Well, I've been back in Michigan for Thanksgiving break this week. I flew in last Wednesday morning from State College and I'm flying back out tomorrow morning.
Anyways, today I decided to go out to DTW and check things out for the first time since August. (I was home in Oct once but didn't have the time to get out there and was a little more concerned about security at the time).
I was out at DTW this afternoon around 3pm or so. Went up to the roof of the deck for a bit. Nothing new in terms of security up there, I was there for about 30 minutes or so and there were no patrols or anything. Inside is basically off limits these days unless you are flying, which I will be tomorrow. I drove around the area for a little bit. The only thing different is that they are searching cars going into short-term surface lot at the international terminal. The new roadways are basically complete and the access road is now is back to normal without lane restrictions. The new fourth parallel runway is basically complete. They seeded the area around it now and all that appears to be left is some site clean-up and some fencing. As we recently heard, the new tenative opening date for the Midfield terminal is Sunday 2/24/02. Exterior-wise the building looks complete, the only noticable changes since I was last past it the first week of Oct, is all the roadway signs are now up, and the exterior lighting is now turned on at night. Nevertheless, whenever construction does wrap-up there is a ton of site work and clean-up that will need to be done with the number of construction trailers and materials scattered across the ramp area. Winter could make a big mess out of all this.
And for actual aircraft, it basically seemed to be the same old traffic it used to be at that time of the day. NW didn't cut any Asia traffic from DTW, and most of the international remains except for MXP & FCO.
The usual 2 NW 744's at the international terminal, and 1 744 at F concourse for the NRT or Shanghai flight at 3:30-ish. The usual DC-10-30's for international around. N211NW & N244NW were parked by the DC-10 hanger ready for flights to Europe this afternoon/evening as usual.
NW IS still flying their 727-200's in pax service. One was parked at F11 this afternoon to operate #428 DTW-MCO. Checking the schedule online later, I also found #244 MDW-DTW-FLL to still be operated with a 727-200. Another 727-200 - N293US was parked in front of the Line Maintenace Hanger on the opposite side of the field along with 3 DC-9-30's and a DC-9-10. It used to be common for several DC-9's & 727's to be parked on weekends in this location in the past for reduced usage and for mx. Last Wednesday morning 3 DC-9-30's, 1 727-200, 1 DC-9-10, & 1 747-400 sat in the location. Nevertheless, this is a common sight at DTW to see these types of aircraft parked in this location.
The DC-9-10's ARE still flying too. I saw 2 land while I was out at DTW, so they aren't gone as past rumors have said.
The only different/unusual thing at DTW is the 2 NW DC-10-40's parked over by FedEx. Last Wed when I flew in, they were parked directly beside each other, but facing reverse directions. Today, 2 were still there with one being in basically the same position as Wed, but the other was just parked in behind it in no special fashion. This would lead me to believe that they rotate the DC-10-40's which are parked there as an airplane cannot sit out of service for very long without some sort of upkeep and the only way to keep them in flying condition is to park two at a time for a short while, kind of a rolling parking. I know a previous post on here said that 3 DC-10-40's were parked, but now the number is down to 2. Today is was N153US & N158US that were parked.
Thats about it from DTW, if I notice anything else tomorrow when I fly out, I'll be glad to post.