usairways@clt
Posts: 202
Joined: Sun Aug 20, 2000 1:09 am

BOS-PHL-CLT On US Airways

Thu Apr 19, 2001 7:16 am

After several days of photographing aircraft at Logan International, it was time to come home.

BOS-PHL
Flight 1075
737-400
---------

As soon as I entered the terminal, I was about to scream. The US Airways line was backed up all the way to the door. I got into line, and waited about an hour to get my bags checked. Fortunately, our gate was very close to the check-in counter.

As I made my way towards the gate, I stared at the 737-400 that would take me to Philly. It was in its old colors, and looked rather dirty. I hadn't eaten all day, so I decided to have some Legal Seafood. I ordered the clam chowder, and it was delicious!

I took a couple of shots of some aircraft from inside the terminal, and then they announced general boarding.

I walked down the jetway and looked into the cockpit. The pilots were talking to each other and making jokes to the flight attendents, which looked to be about 15 years old. My seat was right by the wing, and I sat down. They were pretty hard, but I convinced myself I would survive on this hour flight.

Pushback was a long one, and we waited several minutes before starting the engine. Once they were started, jet fuel wafted through the fuselage. You gotta love the smell! The safety announcements were made, and the flight attendents were very unenthusiastic.

Power was advanced, and we slowly taxied to runway 9. We were behind an American Eagle Saab 340, and behind us, I believe, was a Cape Air Cessna. We could of crushed him! We braked, which made an awful grind, and held short while the Saab and a Delta 727 lifted off. It's always impressive to see those 727s take off, I love seeing all that smoke spray out of the engines.

The captain made the announcement that we had been cleared for takeoff, and we turned onto the runway, and gained speed. The winds must of been heavy, as it felt like the captain was trying hard to align the Boeing with the centerline. We 'ungracefully' rotated, and I got a great look of Winthrop, the area in which I spent a lot of time photographing.

This was an exceptionally smooth climb. Usually there is a fair amount of turbulence and air pockets, but it was wonderful. We climbed out through the clouds, which didn't seem to give us much trouble. We then turned towards Rhode Island. I noticed a Delta 727 next to us making a climb as well. It was spewing its traditional black smoke, and made a quick turn over us.

Cruise was extremely uneventful. We were served ranch snack mix, which wasn't bad. I opted not to have a drink. We were cruising at 29,000 feet, and the weather was clear.

The captain announced we would begin our descent, and it could get bumpy. Fluffy cumulus clouds looked innocent, but as soon as we cut through them, they proved to be rather evil. The turbulence began as the rocking of wings, but then the power was brought back, and I felt like I my head wasn't attached. We made a quick descent and were brought out of the clouds. We were over the Deleware river, and flying over a number of suburban homes. More turbulence was experienced, more than likely from the wind. A major air pocket was felt, and many of the passengers made a little yell.

We finally found smooth air at about 4,000ft. We made a turn for runway 27R. The flaps were extended, and the gear was put down. Constant heading corrections were made, and low level turbulence was encountered. We descended more, and passed over some ships and a truck that was parked by the threshold. The wings rocked, and the 737 gently settled down. The spoilers were deployed, and thrust reversers were activated. I was thrown in my seat.

Taxi was nothing new. We passed an Air France 767, a US Airways A321, and some more US Airways birds. Our flight would be continuing on to Kansas City.

PHL-CLT
Flight 1849
Airbus A319
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Originally, I was supposed to be on a different flight, which used a 767. Unfortunately, that flight was cancelled, and I was put on this baby bus.

Boarding started, and my seat was the very last on the left. It actually gives you a good view of the wing, however, you have little room to recline your seat. One gravitationaly challenged (I'm trying to be Politcally correct here) woman made a loud remark as she made her way towards her seat, "These old junkers aren't the newest in their fleet, are they? They're still from FDR's time, aren't they!?" This was a brand new plane, though, and I guess she must think that Beech 1900s are "cozy".

Cumulonimbous clouds were forming, and I knew it wouldn't make for a pleasant departure. Music was playing in the background, which was a nice soothing touch. We pushed back, and the engines started. Boy these planes are quiet. We taxied by some construction workers and held short of runway XX (forgot the #).

I thought the flight to Philly was rough on the takeoff roll, but this take off was frightening. Any minute I thought we were going to go off onto the side of the runway or plunge into the river. We didn't, and we slowly pitched up. Gear was retracted, and we turned right for noise abatement. Turbulence was expected, and we bounced around for quite a while. We flew right into an immense, puffy cloud. All was calm for a moment, but then, BOOM! We hit some horrible air pockets, and the wings rocked back and fourth. The power was decreased suddenly, and flaps were retracted. I was pushed down in my seat with tremendous force. We seemed to level out, and made a sudden turn. We came out of the cloud, and it was a smooth ride.

Service this time was moderately pleasant. We had the usual, ranch snack mix. I plugged in my head phones into the arm rest and listened to some music. I dozed off for about 10 minutes.

I was awakened to the captains announcements. Winds were out of the north, gusting to about 30mph. We began our descent, and passed right over 321. We went through some huge, billowing cumulous clouds, and boy, was it bumpy. We were fishtailing around, and made a deep descent per ATC request. We flew right over Paramount's Carowinds, and I got a nice view of Drop Zone. We seemed to be lined up on runway 36R. The turbulence continued, and seemed to get worse the lower we got. The winds must of been pretty strong. I heard the engines go to idle, then it sounded like they brought them back to take-off power. This continued until we touched down.

After flying over a large area of trees, I recognized a place where I often took pictures. Flaps were down, and we made a large turn. We must of had a bad crosswind. We came in rather high, and as we prepared to touch down, I noticed the cargo terminal, which had a UPS 757 and a DC-8. We floated for a couple of seconds, and *slam*, rubber met the pavement. The spoilers flew up, and I watched the passing airport. A 767 was taxing to our runway.

We taxied off, and sat on the ground for a while. "Well ladies and gentlemen-the good news is, we are 10 minutes early. The bad news, our gate is still occupied. It's gonna be about 5 to 10 more minutes", The captain announced. Oh well. The F/A put on some music which seemed to of calmed some disgruntled business travelers.
The way our aircraft was positioned allowed me to see how other aircraft were doing on the approach. A 737 seemed to be having a tough time lining up, and was bouncing around miserably. I was glad to be on the ground!

The power was advanced, and we *quickly* taxied to the gate. The aircraft in our spot turned out to be a DC9.

Hope you enjoyed.

Zach

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