August 13 7:00AM
Douglas DC-9-10 (didn't catch the reg #)
We arrived at CMH about 6:00AM, used the e-ticket check-in kiosk, which took a while, but beat standing in the long line for the counter. We headed for security, which had a very long line. Ahead of us were about 4 or 5 people headed to BOS on HP Express. Let's just say I'm glad I wasn't going on the same plane with them... After going through the X-ray machine, my bag was searched- probably beacuse I was "Radio Shack On Wheels"- I had my CD player, scanner, speakers for the CD player, etc. After the security mess, we headed for gate B36, which was B17 at one time. There were a total of four NW jets at the gate area- an A320 to MSP, DC-9-30 to DTW, another DC-9, and our plane, which couldn't be seen. I boarded & headed to seat 13F & got ready for my first flight into MEM. I looked out the window & saw our bags being loaded, which I hadn't seen before.
As the boarding door was closed, the captain came on the PA & said "Welcome aboard Northwest 1927 to Memphis! We're buttoned down, doors closed, and we're ready to go!!" We then started pushback, and then a siren-like noise started. Some of the passengers started looking around, wondering what was going on. Right after that, the engines started, so this must be an indication to the crew that the engines are coming on. Then, when they did, I wondered if they could get any louder! We slowly taxied to rwy 28L & took off. There were a pair of 737s behind us for takeoff- one CO & one US.
We climbed through the haze to FL 310, and got an announcement from the F/As that I guess was saying we could use portable electronic devices, but it was really indistinct & there was a lot of feedback. I noticed my head was higher than the top of the seats, which were a little worn, but still comfortable. As time went on, it got cloudy & a little bumpy. It got worse as time went on, as our enthusiatic captain mentioned, "We've hit the bumpy part." He wanted to descend & after a while, it paid off. Finally we made our way into MEM, where it looked like rain. We had to make some hard turns, to help the traffic flow & avoid some of the weather. On final approach, I saw another DC-9 fall into the pattern behind us. Finally, we landed, which was a pretty noisy process, and taxied to gate B22. We deplaned, and I tried to see the reg. # from the terminal, but couldn't. MEM's an OK airport, but it could be redone on the inside. We went to the food court, got something to eat, and went to gate B26 for:
Northwest 954 MEM-MCO
August 13 9:10am (CDT)
Photo © Pierre Lacombe
Photo © Keith D. Kinman
By this point, I was really tired. This plane, like all of the other recent DC-9 flights I've been on, had the new interior. The F/A said that the flight would be 1 hour, 37 minutes, and "WorldPerks members will earn 6XX miles on today's flight."
We pushed back & taxied to the runway. There was a loud noise during pushback- I wonder if we used the thrust reversers to back out. This was a quieter plane, but still kinda loud. We took off & I slept for about 30 minutes, until my brother woke me up for drink service. Same as last time- drink & Biscoff. It was pretty smooth at first, but there were a few bumps in the middle of the flight. We went up to FL 330, as was mentioned by our female F/O. We then began descent & touched down a little early, on the same runway we departed MCO on last year, going the other way (18L).
I was REALLY impressed by the Antonov AN-124!
Photo © Sven De Bevere
It was parked on the right side of the Rwy., near the CO maintenance building, sitting next to two green and white 767-300s, with Arabic markings on the tails. Was there some event in MCO that they'd be attending?
Anyway, we taxied to gate 36. There were also UA A320s & a 757, a US A320, 737 & 757 at the terminal when we left. We got our rental car (A Chrysler Sebring Convertible!!) and headed for Daytona, for a week of sun, sand, and an ERAU visit.
I'll do a report on the return trip later today.