Until Friday I'd flown only with EasyJet and Alitalia. In the last weekend, however, I took two Vueling flights and felt that the way the aircraft manoeuvred during the flight was very different when compared to EasyJet and Alitalia.
Take off seemed more "brutal", and we seemed to rotate much earlier, where the EasyJet or Alitalia flights will use more of the runway.
After take off, the airplanes did a lot of maneuvers during climbing. While EasyJet's planes usually do a variation of "turn, long climb, another turn", the Vuelings' performed a number of turns during climbing.
Landings, from the point of view of turning, are the same (as it should be). But after touchdown...it seemed to me the pilot maintained a higher rollout and taxi speed for much much more time, so that in both cases after the gear touching ground the plane reached the apron in a matter of seconds - and in both case the planes were yawing a lot when completing their landing roll and taxi, compared to the EasyJet or Alitalia flights.
In general the impression was that pilots were piloting in a more "sporty" manner (to use a motoring analogy), if you'll allow me the expression, and other passengers noticed it too.
So, question is: was it really just an impression? And if not, is there some kind of "direction" the airlines give to their pilots in how handle the plane?
- I'm NOT criticizing in any way the pilots. I know standards are pretty high and is not the kind of job one can improvise or do careless; I'm not saying or implying that they did pilot badly.
- Airplanes are pretty the same, I've flown with EJ's A319 and A320, both with winglet fences, and the Vueling's one was a brand new A320 with sharklets.
- Air conditions were not extreme. In fact, I usually fly Easyjet in winter in north Europe (MXP/LGW/CDG) in bad weather conditions, while the Vueling flights were during clear days between MXP and BCN.