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EMB170 MCO-EYW-MCO N802MD  
User currently offlineVSMike From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 318 posts, RR: 7
Posted (9 years 1 week 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 4338 times:

TRIP REPORT
3 December 2005
AIRLINE: USAirways Express (MidAtlantic Airlines)
ROUTING: MCO-FLL, FLL-EYW, & EYW-FLL-MCO
A/C: N802MD (all legs)


Six o'clock in the morning, alarm blaring & my left arm more soundly asleep than the rest of my body. Is today a Saturday? It's still dark outside as I untangle myself from my warm bed and rush around readying for my upcoming journey. It seemed like a dream only yesterday that I checked-in on usairways.com. No dream, as my boarding passes glowed brightly from across the dark room. I knew exactly what had to be done. I had to fly.

A 30-minute drive through the murky early-morning, Central Florida fog deposits me at Orlando International's Long Term Parking "Blue Lot"… where for a mere USD$7 I can park my car on airport property for up to 24-hours. As I take my parking ticket from the automated vendor, welcoming signs remind me that under no circumstances will the airport OR the parking conglomerate have any responsibility for the safe keeping of my vehicle or its contents. Feeling safe and secure, I quickly parked and ran towards bus stop "A" where the waiting omnibus eventually dropped myself and the other bleary-eyed travelers on OIA's doorstep.

At just past 7:15am, I bypass the check-in counters and head directly to the security checkpoint for gates 1-59, camera bag in tow. A middle-aged, female New Yor-Rican crowd control agent was screaming and waving wildly in an attempt to queue the businessmen and tourists towards the TSA screening areas: "Yo' must have yo' tee'kets and yo' ID ab'ailable fo' thee agents ahead!" At this point, I had only 2 normal thoughts going through my head:

1.) "How did I work in this environment for so long…?"
(I worked at OIA for 6 years)

&

2.) "God, I still hate the TSA."

15-minutes later, and after I had put my shoes back on, I was being whisked towards USAirway's gate #54 on OIA's people mover.

I arrived at Gate #54 in time to witness America West's "Battleborn" Arizona 757 being pushed off stand, departing on-time to PHX with a full load of passengers. The now empty boarding lounge allowed me to belly-up to the window, commandeering 2-seats for myself and my camera equipment. Let the spotting begin!! In only the time it took me unzip my camera case, Alaska 737-800 w/winglets managed to land on 36R, catching me unprepared. Naturally, this led a steady stream of Turrets-like verbal obscenities to come flying from my mouth.

I rechecked my boarding pass to confirm Gate #54 was correct and that boarding would begin at 8:45am, for a 9:15am departure. My mobile phone confirms the time was now 8:30am. Everything seemed correct as the boarding lounge slowly filled. But wait! I did a quick count of USAirways aircraft currently attached to adjacent stands… a 757 to PHL, a 757 to PIT, a 737-300 to CLT and an A-321 to DCA. But I can't be fooled… gate #54 stood empty and there was no cute little EMB170 anywhere to be seen.

8:35am… nothing.

8:40am… nothing.

8:50am… nothing.

9:00am… a lone USAirways customer service rep limped (literally, must have just gotten a buy-out package notification) feebly up to the desk where he announced the flight would be delayed 1-hour & 20-minutes because the aircraft was delayed leaving DCA enroute to MCO. Naturally, this led a steady stream of Turrets-like verbal obscenities to come flying from my mouth. The only way I could see getting past this minor setback was to get a Café con Leche and a guava con queso pastillete from Pepe's Cuban Café… a Starbuck's-like competitor who won the minority business contract for OIA's airside 3.

Resigned to my fate, I returned to gate #54, coffee in hand. Some spotting later, and a change of runway direction to the "Eighteens", N802MD, operated my MidAtlantic Airlines, came zipping around the corner and onto stand. My heart skipped a beat as my camera clicked away. I inherently knew this was the only aircraft currently on the ground in Orlando that I wanted to fly… and it's a nice feeling to know the boarding pass was burning a hole in the left-ass pocket of my jeans.

US1633 was scheduled MCO-FLL-EYW. My portion of this journey was MCO-FLL (as I had purposefully scheduled a 3-hour layover in FLL to accommodate yet another spotting fix). I bounded down the jetway like a fruity spidermonkey and was greeted with an overly-anxious "Haaaay!" from the lead flight attendant (who was obviously ready to hit the Key West Beaches wearing nothing more than a rainbow-coloured thong). Nevermind, I managed a brief smile as I began to take-in the aesthetic beauty: recessed lighting, grey leather seats, and HUGE windows within the EMB170 cabin. I took my assigned seat, 6A, in the 2 x 2 arrangement. Optimistic that the "C" seat next to me would remain empty, I made a quick grab for the Emergency Information card from that seatback pocket and tucked it into my camera case. I was thrilled to find that the legroom was more than ample and I could not only cross my legs comfortably, but I could also fully stretch my legs under the seat in front. Fantastic!

Loaded with about 30 passengers, pushback was at half-past-ten. We quickly taxied out to 18L for a southerly departure. The Cabin Boys did a quick safety demo as we followed baby brother Delta Connection EMB135 to the runway. We positioned and held at the end of the runway as the captain did the requisite stand-up check (50% power, at first, to check for normal engine function). I thought: "Wow, this is weak performance for a new aircraft…" I didn't have time to finish that thought before full power was applied and I found myself straining to remain bent forward, peering out the window.

"Oh yeah, baaa'beee"… hands up, hair blowing wildly under the direct flow of the air vent… this is how take-off was meant to be!! With a light load and after a 2500-foot take-off roll, we were turning east towards the Melbourne, FL coast in seconds.

The climbout and cruise were smooth and uneventful – just like the cabin service. The Boys were not visible once for the duration of the 35-minute flight. Our coastal flight passed West Palm Beach then turned west (downwind to FLL's runway 9R) and began an eager descent into FLL. The final approach was smooth, although frequent engine thrusting seemed necessary to maintain our velocity.

Touchdown and a very quick deceleration, followed by a right-turn directly into gate E-5 and my first EMB170 came to a quick end. "Not bad", I thought as I walked up the jetway into the crowded E-concourse at FLL. My intention was to spend 2 hours atop the new car park. However once inside the terminal, I realized that another pass through TSA would only increase my risk of a full-body cavity search. I opted to take my chances at the window adjacent to gate E-7. Mt first shot of an American MD-80 was so crisp and clear that I quickly gave-up any feelings of disappointment my 1-hour delay and decision not to scale the car park were causing.

I wedged myself against the picture window, and between seats. The boarding lounge at E-7 was chocked full of passengers awaiting a US 757 to CLT. I felt that I was being watched by a thousand pairs of eyes as I happily clicked away at passing aircraft. I could hear comments like "What the hell is that freak doing?", "What is he taking photographs of anyways?" and "He has a sweet ass!" coming from the mixed crowd around the window. That did not stop me! 2-hours later and feeling slightly eye-raped, I made my way back to gate E-5 for the continuation of my journey to EYW. I was slightly surprised to see N802MD back at the gate. Seems this lone EMB170, and its all-boy crew were turning FLL-EYW-FLL-EYW-FLL all day long. Just my luck as the lead f/a greeted me with a familiar "Haaaaay!" and a long stare (you could tell he recognized me, but could not place from where). To the flight attendant's delight, I walked erect through the cabin to seat 17A, as the height of the interior is more than ample to accommodate the tallest traveler.

A short taxi back to 9L and with about 30 passengers we followed an AirTran 717 into the bluest Florida sky. Turning south (right) after departure, we tracked the coast again before turning southwest bound, and passing directly over the downtown CBD of Miami and to the southeast of MIA airport. Off the southern tip of Florida, the flight basically followed the progression of the Florida Keys to our southernmost destination in the USA, the Conch Republic of Key West. 25-minutes later, and after the same stellar no-inflight-service, we were turning final over the blue/green waters of the Carribbean. After whizzing over cruise ships and the art-deco homes of this southern paradise, we touched down and screamed to a halt on the ultra-short (about 4000 usable feet of sandy concrete) runway 9. Right turn at the end, and directly onto stand at EYW International(?) Airport. Out the cabin door into the humid air, down the airstairs and across the tarmac, my second arrival was complete. The EMB170 dwarfed the gaggle of CO 1900Ds and DL 135s sharing the ramp. Some "regular" passengers even commented that this is the biggest, nicest plane they've ever flown into EYW. Once outside of the aircraft, it was no wonder why everyone who worked at the airport was standing around staring at the "large" dark-blue (black) Embraer giant that had just fallen from the sky. Perhaps they were mesmerized by the sheer size of the craft… or maybe, like me, they wonder how it managed to land AND stop in such a short amount of space!! (something I'm still trying to recreate on Flight Simulator).

I had 2 hours in EYW before my return to FLL and ultimately MCO. I walked through the very, very small "terminal" building and followed the roadway around the airport buildings intent on finding and photographing the Cubana AN-24 (CU-T1294). As rumor has it, this aircraft diverted to EYW a few years ago and the pilots claimed asylum in America. They abandoned the aircraft at Key West where it has sat ever since. A private owner purchased the Antonov from the Florida Government, but is currently seeking funding to overhaul the plane.

After snapping away at my personal Russian/Cuban goldmine over a chainlink fence, I strolled across the street to sit alongside the Carribbean and soak in the sun. I spent a little over an hour on the coast before walking back to the terminal. I had a beer and a basket of conch fritters (only in Key West! Yeah baby, yeah!) and jumped up when I heard my flight being called. US1642 was again N802MD and was about to make up the last 3 legs of its daily journey: EYW-FLL, FLL-MCO, MCO-DCA. I only had 2 more chances to show this beautiful aircraft who its daddy was, and I could not wait.

Thankfully the flight crew had changed, and I was greeted by a hot-ass girly with a pierced nose. "Oh Miss Jackson, be as nasty as you wanna be…" I thought as I matched smiles with this freakish airtramp. I sauntered back to seat 6A (my old friend) and contemplated a chance meeting with this naughty diva: "Yeah, I'd do her…"

But I didn't.

22 passengers later, we taxied to the end of runway 9 and spent 15 minutes waiting departure behind a CO 1900D and the arrival of 2 Cessna 152s & a Steerman Bi-Plane (again, only in Key West, baby). We cleared the opposite end of the runway with a few feet to spare and were rocketing back to Ft. Liquordale pointed away from the most amazing sunset you'd ever want to see. By the time we had flown northeast and inland over the Florida Everglades, we turned final to FLL in savage darkness.

The same aircraft and flight crew were MCO & DCA-bound, so a very quick ground time in LaLaDale ensued. After disgorging 20 of 22 passengers in FLL, and gaining about 3 more destined to MCO/DCA, our EMB170 was again airbourne with an eastern departure and a northern coastal routing back to Orlando.

N802MD touched down on 18L @ MCO and taxied to gate #58, where we finally parted ways. Here ends my short love afair with this Brazilian gem.... "Adios, my little Brazilian friend. We will meet again!"


Skyteam. Caring More About Me.
23 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineF27XXX From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (9 years 1 week 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 4244 times:

Quoting VSMike (Thread starter):
"He has a sweet ass!" coming from the mixed crowd around the window. That did not stop me! 2-hours later and feeling slightly eye-raped


 rotfl 

Quoting VSMike (Thread starter):
"Haaaay!" from the lead flight attendant (who was obviously ready to hit the Key West Beaches wearing nothing more than a rainbow-coloured thong

 rotfl   rotfl 


That was one of the most entertaining Trip Reports I have ever read.

It's nice to see a lightened up version of a Trip Report.

Keep flying and keep writing!

Tony

PS .. Ah-skyoo me meester, pero, uh, why you dun cho us no peek-shers from dees trip joo take? We wannoo see !


User currently offlineVSMike From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 318 posts, RR: 7
Reply 2, posted (9 years 1 week 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 4224 times:

Quoting F27XXX (Reply 1):
PS .. Ah-skyoo me meester, pero, uh, why you dun cho us no peek-shers from dees trip joo take? We wannoo see !

Tony,
I will include some pix as soon as I figure out how...
BTW, I had NO problem understanding your sentence above!! LOL!!
Been living in Florida too long, I guess...  laughing 
Bravo!

Mike



Skyteam. Caring More About Me.
User currently offlineN864DA From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 259 posts, RR: 4
Reply 3, posted (9 years 1 week 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 4219 times:

Mike,
Nice trip report; well-written and entertaining. I was spotting and taking photos at the FLL 9L spot at around 4:00 pm on the 3rd to catch the Britannia/Thomsonfly 767 flying to BHX. I saw N802MD taxiing by at around 4:30pm and got a few photos of it. I was pleasantly surprised to see the ERJ-170 operating scheduled flights from FLL. Here are the pictures:





I don't know which flight it was or where it was departing to but maybe you were on that plane!

N864DA


User currently offlineVSFullThrottle From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 280 posts, RR: 4
Reply 4, posted (9 years 1 week 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 4053 times:

Dude,

This report was so f**king funny I almost pissed a little from laughing too bloody hard.

Quoting VSMike (Thread starter):
A middle-aged, female New Yor-Rican crowd control agent was screaming and waving wildly in an attempt to queue the businessmen and tourists towards the TSA screening areas: "Yo' must have yo' tee'kets and yo' ID ab'ailable fo' thee agents ahead!" At this point, I had only 2 normal thoughts going through my head:



Quoting VSMike (Thread starter):
Caf� con Leche and a guava con queso pastillete from Pepe's Cuban Caf�… a Starbuck's-like competitor who won the minority business contract for OIA's airside 3.



Quoting VSMike (Thread starter):
aaaay!" from the lead flight attendant (who was obviously ready to hit the Key West Beaches wearing nothing more than a rainbow-coloured thong

I want to quote more but there is toooooo much.

Nice trip report though, like the pics you sent aswell mate, just hurry up and post them with your report.

B


User currently offlineF27XXX From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (9 years 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 4016 times:

Quoting VSMike (Reply 2):
Tony,
I will include some pix as soon as I figure out how...
BTW, I had NO problem understanding your sentence above!! LOL!!
Been living in Florida too long, I guess...

And I've been living in Bridgeport too long, as they're aint any Latino blood in me at all and I can communite sometimes better that way than in my own language LOL!!!

PERO ... eng otras palabras .... OK ?? .... escuchen, Papi ...
i gonna tell joo so-seen .. ok? Joo betta harry up wiff joo pix ok?. Do NOT make me cum down an stab you !!

Tony
(i mean, uh, Luz Albondigas de la Contracepcion)


User currently offlineVSMike From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 318 posts, RR: 7
Reply 6, posted (9 years 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 3927 times:

http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c57/mikegof/IMG_4590.jpg


Skyteam. Caring More About Me.
User currently offlineVSMike From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 318 posts, RR: 7
Reply 7, posted (9 years 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 3926 times:

http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c57/mikegof/IMG_4677.jpg




Skyteam. Caring More About Me.
User currently offlineVSMike From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 318 posts, RR: 7
Reply 8, posted (9 years 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 3925 times:

http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c57/mikegof/IMG_4867.jpg

http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c57/mikegof/IMG_4804.jpg

http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c57/mikegof/IMG_4783.jpg



Skyteam. Caring More About Me.
User currently offlineVSMike From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 318 posts, RR: 7
Reply 9, posted (9 years 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 3923 times:

http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c57/mikegof/IMG_4732.jpg

http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c57/mikegof/IMG_4834.jpg

http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c57/mikegof/IMG_4811.jpg



Skyteam. Caring More About Me.
User currently offlineVSMike From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 318 posts, RR: 7
Reply 10, posted (9 years 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 3922 times:

http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c57/mikegof/IMG_4978.jpg

http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c57/mikegof/IMG_4988.jpg

http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c57/mikegof/IMG_5002.jpg



Skyteam. Caring More About Me.
User currently offlineF27XXX From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (9 years 1 week 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 3878 times:

Wow -- absolutely fantastic pics!

User currently offlineVSMike From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 318 posts, RR: 7
Reply 12, posted (9 years 1 week 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 3869 times:

Hey Tony de la Contracepcion,
Thanks so much! I learned a new skill -- how to post my pics on the Fourms!! Considering that A.net consistantly reject my photos... nevermind. That's a whole different issue I have around here...

 wave 



Skyteam. Caring More About Me.
User currently offlineF27XXX From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (9 years 1 week 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 3854 times:

LOL - - i know what ya mean -- over the years I've had all mine rejected too - even the last ones that i took with my new camera and I thought they'd be the ones for sure to get put in. Nooope!

Dey dun wan my peek-shers no way neither, so dun feel too bad joo-self, papi! LOL

T


User currently offlineMke717spotter From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 2465 posts, RR: 5
Reply 14, posted (9 years 1 week 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 3815 times:

good report...good to know that EYW is finally seeing some bigger aircraft


Will you watch the Cleveland Browns and the Detroit Lions on Sunday? Only if coach Eric Mangini resigned after a loss.
User currently offlinePalmjet From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 1223 posts, RR: 17
Reply 15, posted (9 years 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 3720 times:

I've never laughed so much at a trip report!

More please. Bravo.

You have captured the true "essence" of intra-florida air travel in 2005. Having recently been a passenger through MCO, I think I remember the "New Yor-Rican" you refer to.

Any other trips coming up?



Eastern - Number One To The Sun
User currently offlineVSMike From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 318 posts, RR: 7
Reply 16, posted (9 years 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 3717 times:

Haaaaay Palmjet!

My next adventure should be via FL MCO-ATL-PHL return in early 2006. Followed almost immediately by NW MCO-MEM-DTW-ATL-IND-MCO in Feb.

Giggle.



Skyteam. Caring More About Me.
User currently offlinePalmjet From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 1223 posts, RR: 17
Reply 17, posted (9 years 1 week 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 3706 times:

Great.

Make sure you post another trip report for these flights. Hey that's funny, I am meant to be in PHL in Jan 06 too? Wouldn't it be great if we could meet up at PHL?



Eastern - Number One To The Sun
User currently offlineVSMike From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 318 posts, RR: 7
Reply 18, posted (9 years 1 week 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 3688 times:

Cooky and spooky.
What are YOU doing anywhere near PHL???
I'll look for you walking on your hands (no doubt).

 Smile  up   down 



Skyteam. Caring More About Me.
User currently offlineNkops From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 2698 posts, RR: 6
Reply 19, posted (9 years 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 3634 times:

VSMike.... that is the best Flight report I have ever read in my life... keep it up!!


I have no association with Spirit Airlines
User currently offlineFreedomtofly From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 750 posts, RR: 6
Reply 20, posted (9 years 1 week 4 days ago) and read 3569 times:

OMG that was funny, I liked all of the dialogue that you have in this report. Very awesome and funny report, and nice pics!

Aaron



You are now free to move about the world.
User currently offlinePalmjet From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 1223 posts, RR: 17
Reply 21, posted (9 years 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 3536 times:

VSMike, if I am in PHL, just look out for the Aussie walking on his hands.

Will have to wear gloves? It will be cold on the ground at that time of year... any advice you have for this hand walker will be welcome.

Do you have any other trip reports you could post? Someone told me that you once flew to London from Orlando via Chicago AND Washington?

Krazy.



Eastern - Number One To The Sun
User currently offlineVSMike From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 318 posts, RR: 7
Reply 22, posted (9 years 1 week 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 3443 times:

Palmjet,
Indeed I have. Its all true... everything you've heard about me. I'm a legend in my own mind...

NK & freedom -
Thanks for your kind words. Glad I could make ya laugh!

N864DA-
I never thanked you for your photos. THANKS! Were you standing on a ladder in the parking lot @ FLL... if so, I saw U too! I watched the FLL fence-crowd snapping away at my E170. I was making faces from my seat. Doubt anyone noticed....!?

VSM



Skyteam. Caring More About Me.
User currently offlineThomas_Jaeger From Switzerland, joined Apr 2002, 2397 posts, RR: 28
Reply 23, posted (9 years 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 3413 times:

Keep these trip reports coming Mike, always glad to see if I am not the only crazy guy in our gang  Smile. I am still p***d US Airways did not let me fly it tomorrow as well with my voucher I still have to burn , but I guess you can't have everything.


Swiss aviation news junkie living all over the place
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