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Around USA From Portugal!

Fri Mar 23, 2001 4:18 am


This is the first time I do this, I hope you guys like and any questions feel free to ask. Well this all started in 1997, we wanted to visit some friends in USA, but the hard part was that all of them where in the oposite ways, we had a family in Vermont, another in Seattle and another in California, well first of all we had to find a US airline that could serve all these places, we found that United was the one and we had to find another that could fly us over the Atlantic. Because we live in the South of Portugal the airport there is Faro, not many regular airlines fly there but we had TAP, BA and Lufthansa, well after some faxes we decided to reserve with BA. So our trip started on the 31 July 1998:

FARO - LONDON ( Heathrow )
B. 737-400 - G-BNNK ( still with old livery )
We left with a beautifull blue sky out of Portugal and we had good visibility until we started crossing the Biscay Bay, there we got some clouds until we landed in London, even though it was not so bad, cloudy but no rain!!!

We stayed in London until 2nd. August when we started our trip over the Atlantic.

LONDON ( Heathrow ) - BOSTON
B. 747-200 - G-BDXF ( still with old livery )
The plane was almost full, we got 2 windows one for each adult with a child with us just after the wing, so we could see the wing and the engines. Most of the Atlantic crossing was cloudy until we started to see land, there we where followed by a 767 I presume from Canadian and it was going to Canada because it was by our left side and than we passed over him when we started to turn left. The final aproach to Boston was fantastic with a lot of water and a big right turn just before we landed, before that we saw a Delta L1011 taking of and after we landed there was also a Swissair B. 747-300 just close to us.

Well then we drove to Vermont where we stayed until the 7th. August. Then we had to fly all the way to Seattle. So the closest airport to us was Albany where we started.

B. 727-200 - N7448U - UNITED
It was the first time I was in this small but neat airport. There where not many airplanes. The weather was rainy and the runway seemed short. The airplane looked quite good and I used to the good old 727, I knew I would have a great take off!!! We seated again after the window so we could clearly listen the engines, specially the tail one. We had a nice flight, we barely climbed over the top of the coulds and the landing was good, when I saw Chicago I was astonished!!! What a big airport, lots of United airplanes but also some other airlines, I saw a Lufthansa 747-400 and also a World Airways MD11 with EL AL livery.

After one hour waiting we where ready to fly to Seattle via Denver.

DC-10-10 - N1811U - UNITED Old colours!!!
That was really a surprise. When we landed I saw that DC-10 beeing mooved to a gate but I never realized that we would board that plane, but infact we did. Well the trip was uneventfull, we where all in one of the last rows in the middle so we couldn't see a lot. We expected to land in Denver and stay for one hour and board again the same plane to Seattle, but... well just a few minutes before we landed the F/A said that we should pick all our things and move for another gate, then I understood that we changed plane, and that was it!!!

DC-10-10 - N1847U - DC-10-10 New Livery
Alright, a special bonus, I never had travelled in a DC-10 before and on my first trip I got 2.... And here we go to Seattle with a nice new DC-10, I remember when they gave the safety instructions they talked about the DC-10 as an "overwater" version I don't know why. Again we were seated in the middle and I couldn´t see nothing but again the trip was good and we arrived at Seattle in the afternoon with a great weather!!!

Well after 5 days in that great place where I had the chance to see the Blue Angels in the Seafair and also see the Boeing line where I saw some great planes like:

Japan Air Force AWACS 767
Turkish 737-400
Aeroflot 737-400
Continental 737-800 ( one of the first I think )
747 Prototype

On the 11th August here we go to Los Angeles.

B. 737-300 - N349UA - UNITED new livery

This time we got a window and the trip from Seattle to Los Angeles is just great, we see a lot of those big mountains, and those lakes and the weather that day was fantastic, it was unique. We came to the runway by the north, then we started to turn left and we had the runway just down there and then we turned all the way right and finnally landed, well after that we had to taxi quite a while untill we got to our gate. I saw so many things that I can't remember most of them!!!

then from Los Angeles we drove to Dinuba close to Fresno where we stayed until the 28th August. Then it was all the way back.

EMB120 Brazilia N216SW - Skywest
It was a great trip, not to high, the weather was again beautifull and I was just ahead of the engine, it was more or less an hour untill we arrived to Los Angeles, once again the path was the same of the flight from Seattle, the only thing was that we landed in the runways on the left side of the airport, just when we where leaving the taxiway the pilot broke hard and we just saw a big Alitalia MD11 taking off!!!

Next flight was our red-eye flight only leaving at 10:30 pm.

B. 767-200 - N601UA - United new livery
My first trip in a 767, it was good one, well I barely slept but the seats where nice and clean. Most of the trip was cloudy and we landed early in the morning at JFK, the reason was we could jump quickly to Manhattan and see the Empire State, the Twin Towers and the Statue of Liberty, because our BA fligh was just at 18:00 pm. We did it!!! And it was great!

JFK - LONDON ( Gatwick )
B. 767-300 - G-BNWR - BA New Colours - Chelsea Rose
We where all knock-out when we boarded the BA 767. We got excelent seats just ahead of the engines and we had a great flight and great service. When we where waiting I saw I think in the last flight the BA 747-100 G-AWNB with the livery very old and I commented that with my oldest son saying that 747 so old was still flying!!! Well we arrived at Gatwick next day between a BA 777 and a Virgin 747. We where so tired and we still had the last trip to do.

LONDON (Gatwick ) - FARO
B. 737-400 - G-BNNL - Old livery
We where ready to arrive to our place, and we counted the minutes to arrive, finnally we landed at Faro with the same weather when we left. Great trips, great time and at last in our bed!!!
I hope you like it!

CV990, the Maserati of the skies!
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RE: Around USA From Portugal!

Fri Mar 23, 2001 6:51 am

great trip report! I am glad to see that you liked Albany Airport. I go there every summer and I love it although it is small, it is very neat, and technologically advanced. Although there is nothing particularly noticeable about it, I just think that is was very well done.

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