Now for the return, and more pics!!!
IAH-ATL: Delta flight 1548, another MD88 N914DL which I've already shot:
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Photo © Bruce Leibowitz
I got to the airport at 6am for the 7:15 flight and had to wait in a very, very long security line. The sun was just coming up, and sitting in 34E again it was going to be very difficult to shoot any shots into the sun. We pushed back ontime and headed for 15L. I did get one awesome shot during takeoff showing the Rankin Rd. viewing spot as we took off, and it is "upload quality". I was very surprised at the route we were given. We flew east from Houston, right along the Gulf of Mexico!!! But we were going to Atlanta!!!!!
We flew at 31,000 feet past Port Arthur, Lake Charles Louisiana, Baton Rouge, Lake Ponchartrain, Biloxi Mississippi, and finally turned north. Weather was clear up to Alabama then cloudy up to Atlanta. I was praying we would approach from the north so I could get an ATL overview shot...but damn!!!!! The 2nd time it was not meant to happen!!!!!!!! We aporoached from the south and landed on 27L. I could see the South Garage in the distance where I had taken so many pics this year, including the one above. After we parked, I asked the Captain if I could shoot some pics in the flight deck and he agreed, so watch for those to be uploaded too.
Again, I had a 2.5 hour layover so I went hunting for good photo opportunities. I found only a couple, before it was time to board my final flight of 2002: a 727!!!!
ATL-BHM: Delta's 1711, N518DA. I had seat 28F this time, and it had a window that was flaking off plastic and moisture between the panes. Surprisingly my photos came out decent, including one at takeoff with our shadow below us! This flight, like all the others, was 80% full so the mniddle seat in my row was empty. This was to be a 30-minute flight so there was no food service. It was ontime, and we taxied down to runway 8L again. Our takeoff roll lasted a long time, but I still like the 727 classic. My last 727 ride was 1996. This one had the hushkits which are required now, and it seemed very quiet in flight. We made our approach to BHM's runway 24 and had the smoothest landing I've seen. I did approach the Captain this time and asked if I could take some pics, so hopefully you will see some on this site soon. Delta will not have anymore 727s after March 2003- said the Captain!
All things considered, my experience with Delta was good as usual. Since I'm doing the pics in order the ones from this leg will be the last
but this trip will yield some very good photo material. I'd highly recommend IAH to anyone who wants a quick and easy spotting trip. And dont forget to rent a pickup!! Budget's rate was only $5 a day more than a cheap little econo-car.