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Fly-K
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CRJ Transat Delivery Flight!

Mon Dec 10, 2001 1:41 am

Last week I had the opportunity to be on the delivery flight of a Eurowings Canadair Regional Jet 200ER (D-ACRD) from Montreal-Dorval (YUL) via Iqaluit (YFB) to Dortmund, Germany (DTM).

I arrived at Bombardier’s CRJ delivery center at Dorval Airport at 1pm to meet the colleague from Lufthansa who arranged the trip for me, and the colleagues of Eurowings whose job was to take care of the acceptance of the aircraft and who would also fly along. After a first look at the aircraft, which was in the delivery hangar alongside three Delta Connection CRJs, a friendly Bombardier colleague gave me a tour of the production facilities. Since CRJ700 production has moved to Mirabel (YMX), the YUL facility is focused on the CRJ200 and Challenger bizjet. Yet there was a stunning number of aircraft in different stages of production. While it wasn’t allowed to take photos, I saw example of United Express (ACA, Air Wisconsin, SkyWest), Delta Connection (ACJet, ASA, Comair), Iberia Regional, China Yunnan (with a special flowers colorscheme) and three remaining CRJ700 of AA, Horizon and Delta Connection (ASA). On the outside, finished aircraft for Cameroon, Northwest JetAirLink and Delta were awaiting delivery, while a Midway CRJ was in storage.

After the crew had arrived, the flight plan had been prepared, and all formalities had been taken care of, the aircraft was towed from the hangar to the outside at around 3pm. Despite a grey and misty sky, I shot a few photos before preparing for departure, which occurred at 4.25pm from runway 24L, with flight number EW 6803. The very northernly route was dictated by the fact that the aircraft was not equipped with HF radio, so the aircraft had to stay near landbased stations. Otherwise, a routing with a stop in Iceland would have been shorter. We headed north, climbing to 35,000ft towards a direction of 30 degrees at a speed of M 0.75. With an overcast sky, there was nothing to see for most of the trip until I moved forward to the jumpseat to join the crew for landing. Under clear Arctic skies, the lights of Iqaluit became visible from some 40 miles distance, and I watched in awe as the runway lights emerged from the dark. We touched down on runway 35 at 7.20pm, covering the 1,280 miles in just under three hours. The aircraft taxied by a First Air B727-100M and Canadian North B737-200C to the fueling station, where we were already awaited. Passengers were boarding the two aircraft, which both had the forward compartments used for cargo. The only other aircraft I could make out in the dark were two First Air HS748 and some Twin Otter.

Refueling took about 20 minutes and was paid for by credit card, during which I briefly walked around the aircraft to get an impression of the Arctic environment, and shoot a few photos and video. It was –24 degrees Celsius, but luckily no wind. The First Air 727 was about to leave, and took off to Ottawa and Montreal a few minutes ahead of us, while the Canadian North 737 started taxiing as we entered the runway and took off at 8.05pm, climbing impressively despite the full fuel tanks. We turned East at a heading of 100 degrees toward Söndre Strömfjord (Kangerlussuaq, SFJ) on Greenland, reaching the highest latitude at 69 degrees North, well above the polar circle. The rising moon along with greenish, spiralling Northern Lights cast a fairy-tale glow on the white, snowy landscape. I was almost expecting Santa Claus to drift by my window. We reached 37,000 ft and the aircraft was flying just as quiet and stable like any other larger airliner. TAS was M 0.7 for this leg to save some fuel, and the increasingly stronger tailwinds slowly pushed up our ground speed from 420 to 560 miles. I sat a while in the front left seat to chat with the friendly pilots, one Canadian currently on contract-flying for Eurowings and one German. Over Greenland, we turned to a heading of 120 degrees towards Iceland. Along the trip, the pilots noted some minor issues that weren’t 100% satisfactory yet, such as some vibrations from the engines, and some malfunction of the GPS system. The five of us in the cabin and the two cockpit crew served ourselves from the well-stocked galley and despite all the excitement, the wine made me a bit sleepy, so I stretched out over four seats across the aisle and dozed off for about an hour. The cabin was fully equipped with 50 seats (whose covers still had to be changed to blue leather instead of grey cloth), and extra life rafts and oxygen supplies were carried. When I woke up, we were approaching Scotland east of the island of Stornoway. Still clear skies allowed views of Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Newcastle, and some oil rigs as we flew down the North Sea into the rising sun. As we approached the continent, a thick cloud layer had built up, which we entered during our descent before the sun would rise. Arrival in DTM, originally forecast for 8.10am was pushed up to 7.45 thanks to the tailwinds, bringing this second leg of the delivery flight to an end after just 5 hours and 40 minutes and 2,764 miles.

Time had just flown by, despite not having the comfort and entertainment of a regular transatlantic widebody flight, but the excitement of this unusual flight surely made up for this.

I hope you enjoyed this special trip report, and there should be some photos added soon.

Konstantin
Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been...
 
dee-see-eit
Posts: 293
Joined: Sat Jan 01, 2000 8:44 pm

RE: CRJ Transat Delivery Flight!

Mon Dec 10, 2001 4:28 am

Hi K,

Congratulations for the opportunity to join such a delivery flight and for your report! It must have been a unique experience, and few people will have the same luck...

Hope to meet you during the next days, so you can explain this story in full detail.

See you

DC8

 
Guest

RE: CRJ Transat Delivery Flight!

Mon Dec 10, 2001 4:49 am

Cool! I should go hang around the Airbus Factory and see if they'll take me on one of theirs! Big grin
 
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Fly-K
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RE: CRJ Transat Delivery Flight!

Mon Dec 10, 2001 6:11 am

Some photos are online now (thanks to Johan for quick processing!):


Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Konstantin von Wedelstaedt



Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Konstantin von Wedelstaedt



Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Konstantin von Wedelstaedt



Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Konstantin von Wedelstaedt



Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Konstantin von Wedelstaedt



I'll try to get some more night shots accepted...

Konstantin
Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been...
 
Islander
Posts: 160
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RE: CRJ Transat Delivery Flight!

Mon Dec 10, 2001 6:35 am

An absolutely intriguing trip report and very out of the ordinary.Stornoway by the way is not an island;it is the
largest town on the island of Lewis.Best wishes.
 
ake0404ar
Posts: 2379
Joined: Wed May 24, 2000 10:55 am

RE: CRJ Transat Delivery Flight!

Mon Dec 10, 2001 8:01 am

Nice trip report K, must have been awesome.....at least it sounds like it.

Looking forward to those night flight deck shots, hope you shot them w/0 flash.......

Vasco
 
Carlos Borda
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Joined: Tue Dec 05, 2000 1:31 pm

RE: CRJ Transat Delivery Flight!

Mon Dec 10, 2001 10:39 am

Fascinating trip report K.... that's a once in a lifetime hop across the pond. It was great reading. Hope we see some of those night shots.

~Carlos
 
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Bruce
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RE: CRJ Transat Delivery Flight!

Mon Dec 10, 2001 4:06 pm

excellent!!!!

Those kind of airline jobs would be a real dream to have even if the pay isn't so great. You can't beat perks like that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1


Bruce
Bruce Leibowitz - Jackson, MS (KJAN) - Canon 50D/100-400L IS lens
 
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Fly-K
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RE: CRJ Transat Delivery Flight!

Tue Dec 11, 2001 6:07 am

Bruce, good point here, there's a real tradeoff between pay and getting such goodies... but it still works for me (and my boss probably knows it)!

Konstantin
Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been...
 
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Fly-K
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RE: CRJ Transat Delivery Flight!

Tue Dec 11, 2001 10:04 pm

Sorry, guys, seems I can't get those night shots accepted. They're not 100% sharp or too dark.
It was difficult anyways, without a tripod. I put the camera down on the jumpseat and used the selftimer, but with a 4 second exposure, the plane is always shaking a bit. The ground shots didn't make it either due to grey and dark skies...

Konstantin
Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been...
 
gerardo
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Joined: Sun May 21, 2000 6:22 pm

RE: CRJ Transat Delivery Flight!

Tue Dec 11, 2001 10:31 pm

Very nice to read!!! I felt, as if I was there. Unfortunately I wasn't and I probably will never be on such a flight.  Sad

A pitty, that those night shots weren't accepted.

Gerardo
dominguez(dash)online(dot)ch ... Pushing the limits of my equipment
 
hawaiian717
Posts: 3139
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 2:46 am

RE: CRJ Transat Delivery Flight!

Wed Dec 12, 2001 12:38 am

Konstantin,

Interesting report; I'm glad you took the time to share it with us. Since you can't get the night photos accepted, perhaps you could put them online in Yahoo Photos or something; even if you can't get them on airliners.net, at least we'd still be able to see them.

David / SAN
 
CcrlR
Posts: 2189
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2001 9:24 am

RE: CRJ Transat Delivery Flight!

Sun Dec 23, 2001 2:04 am

hey that was a cool report K! I wish that I could do that too. Mabye I can a little later on when I am older.
It was a really good I wish I was there with you!
"He was right, it is a screaming metal deathtrap!"-Cosmo (from the Fairly Oddparents)

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