So, after 5 great days in the Greatest City on earth, it was finally time to go home (I have posted details of our stay in NY in my previous report, which can be found here: http://www.airliners.net/discussions/trip_reports/read.main/26754/.
We caught the metro down to Penn Station, where we switched to NJ Transit for the ride to the airport, where we finally switched to the AirTrain for the short hop over to Terminal B. During the short ride, I caught a sight of
Continental-O-plenty planes, as well as a Kitty Hawk 727 and the Continental Peter Max.
As we had arrived very early (at 1700 local time, for a 2100 flight!), checkin was a breeze, with the usual questions being security questions being asked. We were also told that after arriving in LHR; we needed to get on the bus to Terminal 1 (I actually said it before she did, which prompted her to say:"You're done it before?" to which I answered:"No, I just know too much about LHR "). We went through the very small selection of shops (I think that EWR has GOT to be one of the least equipped airports, when it comes to shops!), before going airside. The queue was loooong at security, as there was only 2 x-ray machines open. Not wise, especially since there were 4 international departures within the next hour or so (2 x SAS (or: 1 A340 for CPH and 1 767 for ARN), 1 Lufthansa and 1 British Airways). As we finally got airside, at 17.45 as my sisters beauty box once again caused problems, I went straight to the row of seats right in front of the windows, which gave me a very nice look of the runways. That day, it was runway 22L for arrivals and 22R for departures.
Departure (Sched./Act.): 21.00/20.57
Arrival (Sched./Act.): 09.10/09.04
New Jersey Newark Intl - London Heathrow
Gate: 63, Pier 1, Terminal B
Del: August 21st, 1997
At 19.05, our aircraft for the return flight arrived at gate 63, and it was, to my pleasure, in the Whale Rider scheme (now, you can say what you want, but I find the world tails quite charming!).
I spend quite a bit of time looking at the plane being unloaded and loaded as well as watching the queues forming up (at the highest, it took 30 minutes for a flight from passing in front of me and until it took off). Nothing compared to JFK's rush hour queues I guess. The last flight I managed to time, was a Northwest A320 which took some 15 minutes to takeoff. Boarding started at 20.20, with First and passengers with children being called first. When they were out of the way, rows 30 and above were called, which meant that everyone and their horse stormed for the gate . It didn't take too long to pass the queue, and soon I was once again walking down the jetway and entering the plane at L2. It was straight down to seat 36A, where I was to find yet another annoying thing: The person in 35A had reclined his seat fully, and appeared to be fast asleep! Now, I don't mind people reclining their seats, but could you at least wait until everyone's seated before you do so? With a bit of trouble, I managed to squeeze into the seat (I'm a big fella, but I have no problems getting into seat normally ). I took out my hearing aid, found my headset, and tuned into World:Wide, as I didn't expect to see anything on the PTV (since it's impossible to see anything on it if the person in front of you have reclined his seat fully). As the last few passengers were coming on, and it looked like a full load in the back of the (excuse the expression) Bus, a small rain shower started, lasting a few minutes. Pushback commenced at 20.57, and we were given a 180 degree turn (any particular reason for that? Other than it'll freeing up the taxiway). It took the engines a while to spool up, and I was a bit worried as it didn't sound right (you know what I mean). They did, however, come to life, and shortly after we were making our way across the taxiways to the taxiway closest to the runway. It was kind weird to be so far back, especially when turning (I've been in the last row on a KE 777, which was just as weird) as you seemed be in a kind of slingshot. During the taxi out, the F/A's gave a manual safety demo. Our F/A's in the rear was an all-male crew, with one of them seeming to be in all-happy-all-the-time mood and another one looking like Kane from the Command & Conquer series! Once again, we passed the control tower, which was in the red, white & blue colour scheme .
At 21.12 we lined up on 22R, and after a Continental 737 landed right next to us, we started the takeoff roll, getting airborne at 21.14. Again, the clouds were a bit low, and as we were kept at 5000' (the gentleman in 35A had put his seat in the upright position so the PTV was usable) for quite a bit of time it was a bit bumpy. We started out with a sharp left turn towards Manhattan, before making a steep right turn to bring us around to the west of Newark. Before long, we were climbing towards FL370, which would be our flight level until we reached the North Atlantic. As we leveled off, the meal service
started, and the dinner for the flight consisted of:
Salad with Ranch Dressing (never heard of that before!)
Chicken with vegetables or
Beef (didn't catch the accessories, since everyone on the row had selected chicken)
At the same time, the IFE was switched on, and after watching the BBC World News, I turned over to watch K-19. During the title scenes, I looked out and saw what I consider one of the greatest views of Earth: A full overcast being lit up by the moon, with shadows playing everywhere. As we approached the North Atlantic, we climbed once more to FL390 for the trip across the Pond. At this time, K-19 was starting to get quite eerie (hint/SPOILER: staying inside a Nuclear Reactor wearing only protective suit made of rubber is NOT healthy for you!). The movie finally finished up, so I watched the end of some of the
other movies, before Windtalkers started. As it was pitch black and clear as ever over the Atlantic, I was positive that I could identify another aircraft off to our left, or else some star was tracking us
The sun started to make its appearance, when the moving map showed 1000 km to go, as the horizon started to get brighter and brighter. The cabin lights, who had remained off for the crossing, came up with 1 hour left to go, and the breakfast service started at the same time. And to give us energy for the day:
3 kinds of melon (quite delicious)
And the classic: Coffee or tea
The arrival routing was from Dublin over Liverpool and then south towards Birmingham, as we proceeded on the BNN 1A STAR. The descent was with 230 kilometers to go, and it was soon apparent that a hold was in place. So, we holded at Bovingdon, arriving at FL150 and leaving at the bottom at FL80 after 20 minutes, being in clouds the whole time. We made the downwind
over London, and as we turned crosswind I was clearly able to see London City airport, complete with surrounding buildings. I need to find a way to get there in the near future
Before long, we were well establish on the final approach to 27L, complete with the stadium off to our left and contrails coming from the flaps and somewhat extended spoilers. Shortly before crossing the perimeter road at Heathrow, we passed a couple of buildings that had a giant Air Canada logo on the top, which I found rather amusing. We touched down at 08.49, on a
27L already soaked in rain from the just arrived rain showers. We cleared to the left, and I was eagerly awaiting to see what the next aircraft would be. And then it was a... SNBA BAe146 ! As we made our way past the remote stands near the World Cargo building, we came to a stop and started to wait. After a few minutes, the captain (until then it had been the F/O who had spoken to us) came on and said that our stand was occupied by an aircraft that was running late. Never mind, I thought, it'll just give me more time to see the arriving aircrafts. And here's the list:
Air Canada A330 - the water was just everywhere!
All the 747's and 777's - No real action there
BWIA L1011 (what else ) - That thing really shook our 777 as it made its way down 27L!
Finally, we were able to move on, and I wasn't really surprised when we pulled into a remote stand (after all, the captain had said it himself) W4 on the south side of Heathrow, next to another BA 777, this one in the Chatham Dockyards scheme. We came to a halt at 09.04, so we were in fact right on time. It was simply due to the early landing that we had to wait on the taxiway. It wasn't until 09.35 that we were able to get off the aircraft (and I was able to catch the reg) and on to a bus that was going to take us to Terminal 4. And for those who HAVE to know, the bus was in the Water Dreaming scheme
The transfer was smooth, and it wasn't until we arrived at the security checkpoint at 10.00 that we could see just how many aircrafts arrives at that point (bearing in mind, these were only transferring passengers!). The queues were huge, so there was nothing left to do but to get in line and wait... And wait.. And wait... Finally, after 30 minutes I was able to take a seat in the comfy chairs overlooking the Europier and sleep. I slept right through until 11.30 where I got up, found my sister & dad in the smoking area (she was also asleep, my dad was having a cigarette). We proceeded to Gate 25 for our last flight of the trip.
Departure (Sched./Act.): 12.10/20.57
Arrival (Sched./Act.): 15.00/09.04
London Heathrow - Copenhagen Kastrup
Gate: 25A, Terminal 1
Del: January 8th, 1992
At first, I thought it was going to be a A320 (I had looked at the wrong timetable), but it appeared to be a 737! Oh well, no complaints for me (the more types, the better!) - and suprisingly, it would actually be my first ever 737 flight! And boy, was it going to be packed. The departure area (no real lounges here, folks!) After moving down to gate 21, I was finally able to spot the registration of our flight (halfway over a BMI B735 and a catering truck!).
Boarding commenced at 12.00, so it was obvious that it was going to be a delayed flight. No problems, except having my bag searched again (as it was on the LHR-EWR flight). But no real problems there (they always like to see my binoculars) and once again I was, half asleep, making my way down the jetbridge. From what I could tell from my row at 13F (just behind the two emergency exit rows, d***!), we were parked between the previous mentioned BMI B735 and a BA 737.
The captain came on, and explained why we were running late. Apparently, the plane had arrived late from wherever it had arrived from (that's how he said it ), that some transferring passengers had arrived late and that one of the cargo holds were unusable. So, some passengers bags would have to be left behind, and then have their bags placed on the next flight to CPH, which would leave 1 hour after us and then be shipped directly to the persons home.
At 12.35 (35 minutes after the gate was supposed to close!) the last passenger got on, and at 12.38 we were pushing back and starting the engines. During the taxi out to 27R, we were given a manual safety demo, complete with a heavy Scottish accent. I was also able to spot a Icelandair 757 in old colours. We followed a American Airlines 777 onto the runway, and a note here: Every time the front gear was turned, there was a loud whine. We lined up and during this, I was able to spot the QANTAS Formula 1 744 as well as 3 aircrafts inbound to 27L. We started the takeoff roll, and were finally airborne at 12.46. The initial climb was to the west, before making a sharp right turn and heading off towards Brookmans Park and the Netherlands. Once we had leveled off, a light lunch was served, which consisted of:
Bag of Mini Nachos
Ham & Mustard roll
Chocolate-O-plenty chip brownie
Drinks from the bar
Coffee or Tea
After lunch, I dozed off for half an hour (hey, those movies on the previous leg killed my good nights worth of sleep ), and I didn't wake up until we had started our descent over cloud covered Denmark. The temperature: A bone-chilling 3 degrees (at least when compared to New Youkr's lovely 15-20 degrees). As usual, when descending through clouds, it was a bit bumpy, and
it was a bit difficult to determine where we were. However, a sharp left turn soon made it clear that it was going to be 04L at Copenhagen, and soon after, the green fields of southern Amager came into view. We touched down 15.05 local time, on 04L and after a loooong rollout (for those of you who must know: 1,7 kilometers) we vacated at A5, which is located, quite nice,
just in front of Flyvergrillen. It appeared to be empty though. During the taxi to the gate, I had a great view of the taxi queue to 04R which consisted of SAS-O-plenty and some local Danish operators.
We pulled into stand A15, where we were parked 15.11 next to OY-CNP, an A320 in the Premiair/MyTravel transition scheme, and LN-RCW, a SAS Baby Boeing 736.
We cleared the passport control and came into what I consider one of the most annoying features of CPH: Arriving passengers have to mix with the departing passengers, which makes for quite a bit confusion if you're not used to move around the airport. As usual, our bags were some of the first on the belt, so we were able to leave the airport quit fast, and caught the train back to Roskilde at 15.40 (new record, I suppose: Getting from you flight to the train station in just about 20 minutes).