I had a brief go at improving the pic as well, but I can't really do anything better than EGBJ. I think the photo is probably too far gone to ever make it here. I see in the Exif data that you used manual mode with pattern metering. Not that I'm an expert, but a lot of guys on here like to use centre weighted metering. Also unless you have a handheld light meter it can be awfully tricky to get a nice exposure using manual settings.
Like JeffM said you just have to play with the camera and get a handle on the different settings and find something that works for you.
Personally I use pattern metering, but I have a different camera than you do so the "brain" in the camera probably calculates things differently to yours. I also usually shoot using "P" or programmed auto mode and when using a longer focal length I usually bump the exposure comp. by at least a half stop sometimes a full one depending on conditions and the results I'm getting.
Give me a mile of road and I can take you a mile. Give me a mile of runway and I can show you the world.