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A Trip To The Daytona 500 ATL-CLT-DAB Pics & Vids  
User currently offlineN776AU From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 761 posts, RR: 1
Posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 9353 times:

This trip was very a very special one for me. I hadn't flown in 7 months, so that drought was over, and I was attending my first Daytona 500



I've been to two Budweiser Shootouts, including the one from the week prior, so I knew all about the speedway and what to expect, but it's the biggest race of the year. It would be like a baseball fan going to the World Series.



With filled hotels around DAB and Music Theory at 8:00 AM on Monday morning flying was the only choice. Not that it was a bad thing. Unfortunately Delta had no flights after the race until Monday, but as it was US Airways was cheaper by $30 anyway. As a result of this I was setting a personal best for most flights in a day with 4, the earliest and latest flights I've flown, and my first flight on a CRJ.



I'd also like to apologize for a general lack of pictures. Unfortunately taking pictures is rather difficult when 3 of your 4 flights take place in darkness. Anyway, on to the fun.​

http://img822.imageshack.us/img822/7623/001ticketsandnotebook.jpg

I always do this, but on this occasion I have a few more goodies.

Since the flight out of ATL was at 5:30, I was up and at 'em at 2:00 AM, ultimately leaving the house at 2:28.

http://img684.imageshack.us/img684/4639/002truckon124.jpg

Driving not far from my house. The roads were mostly deserted as one would expect, and the drive all the way there was a breeze, as we parked at the North Terminal at 3:21

http://img145.imageshack.us/img145/5562/003quietparkinglot.jpg



A couple looks at the terminal form the parking lot. Sorry for the blurriness. My pictures are real hit-and-miss since I have really shaky hands.

http://img145.imageshack.us/img145/39/005bottomhall.jpg

The lower level entrance hallway to the North Terminal. I promise it looks nicer when there are lots of people around.

http://img198.imageshack.us/img198/4664/006bottomhallsign.jpg

The sign that greets you when you make it out of the hall and into the main building.

http://img577.imageshack.us/img577/1290/007escelatortoterminal.jpg

And up the escelator into the termial.

http://img822.imageshack.us/img822/5691/008usairwayscheckinarea.jpg

The inactive US Airways counter. Lucky for me I printed all of the boarding passes for the day at home.

http://img27.imageshack.us/img27/3523/009securitysign.jpg

Where to next but the lovely TSA? This is one of the reasons I like to fly early. Things like waiting to be groped are quick and painless. And so it was on to the transportation hall

http://img94.imageshack.us/img94/6343/010transportationhalldo.jpg

Going down

http://img145.imageshack.us/img145/1688/011trainoutofservice.jpg

Unfortunately the train wasn't running since it was so early (Shortly before 4:00 AM). Needless to say I was disappointed.

http://img11.imageshack.us/img11/1604/012stationarytrain.jpg

But that wasn't going to stop me from taking a picture of an idle train in the Concourse T station. So we had no choice but to walk out to Concourse D. I really don't mind walking. I'm not lazy, and I wasn't pressed for time either, but I love that train.

http://img69.imageshack.us/img69/7661/013longhall.jpg

Looking down the very long hallway that runs end to end of the airport.

http://img101.imageshack.us/img101/5516/014concoursedsign.jpg

Until finally we got to Concourse D. It's been a very long time since I've departed from D (6 years to be exact when I flew with Northwest)

http://img145.imageshack.us/img145/2816/015uptoconcoursed.jpg

And so we began our trip up to the concourse.

http://img26.imageshack.us/img26/648/016concoursedgates.jpg

A bit of a mundane entrance compared to the other concourses, but I feel a picture was necessary nonetheless. We took a right since our flight left from gate D23.

http://img190.imageshack.us/img190/4236/017concoursed.jpg

A look down the concourse. Concourse D is very narrow. It's definitely not as nice say A or B.

http://img683.imageshack.us/img683/5820/020gated23sign.jpg

And here we are at D23 shortly after 4:00 AM.

http://img651.imageshack.us/img651/2733/019flight881sign.jpg

And the gate sign

http://img35.imageshack.us/img35/5189/021gatearea.jpg

A small shot of the gate area

http://img580.imageshack.us/img580/9264/018n704usa319.jpg

Most importantly, what we have out the window. Our A319 this morning was N704US


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Carlos Aleman - SJU Aviation Photography



Time to fly:



US Airways Flight 881

ATL-CLT

Depart ATL: 5:30 AM

Arrive CLT: 6:36 AM

Airbus A319 N704US



-We started boarding at 5:02. We had to wait all the way til zone 5 to board ourselves.

http://img716.imageshack.us/img716/7559/022jetwaylogo.jpg

Traveling down. Stupid hands of mine....

http://img40.imageshack.us/img40/1593/023lookdown.jpg

And really heading down.

http://img198.imageshack.us/img198/9876/024usairwaysheritagelog.jpg

The door logo that rather fascinates me.

http://img696.imageshack.us/img696/4989/025flight881boardingloo.jpg

Cabin view from my seat 14A.

http://img84.imageshack.us/img84/2193/026flight881windowview.jpg

The view out my window at the A320 next to us. This was the last picture I would take until off the plane in Charlotte.

We pushed back at 5:27 and very easily taxied waaaaaaay to the other side of the airport for a nice takeoff from Runway 8R.



Unfortunately my notes are very lacking with the flight being so short. There was no drink service, and we cruised at 27,000 feet. There was no light for picture taking, but I must say the view was amazing. Imagine looking down on the clouds (or down on the brightly-lit Atlanta) with your wing being lit up by the light of a full moon. It was almost serene.



We started descending at 6:14, landing at 6:31 on Runway 5, surprisingly using a fairly good amount of reverse, and we taxied our way to gate B12.

We thought we only had about 45 minutes in CLT. Unbeknownst to us, our flight to Daytona was going to be delayed. More on that later. First we had to make a journey from Concourse B to Concourse E.

http://img714.imageshack.us/img714/8823/027concoursesdesign.jpg

At the giant center metting point for all the concourses.

http://img687.imageshack.us/img687/2166/028wrightflyer.jpg

The Wright Flyer heading down to Concourse E. Escelator + my bad hands = blur. Sorry

http://img690.imageshack.us/img690/1962/029concoursee.jpg

Descending down to the lovely RJ gates

http://img204.imageshack.us/img204/9343/030gatese2032sign.jpg

The direction we were heading at the split in the middle of the concourse. We were heading to gate E26

http://img535.imageshack.us/img535/2936/031gatee26sign.jpg

But just to make it official, here's the sign.

http://img27.imageshack.us/img27/5672/032crj900.jpg

Our CRJ-900 to fly us to DAB N903FJ

Were supposed to take off at 7:32, but we were waiting and waiting and waiting until they came on and told us there was fog in Daytona and we would have to wait. Thankfully wifi at CLT is free. That was a nice surprise. I was keeping tabs on US Airways.com and Flight Aware. Ultimately what tipped me off that were about to go was a Roush-Fenway 727 taking off. Now of course I didn't know officially where it was going, but I think Daytona was a pretty safe bet.

Finally we boarded at 8:05



US Airways Express Flight 2699

CLT-DAB

Depart CLT: 7:32 AM (Delayed to 8:25)

Arrive DAB: 8:58 AM (Actual time of arrival, 9:34)

Bombardier CRJ-900 N903FJ


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Alevik

http://img694.imageshack.us/img694/5320/033gatee26boardingdoor.jpg

Waiting to board.

http://img218.imageshack.us/img218/3223/034crjboarding.jpg

Boarding through the semi-exposed jetway.

I literally had to duck to get in to this plane, and could only barely stand fully upright. If I was an inch taller, there would be no way.

http://img97.imageshack.us/img97/6543/036americawestseats.jpg

I'm digging the America West interior

http://img541.imageshack.us/img541/4939/037seatview.jpg

My view from 17A​

http://img560.imageshack.us/img560/9269/041nolegroom.jpg

And not much for the leg room either.

http://img580.imageshack.us/img580/6325/035crjwindowview.jpg

And a look out my misaligned and rather low window. Big people are not made for these airplanes. I remember why I had such an aversion to them. Unfortunately it was my only option.​

We pushed at 8:05 and taxied over to Runway 18L



Hopefully my Youtube video of takeoff will embed. If not, here's a link

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfVdxvgVSpc

Takeoff was ok. Some good views of the surrounding area.

http://img225.imageshack.us/img225/3589/039crjwingclimbing.jpg

Breaking through the clouds.

Drinks started at 8:43 when we topped out at 24,000 feet.

http://img191.imageshack.us/img191/222/040water.jpg

I take it US Airways has done away with snacks? I read aviation news around the web every day, and maybe I read that, but I don't remember.

http://img84.imageshack.us/img84/5530/042airportinflorida.jpg

Some airport in Florida before we started descending at 9:04.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hq0GncaPEJo

Once again, if it doesn't imbed, here's a link to my landing video in Daytona on Runway 7L

After we disembarked at gate 5 it was time to experience Daytona on race day!

http://img37.imageshack.us/img37/230/044daytonaconcourse.jpg

http://img141.imageshack.us/img141/4972/045daytonaconcourse.jpg

My first impressions of DAB. Nice terminal, really, though very small.

No need for a car or a ride over to the front stretch

http://img27.imageshack.us/img27/7533/046richardpettyblvd.jpg

So we walked our way over to Richard Petty Boulevard.

http://img844.imageshack.us/img844/4706/04717trailer.jpg

Matt Kenseth's souvenir trailer. My favorite driver. My idea of self-control here is only spending $70.

We had several hours to kill before race time. A great thing with Nascar races is that there's always plenty to do beforehand.

http://img263.imageshack.us/img263/2539/048allmendingercar.jpg

AJ Allmandinger's car at the Ford area.

http://img715.imageshack.us/img715/9127/049speedstage.jpg

Speed stage broadcasting Nascar Raceday

http://img651.imageshack.us/img651/5199/050kennywallace.jpg

Kenny Wallace talking to the crowd during a commercial break.

Eventually we made our way in to the track and up to our seats. The place was a zoo being such a huge event.

http://img153.imageshack.us/img153/355/051depalmatower.jpg

Depalma Tower where our seats were located

http://img695.imageshack.us/img695/3501/052prerace.jpg

Our view of pre-race festivities.

http://img51.imageshack.us/img51/9345/053backofpack.jpg

A few of the cars starting at the back.

http://img204.imageshack.us/img204/1673/054turn4.jpg

And a look over at turn 4. I should have been more heads-up. It kind of just looks like I was shooting for the Budweiser clydesdales and completely missed.

http://img715.imageshack.us/img715/1336/056mattkenseth.jpg

Matt Kenseth during driver intros

http://img585.imageshack.us/img585/849/057pacelap.jpg

Some of the pack during the pace laps.



The start and opening lap of the 500. Once again, if the embed doesn't work, here's a link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFN0vuXObGc

It really was a fantastic race, and a huge upset with Trevor Bayne winning, but the day wasn't nearly done yet. We still had two flights to go.

http://img580.imageshack.us/img580/1923/059daytonaairportsign.jpg

Back to the airport we walked

http://img651.imageshack.us/img651/1940/060walkwaytoentrance.jpg

The walkway to the entrance. It was 6:00 straight up when we arrived at the airport again.

http://img821.imageshack.us/img821/6274/061entrance.jpg

The entrance itself. Quite a contrast to what I'm used to in Atlanta for sure.

http://img822.imageshack.us/img822/9152/062uptoconcourse.jpg

Escelator up towards security. It was a really nice and open area, but man is it small. I really was expecting the airport to be a zoo, but it was the total opposite, an absolute ghost town. As it was there were only two flights leaving after the race. Delta to ATL and my flight to CLT. I wish I would have known I could have made the Delta flight, because for time's sake it would have been better, and SkyMiles are for more valuable to me than Dividend Miles. Hindsight is always 20/20. No worries. Beore this day I had only flown the A319 once in my life. Now I get 3 in one day. Talk about a turnaround.

...Rambling over...

http://img7.imageshack.us/img7/5038/063dinner.jpg

We got a bite to eat at the Subway there since hadn't eaten all afternoon. We kind of hung around for a bit before heading to security at 6:20

http://img143.imageshack.us/img143/2866/064dabsecurity.jpg

The very small, one-laned entrance to security.



Gate 5 was our departure. I guess our A319 was special for the race because the gate is marked as US Airways Express.

Our aircraft didn't get there until about 7:00, but I didn't catch the registration. I ended up having to walk down a ways to see it as N769US. While we waited to board the airport was abuzz with corprate traffic, the highlight of which was the Roush 727, which was easy to hear takeoff. A classic.

http://img46.imageshack.us/img46/6923/065dabjetway.jpg

US Airways Flight 1422

DAB-CLT

Depart DAB: 7:55 PM

Arrive CLT: 9:17 PM

Airbus A319 N769US


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Jason Whitebird



This must be a recent repaint because it was in the new livery, but no photos on the database reflect that.

Borading began a tiny bit late at 7:30, but somehow we got going early. I was rather surprised because people fail when it comes to getting on and off an airplane, normally.

http://img268.imageshack.us/img268/8479/065dabwindowview.jpg

My window view. Not sure about the light or why it's there.

http://img192.imageshack.us/img192/2861/066dabboarding.jpg

My view just after the door closed from seat 14F

http://img822.imageshack.us/img822/4566/067dablegroom.jpg

Little more legroom here than on the CRJ

We managed to wedge our way in all the post-race traffic when we pushed at 7:50 and made our way to runway 7L

http://img130.imageshack.us/img130/9450/068trackfroma319.jpg

A view of the track from the taxiway

Takeoff was good. I guess I should have expected that from a pretty short runway. Due to my lack of knowledge from a pilot's perspective I probably won't explain this well, but....here goes...He was very up and down on the throttles, and we started to climb steeper the farther out to sea we got (think an exponential function on a graph). Is there a reason for either of these?



We leveled off after an interesting climb at 33,000 feet and got drinks at 8:15, about an hour before landing time.

http://img820.imageshack.us/img820/8241/069water.jpg

Some things never change.

We descended at 8:45 for landing on runway 23 and pulling in to gate B1. We had about an hour before our next flight, but that was about to change unbeknownst to us.



US Airways Flight 895

CLT-ATL

Depart CLT: 10:20 PM

Arrive ATL: 11:30 PM

Airbus A319 N742PS

PSA Heritage Livery


PSA/Airbus-A319-112/1825959/L/" target="_blank">View Large PSA/Airbus-A319-112/1825959/M/" target="_blank">View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Hartsfield Photography



I'm pretty sure this was an equipment change. I thought it was odd to be close to flight time that there was no aircraft at the gate, and my checking of Flight Aware showed the flight was delayed. After some research and putting two and two together, turns out the flight is a continuation from Minneapolis (which was experiencing a blizzard at the time), and the first leg of that flight was cancelled.

http://img830.imageshack.us/img830/6569/070gateb11.jpg

Gate board

http://img218.imageshack.us/img218/6609/071psajet.jpg

Much to my surprise this is what I saw out the window. I had never flown on a special livery aircraft before. Of course it looks like any other A319 inside, but it was still cool to me.

Boarding began at 10:15 (just 5 minutes before our original departure time)

http://img153.imageshack.us/img153/6940/073boardingclt.jpg

Boarding our smiling PSA jet in Charlotte

http://img718.imageshack.us/img718/7092/074cltboarding.jpg

My view from 15A

We were quite delayed already pushing back at 10:44, and apparently our timing was awful. As we taxied to runway 23 there was a giant line of landing aircraft, which we had to wait for, and we were number 5 in line on top of that. You win some you lose some I guess in those cases.

I guess we our pilots wanted to get beck to Atlanta ASAP because it was the best takeoff of the day. Much more powerful than any other flight.

http://img62.imageshack.us/img62/7786/075darka319.jpg

I managed to take one picture (and my last one of the night) of the dark airplane. Really there wasn't much to see until we started from from 22,000 feet at 11:34. No drink service or any of that, so unfortunately this flight is without some detail. I can tell you that the lady next to me was in a very pissed off mood, though I'm not sure why. I figured that should be me since I was awake at this point for almost 24 hours.



We landed on runway 8L at 11:53 (the same one I left from early in the morning), and taxied to gate D23 (the same one I left from early in the morning). When we arrived there was only one gate crew working two gates, but they were occupied sending off an A320 somewhere (not sure where), which meant we had to wait. Luckily the train was working tonight because I was in no mood to walk, and I had to drive back to Athens because I had class at UGA at 8:00 that morning (since it was now past midnight).



I made it back to Athens in under 2 hours thanks to no traffic, arriving just before 2 AM. Suffice it to say I was a zombie the next day, but it's ok, because it was an excellent trip, and my first on US Airways in 10 years. I have my favorite airlines and favorite airplanes, but when you boil it down, I just love to fly (and who here doesn't?). I don't get to do it as often as I like, so when I do I try and savor it.



I hope my errors were kept to a minimum. I started writing this at 3:00 this afternoon and it's now 9:05 with a dinner break thrown in there. I apologize for any misspellings of words and grammatical errors. There are over 2600 words according to my word count, and surely they're not all correct.



Thanks for reading!


Careful, Doors Are Closing And Will Not Reopen. Please Wait For The Next Train
9 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinedimoko From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 307 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 8974 times:

nice report,

dont worry about your shaky hands, low light can be tough with low light.

cool logojet on the last flight!



"I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be." -- Douglas Adams
User currently offline787onfinal From United States of America, joined Apr 2008, 17 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 8801 times:

Nice report. I enjoyed you video. I think that was jacksonville FL?

User currently offlineN776AU From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 761 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 8768 times:

Quoting 787onfinal (Reply 2):
I enjoyed you video. I think that was jacksonville FL?

Maybe so. It was definitely in FL. I'll double check that on Google Earth tonight.



Careful, Doors Are Closing And Will Not Reopen. Please Wait For The Next Train
User currently offline757dab From United States of America, joined Jun 2010, 60 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 8632 times:

Nice Trip Report!!

Quoting N776AU (Thread starter):
Gate 5 was our departure. I guess our A319 was special for the race because the gate is marked as US Airways Express.


Yes we usually get CRJ-200-700-900, For the Race it we got some 737-300-400 and A319's

Quoting N776AU (Thread starter):
Not sure about the light or why it's there

By the light is where they would park any military jets that arrive for the race, there was a C-17 parked there for I beleve two days then left

Quoting N776AU (Thread starter):
He was very up and down on the throttles, and we started to climb steeper the farther out to sea we got (think an exponential function on a graph). Is there a reason for either of these?

I have not a clue, every one of my flights were normal climbs over the ocean for a bit then left turn north



If it ain't Boeing, I'M NOT GOING!!!!!
User currently offlineWhereToNext From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 96 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 8576 times:

Great trip report, N776AU! I hope you enjoyed the Florida weather!


Next Adventure: TBD
User currently offlineN776AU From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 761 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 8323 times:

Quoting 757dab (Reply 4):
there was a C-17 parked there for I believe two days then left

Ahh I do remember seeing that right out the window before boarding. The simple things you can overlook  
Quoting 787onfinal (Reply 2):
I think that was jacksonville FL?

Upon double check it wasn't JAX. Luckily I saved the Flight Aware tracks for Google Earth. Turns out it was OMN.



Careful, Doors Are Closing And Will Not Reopen. Please Wait For The Next Train
User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2474 posts, RR: 15
Reply 7, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 8205 times:

Good report, nice to see you got the PSA-jet livery. Have seen it many times in CLT.


Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
User currently offlinebuck3y3nut From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 880 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (3 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 7983 times:

Great report. Enjoyed your pictures a lot   Thanks a bunch for writing this report and sharing it with us...
Cheers


User currently offlineN776AU From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 761 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (3 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days ago) and read 7788 times:

Quoting buck3y3nut (Reply 8):
Thanks a bunch for writing this report and sharing it with us...

Thanks for the compliments from you and everyone else! Writing these things up can be tedious, but it's worth it to see the result, and relive the flight years later.



Careful, Doors Are Closing And Will Not Reopen. Please Wait For The Next Train
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