Normal Ops?!

A short, exciting tale from last week:

The usual routine, a Langen Arrival run with one of the two runways closed. As a result, the airport can accept fewer airplanes than usual, demanding for an increase in spacing between two successive arrivals of ten nautical miles (normal is 3 to 6 miles).

When my downwind starts to reach Luxembourg, I decide to send the next three airplanes into a left-hand full circle, trying to delay them close to the airport. And then comes Murphy…

Just as soon as all three airplanes are far enough in their turn so they can’t reasonably be stopped, the tower calls in and informs us that both runways are open again, we are resuming normal ops and please send us all those airplanes closely spaced together. Right…

Life continues of course, so we do as the tower bids. After taking the time for some loud swearing, of course (plenty of it available, since an airplane usually takes about two wasted minutes for a full circle).