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BIL-SLC-ATL-HSV On DL, Puke, Bomb Talk, And Delays

Tue Jul 23, 2002 3:10 pm


I know its quite long but I described most things in detail, I know most people like it that way, including myself  Smile. Enjoy! By the way, this is only the first 3 segments so far if you didn’t notice yet. Most of the exciting stuff (like in the subject line) happens on the return legs Big grin. It should be up soon within this thread…  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
Delta Air Lines operated by SkyWest “A Delta Connection Carrier”
Flight Number: Delta 3565
Departs: Billings, MT (BIL) Friday 12 Jul 2002 at 0821P
Arrives: Salt Lake City, UT (SLC) Friday 12 Jul 2002 at 0935P
Confirmed Coach/Economy Class Seat(s): 07A

I arrived at the airport after eating dinner. Check in was quick as there were no other passengers in line for DL  Smile/happy/getting dizzy. I quickly changed my seat assignment on the HSV to ATL leg to a window seat (it was booked up full when I did the seat map online, but cleared up afterwards). Security went quickly as well, no wandings or strip searches for me today. I proceeded to walk the short distance through the concourse to the large window overlooking Big Sky Airline’s ramp and the GA ramp. I took a few shots of taxiing GQ Metros and an arriving Gulfstream V. By now its nearing arrival time of the flight from SLC in which I would later board, so I exited security to say good bye to my mother and off I was, going through security again before boarding the CRJ-200 with the special Olympics colors.

I was one of the first people to go through the boarding process. I walked down the ramp and onto the stairs to board the aircraft before being told that the single flight attendant wasn’t onboard by the Captain, so we chatted a little and such before the plane was ready. I was impressed with the leather seats that SkyWest offers on their CRJs, they were comfortable except for the neck strain you have to cope with if you look out the very low windows for extended periods. I was also lucky enough to have two seats to myself, the only time out of 6 segments in which that occurred. After everything was ready, the guys up front started the engines and we were off to runway 10L, which was the first experience I have had utilizing that runway for takeoff. We held short for the Airborne Express DC-9 that was on short final, and soon we were rumbling down the 10,528-foot runway. The Captain announced we would cruise only at FL270, which gave a spectacular view of the red landscape of Wyoming below, especially with the sunset! Enroute, I was served a can of Coke with a cup of ice, and asked what I would rather have for snacks out of 3 choices (something like snack mix, biscotti, and an oatmeal cranberry cookie). I chose the oatmeal cranberry cookie. Finally its time for initial descent into SLC, which was also quite breathtaking with the mountains and sunset (I took a dozen photos or so on this flight). We flew North and finally turned base and final to the South… smooth touchdown followed along with a short taxi to the E gates (SkyWest commuter).
Delta Air Lines
NXXXDL (anyone know what was in place of the X’s? I glanced at it upon arrival into ATL but quickly forgot)
Flight Number: Delta 418
Departs: Salt Lake City, UT (SLC) Friday 12 Jul 2002 at 1155P
Arrives: Atlanta, GA (ATL) Saturday 13 Jul 2002 at 0537A
Confirmed Coach/Economy Class Seat(s): 24F

I had about 2 and a half hours to blow off around SLC, which went rather slowly considering the amount of stuff there is to do there when the sun is down *rolls eyes* (basically you can’t take photos without getting window glare or blurriness at night). I also had a hard time finding water since most places were closed, but finally talked the Starbucks dude into selling me one with exact change, pretty pricey at $1.95 but well worth it when you’re thirsty. I than proceeded to the restroom to freshen up, brush my teeth, etc… before finally heading to the gate area about an hour before departure time. I mainly listened to Blink 182, NFG, and other bands while waiting and waiting for the boarding call. Finally they started boarding first class, than the “ultra super ego platinum gold executive” members, etc  Big grin, than finally coach. It takes a long time to fit 160 people into a metal tube, from what I can recall we were running a little late. The flight would be completely full and I was dumb enough to book a window on a 3.5 hour flight after drinking lots of beverages, I’ll get more into that later Big grin. We had a short taxi to some runway facing North and a powerful takeoff. We climbed out pretty steep and used lots of right bank. At night around mountains, it kind of makes you think about CFIT accidents  Sad. I had two friendly seatmates, who I talked to about various stuff such as why they’re traveling to how dumb we are just to save money flying a redeye Big grin. The inflight movie was announced to be “Ice Age”, It looked like a bunch of crap so I didn’t think it was worth plucking down 5 clams for, neither did most other people in the sardine can. Inflight service consisted of a beverage and a bag of pretzels along with water occasionally. Sadly I was the only one in my row that didn’t get any sleep, which was quite a nuisance I would soon find out when I arrived in Atlanta. But anyway, the ride got pretty choppy and the Captain announced it would continue to be because we were following in thunderstorms. Our descent was almost entirely in the clouds and I thought it might be close to a CATIII before we broke through only a few thousand feet off the ground. We slammed down on the runway pretty hard and went into full reverse before taxiing to the gate. Deplaning took a while, since most people were still tired and slow. On the way out I put my hand on the right side of the fuselage of the boarding door like I usually do to say goodbye to the aircraft that carried me safely.
Delta Air Lines operated by Atlanta Southeast Airlines “A Delta Connection Carrier”
Flight Number: Delta 4196
Departs: Atlanta, GA (ATL) Saturday 13 Jul 2002 at 0820A
Arrives: Huntsville, AL (HSV) Saturday 13 Jul 2002 at 0820A
Confirmed Coach/Economy Class Seat(s): 08A

The concourses were deserted this early in the morning at ATL, so I took the opportunity to explorer with ease. I visited the international terminal to try and spot some aircraft I have never seen before. I soon realized most of the aircraft were probably on their way back since barely anything except a United 737 (probably going to Canada not overseas  Big grin, lol) and an Air Jamaica A340 (woo hoo, now I’ve seen one!) were all I saw. I was pretty hungry so decided to walk back to the commuter trains and go to my concourse (C I think). I grabbed a breakfast sandwich and a milk at Wendy’s, both items tasted terrible but I forced them down. I rinsed that crap down with a Minute Maid Orange Juice from a vending machine, very refreshing!  Big thumbs up The concourse is filling up with people now so I decide to just go sit near the gate area rather than risk roaming around and missing the flight. I listened to the same CDs again, its hard to over listen to most Blink 182 songs anyway. Finally we were able to board. When on the ramp I noticed I would be flying the newest of ASA’s -700s, 703EV, which was disappointing and nice at the same time (was hoping for 701EV, the first one). I had the window in row 8 on the left side (8A). The aisle was already occupied by an older man who didn’t even return a “hi”, I simply concluded his ego was too high to talk to me so I kept to myself from than on that flight. As soon as I was seated I immediately noticed the window was raised a little compared to the CRJ-200s. It smelled sooooo new inside, I think it was only a few months ago this particular aircraft was delivered. Since I didn’t get any sleep all night, I put my hat over my eyes after the Captain announced we would be delayed for some mechanical reason. I fell asleep right when one of the FAs was coming around with bottles of water. Next I remembered I woke up suddenly when we were on the takeoff roll, I fell asleep seconds later and slept until we were on the ramp in Huntsville. I was the last person to deplane. Once inside the terminal, I soon found out two of the other kids on my flight were also going to Aviation Challenge and we were greeted by a camp counselor and escorted to the baggage claim and finally to the transport van. Basically my freedom came screeching to a halt from then on  Big grin.

Thanks for reading and any comments are welcome!
Serge  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
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RE: BIL-SLC-ATL-HSV On DL, Puke, Bomb Talk, And Delays

Tue Jul 23, 2002 3:50 pm

barely anything except a United 737 (probably going to Canada not overseas)

Nothing even as exciting as Canada. UAL has only 3 gates in ATL, so they tow some 737s or Airbuses over to E-concourse and park them overnight at the international gates. The plans then fly to SFO/DEN/ORD/IAD in the morning.
"The A340-300 may boast a long range, but the A340 is underpowered" -- Robert Milton, CEO - Air Canada
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RE: BIL-SLC-ATL-HSV On DL, Puke, Bomb Talk, And Delays

Wed Jul 24, 2002 12:44 am

Nice report, i cant wait for the next half! Big grin
DC-10's Forever
"Traveling light is the only way to fly" - Eric Clapton
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RE: BIL-SLC-ATL-HSV On DL, Puke, Bomb Talk, And Delays

Wed Jul 24, 2002 5:15 am

Thanks for clearing that up B747-437B, I was kinda wondering why UA at ATL would have flights to CA, but now I know they don't Big grin.

Thanks for the compliment CMK10, the second half should be up by tonight along with some photos (going to pick them up right now!).

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Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2001 2:01 pm

RE: BIL-SLC-ATL-HSV On DL, Puke, Bomb Talk, And Delays

Sun Jul 28, 2002 2:41 pm

Heres the HSV to ATL segment! Sorry for the delays guys on getting the second half up. I'm writing the other two now, they should be up within 30-60 minutes.

Delta Air Lines
Flight Number: Delta 1794
Departs: Huntsville, AL (HSV) Friday 19 Jul 2002 at 0210P
Arrives: Atlanta, GA (ATL) Friday 19 Jul 2002 at 0406P
Confirmed Coach/Economy Class Seat(s): 19F

After an exciting week at Aviation Challenge, I say goodbye to all my new friends and take the shuttle bus to the Huntsville airport. On the way there I was able to spot 3 Atlas Air 747 cargo planes on the ramp and some other cargo aircraft. Checking in was a breeze, after I received my boarding passes I had to wait for the other kids from the camp to get theirs. So I’m sitting in a chair and the idiots next to me discuss the best way to blow up an aircraft with a shoe bomb! Ohhhh great I thought, just imagine if someone from the airline/security heard that. They go on about saying it would be best to blow it up in a populated area..etc..etc… I was going to tell them how f****ing stupid they were, but thought that would just draw attention to our group.

Finally, about 40 minutes from departure time, a counselor escorted us through security. I didn’t beep, which was relieving to not get a wanding! One of the screeners requested to do an explosive test on my bag though, which I kindly granted. Negative, no explosives (I was actually worried for a second since the bag was near fireworks this 4th of July). The machine she tested the swabbing with looked advanced.

Now I’m sitting in a Space Camp room with all the other kids, awaiting the boarding of our flight. It didn’t bother me that they had to treat us like babies, because if they treated all age groups the same it would have just taken longer considering their resources (counselors, etc… Big grin. At last its time to board our 737-300 aircraft (N225DL), in the middle old livery. When they called boarding 20 and up, I waited a little, then jumped in line (I was seated in 19F). Just in time, they called 20 and under, yay…. I was seated next to some kid (aisle) and a middle aged dude (middle). The middle aged dude was friendly, we talked about aviation a little then he disclosed he was an A&P on the Chinook helicopters! Finally we pushed back and I noticed my bag along with a few others were sitting the ramp still, lol… The flight was completely full so I just thought we were a little heavy, but didn’t worry since there was another flight in less then an hour to ATL that my bag could hop on and make the connections. Finally after taxiing, we had an impressive takeoff and climb out. We battled lots of weather on the short 30 minute flight, which made for some nice photos (will upload them to soon). No beverage service on this flight, since it was so short.

I talked to the guy in the middle seat for the rest of the flight, he seemed like he had an interesting background of aviation. By now, we’re already near ATL so we joined the pattern and landed on what I think was 26L. We had to wait a few minutes for an aircraft to pushback out of what would soon be our gate. Deplaning took a while like always, but I was finally out of that tube. I was as hungry as hell since I only had breakfast that day, so I used the washroom and made my way down the terminal scouting out a good spot to eat. I chose Mandarin Express, some fast Chinese food place. I ordered the Teriyaki Chicken and Mongolian Beef, rice, an egg roll, and a medium coke with ice all for only $7. Without a doubt, it was some of the best airport food I have ever eaten! I’d recommend eating there to any future ATL travelers.. its in the middle of the B terminal.

Serge  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
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RE: BIL-SLC-ATL-HSV On DL, Puke, Bomb Talk, And Delays

Sun Jul 28, 2002 3:41 pm

As promised:

Delta Air Lines
Flight Number: Delta 709
Departs: Atlanta, GA (ATL) Friday 19 Jul 2002 at 0525P
Arrives: Salt Lake City, UT (SLC) Friday 19 Jul 2002 at 0712P
Confirmed Coach/Economy Class Seat(s): 40A

After roaming around ATL for a bit and freshening up in the washroom, I proceeded to gate B1 at around 5:00PM to wait for boarding to begin. Boarding was delayed for about 15 minutes for some reason (I think the aircraft just arrived). When they did start boarding I was happy that I was in the rear of the aircraft since they called us first. I soon realized how lucky I was, I had a clean window, an active taxiway out that window (we were at B1, so no other gates either!), no obstruction of view from the wing for the most part, and a camera. I soon put everything together and realized I could take photos of airplanes! Lol… I photographed quite a few aircraft, with most of the photos being available here ( or here: When the newest CRJ-700 landed, I was in awe, especially seeing it was N703EV, the same aircraft I rode on to HSV a week before. Unfortunately, just before the aircraft was going to taxi by, the sun went behind a cloud so the photo doesn’t look too appealing. I thought I had two seats to myself for a while, until some girl probably around 20 showed up. She seemed friendly, but also awkward in some way, can’t quite put my finger on it. While I was taking photos of airplanes, she was playing solitaire on the tray table, what do you think is more exciting? Hehe  Big grin. Grrr… its finally time to pushback and be on our way (goodbye great photo spot). We taxied and taxied for quite some time, but it gave me great views and photo ops of many aircraft. We joined the queue for 26L and eventually were number one. I snapped a few photos of the terminals on climbout, also capturing a simultaneous MD-11 takeoff from 27R!

Once up at cruise I blew off time listening to Blink 182, NFG, and other bands on my cd player while also keeping a close watch outside for other nearby aircraft (it will never be the same since I missed a photo op of a VERY close UA 757 enroute to SAN a few months ago  Sad… Big grin. Finally I spot a DL 757 cruising parallel and a thousand or so feet above us. Eventually we banked left, so I kept the camera handy to eventually capture this shot when our paths were close to crossing:

I put away the camera since I got what I wanted and excused myself to run to the restroom quickly to drop the kids off at the pool  Smile before the chicken salad and drinks would be served. I made it back just in time for when the FAs were passing around our snack: a chicken salad (lettuce and a few pieces of chicken), crotons, salad dressing, 2 crackers, a small thing of cheese, and some chocolate cookies. Not too bad of a snack if you ask me. Next a FA came around bringing drinks, I opted for a Coke with ice, unfortunately she didn’t give me the whole can. I try and blow off time by listening to more music and talking to the girl next to me. At one time when we both had headphones on, an older man returning from the lav asked the girl next to me “Did you have any trouble bringing one of these *he then pointed to a cd player* through security?”. He had to repeat the question after she took her headphones off. The girl said something like “No, its fine, they don’t give you any trouble” so the guy said “Oh, I just didn’t know if they would think it’s a BOMB or something” and he took his seat. I then told the girl that we’re be diverting to an alternate airport soon (joke, but could have been true if someone told a FA they were concerned or a FA overheard). There were lots of clouds even though we were up at around FL370. But after a while, its time to descend into the SLC area…. Its getting more cloudy by now and after a while the Captain told us the SLC airport was closed due to weather and we would be in a holding pattern for a while, which was fine since he said we brought lots of fuel. It really did look stormy out, which frightened the girl next to me who got worried about where we would land if we ran out of fuel, she then took out the inflight magazine and pointed out there were no other airports in the vicinity of SLC, lol! I then had to clarify that we could land at an airport that isn’t served at DL, it would be perfectly safe. Hehehehe…

When in the holding pattern we were treated to a a view of stormy clouds in one area, the moon, and a rainbow. I took a photo but its not as spectacular as it would be witnessing it firsthand. When it got more choppy, the girl took out her airsickness bag and put it up to her mouth. She puked and puked and puked. I was kind enough to give her mine as well  Smile/happy/getting dizzy (hehe). She eventually did use mine as well. She then asked if the wings were “supposed to do that” (I interpreted it as flexing vertically), so I told her if they didn’t in this kind of chop they would break off. Finally the Captain announced the airport was reopened and we would be on the ground within 45 minutes.

By now, we’re getting pretty low in relation to the mountains and were able to see a huge mine of some sort…. Landing soon followed on the slippery runway (its raining out) and while the airplane was taxing, the girl went to the lav to throw away her puke, a stern FA voice came over the PA immediately demanding for everyone to remain seated since we’re on an active taxiway. We arrived at the gate and eventually deplaned the mighty 767. I caught its tailnumber, N120DL, and proceeded to the departure information screens to find out if I missed my flight or not (was hoping so since I would get to ride on a later MD-90). It didn’t have it displayed so I went to the customer service in the commuter terminal to inquire.
She told me it was cancelled and I asked if I could be put on the 10:00 departure to Billings. She told me I was covered and printed the new boarding pass, yet she told me it would depart late at 10:40PM. I then went to the gate where I would be departing from and had my seat changed to a window (they couldn’t do it at customer service for some reason). I grabbed a Minute Maid lemon ice at BK’s (love those things) and walked through all the deserted non-DL terminals to watch aircraft. I spotted a few UA 737s, an HP CRJ-200, a NW 727, an AA F100, and some others… I only took two pictures in SLC that day, one of a DL 738 and one of a DL MD-90, only the 738 came out:

Delta Air Lines
Flight Number: Delta XXXX (too lazy to find my boarding passes since it wasn’t on the itinerary…obviously)
Departs: Salt Lake City, UT (SLC) Friday 19 Jul 2002 at around 11:00PM
Arrives: Billings, MT (BIL) Saturday 20 Jul 2002 at around 12:15AM

I went to the washroom to freshen up, brush teeth, etc, and then proceeded back to the gate where I would be leaving to Billings from. Just listened to CDs and read Airliners magazine until it was time to board. The boarding and flight was delayed quite a bit since the aircraft was late departing SNA. Our new departure time was after 11:00PM but I was just happy to be able to fly on an MD-90 for the first time (that I know of). Finally we began boarding, not too many people surprisingly… but I was so tired I didn’t even think of grabbing a different row, so I was sitting next to some older lady and some middle aged dude. We had a short taxi to the runway. Takeoff was kind of powerful… When we were ascending I fell asleep until we hit the runway in Billings. Deplaned quickly and used the restroom… awwwww…. I then grabbed the registration; N908DA and exited security and met back up with my dad and brother! I had a great trip and loved flying Delta Air Lines and would do it again anytime….

Hope you enjoyed it!
Serge Big grin
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RE: BIL-SLC-ATL-HSV On DL, Puke, Bomb Talk, And Delays

Mon Jul 29, 2002 12:42 am

Very cool trip report. Nice pictures btw! I go to ATL at least once or twice a year to visit my godmother and it is always nice to see pictures from my "kind of home airport."  Big grin The girl puking next to you brings back a fond memory of a certain 7 yr old boy (ME) and a certain Delta L-1011 holding in FRA. Let's just say that a thunderstorm, combined with turbulence and a holding pattern did wonders to my equilibrium!

Olympic A-340
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RE: BIL-SLC-ATL-HSV On DL, Puke, Bomb Talk, And Delays

Mon Jul 29, 2002 11:05 am

Excellent second half! Im glad to say that ive never seen anyone puke on an airplane. Im sure it was great having to smell that  Nuts Keep writing these reprots!
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RE: BIL-SLC-ATL-HSV On DL, Puke, Bomb Talk, And Delays

Mon Jul 29, 2002 12:14 pm

Very nice report. That photo of the clouds in SLC sure does give an indication why you had so much trouble getting there.
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RE: BIL-SLC-ATL-HSV On DL, Puke, Bomb Talk, And Delays

Tue Jul 30, 2002 5:51 pm

Flight 418 was operated by N651DL.
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Photo © James Richard Covington, Jr

This plane is built to withstand anything... except a bad pilot.
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RE: BIL-SLC-ATL-HSV On DL, Puke, Bomb Talk, And Delays

Tue Jul 30, 2002 11:56 pm

Thanks guys for reading once again  Smile. And thanks DL_Mech for the registration, very helpful (no more hole in my excel spreadsheet!).


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