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Memorable Flying Experiences

Sat Jul 12, 2014 12:23 pm

I was looking to read about any memorable experiences anyone has has whilst flying, be it good or bad, and what made it either special or horrendous....just me being nosey.
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RE: Memorable Flying Experiences

Sat Jul 12, 2014 2:01 pm

The two flights that stick in my mind as being most memorable were:

BN MKC-ORD a short flight on a BAC-111. But a cold front had come through the day before, the air was sparkling clear and smooth. It was a flight where the sun was setting and they served a Chicken Kiev meal that was really the best Chicken Kiev I had ever had. The F/A's were exceptionally friendly too.

TWA 3 - JFK-ORD June 1970. My first 747 flight. The TWA flight center in all it's glory, the newness of the aircraft, still smelled new. The flight was cocktails only but the crew was proud of that aircraft and it showed. I was just learning to fly at the time and they had a TWA rep on board to answer any questions you may have about the 747 so I asked him what the stall speed was of the 747. He had a bewildered look on his face and said "My good sir, this aircraft NEVER stalls". I then asked him "Then how do they land it?" I think he had only been trained to answer questions like how many seats, what is the aircraft weight, etc. But it was kind of funny.

United ORD-IAH 1983. It was a 727 flight. The flight was cancelled the day before so I had to come back the next day for the flight. It was another clear day and even the taxiways still had snow on them. Anyway I was bumped up to First. The F/A in F was this woman that was probably in her mid 60's. She reminded me of somebodies Grandmother. But she was so sweet and efficient.
She took care of everyone on the flight very well. She called each passenger by their name, which was a nice touch. I remember she was wearing "Jungle Gardenia" perfume. The whole cabin smelled like it. I don't think there was on F passenger that wasn't very happy with her. In fact the guy sitting next to me asked "Do you think she'll give us a goodbye kiss when we get off the plane?" And I think he meant it!
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RE: Memorable Flying Experiences

Sun Jul 13, 2014 12:19 am

Quoting type-rated (Reply 1):
The flight was cocktails only
Quoting type-rated (Reply 1):
The F/A in F was this woman that was probably in her mid 60's.

God flying today sucks so bad. Old busted flight attendants and no meal service on a domestic 747 service! Terrible!
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RE: Memorable Flying Experiences

Sun Jul 13, 2014 5:17 am

Quoting armitageshanks (Reply 2):
God flying today sucks so bad. Old busted flight attendants and no meal service on a domestic 747 service! Terrible!

Yeah but you forget how cheap the tickets are now. I'll take a cheap flight over 6-hours of quality service. Spend the difference on a nice 6 night hotel.
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RE: Memorable Flying Experiences

Sun Jul 13, 2014 5:58 am

1. Engine fire/failure on takeoff in a DC-10 when I was 8 and flying alone. It was literally just after the DC-10 type cert was reinstated in 1980, so I was already nervous and I really thought we were going to die. My parents had already gone home when the plane returned to the airport so United had to take care of me for a few hours until the next flight out. On that flight, they put me in first class.

2. Severe turbulence in a Northwest or United 744 over Alaska in 2000. I remember the turbulence but don't precisely remember the airline. I do remember it being the worst turbulence I've ever experienced, to that point and still to now. I specifically remember seeing the engines twisting so far that it looked like they were completely 90 degrees sideways. I'm sure it was partly an illusion, but it was far worse than any YouTube video I've ever seen. I could not understand how they a) did not get ripped off the wing, and b) continued to develop forward thrust. The captain later specifically called it "severe turbulence" over the intercom. Luckily there was no service going on so there wasn't too much garbage in the aisles afterwards, and we all had ample warning so everybody was seated and belted. The pilots knew well in advance that we were going to have a roller coaster ride, but it seemed worse than what they were expecting.

3. On a happier note, my first ANA business class trip to Japan. I was flying business class on the same flight mentioned above too, but that was the old style of international business class that was basically just a slightly wider seat. Flying business on ANA's "Inspiration of Japan" was the first time I'd ever experienced true privacy, a Japanese level of service quality, and *that* much personal space on an airplane. That flight is also what made me realize what liars the airlines are when they say economy airplane meals only taste bad because your taste buds go dead at altitude - what a crock! The meal I had on that flight was among the best I've ever had, at any altitude. They're just serving dog food in economy class, that's all.

4. My first and only flight on a Hughes Airwest "flying banana" towards the end of that airline's life. My stepmother and I were seated right next to the engine intake (in the back) and I distinctly remember graffiti being scrawled all over the seatback and walls, in both "scratchiti" and plain old magic marker. I also remember part of the engine pylon cover being missing. That flight was so loud that I could not carry on a conversation with my stepmother. I remember we made four stops on a flight from somewhere in California up to Portland or thereabouts, and everybody getting off the plane and milling around it on the tarmac during the stops, like we were riding a bus.

5. I've always thought it was kind of cool that I remember one specific image from my very first flight, which must have been in around 1975 when I was 3 years old and on a corporate jet with my dad. All I remember is watching the lines on the side of the runway out the window and then suddenly seeing them fall away. The moment of liftoff. I have no other memory of that flight, but even at that age I somehow knew that that little moving image was going to be a cool memory to have.
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RE: Memorable Flying Experiences

Sun Jul 13, 2014 6:16 am

1. The first flight I remember (not the first flight I took): LH BOG-CCS-FRA on a LH 747-200. I found it an amazing experience. I was up most of the flight. I remember it as being such a long event. The meals. The smoking section. The little Lego plane I got from the FAs. I also spent about 5 hours in the flight deck. I was completely amazed.

2. AZ BOG-CCS-FCO. The flight was great. I remember it was on a 747-200 called Monte Argentario. My grandparents later took me to the Isola de Santo Stefano to see the actual Monte Argentario. However, the experience got really bad afterwards. I wasn't really looked after. Worse, I had to take the Alitalia train from FCO to Florence, and as a UM, they just told me "go down that way and you will find the train".

3. IB MAD-BOG. I was in a middle seat and there was no IFE. It was a day flight. I was absolutely bored. Also, I was pretty sure I got fleas from the plane.

4. BA LHR-SIN. When I first moved to Asia, I remember waking up somewhere over India. I spent the next 4 or so hours just staring at the moving map, familiarizing myself with all the new geography.

5. SQ SIN-EWR. The longest commercial flight in the world. This was when they still had the SpaceBeds and had Y+ on the plane. It was an amazing flight. I was actually booked in Y+ and only at the check in desk did I get the upgrade to J. The only downside is I got sick from the last meal. But still, a very memorable flight.

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RE: Memorable Flying Experiences

Sun Jul 13, 2014 6:25 am

Boarding my British Airways 146 flight at London City to find that my all time favourite singer was sitting across the aisle from me ... And me gushing like a teenybopper when I finally built up the courage to speak to her and tell her how much this average normal Aussie guy from the other side of the world absolutely adored her... For a few minutes we spoke, and all was good in the world.
She was gracious, she was interested in what I had to say for those few minutes and I could tell she appreciated my adoration for her and her music... Yet she is portrayed in the media as a notoriously shy recluse!
When we disembarked in Geneva, she actually turned around in the aisle and thanked me for being a fan and wished me a great trip! I melted...
To my eternal regret, I didn't ask for a photo with her.

Probably my most memorable flight, flying over the sensual world... Wink!

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RE: Memorable Flying Experiences

Sun Jul 13, 2014 2:25 pm

My first flight was definitely memorable. I was on an SQ 747-300 flying from HKG-SIN on my way to PER that day in December 1990 - the day that I would move away from HKG permanently. While there was definitely mixed emotions at the time, the overwhelming emotion was excitement. It was my first ever flight on any plane, and I got to board the 747-300 via the air stairs. The first thing that struck me was the immense size of the 747 - it was bigger than I had anticipated, even though I've seen plenty of them flying overhead on approach to Kai Tak. If I recall correctly, I had a bulkhead seat (I was only 9 years old at the time, legroom wasn't a problem), and spent almost the entire flight staring out the window over the wing, thinking "what a magnificent beast". I'll never forget my first flight.
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RE: Memorable Flying Experiences

Tue Jul 15, 2014 6:30 pm

No particular order....

1) LHR-HKG-MEL on Qantas 747 - 2011
I've always wanted to go to Australia since I was a little kid, a friend of mine decided to get married so that was the push I needed. Always wanted to fly Qantas too (another story), so choice of carrier easy to make. I can remember so many different things from that flight, great crew, roomy seat at the back, constant stream of food and drink, bouncing around over the South China Sea, arriving in MEL dead on time, the stop over in HKG......I've flown Qantas 37 times now in 3 years, Australia 5 times and NZ once...take about taking the cock out of the bottle!

2) HAM-FRA on Lufthansa A320 - 2012
Been on a day trip LHR-HAM-LHR. Due to a change of timetable, the evening flight HAM-LHR had been removed, so LH put me on a flight over FRA....great 2 planes then! I left HAM earlier than planned as their were protests in the city and the police were out in force, roads were being closed off etc., so I went back to the airport early and got onto an earlier flight HAM-FRA. This was the most severe CAT I've had, the pilot advised we had 200kph headwinds, and this plane was all over the plane. With a window seat I could see what the wings were doing relative to the horizon. Inflight service was stopped and never restarted after a few rows (typically stopped on mine) and there were several people who kept screaming down the back. But I thought I'm in a A320....they're pretty good planes and a Lufthansa one at that, so total confidence in the pilot, but he must have had aching muscles holding onto her in those conditions. I was glad for once to get onto firm ground.

3) LHR-SFO on Pan Am 747-200 (N729PA) - 1986
1st international flght, or any flight over 1 hour. Remember the moment we landed in SFO, the funny plastic tune headsets and the IFE lasting 1 hour, so the comedy channel wasn't so funny after the 3rd or 4th time of hearing it. Loved flying Pan Am, still miss them.

4) LHR-CDG on Air France A380 - 2010
Having missed the opportunity to fly on Concorde on one of her day trips, I figured I wouldn't pass up on the opportunity to fly on an A380. When would I get the chance again??? (Little did I know I would go to Australia the following year..see No.1). So big day came, as I drove to T4 I could see the A380 taxiing so I was OK, it was the flight and not down graded. Only a short flight, but we took off into a microburst storm and she bounced like a good'en....(que more screaming passengers down the back).... I thought this wouldn't look too good on AF on the 6 o'clock news if we didn't make it off the ground, but a great little flight I really enjoyed it, and to be honest found AF's service to be better than expected too, so that was a pleasant surprise too

5) AKL-WLG on Air NZ A320 - 2014
On my last full day in NZ, Saturday morning was a bit empty on the schedule. I had a super15 rugby match to go to in the evening, but otherwise a day to do something. So before I went I booked a return flight from WLG-AKL-WLG, the first flight on a 737-300 (a new sub-type for me) and about 2-3 hours later came back on a A320. So imagine my surprise when I saw the All Blacks A320 landing and then taxiing to my gate. A pleasant scenic flight and glad I did it.

I always enjoy flights on a new airline, to a new airport or a new type I've never flown on before. Only last Sunday I flew back from MAD and made the point of getting the Iberia A340 flight in the afternoon. 2nd IB flight but first on an A340, and a 600 at that. Still smiling from it....easily pleased!
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RE: Memorable Flying Experiences

Tue Jul 15, 2014 8:52 pm

Most memorable was probably my first flight. I didn't fly for the first time until I was 23 years old: RDU-ORD-SEA to visit a friend. When I was a kid we would tale road trips to visit my grandparents in Wisconsin. We would start out early in the morning, drive all day, and stop for the night somewhere in Indiana. So it just seemed almost magical that I could be in Chicago in only 2 hours! I suppose over the years I've become a bit desensitized to the "magic" of being able to travel to far away places in mere hours rather than days.
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RE: Memorable Flying Experiences

Wed Jul 16, 2014 2:13 am

Buffalo DC3 hands down
Flying Ice Pilots DC3 And First Air Incl 732 (by YVRLTN Nov 2 2013 in Trip Reports)

My previous DC3 flight was also great and sitting right seat in a Beaver on floats was also great.

A surprise upgrade on AA ORD-LHR was also one of my more memorable flights.
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RE: Memorable Flying Experiences

Wed Jul 16, 2014 3:56 am

DL1217 - a few weeks ago I got to fly on my first 757-300. I have always loved the 757 and have flown on dozens of -200s but for years now I have wanted to log the 757-300 and I finally go to do it on N596NW from DTW-LAS. It was better than my A380 and 787 flights as the 757-300 has been a target of mine for so long. The following flight was a UA 757-200 from LAS-LAX and I was let into the cockpit after the flight and the Captain even asked me to sit in the left seat while he took some pics for me which was 100% awesome but just getting to fly in the 753 takes the cake at this point in time - so much so that now that I have logged a 753 I don't really care about anything else LOL I feel that the weight of the world is off of my shoulders  
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RE: Memorable Flying Experiences

Wed Jul 16, 2014 12:20 pm

Quoting 777Jet (Reply 11):
I have logged a 753 I don't really care about anything else LOL I feel that the weight of the world is off of my shoulders

Hi mate,
I am insanely envious! A 757-300!
I fully get the 'weight of the world' comment!
My only experience inside a 757 cockpit was mid-air between Sydney and Perth in a Hispania 757 during the pilots' strike... Also one of my most memorable flights as it was my first on a 757!
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RE: Memorable Flying Experiences

Wed Jul 16, 2014 7:32 pm

Not in any order:

1) Flying on a NW A320 MSP-RDU on July 4th, several years ago. We were placed in a low holding pattern due to weather over RDU. The cabin lights were turned off, and for about 45 minutes, we circled and watched fireworks being shot off below the plane and throughout the Raleigh area. That, combined with a nice lightning show in the distance, made for an amazing, memorable flight.

2) Flying on a PR 744 MNL-SFO in 1997. While attempting to land in SFO, we had two go-arounds. First go-around happened when we were at about 200-300 feet. Second go-around happened after we had crossed the piano keys. Both go-arounds really frightened me. Not because of the go-around itself, but because of the ways it was performed. I was at a window seat behind the wing, watching the flaps, ailerons, etc. We were on final, and then the flaps retract a bit, before I could feel or hear any power being added. I was 15 at the time, and I understood the purpose of the flaps, and seeing them retract before feeling the power applied really, really scared me. I don't know what the procedure is for go-arounds, but to this day, I wonder if the flight crew messed up. It just seems like applying power would come well before retracting flaps. The pilot explained both go-arounds to us pax, and the first was caused by an "aircraft that had interfered with us", and the second was caused by an "aircraft that had stalled on the runway" (doesn't make sense to me, but that's what he said).

Earlier in the flight, I had an opportunity to visit the cockpit in flight, which for a 15 year-old was a real treat.

3) Flying on a DL MD88 MCI-ATL in 2010. We had turbulence on approach into ATL, so much so that from the seat just behind the wing, I could see the fuselage and overhead bins twisting. People were screaming and crying. It was quite fun I thought, and we would get a nice bump every time the wing would go through a small cloud. The flight crew were trying to dodge the clouds as much as possible, and I felt like we were in a slalom on a road course. We were the last flight in before the airport closed due to weather.

4) Flying on a DL 752 ATL-PHX in 2012. I watched a haboob approach the airport as we were on final. It was the first time I had ever seen anything like this, and it was pretty neat. We were the last flight to land here as well, and haboob went over the runway just as we were pulling up to the gate.

5) Flying on a NW A319 (or maybe A320…can't remember) BIL-MSP in 2006. We were informed that we had reached 42,000ft. My friend and I looked at each other in amazement, and this was the highest either one of use had been.

During the same trip, my friend somehow managed to get a 6 pack of huckleberry beer (in glass bottles) aboard our flight, as well as the next leg of our trip. It was not in a bag or concealed in any way, and I recall him walking around MSP with his 6 pack of beer. That guy could pull off the craziest stuff.

6) I did some volunteer work up at Oshkosh back in 2012. They repaid me with a ride in their R670 equipped 1929 Travel Air. This was my first time in an open cockpit or radial powered aircraft, and it was amazing.

[Edited 2014-07-16 12:38:39]
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RE: Memorable Flying Experiences

Thu Jul 17, 2014 2:42 am

Quoting baexecutive (Thread starter):
I was looking to read about any memorable experiences anyone has has whilst flying

A trip by a World War II double deck Sandringham flying boat to a tropical island is very hard to beat!!!

See my trip report:

A Very Old Trip Report RSE -LDH (by gemuser Apr 2 2011 in Trip Reports)

More Lord Howe & other Sandringham photos:

DC23468910;B72172273373G73873H74374475275376377L77W;A319 320321332333343;BAe146;C402;DHC6;F27;L188;MD80MD85
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RE: Memorable Flying Experiences

Thu Jul 17, 2014 3:15 am

Quoting bunumuring (Reply 6):
my all time favourite singer

And who was that???

Quoting bunumuring (Reply 12):
I fully get the 'weight of the world' comment!

That is exactly how I felt. For years the plans never worked or had an equipment swap so I was just thinking "next time" or "one day"... But, I really needed the 753 this time as I planned this to be my last US trip for at least 5 years. There was a schedule change and an equipment swap to a 752 about 2 months out so I waited until the summer schedule was finalized and convinced DL over the phone and with the help of a supervisor as my departure time had been brought forward by 2 hrs to actually change my departure airport from SAT-ATL-LAS to AUS-DTW-LAS as the only 753 connection I could make to LAS was via DTW (by changing from SAT to AUS I also logged my first E175 which was part of the plan). So, everyday I monitored the equipment and there were no changes. I was holding my breath. On the day, I checked in online and gave my bags to curbside to check in so I would hopefully avoid any "sir, we can re-route you via Salt Lake... No!!!"... The flight to DTW took off only 15mins late which was good but did 2 loops in a holding pattern because of bad DTW weather and landed 1 hr late - at the exact time the 753 was due to depart! I was so stressed - my 753 flight was so close but so far. When the Captain said over the PA "don't worry folks as your connections will probably be delayed as well" it calmed me down. We landed at A11 and needed to get to A66 and being my first trip to DTW and having done research, both gates where at the tram stations. No joke, I got from A11 to A66 in 5 mins - the tram arrived at the right time - and to my satisfaction the 753 inbound flight was delayed about 45mins so I made it. End of story. I wanted the 753 flight so much that I feel as if I don't care what I fly on now or equipment changes won't bother me as much in the future as I got to fly on the plane I wanted to the most...

Quoting bunumuring (Reply 12):
My only experience inside a 757 cockpit was mid-air between Sydney and Perth in a Hispania 757 during the pilots' strike...

Mmmmm, such a rare bird to see in Oz...
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RE: Memorable Flying Experiences

Thu Jul 17, 2014 12:04 pm

Not in any order:

1) EWR-PEK in a CO 77E. Sunny and clear almost the whole way, and the views of the arctic north were spectacular.

2) My first night flight into LAS. I forget where we were coming from, but we must have taken the long way around because it was fun to watch all the activity below, both aircraft and non-aircraft.

3) PIT-CLE in a B1900. Smallest plane I've been in before or since and a very nice ride.

4) ATL-PIT in a single-aisle (probably a 737) right after the Atlanta Olympics and the Olympic Park bombing was fresh in people's minds. I was in a middle seat, my wife on the aisle, and a young woman by the window. It turned out that she was a very nervous flyer, but she hid it well until the plane hit a single bump and dropped what felt like a foot. Shrieks all around, but the girl next to me just grabbed my hand and hung on for all she was worth for most of the remaining flight. My wife just rolled her eyes and I got teased about that one for quite a while afterwards. There was no other turbulence before or after on that flight, just the one very hard bump -- very strange. (Might have been wake turbulence, I guess, although we were a good 30 minutes out from ATL.)

Honorable mention goes to the only time I flew TATL in a lie-flat first class seat. It was US LGW-PHL in a 767 and we had been bumped off of LGW-PIT and given an upgrade to business class. There was some sort of confusion about seating and I ended up being quietly offered a first-class seat if I wouldn't mind being separated from my travel companion. (!) Since I was traveling with my teen-age daughter, I took one for the greater good and moved up. Unfortunately that's all I remember since I fell asleep immediately and slept the whole way across, which I don't normally do on planes! (When my daughter found out where I had gone, she was pissed!)
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