It was late June 0f 1998. I had moved here to Ft. Lauderdale the previous summer, and this would be my first trip home. The flight was AC 929, departing at about 1:30pm (or 1) on an A320-211. This was my first flight in years, so I was a little nervous. Plus, for some odd reason, all the TV channels always start showing those air disaster movies about 2 weeks before I fly. At that rate, I expected the inflight movie to be "The Most Fiery and Horrific Air Crashes Ever: set to classical music" LOL! This was my first flight on the A320, and needless to say, I was very impressed with the quality of the aircraft. I sat on the left side, 17A, right behind the wing (I love that seat!). We pulled back on time, and started down the runway a few minutes later. As the aircraft approached V1, the engines went silent, followed by the spoilers deploying, the reversers roaring louder than I've ever heard, and the brakes screeching! As it turns out, the containers in the cargo deck were not secured, and the acceleration of take-off shifted them about, setting off alarms in the cockpit. We taxied back, and 45 minutes later, we were finally airborn.
The service onboard this flight was especially good (maybe because we were only 55-60% full), excellent meal, friendly FA's with French accents (oohlala!), and great audio programming. The movie was crap. Well, I was so impressed by this point I asked for a cockpit visit. The captain cleared it so off I went. What a flight deck! It was so clean and uncluttered, with an incredible forward view (you pilots are lucky), and those sidesticks are really neat. I chatted with the crew about my aviation interests, and their job for 20 minutes. As I get ready to go back to my seat, the Captain says, "tell you what, 20 minutes before landing I'll send an attendent for you, and you can come sit up here". WHOA! I couldn't sit still for the rest of the 3 1/2 flight! As promised, I was taken up to the flight deck, and was placed in the jumpseat between the pilot and copilot. We flew a straight-in approach, to Dorval's rwy 28, which is only 7000ft long and we flew right over my old place! the short runway didn't leave much room to slow down and exited at the last taxiway. I enjoyed my jumpseat experience, but the only catch was the pilot said I had to wait for everyone else to leave before I could. If that wasn't enough customs held me for an hour
My first A320 flight was my best ever.
Photo © Chris weldy