It's not everyday you get to see an aircraft make her final landing. Here's a recount of the day's event:
Today marked the official retirement of our eldest 727 in the fleet, C-GFRB. It's final resting place in the Carp airport, YRP. I was fortunate enough to be at work today to watch it land. Unfortunately, I forgot to bring my camera along (the only sad note for me, besides the retirement itself).
FRB was built in 1967. It was scheduled to land this morning at YRP at 0830, but due to a hydraulic problem with the nose landing gear, it was forced to return to YOW
for repairs. Nevertheless it made 2 spectacular low fly-bys and 2 near touch-and-gos before heading back to YOW
. At 1200 a second attempt was made, this time successfully. The aircraft touched down at YRP at around 1210 on its final flight (1 more than originally planned due to the problem earlier in the day).
What made the landing so spectacular is that YRP's runway is a little under 4000ft. To everyones knowledge, no aircraft the size of a 721 has ever landed at the airfield before. All the 7F
employees took a time-out to watch the event and since YRP is a non-secure airport, we were all watching from the airside. I personally stood about 35m from the edge of the runway. A few brave souls, including one of the company's VPs stood within metres of the runway as the aircraft was touching down.
The crew made a near-perfect landing, touching just past the numbers, bounced for a few feet, then used full thrust reverse and and braking. The landing had to be flawless as there were no emergency crews standing by. The old bird came to a stop in only approximately 2500 feet. As FRB taxied for the last time on the ramp, we all applauded the capatain, F/O and F/E as well as the fine piece of machinery as she came to a rest in front of our hangar.
By the time I left work this afternoon at 1630, the number 1 engined had been removed and the #2 was in the process of being taken off. This had to be done rather hastily as the engines are being borrowed off of our sole remaining 721, C-GVFA. They need to be re-installed onto VFA before Wednesday morning for our flight 872/873, YOW
I will always fondly remember FRB as it was the first 7F
aircraft I ever flew on. The fuselage will eventually be used by the RCMP to help officers train in anti-terrorism exercises.
Hopefully someone remembered to bring a camera and will post some pics onto a.net or j.net.