A couple of people have asked me to make a trip report of my trip. Well here I go:
On June 15, 2001 I boarded flight number LH447 from Denver (DEN) to Frankfurt (FRA) on a Lufthansa A340-313X. This would be the first time I fly on the A340, so I was quite excited. After I checked it, I went on the underground train from the Main Terminal to Concourse A. Then I went to gate A41 which is one of the four gates at Denver Int'l for international bounding flights. When it was time for boarding, I went to seat number 26K, I got a great view of the wing. We got moving about 30 minutes late, because we were waiting for some passengers who got to the airport late. The take-off schedueled time was 5:35PM, but we took off at around 6:00PM. When we started taxiing, I noticed that we were going to a different runway then the runway that I usually take off from (Runway 16/34), then I realized that we were taxiing to Runway 7/25 which is the only runway in Denver that faces the mountains. I was absolutely thrilled to take-off from this runway, as I have never tooken off from it before. When we were on the runway, the pilot instantly went full power, we didn't stop on the runway and wait for permission from the control tower, the plane slowly started accelerating, and I was surprised at what a slow take-off it was, then the nose slowly went off the ground, and we stayed on the rear wheels or about 7 to 10 seconds, then the plane slowly started to climb into the air. I got a great view of Denver, and off-course the beautiful Rocky mountains. The take-off was surprisingly smooth, there were a few light bumps, but it was nothing. We started to head a little bit towards the west, and then we made a wide turn and started to head Northeast, I saw many of the big reservoirs after we turned. When it was Dinner time, I had pasta and a Coke. The pasta was quite good. I completely forgot what they gave us for breakfast.
We flew over Nebraska, Iowa, then right over Minneapolis/St. Paul in Minnesota. We then flew over into Canada, and I saw Lake Superior, then we flew through most of Canada, over Quebec, and then we were over the ocean, then we flew over the southern tip of Greenland, and then it was the ocean again, we then flew over Scotland. We then entered into mainland Europe, flew over the Netherlands, then into Germany and landed in Frankfurt at around 11:00AM (I forgot the exact time). Most of the flight was quite smooth, occasionally over Canada, and the Atlantic ocean it got a little bumpy, but it was nothing. When we started to decend, we encountered some light bumps. We then made several wide banks and turns over Frankfurt, and we finally leveled off. The pilot then deployed some flaps, and the runway was right infront of us. I got to see downtown Frankfurt and all its high rises. We decended slowly over the Autobahn and DB's train tracks, and then we finally touched down on Runway 25R. The minute we touched down, the pilot deployed all of the spoilers on the wing, however, I did not hear the thrust reversers. Either the thrust reversers are very quiet, or the thrust reversers weren't used, or the pilot used Idle Thrust Reverse. After we landed we taxied to gate A43 I believe, I'm not 100% sure though. Even though the take-off from Denver was about 30 min. late, we arrived in Frankfurt on time. The whole flight took about 8 hours and 30 minutes. After I got off the plane, I went through the airport, collected my baggage, went through passport control, and then hopped on a Regional train bound for Frankfurt Main Station. I toured Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Belgium by train.
When it was time to leave. On July 22, 2001 I flew from Brussels (BRU) on flight number LH4443 to Frankfurt (FRA). When I arrived in Brussels Airport (BRU) on a Lufthansa 737-300, I checked in, went through passport control, had a Belgian Waffle and a cup of tea for breakfast, and went to gate C02 which is in the old part of Brussels airport. The take-off was supposed to be 8:35AM, but for some reason, the flight was delayed, and we started boarding 8:35AM. Nonetheless, boarding was finished quickly, and we began taxiing to Runway 25R. It was a long taxi, and we went past the cargo facilities. When we almost reached the runway, the pilot deployed the flaps. Once we were on the runway, we waited there for permission to take-off, it only took about a minute. Then, the pilot slowly started to ease the throttle up to maybe 40% power, and then pushed it all the way to 100% power. I felt myself get pushed back into the seat because he accelerated quickly. Like all 737 take-offs we started to roll down the runway quickly, and lifted into the air quickly. The plane quickly started to climb into the air and we went south for a little, and then we turned in a South East East direction, and I saw the whole airport including all the runways. It was quite a nice airport. The flight crew said the flight would be 40 minutes. Then the pilot came on the intercom, and said the flight would be only 30 minutes! They gave us a small sandwhich, which I kept for later since I just had a delicious Belgian waffle at the airport. We quickly began decending into Frankfurt. It got a little bumpy around Frankfurt, but nothing major. The pilot deployed the flaps while we were still high, when we just began decending. The pilot had a hard time alligning with the runway, so it was a fun, shaky experience. We touched down on Runway 25R, the spoilers where deployed, and a little thrust reverse was used. We quickly came to a stop, and we taxiied on the tarmac to a parking area, where a bus was waiting to pick us up. I went down the staircase onto the bus which was extremely cramped, and they took us to the arrival area in Terminal 1. We arrived about 15 minutes late, at 9:40AM, but it wasn't a problem, since my connecting flight to Denver was at 1:05PM. I found Frankfurt Airport (FRA) to be a bit confusing, but I managed. I took the underground walkway to the A gates, and went to gate A60 for flight number LH446 on a Lufthansa A340-300 back to Denver. We began boarding at 12:30PM. My seat number was 45A which is the 2nd to last row in the plane, so yes, I had I noisy experience, but I was happy! I love aircraft noise! Its music to me.
While I was sitting in the plane, the captain comes over the intercom and said that one of the passengers did not board the flight, so they had to unload the luggage from that person for safety reasons. The take-off was late about 30 min. We were pushed back, and then we began taxiing to Runway 25R. Once we were on the runway, the pilot instantly went full throttle, and we started moving, the acceleration was quite slow, then the nose went off the ground, and we stayed on the rear to wheels for about 7 to 10 seconds. We slowly started to climb into the air, and it got a little turbulent until we reached cruising altitude. I really was quite surprised, it took about the same time to take-off as it took while taking-off from Denver. I thought the take-off would quicker since we were close to sea level, and it was cool outside, but they turned out to be about the same, taking off from Denver took a tad longer. We went over the Netherlands, and flew right over Amsterdam, I then saw Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS), and saw a plane taking off from one of the runways. We then flew over the English Channel, over Scotland, and then over the Atlantic ocean. When it was time for lunch, I had pasta which was quite delicious. We flew over Greenland, over Canada, and then crossed the boarder into the United States. We flew right over Minneapolis/St. Paul, and I saw the airport. I was quite happy that I saw 2 airports from the sky, I usually never see any airports while flying. Most of the flight was clear, and I could see the ground. When it was time for dinner, I had pasta aswell, also delicious, but I'm surprised they gave us 2 pasta meals on the flight. We then flew over Iowa, and Nebraska and then over Colorado. We began our decent between the borders of Nebraska and Colorado. After the city of Sterling (a small city in Northeast Colorado), we encountered turbulence, from that moment, I new that we were in Colorado. Every landing I have had in Colorado was turbulent. After we got close to the mountains, the turbulence became quite bad, the plane would go up and then all of a sudden drop about 100-200 feet, a lot of people on the flight were getting nervous. When we were over Denver airport, we were still quite high, so we had to go a southernly direction for quite a bit. We almost reached Colorado Springs, then the pilot turned north again, and the pilot alligned the plane with the runway. It was still extremely bumpy as we decended. The pilot then deployed the flaps We then touched down on Runway 35L, the pilot then deployed the spoilers and thrust reversers. He used quite a bit of thrust reversing power, because we touched down at quite a high speed. Several people began clapping because he brought the plane down safely during quite bad turbulence. The flight took 10 hours. We then taxied to gate A41, I got off the plane, went through passport control, collected my baggage, and went through customs.
Flying from Denver to Frankfurt took 8 hours and 30 minutes. Flying from Frankfurt to Denver took 10 hours! Always when flying to Europe from Denver, it is much faster because of the tail wind, while when you are flying to Denver from Europe, it takes longer because of the headwind (the wind is against you). What I also noticed, is coming from Europe to Denver, pilots always take a more northernly route to cut down on as much time as possible. Frankfurt to Denver, is the longest flight I have had, 10 hours......even though it didn't feel all that long
. We arrived right on time, at 3:35PM Denver time.
Out of all my landings in Denver, this was the most turbulent landing I have ever had. Infact, I have never experienced this much turbulence on a jet aircraft.
When I was 5, I flew from LGA to Rochester, New York on a EMB-120 Brasilia, and it was the most turbulent flight I had ever experienced. It was the ONLY time, where I almost vomitted. The flight attendent fell because of how bumpy it was. The plane dropped about 500-800 feet once.
Landing in Denver has always been turbulent because of the mountains. The mountains create very un-even and unstable currents, which is why it is always bumpy, however, this was the bumpiest it has ever been, and the bumpiest that it has ever been on a jet aircraft for me.
I wasn't scared though, although many others were.
Hehe, incase your wondering, this trip report took me 1 1/2 hours to write up.
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran