Just got back from a day-trip to the twin cities, specifically picked out to remind myself that NW's -10s are still the same reliable workhorses that they are week-in and week-out I'm on them.
7:40, check-in. I proceeded directly to the gate as NW HR had told me to do. This was an e-ticket, paid for by NW for an interview. At E-67, the agent was rather friendly, but said I would have to go through the 200+ line at the ticket-counter. Not that that's te end of the world. NW has a large ticketing area at MKE--remnants of their former hub service. However, his gate-companion said that she could proces me there. I managed 17A, window just fore of the wing with good view of the JT9Ds this D14 was powered by. I waited around, had a coffee, and enjoyed the limited spotting 8:00 MKE could provide. I just enjoy enough NW's terminal at MKE-patterend after Dulles in a Cathedral Art-Deco style. FED-EX A310, TWA 717, 2x NW A320, 1xNW 757, 1xUA 727, 2xUA BAe146, 5xYX D93, 6xYXD91, 6xYX MD88, 1xUS MD80, 5xYX FD328Jet, 1xDL MD90, 1xAA ERJ145, 2x CO 735. Yes, it is possible to list the entire complement of aircraft at MKE on a given morning. ANyway, pushback was ontime, and we headed out to 25 for a departure instead of 19. The ground APU was disabled, so the aircraft was rather hot--flight crew started eng #1 to cool us off quicker during pushback. The 51 minute-trip went fast. I love to hear the sound of no.2 during takeoff! Weather pushed us north of Eau Claire for a Southeast heading towards MSP. It was a rather bumpy approach, but we landed fine and arrived at gate 4, neighboring a 742 bound for NRT at 3:00 pm.
TOok company shuttle to Eagan for interview, and was done by 1:00...wasn't scheduled out until 6:40--should I spot or should I go. I checked once with an agent to see the availability of stand-by on the four MSP flights to mKE before mine, but they were all full. Besides, why would I pick an A320/757/727 when I can have a -10?
Had lunch with Capt. Hans, a -57 Capt. who was bound for ANC on the 4:55...2 flights to ANC at the same time, a -10 and a -57...strange. Asked him about the fleet renewal, and what the -10s would be replaced by. He was shocked that I would think about bringing up replacing the beauties, and even more shocked to hear my mention of -340s. Having flown the -27 and -457, he was rather anti-airbus. He enjoys controlling the aircraft-strange how our friends in Tolouse don't understand how humans actually CAN fly aircraft. SOrry, had to interject that.
spotted some real beauts...KL 743, Air Tran 717, few 319s, 742s. FInally I headed down to DC-10 "alley". Gates 29-38 are full of -10s usually...BOS, LAX, SEA...also LGW leaving 10 mins. before us. Mostly -40s. Our aircraft from SFO arrived on-time, but we were waiting for our crew to arrive from BOS...they wre 15 mins late, but we boarded on-time. I chose an exit-row seat, 22b...didn't care about a window. I love the room in row 22. THe bulkhead seats get 4' of legroom! A smooth flight, and on-time departure despite being 10th for takeoff put us in MKE at 8:03, 10 mins late. The return service included 4 bags of peanuts, NW wasn't holding back on the service...oh well, only 48 mins.
Guess we'll all miss the -10s when they fade away or turn into FEDEX mules. The quiet, masculine beauty, and the smooth flights will be missed!
Regards from MKE