So as you probably know by now because of the thread that was started in the photographer forum, I broke my piggy bank and searched through my girlfriend’s purse in order to find the funding for a DUB-LHR return ticket. I first thought flying a low-cost carrier such as FR, but after surveying the different websites BA, EI, BD and FR, it appeared that EI had the lowest fare, 81 Euro . However, flying that fare meant I had to take the first flight in the morning departing at 6:40 AM.
So I woke up at 5 o’clock on Saturday morning, and by the time I arrived at the airport, there already was a huge crowd waiting at the check-in desks. I somehow managed to get a window seat, but it was in 29A, not far from the last row, which meant that all my window shots were bad enough to get rejected.
I shot a couple of EI aircraft while waiting for boarding time :
As usual on EI, my requests for a jumpseat were in vain, and had to enjoy the 50 minute flight from my seat in the back. There was a drinks service, but pretty basic; coffee, tea and orange juice. However, I did manage to find out where the extra safety cards were stored, and while the flight attendants were busy, I removed a a few of them. Brand new – great for future trades.
The usual heavy traffic at LHR meant we were on a holding pattern for about fifteen minutes (in which I missed an air-to-air shot of an SK MD-90, but at least it gave us a nice tour of the London landmarks and the suburbs.
Upon my (late) arrival, I tried to find out if the Belgians’ flight had been in the same predicament. It turned out that their flight had in fact arrived 20 minutes ahead of schedule. I tried to find them, but they were nowhere to be seen. As I hadn’t written down the directions to the runways, I got out my laptop and WiFi card and connected myself to a..net , looking for the forum thread and posting a new one in the process. I then made my way towards the central bus station, but instead of taking bus#285 like I should have, I boarded bus#H30, which goes all the way round the airport (and LHR is indeed large).
I got out at Hatton Cross Station, made my way to the spotting area where you can shoot aircraft landing on 27L. The Belgians (Apuneger, Sabena 690, Turbotrent) were pretty easy to find, and we were soon shooting away :
Just before lunchtime, Ikarus and Shamrock_747 arrived. As we knew Sabena332, Ndbele and 707cmf were all due on LH flights, we decided to shoot everything that was LH
As we didn’t want to miss any aircraft, Ikarus and Shamrock_747 had a nice time going to the nearby service station and getting what everyone had ordered for lunch. I had a bacon and egg sandwich, chips and a Coke…and it seemed that every interesting aircraft came in when I had my hands full !
Due to noise regulations, at 3 o’clock PM the active landing runway at LHR changes from 27L to 27R.
(if winds dictate a 27 landing of course). So we packed everything up and started to make our way towards the 27R spotting area, stopping enroute for drinks at the aforementioned gas station.
27R threshold is quite close to the BA maintenance area, and Shamrock_747 thought it would be a good idea to wait near the barrier (yes, the taxiway that leads to it crosses a normal road !)in case the evening Concorde flight had not yet gone through (it’s supposed to be ferried over to the terminal between 3:30 and 4:00 PM). So we waited in the shade of an SAA 747-344, while a lot of interesting aircraft were landing 27R : KE 744F, VS 343, RJ 313, etc… After a while, Ikarus decided to walk around the BA maintenance area to see if any Concordes had indeed moved. When he returned, it appeared to him that Concorde had already gone through, so we made our way to the roundabout at runway 27R threshold and shot some more pictures.
After a short while, we heard the siren indicating the taxiway barriers were closing ! Concorde had not yet gone through ! We raced towards the barrier in order to make it to the right side on time (remember, the sun !), which was pretty risky for me as I left my Dynax 5 and the bag that had my laptop in full view. Oh well… There was a police car surveying operations, but they let people approach the barrier and shoot pictures, which we were all happy to do (Note : I shot a full roll of Provia 100 on this shot – trades anyone ?)
After Concorde had gone through we returned to the roundabout, shooting an aircraft now and then while we waited for the Concorde to show up. Unfortunately I don’t have any pics of the landing Concorde uploaded yet as I only shot it on slide film (Digital ? Blah !)
After Concorde had landed we went to the bus stop to take the bus to the 09L area to shoot Concode taking off at 7 PM. As we were waiting, the siren sounded again, this time it was a 747-436 going though. I waited for her to be parked to get a couple of shots, so I crossed the road…and that’s when the bus arrived. Oh well, at least the shot got accepted :
I waited a long time for the right bus to appear, and I still had to change buses in order to get to the 09L spot in order to shoot Concorde taking off. However, when I reached the connecting station, the a.net photographers were still waiting for the bus ! Few and far between…anyway, we got to the spot after walking what seemed like an eternity. We waited for a pretty long time for Concorde to take off, and when he finally did, guess what ? my camera batteries were dead ! Aaaargh !
Then we took the bus to the Renaissance Hotel, where Ndbele, Sabena332 and 707cmf were supposed to be waiting.
We met up with 707cmf as planned while Sabena332 was having a (lot of) beer(s) at the hotel bar. The Belgians went to their hotel to grab a shower, and I went with 707cmf, Ikarus and Shamrock_747 to dinner at the nearby McDonalds (typical English cuisine).
When we returned to the Renaissance Hotel the others were all at Ndbele’s room watching the show :
I must say, that hotel is really tops, it’s a pity that no more airside rooms were available
When night fell and we couldn’t see anything anymore, I powered my laptop in order to show to the othersthe pictures of 707cmf and myself (and they got a few laughs with my stupid pictures where I tilted the camera on approach shots
I then went to the bar with 707cmf, Sabena332 and the Belgians to have a beer, while the Englishmen headed back home. Then we (Belgians + CMF Spotters) made our way to the Hotel Ibis while Sabena332 was running up a huge tab and the bar – more on this later.
The Ibis was supposed to be at a 5 minutes walk according to Apuneger, but it was more like 15 minuts to me. Anyways, we got there at around 11 PM, checked in our rooms, GF for CMF spotters and 3rd fr the Belgians.
Our room has two single beds that were together, and as I’m not gay, I started pushing them as far away as possible (and what’s more, 707cmf snores like a motherf…) and broke (tore off the wall was more like it) the thing that served as a bedside table.
707cmf asked to put his pics of the day on my computer as all his memory cards were full. After the transfer finished, I started preparing them with Photoshop while he had a shower. Then all of a sudden, I got the BSOD on my computer, and I had to reboot. When it started up again, my GF’s login and Guest login were gone, and the computer was like the first day I got it – Windows and programs, but no personal files or personalized settings. Now 707cmf and I are both working in IT (and 707cmf is an engineer to boot), and we came to the conclusion that a virus (midnight on the 13th ?) ha deleted the registry.
While 707cmf was desperately trying to retrieve his pics (and cursing a lot in the process), I tried to go to sleep. He didn’t manage to retrieve anything, but I was luckier as I had done a backup on my USB key earlier that day. So ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZZz.
After breakfast with the Belgians, I tried a desperate move – system restore – which worked for me, but definitely erased what was left of 707cmf’s pics (of course, he bitched about it during the whole of breakfast). After that, the Belgians went directly to runway 09L threshold while 707cmf and I went to pick up Sabena332. It looked like he had a pretty good hangover (sunglasses at 9:00 in the morning heheh), and it turned out he had run up a tab of more than €100 at the bar !
Anyways, we bought sandwiches at a service station and waited for the 81 bus to 09L. After a while, it appeared that we were waiting at he wrong bus stop. We went to the newt one, and by that time we were getting impatient. So 707cmf tried to phone a cab company by calling the general Enquiries number; when asked me for it, I told him it was 999 Guess what ? he actually called the number ! Great fun while u wait…we finally rang up for a cab to pick us up, but the bus arrived soon after that, so we rode the bus instead. After walking 10 minutes, we rejoined the others and shot pics until 2:30 PM :
At 2:30 we said goodbye to the Belgians and headed for the bus stop. When it appeared that no bus was coming anytime soon (Sunday), we got a cab to the terminal. I left 707cmf and Sabena332 and went to Terminal 1 to check in for the return DUB flight. I managed to shoot a coupleof shots from the terminal before boarding the flight.
I got 11F this time, straight on the overwing exits ( no wing shots there either).
Aircraft was EI-CVA, that had already flown on for a DUB to CDG flight :
When we arrived at DUB the weather was awful but I snapped pics all the same.
So there it was – a pretty good weekend with great aircraft and great people…hope to see all of you again in AM), Netherlands">AMS later this year !
Fly to live, live to fly - Air France/KLM Flying Blue Platinum, BMI Diamond Club Gold, Emirates Skywards
Sabena332 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (12 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 4374 times:
Hehe, knowing Patrick, you have to substitute "fun" with "beers". Then the sentence makes sense.
Of course we had also fun outsite the bar, I remember a very funny conversation between William and the taxi driver, it was something like this:
Taxi driver: "Where are you guys from?" William: "Elbonia" Taxi driver: "Where is that country?" William: "Between Switzerland and France" Taxi driver: "And now you are flying back to Elbonia?" William: "Yes, first to Dublin with Aer Lingus and from there to the capital of Elbonia, the flight via Dublin is cheaper than nonstop from London to the Elbonian capital" Taxi driver: "I see"
707cmf From France, joined Mar 2002, 4885 posts, RR: 27
Reply 8, posted (12 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 4337 times:
Well, actually, William said something about LHR-DUB-(whatever the IATA code for Elbonian intl) was on an Elbonian Airways ticket, the LHR-DUB leg being code-shared between Elbonian Airways and Aer Lingus... go figure...
Delboy From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2001, 725 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (12 years 1 month 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 4205 times:
Back up cards or not. Did they belong to you in the first place? Were you invited to take one? Did you just help yourself when no-one was looking? Sorry pal, it's theft. Let's not waste readers time debating this point.
I didn't realise 707 had lived here for 10 years, so he has no real excuse has he? Boy has he got big problems!
All that said, did like the style and pace of the report, nice smattering of pictures.
Sabena 690 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (12 years 1 month 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 4195 times:
Delboy, about the safeties: I understand where you are coming from, but it is also a tradition of me to keep, together with all the logs of my flights (registration of the aircraft, eta, etd, boarding passes etc), also a safetycard.
I took one for me every time, and one for another collector.
Can you call this theft? In theory maybe yes, but there is still a difference with 'stealing' a safetycard (of which there is always a stock on board), and really steal something.
I know safetycard collectors with more than 1500 different cards in their collection, can you call them thieves, do you want to see them in jail?
A week ago, I flew on the Aer Lingus A330 2 times. 2 times I took my headsets and my safetycard away. Also on my other 8 flights a week ago, I took my safetycard away. Am I a thief now?
: ...let's not start a "safety card" debate, I guess that there as many opininons on this matter as there are safety cards in an aircraft Anyway, it was
: I didn't realise 707 had lived here for 10 years, so he has no real excuse has he? Boy has he got big problems! I indeed have a few problems. But I di
27 Sabena 690
: If that aircraft is an Airlinair ATR72, that's not a lot of opinions... and even less after my flight ! LOL! Regards Frederic