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80s Boeings, DC-9 Trinity And A Date With Audrey  
User currently offlineHBIHLtoEZE From Switzerland, joined Aug 2004, 280 posts, RR: 2
Posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 10921 times:

Good day, dear airliner-netters,

in mid-October I was supposed to attend a three day meeting in Massachussets. And, rather than flying directly ZRH - BOS and back I managed to come up with an itinerary that served my needs as an aviation enthusiast much better.

My most favourite jet aircraft are designs that have their roots in the pre-computerised era, ergo the airliner designs of the 1960s and 70s - the 727, the 737-200, the 747, especially the earlier models, the early 757s as well as the DC-9 and MD-80...

It is getting more and more diffcult for obvious reasons to fly the beauties mentioned above: They are replaced by less loud, more fuel-efficient jets.

Yet, it is still possible, and to my advantage, the US is still a safe haven – in comparison to Europe – of passenger jets of 25 years and (older, too) in active service.

So, when I was booking my trip to the US I had my airliner preferences in mind: I am flying routes for planes rather than airlines (or the ever-more inflationary frequent miles). The logical airline choice was to be Delta, obviously, as they are the last airline standing, still operating the DC-9 (inherited from Northwest).
After toying with several online booking websites I discovered a routing over five legs - first 757, second MD-90, third DC-9, fourth MD-80 and fifth DC-9 again. This meant that I would fly three different DC-9 models in one day, I would fly the DC-9 trinity so to speak.

Before actually going to the East Coast I would spend a couple of days in California - a place I really fancy: the sun, the ease, the innovation, the lifestyle...


I would start my journey in Basle as the flight from there was only half as much as from Zürich. All flight were in Y.


First flight: October 8, KL2036, BSL - AMS, 06:15 - 07:55, operated by CityJet, Avro RJ 85 EI-RJT


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Photo © Brian Casity



First flight: February 10, 2000, with Northwest Airlink/Mesaba as N532XJ until 2006...


CityJet Avro RJ 85; EI-RJT@BSL;08.10.2011/620aa by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

The short flight was uneventful, yet nothing to write home about. What I noticed was that the 6-abreast seating in the Avro was quite a challenge not only for the passengers, but also for the flight attendants. They would simply bump often into passengers seating on aisle seats. The CityJet overhead lockers are a interior decorator's nightmare: not even a small backpack fits in there (maybe designed for beauty cases only). Against my will a flight attendant took away my camera bag to stow it somewhere in the regional jet's back - as it did not fit under the seat in front of me, either. However, she was polite and promised to handle it with care, which she did.


Aizena Boeing 737-500; 4L-TGI@AMS;08.10.2011/620ab by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

In Amsterdam-Schiphol I got to see some remarkable aircraft such as this rather unknown carrier's Boeing 737-500, from Georgia, the former Soviet republic...

Second flight: October 8, KL0601, AMS - LAX, 09:50 - 11:50, Boeing 747-406 (M) PH-BFC, named 'City of Calgary'


KLM Boeing 747-400 (M); PH-BFC@AMS;08.10.2011/620aq by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

When flying long-haul I prefer aisle seats. As I can't stand being dehydrated I am always drinking my extra bottles of water aloft - and I prefer not to inconvenience my seat neighbours when nature calls.

The flight itself was enjoyable, quiet, and I could quite successfully wipe out my lack of sleep from the short night before the departure. I guess I never slept as much on a westward transatlantic flight as on this trip.

A couple of days before the flight KLM sent an email in which they asked if one wanted to order a special meal - and I did. I went for the Japanese meal, a very good choice. It was as tasty as a regular meal on Singapore Airlines
  .
I think it was well worth the extra 20 Euros, yet I seemed to be the only person to have done so. Later on I ordered tomato juice and ginger ale, which prompted the flight attendant to say: 'You really do have a special taste.'


KLM Boeing 747-400 (M); PH-BFC@LAX;08.10.2011/620at by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

PH-BFC, the 22-year-old 747 (first flight: June 30, 1989, delivered to KLM on September 1, 1989), at LAX...

Immigration was quick, and as I was perfectly relaxed I went for some plane photography:


Emirates Boeing 777-200LR; A6-EWJ@LAX;08.10.2011/620bb by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

Emirates 777-200LR arriving over a smoggy LA...


State of Kuwait Airbus A320-212; 9K-AKD@LAX;08.10.2011/620bi by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

A Kuwaiti A320. There were more bizjets from the Arab world present (among them an A318 from Saudi Arabia).


KLM Boeing 747-400 (M); PH-BFC@LAX;08.10.2011/620bs by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

PH-BFC taxiing to runway 24R on its way back to AMS...


Asiana Airlines Boeing 777-200ER; HL7742@LAX;08.10.2011/620ck by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

Asiana Triple 7 HL7742 over Sepulveda Boulevard....


Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-700; N498WN@LAX;08.10.2011/620ch by [url=http://www.flickr.com/peop

Southwest 737-700 N498WN over Sepulveda - and the famous In-N-Out Burgers'...


Aeroflot Airbus A330-200; VQ-BBG@LAX;08.10.2011/620cq by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

SU A330-200 from Moscow on finals to LAX...


Hawaiian Airlines Airbus A330-243; N382HA@LAX;08.10.2011/620di by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

The following pictures were all taken in the small park (well, green patch with a couple of trees) by the In-n-out-Burger. The location itself is worth seeing, also from a sociological point of view: Heavy guys arriving in highly powered pick ups with bling bling rims would grab a burger as well as the homeless who found their home at this roofless venue:


Größere Kartenansicht

HA A330-200 from Honolulu...


Singapore Airlines Airbus A340-500; 9V-SGE@LAX;08.10.2011/620ds by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

SQ A340-500 nonstop from Singapore...


Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-2H6ER; 9M-MRI@LAX;08.10.2011/620ez by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

MH Triple 7 on finals...


American Airlines Boeing 777-223ER; N773AN@LAX;08.10.2011/620fz by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

AA Triple 7 is racing with the moon...


Singapore Airlines Cargo Boeing 747-400F; 9V-SFK@LAX;08.10.2011/620gh by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

SQ Cargo 747-400F 9V-SFK...

In the next couple of days I would come back to LAX time and again, as the desire to take pictures and witness aviation at this incredible gateway by the Pacific was strong. I allow to present some of the better shots I made:


V Australia Boeing 777-3ZGER; VH-VPH@LAX;10.10.2011/622co by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

V Australia 77Ws, seen from Imperial Hill...


China Cargo Boeing 777-F6N; B-2079@LAX;10.10.2011/622gq by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

Two China Eastern tails, one Triple 7 freighter, one A340-600, seen from Imperial Hill...


American Airlines MD-82; N554AA@LAX;10.10.2011/622gy by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

A 20-year-old Maddog rocketing out of LAX, seen from Imperial Hill...


United Airlines Airbus A320-232; N464UA@LAX;10.10.2011/622iq by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

Two Airbii in the air, United A320 in the soon-disappearing 'blue tulip'-livery taking off, and a Qantas A380 on its way to end its trans-Pacific journey...


Delta Air Lines Boeing 777-200LR; N709DN@LAX;10.10.2011/622po by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

Two 77L in one frame, seen from Imperial Hill...

url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/46423105@N03/6310875942/][/url]
World Airways Cargo Boeing 747-400F; N741WA@LAX;10.10.2011/622pk by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

World 747 freighter taking off, seen from Imperial Hill...


American Airlines Boeing 737-800; N951AA@LAX;10.10.2011/622sf by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

American's Astrojet on finals to 25L...


Korean Air Airbus A380-861; HL7611@LAX;11.10.2011/623bu by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

Korean Air A380 on finals to 24L...


China Eastern Airlines Airbus A340-600; B-6055@LAX;11.10.2011/623az by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

China Eastern's long tube still in special Expo Shanghai 2010-colours, on finals to 24L...


Air Pacific Boeing 747-400; DQ-FJL@LAX;11.10.2011/623gs by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

Air Pacific 747, a fomer Jumbo of Singapore Airlines, and Singapore's current flagship, the A380, seen from Imperial Hill...


Air China Boeing 747-400; B-2468@LAX;11.10.2011/623lb by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

Air China 747 banking after take off from 25R...

And then my crazy day would come. I was booked on the following flights:

Los Angeles International (LAX) to Salt Lake City International (SLC)
Departure (LAX): October 12, 6:15 AM PDT (morning)
Arrival (SLC): October 12, 9:14 AM MDT (morning) (Boeing 757)

Salt Lake City International (SLC) to Minneapolis St Paul Intl (MSP)
Departure (SLC): October 12, 10:20 AM MDT (morning)
Arrival (MSP): October 12, 2:13 PM CDT (afternoon) (MD-90)

Minneapolis St Paul Intl (MSP) to Chicago O'Hare International (ORD)
Departure (MSP): October 12, 3:25 PM CDT (afternoon)
Arrival (ORD): October 12, 4:53 PM CDT (afternoon) (DC-9-50)

Chicago O'Hare International (ORD) to Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson ATL (ATL)
Departure (ORD): October 12, 6:00 PM CDT (evening)
Arrival (ATL): October 12, 9:04 PM EDT (evening) (MD-80)

Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson ATL (ATL) to Memphis International (MEM)
Departure (ATL): October 12, 9:55 PM EDT (evening)
Arrival (MEM): October 12, 10:29 PM CDT (evening) (DC-9-50)

I was fully aware of the fact that such a routing would be considered crazy, if not idiotic by (almost) all airline employees, so I hoped that everything would go well at check-in. Well, it would not. Even though Delta asked me - by e-mail, to check in before coming to the airport, it would not work. And at LAX the machines would not be able to process my booking, either. So I had to see a gate agent - and that guy was utterly unable to cope with the booking. I was at the airport some 100 minutes before the flight, another ultra-short night - and then I would have to wait and wait until the gate agent would figure out what to do with the booking. All in all it took well over 40 (!) minutes to check in my bag and to get my boarding passes. The thing is that my booking outwitted Delta's system: they could only print four boarding passes and - much, much worse - they could only check in my suitcase for four legs. I asked if it was possible to manually write a tag that the bag would have to be sent one leg further, which they denied. What he would say was: 'The system can't make it.'

O my, slaves to the system! The system selling a ticket, but not accepting the bag for the booking!

As the gate agent handling my booking did not know how to proceed the station manager/ gate supervisor was called. He could not help, either. What they would do is check my bag in to my second last stop, Atlanta, rather than my final stop Memphis. They told me I would have to get my bag at Atlanta - and recheck it in for the last leg. What they did not consider, however, was the fact that the Atlanta stopover was the shortest of all four connections - 51 minutes, which would make it impossible for me to get the bag, check it back in - and get my flight to Memphis. Unanimously the gate agent and the supervisor told me: 'Don't ever di this again' and the supervisor even mentioned: 'There is no way you are going to make it'.

So I left LAX with a bag checked in for the wrong final destination and a numb feeling, I was downright flabbergasted. The following questions were spinning in my head: What has become of the American dream? Have we reached an era, in which computers dictate our behaviour, in which computers triumph over common sense? They can't manually tag a bag? What's become with the 'impossible is nothing'-mentality, the 'just-do-it'-mentality? What's up with a gate supervisor predicting me that there is no way I'm going to make the trip?

Anyway, the sight of my plane to Salt Lake City gave a certain comfort.

third flight: October 12, DL1404, LAX -SLC, 06:15 - 09:14, Boeing 757-212 N751AT

It was - as I hoped for and expected - I checked Delta's subfleet carefully on flighaware - one of the four former Singapore Airlines and ATA 757s. The aircraft took its first flight on September 28, 1984. Between that year and 1989 the twin-jet was in service with Singapore Airlines, from 1989 until 1996 with ATA, and for 15 years already with Delta.


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Photo © Kok Chwee SIM
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Photo © Frank Schaefer


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Photo © Mark Abbott
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Photo © Paul Robbins - Nashville Aviation Photographers




As soon as I was aloft, I felt pretty good again, and seeing the sunrise over the desert definitely makes up for quite alot:


Sunrise, seen from N751AT, flight DL1404, routing LAX - SLC, October 12, 2011 by Aero Icarus, on Flickr



Arriving on DL1404 @ SLC from LAX, October 12, 2011 by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

On finals to Salt Lake City...


Arriving on DL1404 @ SLC from LAX, October 12, 2011 by Aero Icarus, on Flickr


Arriving on DL1404 @ SLC from LAX, October 12, 2011 by Aero Icarus, on Flickr


My bag - tagged only for four legs, yet I was booked on five legs... by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

From the plane I spied my suitcase, checked in for four legs, instead of five...


Delta Air Lines Boeing 757-212; N751AT@SLC;12.10.2011/624ac by Aero Icarus, on Flickr


N751AT @ SLC.

At Salt Lake City I caught up on breakfast - which I had missed at LAX due to the luggage issue. While enjoying my veggie burrito my next ride arrived: MD90 N928DN.



Delta Air Lines MD-90-30; N928DN@SLC;12.10.2011/624ad by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/46423105@N03/6301315743/][/url]
Delta Air Lines MD-90-30; N928DN@SLC;12.10.2011/624af by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

This MD-90 was delivered to China Eastern Airlines in March 1999. Since June 2010 the twin-jet has been in service for DL.


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Photo © Xu Zheng



fourth flight: October 12, DL2085, SLC - MSP, 10:20 - 2:13 PM, MD-90 N928DN

url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/46423105@N03/6301846712/][/url]
Delta Air Lines Boeing 757-212; N751AT@SLC;12.10.2011/624ah by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

My plane to SLC - N751AT - and my plane from SLC - N928DN in one frame...

The gate agent at LAX changed my window seat to a middle seat, and I did not even notice that as I was too caught up in the whole luggage thing...anyway, the flight was pleasant, the cabin very clean and as I could not enjoy the view on the US' Midwest landscape I went online - this wifi service surely abbreviates the felt flying time, and so time was literally flying in the middle seat - and soon we arrived at a wet Minneapolis...


Delta Air Lines MD-90-30; N928DN@MSP;12.10.2011/624ai by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

N928DN @ MSP, Gate G20

I checked the screen and I was relieved to see that the next flight was on time, too. MSP is quite a nice airport - and allows some good views on the air operations. Here are some pics I took during my short layover:



Delta Air Lines Boeing 757-251; N545US@MSP;12.10.2011/624ar by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

N545US, a former Northwest 757 used on routes to Europe, and 747 N671US in the back, bound for Tokyo...


Sun Country Airlines Boeing 737-700; N711SY@MSP;12.10.2011/624at by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

Sun Country Airlines living it up to their name at a rainy MSP...

url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/46423105@N03/6301318213/][/url]
Delta Air Lines MD-90-30; N922DX@MSP;12.10.2011/624au by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

DL MD-90 N922DX, another former China Eastern bird...


USA - Air Force Lockheed Martin C-130H Hercules (L-382); 92-3281@MSP;12.10.2011/624bg by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

USAF Hercules...

And then the great moment when the DC-9 showed up - on time - at gate F16:


Delta Air Lines DC-9-51; N782NC@MSP;12.10.2011/624ax by Aero Icarus, on Flickr


Delta Air Lines DC-9-51; N782NC@MSP;12.10.2011/624bc by Aero Icarus, on Flickr


Delta Air Lines DC-9-51; N782NC@MSP;12.10.2011/624bf by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

First flight of the DC-9 was on November 12, 1979.

First operator was Republic Airlines (January 1980 until 1986):


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Photo © Frank C. Duarte Jr.



Second operator Northwest Airlines (1986 until 2009):


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Photo © Rolf Wallner
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Photo © Paul Robbins - Nashville Aviation Photographers


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Photo © Rainer Bexten



fifth flight: October 12, DL907, MSP - ORD, 3:25 PM - 4:53 PM, DC-9-51 N982NC

I enjoyed the flight on the DC-9. In comparison to the MD-90 the interior looked a bit more dated, the cabins plastic cover a bit yellowed - signs of year-long workhorseship. It was rather hot, too, maybe it was my enthusiasm giving me some heat - it was a great short hop to Illinois.


Take off of N782NC, operating DL907, MSP - ORD, October 12, 2011 by Aero Icarus, on Flickr


Take off of N782NC, operating DL907, MSP - ORD, October 12, 2011 by Aero Icarus, on Flickr


Wing of DC-9-51 N782NC, operating DL907, MSP - ORD, October 12, 2011 by Aero Icarus, on Flickr


Wing of DC-9-51 N782NC, operating DL907, MSP - ORD, October 12, 2011 by Aero Icarus, on Flickr


Wing of DC-9-51 N782NC, operating DL907, MSP - ORD, October 12, 2011 by Aero Icarus, on Flickr


Wing of DC-9-51 N782NC, operating DL907, MSP - ORD, October 12, 2011 by Aero Icarus, on Flickr


DL907 decelerating @ ORD, completing our flight from MSP, October 12, 2011 by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

At Chicago O'Hare I again saw my suitcase being offloaded, still tagged to the wrong destination (in MSP they told me one could not do anything as I was in mid-journey').


My bag made it to ORD... by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

From the plane's cabin I managed to take some shots of busy ORD:


United Airlines Boeing 747-400; N179UA@ORD;12.10.2011/624bn by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

United widebodies: which one is more impressive - the globe or the tulip?


United Airlines tails @ ORD, October 12, 2011 by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

UA tails @ ORD...


Delta Air Lines MD-88; N933DL@ORD;12.10.2011/624br by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

'My' next plane has arrived: the MD-88 bound for Atlanta, N933DL


KLM Boeing 747-400 (M); PH-BFC@ORD;12.10.2011/624bw by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

Meeting a good ol' friend: the 747 that brought me to California a couple of days earlier showed up at ORD that moment, too.

At ORD the Delta agents could finally help me. The lady spoke on a walkie-talkie with the ramp agent - and so my bag could eventually be re-tagged to Memphis. I breathed a sigh of relief: The likelihood to get to Memphis that night, together with my suitcase, suddenly increased drastically...

sixth flight: October 12, DL1977, MSP - ORD, 6:00 PM - 9:04 PM, MD-88 N933DL

And again the flight would leave on time! As much as I was alienated by the Delta agents at LAX, my confidence in Delta was reinstated with every flight I took with them...

From my seat 22A I managed to make a couple of shots of planes taxiing by:


Scandinavian Airlines Airbus A340-313X; LN-RKF@ORD;12.10.2011/624cm by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

SAS A340 LN-RKF


Virgin Atlantic Airbus A340-313X; G-VELD@ORD;12.10.2011/624da by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

Virgin Atlantic A340 G-VELD, their first A340-300 in their new livery...


Delta Air Lines DC-9-51; N782NC@ORD;12.10.2011/624cx by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

The DC-9 that brought me to ORD one hour earlier...


British Airways Boeing 777-300; G-STBB@ORD;12.10.2011/624cv by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

British Airways 77W G-STBB, a first for me

..and I would continue taking pics when the MD-88 was on its way to take off:


American Airlines Boeing 767-300; N380AN@ORD;12.10.2011/624dc by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

AA 767-300 with whose huge blended winglets, N380AN


PIA Boeing 777-200ER; AP-BHX@ORD;12.10.2011/624dh by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

One of the most beautful wideboby tails: PIA Triple 7 AP-BHX


Swiss Airbus A330-300; HB-JHG@ORD;12.10.2011/624di by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

A visitor from back home, Swiss Airbus A330-300 HB-JHG

Take off was powerful, as usual with Douglas jets, a fantastic speedy roaring into the air over Illinois...


Take off of DL1977, ORD - ATL, October 12, 2011 by Aero Icarus, on Flickr


Take off of DL1977, ORD - ATL, October 12, 2011 by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

The skyline of Chicago in the far back...


DL1977, ORD - ATL, October 12, 2011 by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

Full moon and a happy aviation enthusiast's heart...that day I enjoyed sunrise - and sunset from Delta planes!


DL1977, ORD - ATL, October 12, 2011 by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

A nocturnal approach to ATL...

url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/46423105@N03/6301330531/][/url]
Airtran tails @ ATL, October 12, 2011 by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

Some Airtran tails at ATL...

At ATL I had the shortest connection, yet, ev


Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life.
14 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineHBIHLtoEZE From Switzerland, joined Aug 2004, 280 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 10871 times:

At ATL I had the shortest connection, yet, everything went perfectly well: we arrived on time - and the flight to Memphis was to leave punctually, too.

url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/46423105@N03/6301331291/][/url]
Delta Air Lines DC-9-51; N769NC@ATL;12.10.2011/624dq by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/46423105@N03/6301331781/][/url]
N769NC@ATL;12.10.2011 by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

My last ride for that day was DC-9-51 N769NC

The DC-9 was originally delivered to North Central Airlines on 10 May 1978, becoming Republic Airlines on 01 July 1979, this DC-9-51 had been with Northwest Airlines since 01 October 1986. Since 2009 the twin-jet has been in service with Delta.



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Photo © AirNikon Collection-Pima Air and Space Museum
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Photo © AirNikon Collection-Pima Air and Space Museum


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Photo © Andy P. Jung
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Photo © Joseph J. Wagner



This time I would sit right next to the engine, on seat 23F - I will never forget the sound of this industrial music.

seventh flight: October 12, DL1658, ORD - MEM, 09:55 PM - 10:29 PM, DC-9-51 N769NC

And as soon as I was sitting on 23F I saw my suitcase - yes, we would make it: five segments on Delta in one day, four Douglas jets, and one 1984-built 757!


My suitcase being loaded into N769NC @ ATL... by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

Taxiing along the Delta hangars:


Fly Delta Jets, Delta hangars, Atlanta, October 12, 2011 by Aero Icarus, on Flickr


Take off of DL1658 to Memphis, from Atlanta... by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

Take off! Again, this great feeling of being pushed into the seat, this is so much more than a flight, this is being rocked, literally, by a marvellous design!


Starboard engine of Delta Air Lines DC-9-51 N769NC inflight, routing DL1658, ATL - MEM by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

A Pratt & Whitney JT8D turbofan...


DL1658 from Atlanta to Memphis... by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

Wing vortex, seen from seat 23F.


Arrivals of DL1658 to Memphis... by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

On finals to MEM, probably my last ever moments on the legendary DC-9...


Starboard engine of Delta Air Lines DC-9-51; N769NC@MEM;12.10.2011 by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

And, hell, yes, my bag really made it to MEM!


Delta Air Lines DC-9-51; N769NC@MEM;12.10.2011/624du by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

Goodbye, grand ol' DC-9...

My crazy trip was not over: Seven hours later my flying frenzy would continue with the following routing:



05:53 AM MEM 08:39 AM CLT CRJ 900

09:20 AM CLT 10:57 AM PHL 767

12:15 PM PHL 01:29 PM BOS E190

That way I would fly on the US Airways 767-200, too...

After a short night in a rather shady David Lynch-esque airport hotel I would board my second regional jet on this trip, US Airways Express Canadair CRJ900 N919FJ (originally delivered to Mesa Airlines/ America West Express in April 2004)


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Photo © Martin West


US Airways Express Canadair CRJ 900; N919FJ@MEM;13.10.2011/625ac by Aero Icarus, on Flickr


US Airways Express Canadair CRJ 900; N919FJ@MEM;13.10.2011/625ab by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

N919FJ at gate C10 @ MEM...

eighth flight: October 13, US2602, MEM - CLT, 05:53 AM - 08:39 AM, CRJ900 N919FJ

Against popular belief the Canadair was ok, almost comfy. Shortly after take off I dozzed off. At least I managed to take those inflight shots:


Sunrise seen from flight US2602, MEM - CLT, on board of Canadair CRJ 900 N919FJ, October 13, 2011 by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

Another sunrise from the plane...


Arrival of flight US2602, MEM - CLT, October 13, 2011 by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

On finals for a very foggy Charlotte...

At Charlotte I checked the screen for my next flight - and this time there was a delay. I did not mind since the flight was to be operated by my targeted aircraft, the US Airways 767-200.


US Airways Boeing 767-2B7ER; N252AU@CLT;13.10.2011/625al by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

N252AU at Charlotte-Douglas. This 767 would fly me to Philadelphia.


US Airways Express Canadair CRJ700; N709PS@CLT;13.10.2011/625ba by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

CRJ heaven Charlotte


US Airways Airbus A319-112; N717UW@CLT;13.10.2011/625ay by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

The Carolina Panthers logojet at Charlotte...

ninth flight: October 13, US1512, CLT - PHL, 09:20 AM - 10:57 AM, Boeing 767-2B7ER N252AU


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Photo © Frank Schaefer
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Photo © PRM


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Photo © Hans Schulze
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Photo © Bill Shull



The Boeing 767-200 took its first flight on May 10, 1990 and spent its life with US Air(ways) - and also wore British Airways colours during the not too bright BA-US-alliance.

Funnily, I pictured this 767 during my first spotting trip to the Americas:


British Airways Boeing 767-2B7ER; N652US@BWI;24.07.1995 by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

N652US in British Airways colours arriving at Baltimore-Washington in July 1995...

The cabin of the 767 is very spacious, and this large 3-D domain might contribute to the feeling of having more air to breathe. I had two seats for my own - and I enjoyed the ride in the 21-year-old bird a lot.


Cabin shot of US Airways Boeing 767-200 N252AU, October 13, 2011 by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

Cabin shot of N252AU


Rainy take off of US1512 from Charlotte to Philadelphia, October 13, 2011 by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

Taking off from a rainy Charlotte with a delay of one hour...


Untitled (Roush Fenway Racing) Boeing 727-212; N727NK@CLT;13.10.2011/625bm by Aero Icarus, on Flickr


Untitled Boeing 727-191; N502MG@CLT;13.10.2011/625bo by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

727s, finally! The former, now stored without engines - N502MG - and the current 727 - N727NK of Roush Racing. Seen during take off from N252AU.


US1512 from Charlotte to Philadelphia, October 13, 2011 by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

I love flying, being in heaven!


Arrival of US1512 from Charlotte at Philadelphia, October 13, 2011 by Aero Icarus, on Flickr


Arrival of US1512 from Charlotte at Philadelphia, October 13, 2011 by Aero Icarus, on Flickr


Arrival of US1512 from Charlotte at Philadelphia, October 13, 2011 by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

Arriving in Philly...

Due to the delay I missed my connection to Boston, and the next flight was cancelled. So I spent some more time in Philly than anticipated, which was ok for me, as I could take some more shots:


US Airways Airbus A330-300; N276AY@PHL;13.10.2011/625cd by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

US Airways' transatlantic workhorse Airbus A330-300 N276AY


Frontier Airlines Embraer ERJ145LR; N288SK@PHL;13.10.2011/625co by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

Nice owly Frontier Embraer ERJ145, N288SK...


US Airways Airbus A319-111; N703UW@PHL;13.10.2011/625cu by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

US Star Alliance logojet A319 N703UW


Continental Airlines Boeing 737-800; N73259@PHL;13.10.2011/625cy by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

Goodbye, Continental! N73259 not painted yet with United-titles...


Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-700; N713SW@PHL;13.10.2011/625cz by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

Southwest Shamu, N713SW

tenth flight: October 13, US1634, PHL - BOS, 0215 PM - 03:25 PM, Airbus A319 N740UW

US' A319s are quite comfy, comfy enough at least to make up for some missed sleeping hours...


US Airways Airbus A319-112; N740UW@BOS;12.10.2011/625dr by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

My ride from Philly at Boston-Logan.


FedEx Boeing 727-225F; N468FE@BOS;12.10.2011/625dk by Aero Icarus, on Flickr


FedEx MD-10-10F; N386FE@BOS;12.10.2011/625dl by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

FedEx trijets at Boston...

I spent three days in Massachusetts for work - and then it was time to live the aviation enthusiast's dream again:

eleventh flight: October 17, AA971, BOS - MIA, 05:25 AM - 08:35 AM, Boeing 757-223 N653A


American Airlines Boeing 757-223; N653A@BOS;17.10.2011/626aa by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

My ride for MIA, N653A, first flight: September 25, 1991...


AA971, BOS - MIA, October 17, 20011 by Aero Icarus, on Flickr


AA971, BOS - MIA, October 17, 20011 by Aero Icarus, on Flickr


AA971, BOS - MIA, October 17, 20011 by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

It has been a while since a last flew AA, five years now, and goodness, they really have to get their act together: their employees were surly, the cabin and seat stained - the 20-year-old 757 was in the worst shape of all the aircraft I flew on during my trip. Anyway, the views shown above - another sunrise seen from the plane - compensate for a lot.

Despite the rainy weather I opted for some more plane photography around Miami International:


TAM Boeing 767-300; PT-MSU@MIA;17.10.2011/626ai by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

Latin action: TAM 767-300 PT-MSU


SkyLease Cargo MD-11F; N952AR@MIA;17.10.2011/626cd by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

SkyLease Cargo MD-11F. Man, I love trijets!


Aerolineas Argentinas Airbus A340-312; LV-CEK@MIA;17.10.2011/626ed by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

Shady Aerolineas Argentinas A340 running with a considerable delay - which made this shot possible.


Avior Boeing 737-200; YV-495T@MIA;17.10.2011/626hh by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

Avior Boeing 737-200, a former Air Malta and AeroGal example.


Air Jamaica Boeing 737-800; 9Y-JMC@MIA;17.10.2011/626ia by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

Air Jamaica Boeing 737-800 9Y-JMC


Insel Air Aruba MD-82; PJ-MDD@MIA;17.10.2011/626ie by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

Insel Air Aruba MD-82 PJ-MDD


Lufthansa Airbus A380-861; D-AIMA@MIA;17.10.2011/626in by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

Lufti A380 D-AIMA. Looks somehow better in the Americas than in Germany...


Surinam Airways Boeing 737-300; PZ-TCO@MIA;17.10.2011/626kp by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

Surinam Airways Boeing 737-300 PZ-TCO...

And then it was time to leave the US, which I did with mixed feelings: On the one hand this country was again a wonderful place for me, an ideal place for mellow adventures, and on the other hand, I was looking forward to my date:

Audrey was awaiting me (and some more passengers...):


KLM MD-11; PH-KCE@MIA;17.10.2011/626pa by Aero Icarus, on Flickr


KLM MD-11; PH-KCE@MIA;17.10.2011/626pc by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

twelfth flight: October 17, KL628, MIA - AMS, 21:30 - 12:20, MD-11 PH-KCE 'Audrey Hepburn'

KL268 was very smooth and I almost slept through the entire flight. I guess it was my most relaxing transatlantic crossing in Y ever. Thank you, Audrey, thank you KLM...

At Schiphol I had another lengthy layover - I was booked on a cheap ticket after all. However, I knew how to spend the time in a fruitful way: plane photography.


Air Astana Boeing 767-300; P4-KCB@AMS;18.10.2011/627ao by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

Air Astana trying to get rid of the Borat-reputation by adding special 20 years of Independence of Kazhakstan-titles to this 767-300...


KLM Cityhopper Fokker 100; PH-OFE@AMS;18.10.2011/0011627bf by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

KLM Cityhopper PH-OFE on Schiphol's spectators' terrace...


Martinair Boeing 767-300; PH-MCL@AMS;18.10.2011/627bl by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

My farewell shot to the passenger operations of Martinair...


KLM MD-11; PH-KCE@AMS;18.10.2011/627cs by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

PH-KCE, 'Audrey Hepburn' being pushed back at Amsterdam-Schiphol...


CityJet Avro RJ 85; EI-RJZ@AMS;18.10.2011/627ds by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

thirteenth flight: October 18, KL2039, AMS - BSL, 20:45 - 22:15, CityJet EI-RJZ


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Photo © Ken Cheung - FlyingShutters



This lovely Avro was delivererd to Northwest Airlink in April 1998. Between 2006 and 2008 the airliner was stored at Marana. Since two years in service with CityJet.

The flight passed quickly, which was good. Those who complain about narrow seats in regional jets in North America should try out CityJet...This time it was less cramped as the middle seat was free, and me on seat 9A, could relax quite well on this short hop.

Wow, the trip report got longer than I thought it would. For me it has been a joyful re-visualisation of this multi-leg trip. I am very grateful that I could fly such a route - and I give a toast for those incredible men an women who design and keep the machines aloft!

Many cheers

HBIHL



Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life.
User currently offlineTigerguy From United States of America, joined Aug 2010, 718 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 10727 times:

Quoting HBIHLtoEZE (Reply 1):
Wow, the trip report got longer than I thought it would.

Fine by me; there's more to read and see.   

Yep, this is pretty much what it should be about: start flying, see where you go, and see what happens along the way. Further, the report is more evidence that, after the baggage drama and crazy routes, the great machine can run more smoothly than people give it credit for. Thanks for the good report and the plentiful planes!

Also good to see that you caught a couple of flights on the DC-9; I had one such trip not too long ago, and I expect that we may be seeing a few more DC-9 related reports over the next year or so.



On the occasion of United overtaking Frontier as my most-flown airline, I say...let's get friendly.
User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2472 posts, RR: 15
Reply 3, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 10436 times:

Hi

Wow! what an amazing tour of the US, with quite a bit of classics! Thanks for sharing it with us! A very enjoyable read!

Greetings
Marc



Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
User currently offlineLXM83 From Switzerland, joined May 2005, 607 posts, RR: 5
Reply 4, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 9855 times:

Hello HBIHLtoEZE

Great trip and great trip report! I love your clear and crisp photos.

Quoting HBIHLtoEZE (Thread starter):
I am flying routes for planes rather than airlines (or the ever-more inflationary frequent miles).

That's exactly how I see it. I've never ever booked a flight just to get miles.

Congratulations on your DC-9 orgy!

It was amazing that they could not handle your check-in and bag over the itineraray you booked. Very unprofessional and the agents at LAX even more so. They could for example get in contact with the SLC station and have the baggage re-labelled there.... I'm sure there could be other solutions, too.

Best regards,
LXM83


User currently offlinelewis From Greece, joined Jul 1999, 3592 posts, RR: 5
Reply 5, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 9780 times:

I really like the Emirates approaching with the downtown area in the background. Where did you get that one from?

User currently offlinemrskyguy From United States of America, joined Aug 2008, 1214 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 9707 times:

LAX at the right time of day can certainly fulfill a spotter's dream for variety. Great trip report!


"The strength of the turbulence is directly proportional to the temperature of your coffee." -- Gunter's 2nd Law of Air
User currently offlinesteex From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 1564 posts, RR: 9
Reply 7, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 9363 times:

Fantastic trip report! Very detailed and lots of great photos. I still book the DC-9 every chance I get - thankfully, they're still regular visitors to my home airport of STL.

Quoting HBIHLtoEZE (Reply 1):
Shady Aerolineas Argentinas A340 running with a considerable delay - which made this shot possible.

I'm pretty sure "with a considerable delay" is the only way Aerolineas Argentinas knows how to run its longhaul program!   


User currently offlinecytz_pilot From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 568 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 9292 times:

What a fantastic selection of pictures. Thank you for sharing your trip with us!!! 

PS. Where were you photographing from when you caught the Asiana 777 at LAX? Were you on the roof of one of the hotels or something?


User currently offlinestratosphere From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 1647 posts, RR: 4
Reply 9, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 9242 times:

Quoting HBIHLtoEZE (Thread starter):
Take off! Again, this great feeling of being pushed into the seat, this is so much more than a flight, this is being rocked, literally, by a marvellous design!

Great trip report but being rocked by a DC-9-50? I have to say time out...That is about the biggest dog out there in the takeoff dept. But I will concede the DC-9 is a great airframe.



NWA THE TRUE EVIL EMPIRE
User currently offlineHBIHLtoEZE From Switzerland, joined Aug 2004, 280 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 3 days ago) and read 9160 times:

Thanks a lot four your comments, I appreciate the fact that you seem to like the pics - I like them a lot personally as well and I am surely invested quite some time to take them - and edit them (you know so much that my girlfriend felt a bit negleted and started complaining...   

Quoting Tigerguy (Reply 2):
had one such trip not too long ago, and I expect that we may be seeing a few more DC-9 related reports over the next year or so.

Yes, hopefully, the DC-9 deserves all the attention it can get.

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 3):
what an amazing tour of the US

Thanks, yes, looking back its is almost surreal to me having flown that routing...

Quoting LXM83 (Reply 4):
That's exactly how I see it. I've never ever booked a flight just to get miles.

Yes, that's the way - I remember your outstanding routes across Middle America well, I guess you did not get too many miles for that either, yet an experience for a lifetime!

Quoting lewis (Reply 5):
Where did you get that one from?
Quoting cytz_pilot (Reply 8):
PS. Where were you photographing from when you caught the Asiana 777 at LAX? Were you on the roof of one of the hotels or something?

It's the Radisson, yet not from a a room, but from the restaurant on the 13th floor. Five years ago it was still possible to go outside and take shots from the smokers' corner (now closed due to stricter laws again nicotine addicts in California) - now one has to shoot through tinted double glass, which makes the pics milky. The perspective, however, is still wonderful...


Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-700; N416WN@LAX;08.10.2011/620bu by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

Especially the view on Sepulveda is impressive...

Quoting steex (Reply 7):
I'm pretty sure "with a considerable delay" is the only way Aerolineas Argentinas knows how to run its longhaul program!

Yes, and it got worse since they switched to the Airbus fleet - the good ol' 747-200s were perefectly reliably, even for 'Industria Argentina' (I lived in Argentina once).

Quoting stratosphere (Reply 9):
Great trip report but being rocked by a DC-9-50? I have to say time out...That is about the biggest dog out there in the takeoff dept.

Yes, you are right of course, just tried to vary my words a bit...



Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life.
User currently offlinesteex From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 1564 posts, RR: 9
Reply 11, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 9035 times:

Quoting HBIHLtoEZE (Reply 10):
Yes, and it got worse since they switched to the Airbus fleet - the good ol' 747-200s were perefectly reliably, even for 'Industria Argentina' (I lived in Argentina once).

I'm not going to disagree with you. Although, it apparently works out well for aviation enthusiasts - one of my better days of spotting was spent at SYD waiting for AR's severely delayed A340-200 to take me to AKL!


User currently offlineHBIHLtoEZE From Switzerland, joined Aug 2004, 280 posts, RR: 2
Reply 12, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 8784 times:

Quoting steex (Reply 11):
it apparently works out well for aviation enthusiasts - one of my better days of spotting was spent at SYD waiting for AR's severely delayed A340-200 to take me to AKL!

It is just amazing that Aerolineas Argentinas are still around, seeing them - or even flying them is a joyous thing for sure though -

when they freshly received their A342s I managed to take a pic of them in SYD, too - in 1999, yet did not fly on them,




70bh - Aerolineas Argentinas Airbus A340-211; LV-ZRA@SYD;04.09.1999 by Aero Icarus, on Flickr



many cheers



Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life.
User currently offlinesteex From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 1564 posts, RR: 9
Reply 13, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 8703 times:

Quoting HBIHLtoEZE (Reply 12):
It is just amazing that Aerolineas Argentinas are still around, seeing them - or even flying them is a joyous thing for sure though -

when they freshly received their A342s I managed to take a pic of them in SYD, too - in 1999, yet did not fly on them,

Fantastic photo, I loved that livery!

My delay was actually a new low for AR - I took them SYD-AKL the day after the first big Christchurch earthquake last year. Despite the fact that AKL saw no ill effects from the quake and even CHC ops resumed fairly quickly, they blamed their 6-hour delay for the entire SCL-AKL-SYD-AKL-SCL trip on the earthquake. It struck me as very tasteless to seize the opportunity to use such a tragic event as a temporary mask for their own inability to run a timely operation.

That said, once on board, I did rather enjoy the flight and the service. Very friendly and competent folks.


User currently offlineflywrite From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2009, 188 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 15 hours ago) and read 8558 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Fantastic report, thanks for posting!

I'm planning a trip to the US next year and hope to get in some regional legs rather than just arriving straight at the destination.

I really love your photographs too - they capture airport operations and the mix of chaos and beautiful airliners very well.


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