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Day Tripping: DCA-DTW-MKE-DCA On NW/YX (Many Pics)  
User currently offlineBZNPilot From Belgium, joined Feb 2006, 264 posts, RR: 1
Posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 15936 times:

Hello Everyone,

It had been awhile since my last report—and last trip, for that matter—and I was feeling the urge to get in the air. In addition, my girlfriend was soon to be departing with her friends for ten days of vacation in Ethiopia and I could not stand the thought of sitting idle around the apartment. It was time for me to do some flying as well.

After tracking fares over several days from WAS to a variety of destinations and on various airlines, I decided in favor of a day trip to MKE (Milwaukee). I booked two one-way tickets with a same-day return for June 30, 2009; the outbound travel on Northwest (NW) took me on the DCA-DTW-MKE route, while the return was non-stop from MKE to DCA on Midwest Airlines (YX).

Although MKE may not be the most exotic destination, there were several factors behind my choice and my particular itinerary: 1) I had never been to Milwaukee, 2) I would experience a new aircraft type, the 717, 3) I would fly on Midwest Airlines for the first time, 4) I would get to fly on one of NW’s classic DC-9s, an increasingly rare breed these days, and 5) The fares were cheap!

Finally, this was the first time I had ever flown anywhere simply for the sake of flying. I was not visiting someone, not travelling for work or for vacation, or for any reason other than simply—to fly. I like this idea.

I hope you enjoy my report and, as always, comments and feedback are most appreciated!

==============================================================================

My two alarm clocks rang simultaneously at 04:30 on June 30 and I was quickly vertical and into the shower, glad to be on my way. The prospect of flying never fails to get me out of bed, even at the nastiest of hours. I left my apartment in the Crystal City neighborhood of Arlington at 05:00 sharp and set out on foot to the airport. Granted, I could have driven my car three minutes to DCA and paid $12 to park in the economy lot for the day. Or, I could have paid $8 for a cab. Or, I could have waited and caught the 05:34 Metro train near my building and arrived at DCA at 05:38. But I liked the idea of walking to the airport to catch a flight—indeed, another “first” for me. There are not many airports where one can arrive by foot, and one of the many great things about DCA is that it is very convenient for pedestrians. Here is an image of my early morning stroll toward the airport.

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Has anyone ever heard of the company whose logo appears in the next photo? Apparently they are in the aviation business.  Wink

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After a leisurely, 30-minute walk, I strolled up to DCA’s old Terminal A at 05:30, just as the eastern sky began to glow in tones of orange and pink. Although it is too dark to see the architecture clearly in the next photo, the façade of the original 1940s terminal building at DCA is a classic sight, one that harkens back to an older era in air travel.

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I made my way inside the building and, having printed out my boarding pass at home the night before, I proceeded directly to security. I was through the metal detector in less than two minutes. With a half-hour to spare, I grabbed a breakfast sandwich and enjoyed a coffee. I also snapped a photo of the beautiful Airbus that would soon fly me to Detroit. Initially I was disappointed not to have a Delta-painted A320; at second thought, I realized the future of Northwest belongs to Delta and that I should enjoy the grey and red metal of NW while it lasts.

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1st Flight
Date: June 30, 2009
Route: DCA-DTW
Flight #: NW 223
Aircraft Type: Airbus A320-212 / CFM56 Engines
Aircraft Registration: N336NW / sn 3236 (355) / Manufactured 1992
Scheduled Departure: 06:30 EDT
Scheduled Arrival: 08:01 EDT
Actual Takeoff: 06:37 EDT
Actual Landing: 07:50 EDT
Flight Time: 1:13
Distance: 405 mi/652 km
Altitude: FL340
Seat: 20F (Economy)
Load: Y 15%, F100%
My Logbook: 40th flight on Northwest, 27th flight on an A320


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Photo © David Marshall



At 06:05, general boarding began and I quickly made my way onto the aircraft and found my seat at 20F, a right-side window. I knew from the seat maps when checking in the night before that the Y load on this flight was extremely light, and this indeed proved to be the case. I not only had three seats to myself, but also most of the back half of the cabin! It was almost as if I had my own private A320, albeit one fitted with coach-class seats.

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Although the aircraft was still painted in Northwest colors, the signs of Delta were ubiquitous on the inside. A few years ago, a safety card for a Delta A320 is not something I would have expected to see anytime soon—but here it is.

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I also snapped a shot out the window. The CRJ next door was on its way to Indianapolis with a scheduled departure just a few minutes after us.

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Given the light load, the Airbus was quickly sealed and we pushed back at 06:25. As the engines began to spool to life, I grabbed a photo of several AA aircraft that had been parked remotely just south of Terminal A for the night.

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I also grabbed a photo of this Alaska 737-800 awaiting its next flight to either Seattle or Los Angeles.

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Prior to leaving for the airport, I had checked the weather online and noticed a 10 knot wind from the south, meaning that RWY19 departures were likely to be in effect. Sure enough, we began to taxi to the north, past the main terminal, for an eventual RWY19 departure. This was unfortunate, as I love the RWY01 departure to the north because of the spectacular views of downtown DC; furthermore, this was the third time in a row that I’d flown out of DCA with a southbound departure. Oh well, one cannot change the weather! It was a beautiful morning, though, and a great day for flying. The sun was already high above the Potomac River as we taxied toward the north end of the field.

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We reached the head of the runway and held short for a minute while this US Airways A319 blasted off as flight AWE2020 to Boston.

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Shortly thereafter, we turned onto the runway and I grabbed a nice shot of Crystal City just west of the airport. My building is the one directly in the center of the next photo though, unfortunately for spotting, my apartment and balcony are on the opposite side of the building.

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At 06:37, we lined up on the center line, the CFM56 engines roared into action, and we barreled down the runway. Our lightly-laden A320 smoothly rotated and climbed quickly into the morning sky. We continued south over the Potomac River, the city of Alexandria appearing off the right wing before we made a right-hand turn back to the northwest. Below are several photos of this sequence.

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As we climbed out to the northwest, the airport came back into view; it is visible in the next two photos on the near side of the river. The long strip of land on the far side of the river is Hains Point and beyond that is the city of Washington, D.C.

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As we continued our climb, the flight attendants began the cabin service. Given the light passenger load, they moved quickly. The service was very friendly and exceeded my expectations; although this was a short flight, I was twice offered coffee and once offered a cold drink. While I only accepted one cup of coffee, the flight attendants were clearly going out of their way to please the few of us sitting back in coach. Well done, Northwest. Below is a shot of my coffee, as well as the trademark Biscoff cookies served on Delta (and now on Northwest).

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Meanwhile, we jetted over northern Maryland and western Pennsylvania and the clear skies gave way to cloud cover below.

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I took the opportunity no passengers in the seats across from me to grab this photo out the far window. I really like this photo for its framing and simplicity.



While I was very much enjoying the flight, the end phase neared and we soon began our descent into the clouds.

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As we continued downward the beautiful cloud formations mixed with the soft light to provide stellar views out the window.

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As we neared Detroit, the clouds broke apart just long enough to make out the Detroit River, as seen in the next photo—that’s Canada on the right bank.



The overcast soon returned, however, just as the aircraft rolled into a left-hand bank to assume a southwesterly course for the airport and an eventual landing on either of the 21 or 22 runways.



As you can see through the porthole, we dropped into the murk a moment later.



Just as quickly as we entered the cloud floor, we exited its ceiling below to views of suburban Detroit. Below are some shots of that sequence.

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The crew glided our Airbus to a silky-smooth landing on RWY21L at 07:50.

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We exited the runway to the right and made our way around the southern end of DTW’s McNamara Terminal. I grabbed a shot of this Saab 340 along the way. Even though I knew to expect DL colors on NW birds, it still caught me slightly off guard to see such a paint scheme! It looks good, though, doesn’t it?

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After a long taxi back to the northeast to the far end of the terminal, our Airbus docked at Gate A78. Below is a photo as we pulled into the bay.

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With so few passengers, I was off in no time. The first thing I normally do is grab a shot of the aircraft on which I have just flown. Here is the machine that carried me safely to Detroit, enjoying a short break before her next blastoff.

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This is the route we took from DCA to DTW.

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I had an hour until boarding commenced for my flight to Milwaukee, so I decided to stretch my legs and walk the length of the McNamara terminal. After ten minutes or so I reached the midway point marked by the cool water fountain. The next photo shows the water in action with a NW-painted 757 in the background.

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I grabbed a Starbucks drip coffee and continued my stroll toward the Milwaukee flight at the far end of the concourse. Of course, I took some photos along the way. Here is a NW beast awaiting its next haul to Asia. As for the dots on the windows—despite their interference with photography, I am of the opinion they are very much a part of the quintessential DTW image!

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Next, I headed up to the ExpressTram platform above the main floor to grab some shots of the terminal and the train. As you can see in the photo below, the train still sports the characteristic NW red, though the NW logos have been removed. Seeing that actually made me feel sad about the disappearance of NW. After too many bad experiences, I had at one time refused to fly NW. However, the airline eventually won me back and I have had nothing but positive experiences over the last couple of years. And regardless, all can agree that NW is an airline with a long and impressive history. I think the absorption of the NW brand is cause for reflection and for admiration of its long history as this era draws to a close.

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Speaking of eras, the time of the DC-9 in America is also in its twilight and the opportunity to fly on this antique machine is a main reason I booked this specific itinerary. As I approached Gate A15, I was thrilled to see this seasoned veteran waiting to take me to Milwaukee.

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Incredibly, this aircraft, a DC-9-40 series, was built in 1968! To put that in perspective, when this plane rolled off the assembly line, Lyndon B. Johnson was President of the United States, the Berlin Wall had only stood for 7 years, and the internet was still at least a quarter-century from becoming a mainstream concept! I had yet to be born by 13 years when this aircraft began its life, and here it was, still flying the skies over the Midwest. Stunning.

2nd Flight
Date: June 30, 2009
Route: DTW-MKE
Flight #: NW 1725
Aircraft Type: McDonnell Douglas DC-9-41 / P&W JT8D Engines
Aircraft Registration: N760NW / sn 47288/369 / Manufactured 1968
Scheduled Departure: 09:25 EDT
Scheduled Arrival: 09:36 CDT
Actual Takeoff: 09:41 EDT
Actual Landing: 09:30 CDT
Flight Time: 0:49
Distance: 237 mi/381 km
Altitude: FL220
Seat: 14A (Economy)
Load: Y 100%, F100%
My Logbook: 41st flight on Northwest, 9th flight on a DC-9 (first on a -40 series)

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Photo © Bruce Leibowitz


Boarding commenced shortly after 09:00 and I made my way down the bridge. As I entered the aircraft—I’m not joking—I noticed a sort of “old airplane smell.” While the interior furbishing is obviously more recent than the 1968 airframe, there was nonetheless a distinct, dusty odor similar to what one encounters when entering an antique store. Very cool. I found my way to seat 8A on the left side of the aircraft; for whatever reason, NW deems 8A to be a special seat worthy of an extra $10 fee, which I had paid the evening before when I checked in. Unfortunately, all the free window seats were already occupied when I had booked my ticket and, not wanting to miss the window on what may be my last DC-9 flight, I gladly coughed up the $10. I settled into my seat, snapped a shot of the safety card just for the heck of it, and then gazed out the window at the sturdy old wing. Next to us was a longer but younger DC-9-50 already sporting DL colors.

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The aircraft soon filled to capacity, the forward door closed, and we pushed back a few minutes ahead of schedule at 09:20. There was no mistaking the point at which each P&W engine roared to life—what a sound! We then began the taxi out to RWY22R. The next photo shows us plodding along, the flaps extended to takeoff position.

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At 09:40, we turned onto the runway, the engines screamed to full thrust, and we powered down the centerline.

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Even with a full load of passengers, this old machine had some strength left in it and the takeoff felt powerful and fast. We climbed through the first layer of broken clouds before making a broad right turn to the west.

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The cabin crew soon made an announcement that due to the short flight, a beverage service would not be offered. Fair enough, the flight time was only 49 minutes so I was not surprised, nor did I really want anything to drink. Still, I could not help but recall a KLM Cityhopper flight I once took from AMS to BRU. We were in the air for a grand total of 19 minutes and still received a pastry and an orange juice! I know that comparing U.S. domestic service to European service is not really valid, but the KLM Cityhopper example is proof that it is indeed possible to serve something on a short flight. So, to me, NW’s rationale sounds more like a convenient way to achieve some cost savings. And hey, I am fine with that if that is the case.

We continued to the west over a very cloudy Michigan and I gazed out the window. Look at all the rivets in that wing!

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Before long, I heard the engines throttle back and we began our descent. Meanwhile, the clouds broke over Lake Michigan and I got a glimpse of the water.



The flight deck soon made an announcement that we would be landing on time in Milwaukee and that the latest weather report called for partly cloudy skies, winds out of the west, and a temperature of 65* F (18*C). We then began a broad left turn to the south for the downwind leg of an eventual landing to the north.

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After flying the downwind, we made a 180-degree turn to the right to head back toward the airport. We descended into the clouds, quickly popped out beneath them, and continued our final approach toward MKE, as shown in the next series of photos.

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We landed nicely on RWY01L at 09:30.

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After exiting the runway to the left, we taxied to the DL/NW gates at Concourse E at the southern end of the terminal. We came to a halt next to this Chautauqua ERJ-145 getting ready for its hop back to Cincinnati.

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As I was near the front of the aircraft, I was off within a couple of minutes. Once in the terminal, of course, I paused at the window to get this shot. Forty-one years old and still looking good!



Here is our flight path from DTW to MKE.

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With 6.5 hours until my flight back to DC, I had plenty of time to head into the city to have a look around. I grabbed a bus schedule and proceeded to the pick-up curb.

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Here is a shot of the MKE control tower while waiting for the bus.



The ride into the city took about 30 minutes and cost a reasonable $2. I got off at the Wisconsin Avenue stop and spent the next 3 hours wandering around the downtown area. My impression from my brief stay was very positive. Milwaukee seems like a nice city. Below are just a few photos from downtown. The weather was cloudy but fortunately it did not rain.



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The convention center, named for Milwaukee’s hometown airline.

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I covered most of the downtown area, as well as the “Riverwalk,” by 13:00, so I decided to head back to the airport. I wanted to have plenty of time before my 16:00 departure in order to have lunch, visit the small museum known as the Mitchell Gallery of Flight, and just generally check out the airport. The ride again lasted about 30 minutes and the bus dropped me off at the same curb from which I departed. I headed into the terminal and quickly found the Mitchell Gallery, where I spent about 20 minutes. While this museum is small, it is interesting if one takes the time to study the items and read the signs.

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I found the display in this next photo kind of neat. The models of the Graf Zeppelin II airship and the NW Boeing 757 are built to the same scale (1:36) and are positioned next to each other for the sake of a size comparison. Given that the 757 is not a small aircraft, one can really get a sense of the enormity of the Zeppelin.

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Following my visit to the museum, I made my way to the restaurant/bar and grabbed some lunch. I decided to go with some “local” faire and, as this region was heavily settled by German immigrants, that meant bratwurst, sauerkraut, potato salad, and a beer. It was pretty tasty—even the sauerkraut.  Wink

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I finished eating and then headed to the Renaissance Book Shop in the main terminal. I was very impressed with this shop, which is not the typical airport bookstore. It has a fair number of used and antique books for sale, including an excellent assortment of aviation and airline-related literature. I highly recommend it if you have time to spare at MKE.



3rd Flight
Date: June 30, 2009
Route: MKE-DCA
Flight #: YX415
Aircraft Type: Boeing 717-200 / Rolls Royce BR700 Engines
Aircraft Registration: N913ME / sn 55176/5126 / Manufactured 2003
Scheduled Departure: 16:00 CDT
Scheduled Arrival: 18:50 EDT
Actual Takeoff: 16:26 CDT
Actual Landing: 18:55 EDT
Flight Time: 1:29
Distance: 634 mi/1020 km
Altitude: FL370
Seat: 8A (Signature Seat)
Load: Signature Section 20%, Saver Section 100%
My Logbook: 1st flight on Midwest, 1st flight on the 717
Cookies: Delicious

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Photo © Ryan C. Umphrey



At 14:45 or so, I headed to the security checkpoint; the line was quick and I was soon in Concourse D, the Midwest Airlines part of the airport. I grabbed a few photos of the local metal—here is a nice lineup of 717s.

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And here a good-looking Republic ERJ-170 operating as Midwest Connect. Actually, I should phrase that the other way around. Given the recent acquisition of Midwest by Republic Airways Holdings, I should say “Midwest Connect operating on behalf of Republic.”

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This nice Great Lakes Beechcraft 1900 was also parked on the ramp awaiting its next jump to somewhere nearby.

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Eventually, I made my way to Gate 44 for my flight to DCA. Here are a few shots of my 717 waiting for the jaunt to the nation’s capital.

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I was happy to see they were not forgetting the cookies!

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While boarding was scheduled to begin at 15:30, the inbound aircraft had arrived a few minutes late into the gate. In addition, due to several disabled passengers on our flight who required extra assistance getting down the jetway, general boarding was not called until 15:50. I finally made my way down the tunnel and into the crisp and classy cabin of the 717. The “old aircraft smell” of my previous DC-9 was not to be found. Instead, this modern descendent of the DC-9 carried the tantalizing smell of chocolate chip cookies baking in the onboard oven. I think Midwest is really onto something good here! I quickly found my seat at 8A, a large, leather “Signature Seat” on the left side of the aircraft. Again, I had paid extra for this seat, as every window seat in the “Saver” section was unfortunately occupied at the time of my booking. The cost of the upgrade was $35—not too cheap, but still worth it to have a window on my first 717 flight, not to mention the extra comfort. Here are some impressions of the area around my seat.

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Yes, it is indeed a 717!


So far, I was impressed with the nice cabin and the leather seats on this great little jetliner. The one downside? The windows were covered in a thick layer of grime and my view was quite poor as a result. I knew I would not get any remarkable photographs on this flight. Apologies in advance for the less-than crisp photographs that will follow.

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Despite the late boarding, the aircraft was quickly sealed and we pushed back from the gate not too far behind schedule at 16:10. The engines hummed to life—much quieter than those on the DC-9 earlier that day—and we began to taxi to the south for a RWY01 departure to the north.

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At 16:26, we rolled onto the active runway and, without stopping, the engines revved to takeoff power. We smoothly rotated and climbed out to the north. Here is a shot of the left wing as we left the airport behind.



Within a minute or so of liftoff, we banked hard to the right and the downtown area of Milwaukee came briefly into view alongside the shore of Lake Michigan.

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After a 180-degree turn to the south, we climbed above the overcast and proceeded toward Chicago.



I played around with the camera a bit and tried to capture some shots of the window frames—I like that concept, as you may have noticed.



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Within 20 minutes of takeoff, the flight attendants came through the aisle with the renowned Midwest cookies. As expected, they were hot, fresh, and gooey. Each passenger was given two.

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A few minutes later, the beverage and buy-on-board meal service began. I had originally intended to sample the meal offerings, but given my late lunch of bratwurst and beer, I was not hungry enough to justify purchasing a meal, though the chicken caesar salad (available for $11) looked quite nice. I instead settled for the cookies and free beverages. I took a lime sparkling water and a cup of coffee, the latter of which tasted excellent with the cookies. I was also pleased that the sparkling water was La Croix, one of my favorite brands.

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After finishing my cookies and drinks, I passed the time with a little reading.



Meanwhile, we jetted eastbound over a cloudy Ohio.

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The minutes flew by and the flight deck soon announced we were beginning our descent. The pilot also mentioned that we would fly the river approach into Washington and that those of us on the left-side would get a nice view of downtown D.C. Yes!

We soon headed downward, all the while picking our way through a line of thunderstorms perched west of the Washington area. The ride grew moderately bumpy and I watched through the blurry window as the wing flexed with each jolt.

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Upon exiting the clouds, the runways of Dulles came into view.

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We then banked to the left and assumed a northeasterly course to intercept the Potomac River. The next photo shows the Potomac reflecting the evening sun.

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The forward slats of the wing deployed and we then began a right-hand turn back to the southeast to follow the river toward DCA.

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We soon passed over the Georgetown area of Washington, DC.

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The Watergate Complex—the circular structures in the next photo—then came into view along with the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

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Next, I spied the Lincoln Memorial and the western end of the National Mall. It really is astounding how close this approach is to the DC landmarks.

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With less than a mile to go, we banked steeply to the right to line up with RWY19. The Washington Monument and the Jefferson Memorial came into view in the next two pictures.

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Just a couple hundred feet above the ground, the wings leveled and we screamed over the turf of Gravelly Point. Hey, there is the path where I go running!

http://img13.imageshack.us/img13/6640/106kpk.jpg

The 717 slammed onto the runway at 18:55 EST. I heard several of the passengers gasp at the rough landing. I am not an airline pilot (unfortunately) but in my opinion, any landing on RWY19 at DCA is a good landing; with such a tricky approach and a relatively short runway, a feather-light touchdown cannot be expected here.

http://img35.imageshack.us/img35/6931/107dvs.jpg

http://img13.imageshack.us/img13/2052/108mxr.jpg

We quickly exited the runway to the right and taxied to Terminal A, the same terminal from which I had departed on NW some twelve-and-a-half hours earlier. Here is a photo as we pulled into the gate.

http://img13.imageshack.us/img13/1888/109vjz.jpg

I was off the aircraft within two minutes. Below is the requisite post-flight picture of the aircraft docked at the gate. I really like the sharp blue, white, and gold paintjob.

http://img13.imageshack.us/img13/5738/110zlx.jpg

Our route from MKE to DCA looked like this:

http://img15.imageshack.us/img15/4235/mkedca.jpg


I left the secure area of Terminal A and decided to take a walk to the main area of the airport, Terminals B and C. Along the way I got another glimpse of the 717 that had just brought me from Milwaukee.

http://img13.imageshack.us/img13/2939/111zid.jpg

The next photo shows the main hall running through the old Terminal A. Although there were a few Delta Connection aircraft resting there today, I tried to imagine the bygone days of propliners parked outside those windows.

http://img44.imageshack.us/img44/2725/112mdi.jpg

As the weather was nice, I decided to forego the Metro and once again walk home, albeit via a different route. I headed through the main building to the far north end of Terminal C. From there, I continued outside past the north hangars and the airport administration buildings toward the Mount Vernon Trail, the same running path I spied from the air just prior to landing. One reason I love running on this trail is that it provides great views of the action at DCA. As I intercepted the trail just beyond the perimeter fence, I grabbed this shot of an idling US Airways A319 waiting for departure. Note the dome of the U.S. Capitol building just above the fuselage.

http://img13.imageshack.us/img13/8533/113bnd.jpg

Here is a final shot of the airport as I walked along the path back toward Crystal City.

http://img15.imageshack.us/img15/5325/114nxv.jpg

Within twenty minutes I was home. I grabbed my computer and a cold beer and headed to the balcony to start this trip report while my memory was fresh.



It had been a perfect day and it was great to get back into the air. I enjoyed all the flights, and it was fun to experience a new city, a new aircraft type, and a new airline—plus an old airplane, the DC-9. Furthermore, all of my flights were right on time and the weather even cooperated by allowing me to check out the city of Milwaukee without getting rained on. I was also impressed with my Midwest experience. It really is a little different than other airlines—sort of like Alaska Airlines, in my opinion, in that it has a little extra character.

Thank you for coming along on my travels. I hope you enjoyed this report as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Best wishes,
BZNPilot

P.S. On second thought, there is more. When my girl returned from Ethiopia on July 5, I found out that she had been sweet enough to indulge my nerdy airplane obsession by taking MANY aviation photos for me during her travels. And as it turns out, her photos are great—she is quite the trip report photographer! So, what the heck, I will post some of them here as well. For your information, her route was IAD-LHR-CAI-ADD-CAI-LHR-IAD on United and Egyptair; she also took a number of domestic flights on Ethiopian Airlines between ADD and LLI (Lalibela), GDQ (Gondar), and BJR (Bahir Dar). I hope you enjoy these final pics and thanks again for reading my report.

The photo below shows the massive left engine of an Egyptair Boeing 777 high above the Mediterranean enroute from LHR to CAI.

http://img43.imageshack.us/img43/7954/68389757.jpg

The meal offerings on the LHR-CAI sector were beef or chicken. My girl chose the beef, which was apparently not as good as the chicken that her friend ordered.

http://img16.imageshack.us/img16/6825/22069146.jpg

Once in Addis, my girl grabbed a shot of this interesting, airplane-themed building. Not sure why there is also a portrait of the space shuttle over the entrance.

http://img43.imageshack.us/img43/1069/80065836.jpg

A couple of days after arriving in Addis, she and her friends were off to Gondar. Below is a shot of the ramp at ADD before their departure.

http://img24.imageshack.us/img24/1593/42024979.jpg

The flight from Addis to Gondar was on this nice-looking 737-700.

http://img31.imageshack.us/img31/4276/33993385.jpg

http://img190.imageshack.us/img190/7314/66728775.jpg

Here’s another shot of the aircraft after landing in Gondar.

http://img20.imageshack.us/img20/284/21627145.jpg

No jet-bridges here—there was a walk across the tarmac from the aircraft to the terminal.

http://img24.imageshack.us/img24/8107/67019792.jpg

A few days later, my girl and her friends flew from Bahir Dar to Lalibela, this time on a Fokker-50. Here’s her boarding pass…she really did a great job of documenting all of this stuff that, to be honest, she finds far less fascinating than I do! She was really sweet to do this for me.



Here’s a shot of the aircraft.

http://img43.imageshack.us/img43/5079/45191192.jpg

After deplaning in Lalibela, she saw a great opportunity for a photo and asked the pilot if she could take one. He replied “okay!”

http://img24.imageshack.us/img24/6789/59023021.jpg

Here’s another view of the Fokker-50.

http://img31.imageshack.us/img31/319/87598280.jpg

Apparently the tower at Lalibela was under construction?

http://img24.imageshack.us/img24/3253/68827587.jpg

Entering the terminal at Lalibela.

http://img24.imageshack.us/img24/9003/97559399.jpg

A few days later it was time for my girl to head home to DC, again via CAI and LHR. The next photo shows some pyramids while on approach into Cairo!



After landing, she got a glimpse of the cargo ramp at CAI.

http://img43.imageshack.us/img43/3789/11846788.jpg

Midwest Airlines—just not the one that serves cookies and flies to Milwaukee.  Wink

http://img31.imageshack.us/img31/2337/14682352.jpg

Egyptair Airbus and Boeing, side by side.

http://img24.imageshack.us/img24/8329/67585759.jpg

After deplaning, my girl grabbed this shot of the machine that carried her from ADD to CAI—nice new paint scheme!

21 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineBZNPilot From Belgium, joined Feb 2006, 264 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 15878 times:

After deplaning, my girl grabbed this shot of the machine that carried her from ADD to CAI—nice new paint scheme!

http://img16.imageshack.us/img16/7647/30412334.jpg

The Cairo airport food court…not traditional Egyptian cuisine, I suppose.

http://img190.imageshack.us/img190/8831/94714627.jpg

And finally, here is her 777 shortly before boarding for the flight to LHR.

http://img20.imageshack.us/img20/7273/60073013.jpg

That’s all!


User currently offlinePilotfox From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 553 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days ago) and read 15504 times:

Nice report and good pictures, I always enjoying reading MKE TRs. With FL and SW competing in MKE there are many good fares to me had for day trips. I'm surprised just how cheap even 1-2 day advance purchase flights have been between MKE and DCA, somewhere around $100. I have done a few day trips and it can be quite addicting let me warn you. It first starts with the domestic trips then moves up to the international ones.

User currently offlineFlanders From Belgium, joined Oct 2008, 116 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 15472 times:

Hi BZNpilot,

Looks like you had a lovely daytrip! I had a good read, thanks! You also added some very good looking pics! What camera did you use?

Quoting BZNPilot (Thread starter):
Still, I could not help but recall a KLM Cityhopper flight I once took from AMS to BRU. We were in the air for a grand total of 19 minutes and still received a pastry and an orange juice!

Just out of interest: was that on a Fokker 50 or 70/100?

Greetings,

Flanders.


User currently offlineCoal From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 2127 posts, RR: 10
Reply 4, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 15451 times:

Thanks for sharing. Quite nice that you live so close to DCA.

And your girl is definitely a keeper!

Cheers
Coal



Nxt Flts: SQ SYD-SIN-DEL-SIN-SYD | VA SYD-DPS-SYD
User currently offlineFLIEGER67 From UK - England, joined Sep 2003, 5186 posts, RR: 55
Reply 5, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 15348 times:

Hi, John,

what a great day of flying around.
Exactly my style, you know.

Superb pictures and it seems that Logo thing works well  Wink

So it seems I need to go immediatelly to the states and catch
one of these 9er´s!.

Best regards,
Markus (FLIEGER67)



Next: London City connections!.
User currently offlineMke717spotter From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 2465 posts, RR: 5
Reply 6, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 15301 times:

Excellent trip report and pictures, always nice to see a MKE/YX report.

Quoting BZNPilot (Thread starter):
The cabin crew soon made an announcement that due to the short flight, a beverage service would not be offered.

I've flown between MKE/ORD and DTW on NW a few times and there was a drink served 3/4 times.



Will you watch the Cleveland Browns and the Detroit Lions on Sunday? Only if coach Eric Mangini resigned after a loss.
User currently offlineGjunnar From Germany, joined Sep 2001, 155 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 15257 times:

That was one excellent trip report, very nice writing alongside great photographs. Thanks for putting it together!

Quoting BZNPilot (Thread starter):
But I liked the idea of walking to the airport to catch a flight

How cool is that - to be able to walk to the airport!

Quoting BZNPilot (Thread starter):

I took the opportunity no passengers in the seats across from me to grab this photo out the far window. I really like this photo for its framing and simplicity.

I like it, too.

Quoting BZNPilot (Thread starter):
I decided to go with some “local” faire and, as this region was heavily settled by German immigrants, that meant bratwurst, sauerkraut, potato salad, and a beer. It was pretty tasty—even the sauerkraut. Wink

Haha, I guess that looks stereotypically German. Yummy, I'm getting hungry...


User currently offlineStarAlliance38 From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 1445 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 15221 times:

Great TR! Althought for me, most of the pics couldn't be seen, but still get TR!

Quoting BZNPilot (Thread starter):
5) The fares were cheap!

I'm going to DCA for a conference in Nov. and I've been thinging to do a daytrip out of DCA. How much did you pay for this R/T?

Quoting BZNPilot (Thread starter):
in the Crystal City neighborhood of Arlington

That's where my conference will be. I hope I get an Airside room at the Hyatt  Smile



Roar, lion, roar
User currently offlineTWA757 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 179 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 15051 times:

Great report, and wonderful pictures. I love DCA (jealous that you live so close!), and the Milwaukee art museum is very cool.

User currently offlineMSNfan From United States of America, joined Aug 2008, 160 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 14954 times:

Excellent TR, nothing like highlighting MKE (the airport and the city), DC-9s and YX signature service all at the same time. With all the competition it must be a good time for a cheap daytrip to/from MKE. This TR makes me want to do one myself. Great pics and thanks a lot for posting!


Dentistry: Because everyone smiles in the same language!
User currently offlineSeptember11 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 3623 posts, RR: 21
Reply 11, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days ago) and read 14863 times:

Fun, fun, fun! Lovely photos...


Airliners.net of the Future
User currently offlineSkyHigh777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 378 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 14827 times:

Great TR! I visited MKE last summer and I thought it was quite nice (albeit MUCH smaller than DC).

I love flying from DCA, esp on the downriver approach where you get to see all the monuments. Unfortunately I live in NW suburbs of MD, so my house is never visible  Sad

It's so strange because the other day, I was actually thinking about how cool it would be to walk to the airport for a flight, and here you go and post a TR about just that! DCA is definitely one of the few airports that allows such easy walking access, I love it!

Anyway, thanks for posting, and thank your gf for posting such cool pics of Ethiopia too!

Cheers,
Andres



Prepare for take-off.
User currently offlineBZNPilot From Belgium, joined Feb 2006, 264 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 14695 times:

Thank you to everyone who has commented so far, I really appreciate the feedback!

Quoting Pilotfox (Reply 2):
I'm surprised just how cheap even 1-2 day advance purchase flights have been between MKE and DCA, somewhere around $100.

Hi Pilotfox, thanks for your post. Yes, this trip was pretty cheap, but not quite as cheap as what you have found. My NW ticket came to $90, while the YX fare was $78. There were several less expensive options if I would have flown outbound later in the day, but as I wanted to experience the DC-9, I opted for the earlier and more expensive route. Still a reasonable price, in my opinion.


Quoting Pilotfox (Reply 2):
I have done a few day trips and it can be quite addicting let me warn you. It first starts with the domestic trips then moves up to the international ones.

I can tell already that it can be addicting. I'm getting the urge to go somewhere again...uh oh!  Wink

Quoting Flanders (Reply 3):
Looks like you had a lovely daytrip! I had a good read, thanks! You also added some very good looking pics! What camera did you use?

Hi Flanders, thanks! Glad you enjoyed it. I used a Nikon CoolPix L19, which is their low-end compact digital camera. It was new for this trip but I actually returned it to the store afterward as it froze up at least 20 times throughout the trip. It took okay pics when it worked, though...

Quoting Flanders (Reply 3):
Just out of interest: was that on a Fokker 50 or 70/100?

It was a Fokker 70 back in May 2006. The shortest commercial flight I've ever been on!

Quoting Coal (Reply 4):
Thanks for sharing. Quite nice that you live so close to DCA.

And your girl is definitely a keeper!

Hi Coal, thanks for your comments. Yup, I agree she is a keeper  Smile

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 5):
what a great day of flying around.
Exactly my style, you know.

Superb pictures and it seems that Logo thing works well

So it seems I need to go immediatelly to the states and catch
one of these 9er´s!.

Best regards,

Hi Markus, thanks for reading and for your comments! Hope you enjoyed this TR as much as I've enjoyed yours. Also, again, thanks for your help with the posting of the logos. Yes, definitely try to get on a DC-9 before they're gone. What a great airplane.

Schoene Gruesse,
John (BZNPilot)

Quoting Mke717spotter (Reply 6):
I've flown between MKE/ORD and DTW on NW a few times and there was a drink served 3/4 times.

Hi Mke717spotter, thanks for your post. Interesting that you've gotten served on most of these hops but not on all. I wonder why the inconsistency? Maybe depends on the pax load? My flight was full, so maybe it would have taken too long?

Quoting Gjunnar (Reply 7):
That was one excellent trip report, very nice writing alongside great photographs. Thanks for putting it together!

Hi, Gjunnar, thanks!

Quoting Gjunnar (Reply 7):
How cool is that - to be able to walk to the airport!

Yeah, I love this aspect of DCA. And my building is close enough that it gets quite loud from the aircraft, but I don't mind a bit.

Quoting Gjunnar (Reply 7):
Haha, I guess that looks stereotypically German. Yummy, I'm getting hungry...

Haha...too bad the mustard they served was not of the variety from Esslingen!  Wink Thanks again and take care.

Quoting StarAlliance38 (Reply 8):
Great TR! Althought for me, most of the pics couldn't be seen, but still get TR!

Hi StarAlliance38, thanks and glad you liked it. Bummer about the pics, though. I wonder why it didn't work? They seem to work on my computer, so I don't have any suggestions.

Quoting StarAlliance38 (Reply 8):
I'm going to DCA for a conference in Nov. and I've been thinging to do a daytrip out of DCA. How much did you pay for this R/T?

$90 for the NW legs and $78 for the YX flight, so $168 total (not including the $10 for my seat on the DC-9 or the $35 upgrade on YX).

Quoting StarAlliance38 (Reply 8):
That's where my conference will be. I hope I get an Airside room at the Hyatt

Definitely ask for one! Thanks again for reading.

Quoting TWA757 (Reply 9):
Great report, and wonderful pictures. I love DCA (jealous that you live so close!), and the Milwaukee art museum is very cool.

Hi TWA757, thanks for reading. Yes, the Milwaukee art museum is quite a nice building, though unfortunately I only saw it from the outside. Would like to go back to Milwaukee sometime and stay longer.

Quoting MSNfan (Reply 10):
This TR makes me want to do one myself. Great pics and thanks a lot for posting!

Hi MSNfan, thanks for your comments. Go for it--these trips are a lot of fun!

Quoting September11 (Reply 11):
Fun, fun, fun! Lovely photos...

Hi September11, thanks! Glad you liked it.

Quoting SkyHigh777 (Reply 12):
I love flying from DCA, esp on the downriver approach where you get to see all the monuments. Unfortunately I live in NW suburbs of MD, so my house is never visible

Hi SkyHigh777, appreciate the comments. Yes, DCA is without a doubt one of the coolest airports, especially with the river approach.

Quoting SkyHigh777 (Reply 12):
It's so strange because the other day, I was actually thinking about how cool it would be to walk to the airport for a flight, and here you go and post a TR about just that! DCA is definitely one of the few airports that allows such easy walking access, I love it!

Anyway, thanks for posting, and thank your gf for posting such cool pics of Ethiopia too!

Funny that you were thinking of the walking to the airport concept earlier. I wonder which/how many airports this is possible? I think perhaps MDW would be walker-friendly given that it is in the midst of Chicago? I don't know where else, though...

And re. the Ethiopia pics, I'll thank her. Maybe when my girl and I travel together from now on, I'll give her the job of taking the pics--she seems pretty good at it  Smile

Thanks again for the comments and feedback, everyone.

BZNPilot


User currently offlineWNTex From United States of America, joined Jun 2008, 72 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 14628 times:

Absolutely excellent TR! My favorite in a long time actually. DCA is one of my favorite airports to visit and spot at.

Quoting BZNPilot (Thread starter):
I should say “Midwest Connect operating on behalf of Republic.”

I guess that's true these days isn't it?

Quoting BZNPilot (Thread starter):
The next photo shows the main hall running through the old Terminal A

I love walking through that hall...it really is like taking a step back in time.

Thanks again for sharing!

WNTex



"The chief cause of failure and unhappiness is trading what you want most for what you want now." -Zig Ziglar
User currently offlineBZNPilot From Belgium, joined Feb 2006, 264 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days ago) and read 14431 times:

Hi WNTex,

Quoting WNTex (Reply 14):
Absolutely excellent TR! My favorite in a long time actually. DCA is one of my favorite airports to visit and spot at.

Thanks for your comments, glad you enjoyed it! Yes, DCA is a great place to spot, especially at Gravelly Point. I go there quite often, camera in hand.

Quoting WNTex (Reply 14):
I love walking through that hall...it really is like taking a step back in time.

Definitely agree. At many airports one does not get a sense of the history. At DCA, however, the history is visible everywhere. I love it.

Thanks again.

BZNPilot


User currently offlineThegreatRDU From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 2311 posts, RR: 4
Reply 16, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 13044 times:

Great, YX is such a true airline and I will never have the chance to fly on their 717s  Sad


Our Returning Champion
User currently offlineBZNPilot From Belgium, joined Feb 2006, 264 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 12753 times:



Quoting ThegreatRDU (Reply 16):
Great, YX is such a true airline and I will never have the chance to fly on their 717s  

Thanks for reading. Yeah, I'm glad I took the opportunity to get on a YX 717 before it's too late...the end of an era, for sure.


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6937 posts, RR: 77
Reply 18, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 12629 times:

Hi John,

great report with countless nice pictures, enjoyed reading a lot. Good choice to include both the DC-9 and the 717.

I made a similar trip this year and got the DC-9-40, the DC-9-50 and the MD-88 which were still missing in my log.
Goodbye, Red Tails! DC-9-40/50 & Chicago Tour

Quoting BZNPilot (Thread starter):
A few years ago, a safety card for a Delta A320 is not something I would have expected to see anytime soon—but here it is.

Exactly my opinion.

Quoting BZNPilot (Thread starter):
Even though I knew to expect DL colors on NW birds, it still caught me slightly off guard to see such a paint scheme! It looks good, though, doesn’t it?

Yes, the new DL scheme looks better on small jets rather than on large jets.

Quoting BZNPilot (Thread starter):
Incredibly, this aircraft, a DC-9-40 series, was built in 1968!

Did you specifically book on a DC-9-40 service or was it swapped afterwards?

Quoting BZNPilot (Thread starter):
To put that in perspective, when this plane rolled off the assembly line, Lyndon B. Johnson was President of the United States, the Berlin Wall had only stood for 7 years, and the internet was still at least a quarter-century from becoming a mainstream concept! I had yet to be born by 13 years when this aircraft began its life, and here it was, still flying the skies over the Midwest. Stunning.

Well said.

Quoting BZNPilot (Thread starter):
There was no mistaking the point at which each P&W engine roared to life—what a sound!

The sound is just great.

Quoting BZNPilot (Thread starter):
I know that comparing U.S. domestic service to European service is not really valid, but the KLM Cityhopper example is proof that it is indeed possible to serve something on a short flight.

Times are changing in Europe. KLM for example has cut its inflight service. Example:
On Par With Air France? DTW-AMS-MUC, KLM A330

Quoting BZNPilot (Thread starter):
I decided to go with some “local” faire and, as this region was heavily settled by German immigrants, that meant bratwurst, sauerkraut, potato salad, and a beer. It was pretty tasty—even the sauerkraut.

Looks quite good!


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineBZNPilot From Belgium, joined Feb 2006, 264 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (5 years 2 months 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 12205 times:

Hi PlaneHunter,

Thanks very much for your comments, a nice surprise to see a new post here.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 18):
I made a similar trip this year and got the DC-9-40, the DC-9-50 and the MD-88 which were still missing in my log.
Goodbye, Red Tails! DC-9-40/50 & Chicago Tour

Great report you did, really enjoyed it!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 18):
Yes, the new DL scheme looks better on small jets rather than on large jets.

Agreed. I think the new DL 744, for example, looks nice but it is not nearly as beautiful as I thought it would be.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 18):
Did you specifically book on a DC-9-40 service or was it swapped afterwards?

I booked this itinerary specifically because of the DC-9-40. There was a DC-9-50 flight from DTW-MKE later in the morning, but I booked the -40 because I wanted to be on one of the older models. The older the better!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 18):
Times are changing in Europe. KLM for example has cut its inflight service. Example:
On Par With Air France? DTW-AMS-MUC, KLM A330

Wow, looks that way. Haven't flown shorthaul in Europe for about a year, but now I know what to expect the next time I do. Too bad.

Thanks again for reading and for your comments!

Best wishes,
John


User currently offlineCharles79 From Puerto Rico, joined Mar 2007, 1331 posts, RR: 6
Reply 20, posted (5 years 2 months 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 12138 times:

Nice TR, I'm glad it came back to life! I've been here in DC for just over a year now and already appreciate the wonderful thing of having DCA next door. And you gave me a great idea to try a short day trip out of DCA...

Quoting BZNPilot (Thread starter):
I also grabbed a photo of this Alaska 737-800 awaiting its next flight to either Seattle or Los Angeles.

Their DCA-LAX flight was actually a very nice thing last year when I had to go to LA to visit my in-laws, though I wish they would get rid of the DCA perimeter rule as I prefer flying on VX (but rather fly out of DCA instead of IAD).

Quoting BZNPilot (Thread starter):
My building is the one directly in the center of the next photo though, unfortunately for spotting, my apartment and balcony are on the opposite side of the building.

Funny, the building I work at is directly behind those buildings!

Cheers!

Charles


User currently offlineBZNPilot From Belgium, joined Feb 2006, 264 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (5 years 2 months 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 11824 times:

Hi Charles,

Thanks for reading and for your nice comments.

Quoting Charles79 (Reply 20):
Their DCA-LAX flight was actually a very nice thing last year when I had to go to LA to visit my in-laws, though I wish they would get rid of the DCA perimeter rule as I prefer flying on VX (but rather fly out of DCA instead of IAD).

Definitely agree. The AS flights out of DCA are wonderful...I've only been on the SEA route, but have done it several times and had great experiences. Would love to try VX at some point, but am reluctant to give up the miles I'd earn on DL, AS, or UA on a transcon. Perhaps if VX were to start DCA service, that would be extra incentive to give them a try.

Take care and cheers!

BZNPilot


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