July 9th MSP-BDL
The flight was scheduled for a 7:30 am departure and as we pushed back from the gate the captain cheerfully announced "another Northwest on-time departure".
After waiting our turn in the morning departure rush, takeoff occurred at 8:00 am. I wonder if that was still considered an ontime departure?? Those DC-9's sure eat up the runway and we used up about 3/4's 30R on departure.
The sky was fairly clear with patches of clouds here and there. The cruise over the northen great lakes area provided good views. We flew just south of Niagra Falls and from my seat in 7A I saw them as well as the CN Tower and Dome across the lake in Toronto.
We landed on RWY 33 in BDL. It must have been a visual approach and the down wind leg was flown at a fairly low altitude. From my seat I could see the runway and we make a semi-circle to the left to line up for it. The plane was rather low on final so the pilot increased thrust to get back on the proper approach course which led to us landing "long" and using up a lot of runway and the roll.
There wasn't much activity when we landed in BDL around 10:15 am. Finding one's way through BDL was somewhat of a challenge since I was unfamiliar with the airport. Luckily I had no luggage to checked so I soon found my way through the maze to the rental car shuttles.
July 10th BDL-MSP
Arrived at BDL about an hour before the flight. Thunderstorms were being forecast and the sky to the northwest was getting black. Planes were departing RWY 24. I saw a USAir 737-300, a Southwest 737-300, a Delta MD-88, a TWA MD-83, a Midway Bombadier CL600 and an American MD-8?.
From my seat in 6F I had a good view of the aircraft departing RWY 24 and could see lightning in the distance and showers that were moving closer. On pushback at 5:35 the captain again announced that it was another Northwest On-time departure (We were scheduled for a 5:40 departure). We were going going to turn onto a taxiway to RWY 24 when we stopped and did a 180 and headed for RWY6 which I thought a bit odd since the storms now seemed to be a few miles out in the direction we were going to take off in.
As we neared the RWY 6 we taxiied directly into the penalty box, where we sat for 45 minutes while the storm passed the northern edge of the airport. The crew was fairly decent about it keeping us informed as to what the tower was seeing on their radar and informing us that while it wasn't actually raining where we were parked that the storm was right of the end of the runway and it was better to be safe than sorry.
Departure was fairly smooth given the weather and we quickly climbed into the clouds. When we broke free of the clouds I had a good view of the storm system off to my east and must admit that I was glad we waited for it to pass. I've had one bad storm experience while flying and that's enough for me.
The rest of the flight was smooth with fairly clear skies. I got to see a lot of planes passing us heading east because the sun, which was fairly low in the western sky made them shine and easy to spot.
The approach to MSP told me that we were going to land on one of the 12's. Got to see a lot of barge traffic on the Mississippi River (hope I spelled that right but I am too tired to check). The landing on 12R was smooth and we arrived at the gate 1/2 hour late.
I do not know about you, but whenever I fly I cannot accomplish any work, read anything or sleep. I still find myself glued to the window taking in everything that's passing by.
As I was walking through the terminal a passenger on the flight was also walking up the concourse with his wife complaining about how there must have been some other reason for our delay and that the airline was lying to us. I looked at them and they at me and I just simply said, "if you believe that, you should really do some reading up weather related aviation accidents."