Hello, Sao Paulo!

I left Saturday morning from Phoenix for Sao Paulo, Brazil to pay a visit to our distributor, SCI, and to meet with several potential customers. Its my first time in Brazil, in fact my first time anywhere in South America.

I left Phoenix for Washington (Dulles) about 10am, and arrived around 4pm or so EST. It was snowing when we landed, and the snow started getting harder and harder as I waited for my 6:30 flight to Sao Paulo. I grabbed a slice from Pizzaria Uno and settled down near the gate, and watched the departing flights get cancelled, one by one. Not looking too good. I looked around for the brass lamp containing the on-time departure genie.

Amazingly, we boarded the 767-300 on time, and proceded to get de-iced in front of the gate. After about 15 minutes of being hosed down with hot, steaming, glycol, we fired up and headed (very slowly) for the runway. 20 minutes of taxiing put us at the approach end of 19L, and the snow was coming down harder than ever. The FO came back and eyeballed the wings to make sure they were still clear, saw that they weren't, and went back to the cockpit where the pilot informed everyone that we had to go back to the ramp, get de-iced again, and get the fuel topped off as well. 20 minutes back to the ramp, another 20 minutes waiting for fuel, and another 30 minutes waiting for the de-ice put us about two hours behind schedule when we finally started the take-off roll.

At this point, the visibility had to be about 100 ft and a quarter mile, if that, but once we were in the soup, I couldn't even see the wingtips even though I was sitting right over the wing.  The gear came up, and the slipstream noise decreased dramatically as the gear doors closed. And then increased again as the gear doors opened and the gear cycled. Hmmm. Haven't had THAT happen in a while. The gear came up again, the doors closed, and then opened as the gear cycled again. Great. A heavy airplane full of gas and passengers, climbing out in thick sticky snow with noticable turbulence. Probably the doors or the struts are covered in ice. The 76 climbs reall