UTA_flyinghigh From Tunisia, joined Oct 2001, 6495 posts, RR: 48 Posted (12 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 4006 times:
A week after my weekend trip to France with AF and WX (see other trip report), I got restless again (read : no backlog of pics to upload on a.net ), so I decided to book a 40 Euro day return flight to sunny Birmingham, UK.
As usual on these ultra-low fare flights, the outbound leg was the early morning flight; 6:40 AM to be precise. So it was the usual wake-up-at-5AM-at-the-sound-of-the-alarm-clock, punctuated by big yawns at the ticketing counter and at security screening. As summer is now far from over (was there ever one in Ireland ), it was dark when I arrived at Terminal A for boarding, so no pictures could be taken.
The aircraft for this flight was EI-CJC, a.k.a. the “Hertz” bright yellow plane; that I had already flown on a previous occasion to LPL :
.I was the first to board (for a change ) and therefore I chose my favorite seat just in front of the wing (nice view of the Pratt and Whitney JT8D engine). Dawn came up just as we were taxying for runway 28, and we were entertained by an Aer Lingus A330 that was being towedfrom runway 28 after landing, accompanied by numerous emergency vehicles (does anybody know more on this ???). The sun came out as we were halfway into our short 45-minute flight. The inflight service was standard LCC fare, with everything for sale (not the F/A’s though, unfortunately ). As we landed on runway 15 at BHX, I had the opportunity of squeezing off a shot as we passed the old terminal building :
With Ryanair starting to retire its 737 Classics (for example, much to my despair, the Jaguar plane is now retired), I made the most of this opportunity and squeezed off at least 5/6 shots.
When I finally left the aircraft, no one was around (great security ! yay !), so I had all the time I wanted to shoot EI-CJC again :
After going through immigration (no one) and H.M. Customs (no one there either), I made my way around the terminal to the viewing area at the far end of the airfield, near runway 33 threshold.
I would like to thank the a.net members who answered my ”Spotting at BHX” thread as, thanks to their help, I knew what the spectator area was like, the traffic to expect and the lenses to bring.
The weather was not so bad, sunny with a few cloudy spells, enabling me to shoot more than a 100 pics.
That translated into 28 direct uploads on a.net (my record), and that put me into the “Top uploaders” for the first time and in the “most popular” for the second time (unbeknownst to me, my 737 jumpseat shot http://www.airliners.net/open.file/424614/L/ had been Friday’s most popular and was thus on a.net’s homepage - more on this later).
Some photos from that day :
You will notice that the runway orientation changed a couple of times on that day.
After this nice day of spotting (a bit cold and windy at the end though), it was time to head back home. Same story as always for my return flights with FR, first at the ticketing counter, first at the gate, first to board.
That’s were it gets interesting…as I asked (as always) the flightcrew for the jumpseat, here’s what happened :
Me : Hi Captain, I’m a private VFR pilot, is there a chance of having the jumpseat tonight ?
FR captain : Sorry…we have a company policy that forbids it.
Me : Aww..come on, I had the jumpseat on an Air France flight last Saturday from Lyon to Paris, and I even have the pictures up on a website…you see that I’m not a threat to security.
FR captain : Would that be airliners.net?
Me : Yes, that’s it ! I have more than 500 photos on that site, have you seen any of the m?
FR captain : I think your jumpseat photo is on the homepage today…ok, come with us.
As the crew probably breached company policy, I won’t tell which flight and which aircraft ad also, unfortunately, no pics, but anyway, in the low light, they probably would have been pretty noisy and thus rejected L
Well, here’s how my day at BHX went.
This weekend : LGW with FR…hope it will be sunny (dream)
Fly to live, live to fly - Air France/KLM Flying Blue Platinum, BMI Diamond Club Gold, Emirates Skywards
FLIEGER67 From Germany, joined Sep 2003, 5243 posts, RR: 53
Reply 2, posted (12 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 3875 times:
always great to read your reports.
I enjoyed spotting at BHX last year after AerLingus spend me one night free
at my lost connection DUB/BHX/STR on EI/BA.
Like to check your out your new photos.
Your restless again, I m always restless, but not enough time to do.