Soupthansa From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Posted (12 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 2192 times:
After 47 days away from home it was time to leave Germany on January 30 and head back to my squadron at Charleston AFB, SC. I picked the AMC contract flight from Rhein Main Air Base, Germany to Charleston. The Flight usually departs in the morning but due to a change to the channel mission we did not board our World Airways DC-10 until 11:30pm. The aircraft has 320 seats in economy config (10 abreast). I pick the aislie in the rear due to injuring my back earlier in the week and not able to pick up anything or seat for a long period of time (just what I need, a 12 hour plane ride..lol) The aircraft departs at 11:54pm and our DC-10 zooms through the German Night and eveyone on the plane promptly goes into hibernation. Somewhere over Ireland we get our dinner, Steak or Chicken (No surprises here, but hey, this flight is free to us military folks). The movies shown were "Planet of the Apes" and something with Val Klimer. At 1:45am the descent begins into Baltimore/Washington. We touch down in the middle of the Maryland night and roll past all the sleeping airliners at BWI (there had to be at least 7 Southwest 737s on the ramp) and the plane parks at the international concourse. The race to baggage claim where I'm so excited about being back in the USA I manage to forget my aching back and grab my three large gear bags and throw them on the smarte cart which is provided free of charge. Customs wasn't too bad, three officials for 320 people. I zoomed through customs and passed my bags back to AMC and find my way back to concourse E for the remaining leg home. We board at 3:45 am and depart with about 50 people and my journey ends at CHS at 5:00am. We landed in minimums due to extreme fog and I was impressed with the aircrew because I could not see the ground until our DC Beast touched the earth. Another U.S. Military Contract Flight I hath survived, It is good to be home again.
AdamHarvard From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 72 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (12 years 8 months 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 1982 times:
interesting trip report. How different are military charters compared to normal scheduled flights i.e. are different announcements made and how does the service fare e.g. free drinks/food e.t.c? BTW, which airport is CHS?
Soupthansa From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (12 years 8 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 1958 times:
The contracts are awarded for one year to the lowest bidder. In this case, World Airways recently was awarded a contract of several million dollars to operate charter flights for FY2002. They operate the contract from Baltimore to Frankfurt plus the LAX/SEA to Korea/Japan missions. Passengers are boarded by categories. Those personnel on Emergency Leave go to the top of the list. Then those personnel travelling on behalf of official orders on duty go next. Then those personnel on normal leave board. If a flight has 320 seats and there are 14 emergency leave pax, then 270 duty pax, whats left goes to the remaining categories. The showtime at the terminal is usually 3 hours prior to takeoff. It's a great way to see the world if you are in the military or retired. But you take a risk of being "Bumped" by higher category pax. Normal leave pax are ranked by the date and time they signed up for the flight at the Pax terminal. The service is fine and the only cost you pay may be a customs fee. Otherwise its free. Just have enough funds to fly commerical if you get bumped or if the flight is full when your category is announced. That is the small brief on flying "Space A" in the US Military. I had no problems since I was a "Duty Pax" on orders returning from a Temporary Duty Assignment(TDY).
Soupthansa From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (12 years 8 months 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 1930 times:
I was a pax in a C-5 from Moron AB, Spain to Robins AFB, GA in Jun 97 and the seats are located in back on the second floor. They have about 50 seats facing backwards. Its a nice flight if you can take the air-refueling that was required. The plane speeds up, slows down, bobs to the left and right. Several other people around were making use of their air-sick bags. The transport planes like C-141s, C-17s and C-5s can carry pax if there is room available. I also rode on a C-141 from McGuire AFB to Moron AB and sat on airline style seats that were on a pallet and roll on the aircraft and lock into place. My best flight was aboard on of our C-17s from my wing at Charleston. I was on a embassy flight that went to 15 countries in 2 weeks. I assisted the loadmasters with loading and unloading the aircraft and got to see some intresting places like India, Cyprus and Israel. Being in the USAF has its perks, last night after being at Charleston AFB for 6 years I was invited to fly the C-17 simulator. I got to do one landing and I must say it's just like Microsoft flight simulator except for the movement and the 4 large screens used for the scenery. The scenery is from 1994 so its pretty old but watching the pilots doing a air-refueling in the simulator was cool.