm

At Reno you get parallel landings, even in turbulent conditions. Listening to crews trying to maintain lateral separation, the glideslopes and required approach speeds and giving ride reports to help following aircraft is very interesting - moreso when you are on board.
 
IBERIA747
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RE: Bumpy Descent Into MAD.

Sun Aug 14, 2005 7:53 pm

Quoting Philb (Reply 13):
you get parallel landings, even in turbulent conditions. Listening to crews trying to maintain lateral separation, the glideslopes and required approach speeds and giving ride reports to help following aircraft is very interesting - moreso when you are on board.

Same that will happen here when the new runways are fully operational next year. The only difference is that there's no airline flying into MAD that lets passengers to listen at the cockpit conversations. Of course you can go to the airport and take your scanner although it won't give you the feeling of being up there bouncing inside the aircraft.  Smile
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AlitaliaMD11
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RE: Bumpy Descent Into MAD.

Mon Aug 15, 2005 2:01 am

Two Weeks ago I flew into MAD on Iberia from Lanzarote and experienced some serious bumps and drops coming in. Taking off wasn't that great either because on the climb it seemed like the pilot had cut the engines and we where stalling. On approach we did some funky turns and hit some big bumps and dropped altitude and gained altitude again. The flight was on a A320.

I was used to this but my mom was freaked!
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kappel
Posts: 1836
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2005 6:48 pm

RE: Bumpy Descent Into MAD.

Mon Aug 15, 2005 3:35 am

Quoting AlitaliaMD11 (Reply 15):
I was used to this but my mom was freaked

lol. i have the same thing. my wife isn't too keen on flying, so she was really nervous by the descent into MAD. i'm kinda used to it, but even i had sweaty palms.
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