STL-EWR; EWR-STL (You'll Be Shocked!)

Wed Oct 31, 2001 1:01 pm

TW MD-83, N965TW

My family and I got to the airport on Thursday right after I got home from school. The curbside check in was not very long, but the security into the concourses C,B,and D was very long, and I got frisked at random. We waited at the original gate of C39, but then was switched to C25. The plane was N965TW, Flt 350 from STL to EWR. I was in row 14 I think, the window, so I think it was 14F. There were several hybrid MD-80s, 717s, and 757s around us. We taxied across the active 30L to depart on 30R @ about 6:45 P.M. After takeoff, the captain made a loop to head us NE to Newark. An incredibly strong tailwind of 163MPH gave us a cruising speed of 656MPH at Fl 330! Not kidding! Because of the tail, we were there about 40 minutes early at about 9:30. We landed from the north, on the left runway. In the hangar to the north of the cross runway was Peter Max 777 w/ orange, pink, red. Right as the thrust reverse was applied, an AZ 763 was full throttling on the right runway. An Airborne Express DC-8 took off over N965TW while on a high speed taxiway. We disembarked the plane at A23. I looked at a CO 764 that seemed to be parked at the UPS area, and speaking of UPS, a 741 belonging to them (maybe a 742), left the freight apron to depart.

The next day, Friday, we saw ground zero. It was impossible to describe it. Half the police, and rescue personnel had masks on. The smell smelled of burning metal and death, which it probably was. Ash was still on windows in the area. A telephone booth near Trinity Church had been dented severely. Inside of the pedestrian walk signals were still dust. The shards of metal were still burning after 5 weeks. The long, thin, rectangular pieces of metal were seen clearly, as was an American flag hung on the side of the wreckage. It was unreal, like a movie.

On Sunday, 10/28, we drove to the airport. While at least 20 miles away, the departure were to the south, so I would be on the right side of the plane, with an overview of EWR on the takeoff. However, I was angry when the traffic changed to using the rwy 4s, departures to the N. While about 3 miles away heading north on a highway, Peter Max was arriving. We arrived at EWR for our 7:50 P.M. departure back to Lambert at about 6:00. We returned the Taurus SES, (which has a nice note when floored), and checked in at the counter for TW Flt 25. It was departing from gate A23. When passing through security, armed marshals stood guard on the X-Rays. Down in the gate areas, I got out my paper for tail numbers and binoculars, but the paper would be useless because of the night. A UA 777, N269UA, and 727 was at the UA gates, Continental 737s parked on the tarmac, an AC A319 at the gate, and also on the apron by the 737s was an AA A300, N5001 preparing for the LHR night flight. On the right of that, was SIA Megatop sitting in the dark. Over my shoulder, I realized two airport employees watching very closely what I was doing. I just pretended like they weren't there, until after five minutes, they asked me what I was doing very sternly. I explained about the regs, and they were not satisfied, but stepped back to sit on the black leather seats. To show that I was not intimidated by them and that I was not doing anything wrong, I stood there like nothing had happened, looking through the binocs. After about 2 more minutes, I started walking across the concourse, when behind me again, I saw a camouflage marshal with a 3 ft long gun, and two police officers with M-16s. I slowed down, and then the three surrounded me. The camouflage marshal with the 3ft long gun stayed with the two, until one of the officers said, "Sir, step over here. We need to talk to you." I agreed, and was escorted to a quiet area of the concourse. They introduced themselves very nicely, saying their names and they belonged to the NJ Police. They then fired questions about what I was doing with the paper and binoculars. I answered and told them I was a aviation buff. They understood, but they told me the behavior looked very suspicious. They did not stop, they asked what airline I was on, the flight, and the destination, as well as the boarding pass. The pass was with mom and dad, so I led them over there. I said calmly to my parents "We got some visitors." They were very nice and told them that I didn't look like a terroist or plan on any harm, but they were not taking any chances. They left like nothing had happened, but I burst. I coudn't write down the regs or look w/ binoculars. The damn terroists had changed my life now, and I was pissed about it. My mom snuck the binoculars out to get the reg of our MD-83, to STL on TW again, which was N968TW. I was in seat 11F, but before boarding, I talked to the pilot about our flight and the MD-80 Series aircraft. We were pushed out at around 7:55, and passed by the UPS and Fed Ex aprons on the queue for 4L. Three Airborne Express DC-8s were sleeping under their nightlights. Waiting in front of us, was the N5001, the AA A300 I saw on the apron getting ready for LHR duty. In front of that, was Peter Max, which I had seen while arriving to EWR on Thurs, and while driving to EWR just hours before. Talk about luck! Looking across the cabin and out the left, I saw the pink and red 777 accelerate down 4L. A louder than normal roar shook the cabin from the full throttle takeoff. N5001 was next, and then us at 8:10 P.M. The roll was short, and out the right, ground zero could be seen in the night. What looked like a single bright light from the air was actually hundreds of smaller ones illuminating the scene. Very frightening without the two towers. The Empire State building was seen, as much of northern Manhattan and eastern NJ, until turning ENE for FL 310 to STL. At around 9:25, we commenced descent into STL, flying just to the south of Alton, IL, and then over northern St. Charles, MO before turning east to land on 12L. A new color DL 738, and UA 722 was at the A gates and so were some AA planes. STL lookes small and puny compared to EWR. We used up nearly all of 12L on arrival, and parked at gate C39, and deplaned.

I'd love to hear your remarks!! I will read every one of your replies

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RE: STL-EWR; EWR-STL (You'll Be Shocked!)

Wed Oct 31, 2001 5:31 pm

I understand how you least from ur post i gather that the security guys were not harsh on you. Many people here on A.Net have posted really horrible things that have happened to them at airports after Sep11th.

As you is not the same now. The damn terrorists have changed many lives...many lives, even people who are not even remotely linked to the events...

Well in India anyway we are not allowed to take photos at maybe i will not be able to appreciate the loss fully, still i share ur felings.


RE: STL-EWR; EWR-STL (You'll Be Shocked!)

Thu Nov 01, 2001 5:46 am

Thanks for your comments. I should have thought about it before I got out the binoculars and paper cause as u know, UA 757 that crashed in Penn departed from EWR. Bet it's interesting living in India. The lack of registrations is due to that it was night each time we were @ EWR. Here are some more regs, UA A319 N837UA, N499FE, N13428, N136FE, N17660, N769UA, NOT 269, and N16617.

Take care
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RE: STL-EWR; EWR-STL (You'll Be Shocked!)

Thu Nov 01, 2001 1:29 pm

How can you say "Damn terrorists"? That's WAY to nice.. Anyway, when I go on a trip again, I'll be getting the reg's and stuff, so I will expect this kinda crap from the po-po.. It's sad to see us (aviation buffs) dying out more and more because of this.. There were so few of us before, and now there will be even less..  Pissed

Lets do some sexy math. We add you, subtract your clothes, divide your legs and multiply
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RE: STL-EWR; EWR-STL (You'll Be Shocked!)

Thu Nov 01, 2001 1:35 pm

It seems that because of September 11th, plan spotting at airports will be much harder.
God bless through Jesus, Jeff
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Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2001 5:02 pm

RE: STL-EWR; EWR-STL (You'll Be Shocked!)

Fri Nov 02, 2001 8:53 am

Did you take the trip to NYC just to check out the blast zone?
I love America. I guess that makes me Bush's poodle, but I'd rather be a dog in New York City than a prince in Riyadh.

RE: Tsully

Fri Nov 02, 2001 12:57 pm

No, we didn't visit NYC area for ground zero. We had made plans to attend our cousins bar-mitzvah. The Sept 11th happened, and since we had an extra day there (Friday), it was something we had to see. P.S., I ain't letting my love for aviation go off like this. I promise you that.
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RE: STL-EWR; EWR-STL (You'll Be Shocked!)

Sat Nov 03, 2001 6:06 am

Nice trip report. I've encountered more or less the same problems as you when spotting. However the policemen I've encountered have been pretty understanding. They're just doing their jobs. As long as you cooperate and don't snap at them they're pretty cool. How is the spotting situation in STL? I'm thinking of going there before the end of the year to get pics of the TWA stuff there.

RE: Hi Catcus!

Sat Nov 03, 2001 10:44 am

Hi there buddy! Thanks for replying, as you have on other of my reports. The security in STL is so much looser than up east. There are several areas in STL to watch and spot, two of my favorites are within 200ft of the runways. I have seen police drive by with me and the binoculars and paper, but they just ignore me. In fact, tommorow I'll be @ Lambert to do some "watching". I was going to go when I got home from school, but by then there's only about an hour left of light, so it's useless. STL is a very friendly spotter airport I think, especially from the outside near the runways. Inside the concourses and terminals is very accessible, too. I'll be happy to aid you in anything @ STL, just email me:!  Smile  Smile

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Hey Hey

Sun Nov 04, 2001 2:46 am

Hey! Long time no talk. Remember we had that meeting at ORD once? yeah we can't do that anymore either, not allowed past security. And look now you were alone with binoculars and you got asked questions... I wonder what would happen with a couple of guys with cameras? and no tickets! well ill talk to you later. i hope you have some good trips in the future.


PS I am going to Cancun on Apple Vacations for winter break.
life wasn't worth the balance, or the crumpled paper it was written on
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RE: STL-EWR; EWR-STL (You'll Be Shocked!)

Sun Nov 04, 2001 6:46 am


Thanks for the info! I'll let you know when I'm going so you can give me the details.


RE: STL-EWR; EWR-STL (You'll Be Shocked!)

Sun Nov 04, 2001 2:46 pm

What a difference a day makes. On my last post I was saying how the security and police are loose @ STL. Well, today was a whole other world. I was on a hill about 120ft high adjacent to 12L/30R on a blanket with binoculars and the reg paper. Coming toward me on the top of the hill was a police car! He parked it and the officer said "You can't be up here. You can be in jail and have a federal fine." I apologized and I didn't know about the new law, anyway. He told me of the "viewing area" as a good alternative. So I left the hill and went to a 10ft hill right by the approach lights of 12R/30L about 5 feet away from the barbed wire fence. Having the planes land over you at literally 100ft was exhilerating, even for the regular MD-80s, but not for long. I heard a honk honk, and you guessed it, the same policeman said out the window, "You can't be by the fence, go on the hill across the street." Once again, I obeyed. Then these two heavyset guys with long hair in a beat up pickup screamed out the window, "Hey, what are you doing?" Since they had a flag on the back of the window, they were probably patriotic and thought I was doing something wrong. Anyways, the activity in STL this afternoon was enjoyable, but once again, I was caught by the police.


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