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Date: 21 Sep 2007 22:00:00
Title: Arrival in Alicante with thunderstorms, lightening and flooding

38:16.9N 00:33.5W
The weather en route was forecast to be good except for rainshowers for our arrival in Alicante as well as for our alternate Valencia. Also a chance of thunderstorms was forecast for the period after 18Z (20 local time). And due to our 2 hour late departure from Geneva, our ETA was 1815Z or about 15 minutes after sunset.
And sure enough, big CB's appeared and the stormscope lit up as we approached Valencia. We had to make a few detours to avoid them before arriving at our initial approach fix VILNA for the 20 DME arc for ILS 10 approach into Alicante. We heard a few airlines making the approach ahead of us without major complaints. But then it got quite scary as we were lined up on final as a thunderstorm with quite active lightening was located 10 miles out on the ILS for runway 10. The airline ahead of us had reported a 35 knot tailwind at 10 miles final while the wind at the airport was calm. When about 15 miles out we saw a big lightening flash right ahead between us and the airport. Then some heavy rain while we flew through the cell and soon after the runway was in sight. We had no major updraft or downdraft we could not compensate. Then while about 4 miles out and slowing down to lower the landing gear, the yellow warning light for low voltage lit up from time to time: alternator problems. This was confirmed by no charging current from the alternator. After an uneventful landing (wind calm!), we were directed to our parking and the 'low voltage' warning was now on solid and the charging current zero. We would have to look into that problem before our departure for Ouarzazate, Morocco tomorrow..
Our friends Tina Pastor and her daughter Cristina had kindly offered to come and pick us up at the airport, and we got warm welcome hugs as we met up with them. Soon after we left the airport towards their home in San Juan d'Alicante the heavens opened the floodgates full blast accompanied by heavy lightening. The roads became rivers, as drainage in the Alicante area are minimal; it is normally about the driest area in Europe. The traffic was crawling at very low speed and we often had to avoid areas where the rivers on the roads became lakes. Finally we arrived at villa Emma were we met up with the rest of the family: Pedro, Javier, Carlos (Cristina's husband, also a pilot) and Carlos and Cristina's 3 children. Time for a welcome drink and a nice dinner. Thanks to Cristina, Tina and Pedro.


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