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4 DC9s On 1 Sunday  
User currently offlineHAM From Germany, joined Jul 2005, 276 posts, RR: 1
Posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 5557 times:

I had always wanted to fly on a DC9, and since I am in the USA now for 6 weeks, this was the ideal opportunity to do so. After a little research and asking for ideas in the airliners.net forum, I decided to do MDW-DTW-IND-DTW-ORD which gave me 4 airports and 4 DC9s of 2 different types (-30 and -50), all in one day for 144 USD, which is a nice deal especially since the nice USD exchange rate, making it less than 100 EUR.

The trip took place on Sunday, January 27th 2008. Early in the morning, at 5.30, I had a taxi pick me up at the Chicago Youth Hostel and the friendly driver took me to MDW in only 20 minutes. There was no useful public transport option as the direct subway line doesn't operate that early and with the bus it would have taken me longer than one hour which would have involved a transfer.

At MDW, I went to the self check-in kiosk. I was really glad that this machine printed the boarding passes for all 4 legs without asking stupid questions about the reason for my trip. What I found a bit funny is that I didn't get a single SSSS on any boarding pass - during my current trip around North America, which involves lots of one-way flights, I get SSSS on every single flight. But it seems like the TSA didn't consider my one-day trip, which at its core was a round-trip to IND with only a 1 hour stay there, suspicious at all. I will never understand the sense of air traffic security regulations.

With my four boarding passes, I went to the MDW security, which was a breeze as nobody else was flying at 6 am on a Sunday. I walked around the deserted terminal for a while and then waited at the gate for a few moments.

http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o257/dikktus/P1270004.jpg
MDW terminal

There were only about 10 people in the waiting area, and I was wondering where everybody else was. Would they be in the lounge and show up at the last minute? Nope: This was it, only 10 pax this morning. Boarding was called on-time and the first of my 4 flights was about to begin.

1/27/2008
Flight: NW 1410
Aircraft: DC9-30
Registration: N9337 (not sure - this is what I saw from the terminal window)
Seat: 19A

The check-in lady issued me a new boarding pass with seat 7F because she thought that I might want to avoid the noise of the engines in the back. I boarded through the jetbridge and was surprised to see a quite modern-looking cabin, although the overhead bins looked quite worn out with lots of scratches.

Since the purpose of the trip was to experience the DC9 and its sound is one of the unique parts about it, I ignored my new boarding pass sat down on seat 19A. Here's my first impression:

http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o257/dikktus/P1270007.jpg
Note the Southwest tail in the window!

Legroom was rather tight. But all my flights were around one hour or less, so why complain. Boarding was completed quickly, everybody sat where they wanted and the door was closed. Pushback, and then came what I had anticipated: The engines were started up. An enormous noise broke the silence, and I was looking out of the window to see the engine begin rotating. To my surprise, nothing was moving. So I thought that we would taxi on the other engine only. When we stopped at the runway, I still didn't see any rotation of the engine, and then I figured out that the rotation took place behind the first set of blades, unlike most modern engines I had seen before. Off we went, down the runway with a loud noise and after a very short roll the aircraft rotated into the foggy air into the last phase of sunrise. Downtown Chicago came into view - an amazing sight in the haze:

http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o257/dikktus/P1270011.jpg
Downtown Chicago in the background

Soon after, I was impressed by the ice on Lake Michigan:

http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o257/dikktus/P1270015.jpg
Frozen Lake

Soon, the sky became cloudy and in the end completely overcast. Here's a photo of the engine which I had thought to be turned off:

http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o257/dikktus/P1270019.jpg
Left Engine

The flight passed uneventful, the F/As came around with a round of drinks (took an OJ) and after about 40 minutes it was time for the descent. When the flaps were deployed, I was impressed by the signs of age which came into view. The wings with the flaps looked worn, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they don't serve their purpose any more.

http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o257/dikktus/P1270022.jpg
Flaps deployed, short before landing

Landing was smooth and the thrust reverse was very loud. We then taxied past the deicing pad with some DC9s as "customers":

http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o257/dikktus/P1270026.jpg
Deicing

When we approached the terminal, it became quite clear - despite the fog - which airline rules DTW:

http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o257/dikktus/P1270027.jpg
NW planes at the terminal

Before docking at the gate, I spotted this NW A319 which was just starting up its engines with lots of smoke:

http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o257/dikktus/P1270030.jpg
NW A319 engine start-up

I deplaned through the jetbridge and was inside DTW's modern terminal, to be precise the main part of it. There's also a midfield dock which can be reached through this amazing tunnel, which reminded me of FRA:

http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o257/dikktus/P1270035.jpg
The tunnel connecting the terminals. The color keeps changing, and there's some music in the background.

Here's a pic of the terminal with the ExpressTram's track to the right:

http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o257/dikktus/P1270031.jpg
Terminal with train inside

Of course, I took a ride on the train and then I had about three hours to kill before the next flight. I ended up walking around, between the terminals, taking the train again, looking out of the windows, sitting and relaxing... One thing I didn't like about DTW: The news stands had mainly some boring magazines and local newspapers, as well as USA Today. There was no Wall Street Journal (of course it was a Sunday, but usually you'll find the weekend edition) or any other larger newspaper.

After having killed three hours, it was time for the next flight.

Flight: NW 1583
Aircraft: DC9-30
Registration: N1334U (again not sure - this is what I saw from the terminal window)
Seat: 20A

The interior was the same (it was, in fact, the same on all 4 planes I flew on today). There were more pax on board this time, maybe 75% LF, and the rest was quite similar - boarding was finished quickly, doors closed, pushback, engines on and a rather long taxi to the runway. The only difference was that I sat one row further to the back, which meant even more noise and a restricted view as the engine was right next to the window.

Line-up on the runway:

http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o257/dikktus/P1270038.jpg
Off we went, into the fog again

I fell asleep after the initial climb and woke again to see a sunny IND area below. After a smooth descent, I realized that this would be a less busy airport.

http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o257/dikktus/P1270040.jpg
Touchdown at IND

We taxied past a US Postal Service terminal which probably wakes up at night and a Beechcraft facility with some King Airs parked on its apron. After deplaning, I was glad to see that this plane went to another place within the next half hour which meant that I'd get a different one for my return flight to DTW. I was even hoping for a DC9-40, as the online seat map had shown two more rows for this flight.

I had a look at IND's terminal - to be precise the NW area - and decided to go out of the airside and check out what was landside. I had a look at the departure screens to see whether the name "Indianapolis International Airport" was justified - well, there was one flight going to Cancun, the rest was domestic...

http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o257/dikktus/P1270047.jpg
Check-in area - sorry for the bad quality

After walking up and down a bit, I went through security again and wandered around the NW gate area for a while. I was amazed to see an iPod vending machine:

http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o257/dikktus/P1270049.jpg
Vending machine offerind iPods and other electronic stuff

Then I saw the plane for my next flight, which was unfortunately another -30. Boarding was announced, and this flight turned out to be quite full.

Flight: NW 1452
Aircraft: DC9-30
Registration: N925US
Seat: 19A

Basically, this was quite the same experience as the last two legs, except that it was a bit less exciting as it was nothing new any more. We taxied past what seems to be a new terminal for IND, not long before completion:

http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o257/dikktus/P1270053.jpg
New IND terminal?

After takeoff, I was amazed by the flat, boring landscape below. Here's an example:

http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o257/dikktus/P1270055.jpg
Boring landscape

Then, one of these strange residential areas came into view:

http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o257/dikktus/P1270056.jpg
Residential area, built from scratch

And then nothing. After a while, there was another small town in the middle of nowhere:

http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o257/dikktus/P1270057.jpg
Small town, surrounded by nothing

Then came clouds again, and the thick layer indicated that DTW couldn't be far. And so it was, descent began, and another landing at the foggy DTW completed leg three.

http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o257/dikktus/P1270063.jpg
Spoilers deployed after touchdown

Again, I had three hours to kill - I ended up setting my cellphone's alarm clock function and slept in a seat at a deserted gate. In the meantime, the sun set and when I woke up, it was dark outside and time to go to the gate, which was already filled with passengers. This time, it was a DC9-50, but I knew that before.

Flight: NW 1177
Aircraft: DC9-50
Registration: unknown
Seat: 25A

Since I was tired, it was dark and there was nothing really new about this flight, I didn't take any more pictures. I even forgot to note the registration. After I had settled in my seat, I fell asleep, only woke up for a moment during takeoff and came back to life short before landing at a busy ORD airport. Deplaning, a rather long walk, and then I took the subway back downtown - and I was glad to be in bed that night, after a long day of flying and hanging around at DTW.

In the end, the whole trip felt a bit like an all-you-can-eat buffet: at the beginning, you can't wait to begin, but in the end, you've had enough. That's what it was like to go flying DC9s all day. But I didn't regret having done this, and the price wasn't that high to feel bad, either.

Thanks for reading, comments and criticism welcomed.

24 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineXJRamper From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 2448 posts, RR: 51
Reply 1, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 5540 times:

I love that tunnel.

Very nice report.

Just curious...why did you sit so far back?

XJR



Look ma' no hands!
User currently offlineHAM From Germany, joined Jul 2005, 276 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 5524 times:



Quoting XJRamper (Reply 1):
Just curious...why did you sit so far back?

My goal was to experience the nice sound of the DC9.


User currently offlineTriStar500 From Germany, joined Nov 1999, 4692 posts, RR: 43
Reply 3, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 5414 times:

Very nice report!  Smile After reading your excellent report, I am even more looking forward to my quick LGA-DTW-LGA daytrip in May, which is also supposed to get me on a few DC-9's.


Homer: Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
User currently offlineAtrude777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 5686 posts, RR: 52
Reply 4, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks ago) and read 5393 times:

Great Report man! Yes indeed they are quite tight inside 30 or 31 inches of pitch.

But I learned to get over it and enjoy my DC9 flight,

I had flown NW to BWI and back and only managed ONE DC9  Sad I wound up getting an RJ 85 Avro, 757 and A319 as well.


Great pictures too and glad you enjoyed it!

Alex



Good things come to those who wait, better things come to those who go AFTER it!
User currently offlineJoshSixtySeven From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks ago) and read 5389 times:

An iPod vending machine?

Am I just really out of touch or is that going way too far?

Roll on the iPlane...


User currently offlineClipperBerlin From Germany, joined Feb 2008, 90 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (6 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 5333 times:

This is just awsome. I guess the DC9 especially for Europeans is a plane every enthusiast wants to get a ride on, including me. The 737s and A320s are standard equipment for us. Especially since the Mad Dogs seems to get fewer and fewer every day. But thinking of it ....... in the future we might be the heroes for our kids being able to fly the 737-300 numerous times. I am so jealous of my dad and his Connie and 707 flights.  hissyfit  At least I managed to ride the 7oooh in the meantime.

Thanks for sharing this nice trip with us.

Regards

Florian


User currently offlinePanAm330 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 2660 posts, RR: 9
Reply 7, posted (6 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 5192 times:



Quoting JoshSixtySeven (Reply 5):
An iPod vending machine?

Am I just really out of touch or is that going way too far?

It's actually common to see. I've seen them in many airports, and apparently they do some damn good business (per an article about them I read somewhere on here). Pretty convenient if you want a decent pair of headphones if you break/lose yours on a trip, IMO.

Great TR! Gotta love the scream of the DC9 at takeoff! I hope I'll be on one again soon.


User currently offlineEXAAUADL From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (6 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 5174 times:

NICE REPORT...............................................

User currently offlineNdebele From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 2898 posts, RR: 23
Reply 9, posted (6 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 5119 times:

How nice that NW still keeps on relying on their DC-9s, giving us younger a.netters the chance of flying on the DC-9 without visiting strange countries in Africa Big grin Your report makes me remember my trip on Northwest's DC-9 (and DC-10) in 1988 - my parents considered NW's fleet of DC-Jets very old even back then. Who would have thought NW would keep them so much longer.

User currently offlineAirbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4207 posts, RR: 51
Reply 10, posted (6 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 5082 times:

Hehe,... nice report, for sure!

Quoting HAM (Thread starter):
Since I was tired, it was dark and there was nothing really new about this flight, I didn't take any more pictures.

Come on , this was only your fourth DC-9 that day  Wink

Cheers,
Eric



"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6639 posts, RR: 78
Reply 11, posted (6 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 4964 times:

Very nice report, great way to spend a day. Brings back memories of my US trip last year when I had the pleasure to fly on NWA's second oldest DC-9-30 in service.

Quoting HAM (Thread starter):
Registration: N9337 (not sure - this is what I saw from the terminal window)



Quoting HAM (Thread starter):
Registration: N1334U (again not sure - this is what I saw from the terminal window)

Seens to be correct, both do exist.

Quoting HAM (Thread starter):
In the end, the whole trip felt a bit like an all-you-can-eat buffet: at the beginning, you can't wait to begin, but in the end, you've had enough.

Nice metaphor, describes it well.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8426 posts, RR: 55
Reply 12, posted (6 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 4902 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Nice trip, just the kind of thing I'd do  Smile

Looking back, I feel quite lucky to have managed 10 DC-9 flights inc 2 on -41 models, however, I'd love a few more, perhaps next year on NW?

Regards

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333,342
User currently offlineBurnsie28 From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 7502 posts, RR: 8
Reply 13, posted (6 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 4745 times:



Quoting HAM (Thread starter):
That's what it was like to go flying DC9s all day

And everyone wonders why the NW DC-9 pilots are so tired, they fly all day, even more legs then that, have to actually fly the plane and such.... great tr.



"Some People Just Know How To Fly"- Best slogan ever, RIP NW 1926-2009
User currently offlineAA767LOVER From Hong Kong, joined Aug 2007, 564 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (6 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 4727 times:

Can anyone create me a cheap MD-80 trip like that in one day for a cheap price? I still love the Super 80s on American.


J.I. Tsui, American Advantage Member, United Mileage Plus (Premier)
User currently offlineBoeing743 From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 406 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (6 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 4459 times:

Very good trip report. I flew on NW DC-9 once or maybe twice. I can't remember when but it must be sometimes when I was student at university years. Oh I remember now, I flew DC-9 on US Airways n/s from between DCA and IND.

User currently offlineAA767LOVER From Hong Kong, joined Aug 2007, 564 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (6 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 4437 times:

I flew on the D9S a few times, in fact all D9S on one given day - IAH-MEM-DTW-YYZ. Only IAH-MEM, I could pay the $35 upgrade fee, the other segments were full. I like the D9S, but on NW more than on AC. AC I flew a lot as a kid and so as the saying goes familiarity breeds contempt.


J.I. Tsui, American Advantage Member, United Mileage Plus (Premier)
User currently offlineB747forever From Sweden, joined May 2007, 16997 posts, RR: 10
Reply 17, posted (6 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 4298 times:

Nice TR

The pics are really good.

Hopefully one day I will be able to fly a DC9.

Quoting HAM (Reply 2):
My goal was to experience the nice sound of the DC9

For sure you experienced that!!!


Thank you for sharing

B747foreber



Work Hard, Fly Right
User currently offlineDALCE From Netherlands, joined Feb 2007, 1661 posts, RR: 7
Reply 18, posted (6 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 4284 times:

What a great day it must have been! Great to get 4 DC-9s on one day! Something which is inpossible in Europe nowadays!
Also the pics were very nice!

Thanks for sharing!
D-ALCE



flown on : F50,F70,CR1,CR2,CR9,E75,143,AR8,AR1,733,735,736,73G,738,753,744,319,320,321,333,AB6.
User currently offlineTCT From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 205 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (6 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 4246 times:

LMAO, An ipod vending machine, this world just keeps gettin better.

User currently offlineBurnsie28 From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 7502 posts, RR: 8
Reply 20, posted (6 years 2 months 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 4049 times:



Quoting TCT (Reply 19):
LMAO, An ipod vending machine, this world just keeps gettin better.

They have several different ones, Ipod, Motorola (cell phones, and other accessories), Clinique or something like that, and proactive.



"Some People Just Know How To Fly"- Best slogan ever, RIP NW 1926-2009
User currently offlineTravatl From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 2173 posts, RR: 7
Reply 21, posted (6 years 2 months 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 4035 times:

Should the title of the post be:

"4 DC9s on 1 Sunday ... and lived!."

 Wink


User currently offlineKaiGywer From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 12163 posts, RR: 36
Reply 22, posted (6 years 2 months 2 days ago) and read 3900 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!



Quoting HAM (Thread starter):
In the end, the whole trip felt a bit like an all-you-can-eat buffet: at the beginning, you can't wait to begin, but in the end, you've had enough.

That's kinda how I felt after three CRJ flights over two hours each in a day



911, where is your emergency?
User currently offlineIsitsafenow From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4984 posts, RR: 24
Reply 23, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 3621 times:



Quoting HAM (Thread starter):
After a while, there was another small town in the middle of nowhere:

That would be Butler Indiana.
safe



If two people agree on EVERYTHING, then one isn't necessary.
User currently offlineJetblueguy22 From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 2646 posts, RR: 4
Reply 24, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 3437 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
FORUM MODERATOR



Quoting Atrude777 (Reply 4):
I had flown NW to BWI and back and only managed ONE DC9   I wound up getting an RJ 85 Avro, 757 and A319 as well.

Hey I would love to get a ice ride i a 757! But then again nothing beats those good ole DC-9s

Quoting JoshSixtySeven (Reply 5):
An iPod vending machine?

They are popular i the bigger airports like MSP and DTW. You would be surprised.
Blue



You push down on that yoke, the houses get bigger, you pull back on the yoke, the houses get bigger- Ken Foltz
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