December 19, 2002
Photo © John Davies
After a full day of school, dinner at Max & Erma's, and a visit w/my DL gate agent friend, it was time to head to gate A3 for my 2nd ERJ flight (the other was DCA-CMH 7/31/01, N830MH).
My mom checked in & I went to the end of the terminal, to watch an AC Dash 8 pull into the gate. When I came back, my dad was talking to the pilot, and I joined in. He was Captain Angelo- from Greece, an ERAU grad, among other things. I asked what it was like to use the "handlebar yoke" as I call it & he said he was able to get used to it. He told me that he had an offer with DL, probably for an MD-88 job......but he didn't take it courtesy of 9/11. He said it was a good thing- he said "If I'd taken it, I may not have had a job by now." Really nice guy!
We boarded (crossing the ramp in the rain) & I went to my seat, set my CD bag down & headed for the cockpit, where the F/O let me sit in the Captain's seat and he gave me a full description of the flight deck. He also let me put data into (delete a waypoint, to be exact) the computer! It was great- I'd never had anything like that before on the plane. I went back to my seat, and the F/A moved me from seat 1A to 4F. As we pulled away from the gate, she did the safety demonstration-this made me feel like I was on a Disney ride. One line was:
"There are 4 exits on this aircraft: the forward door, where every...single...one of you entered, the door on the right in the galley, which is what we call our kitchen, and two exits over the wings."
She also said "We'd like to welcome you aboard our 'Em-bree-ay' ERJ-145." Is that how it's pronounced, or is it "Em-bray-er"?
We taxied to 10R, and left after a CO ERJ landed. It was fairly smooth after takeoff, until we went into the clouds, where it was choppy. We only went to FL170, and it was smoother than I thought it would be there! I was impressed by the rain shooting past the strobe lights during the flight- looked like stars shooting past the plane. The lights reflected in the cabin because it was pitch black in the cabin.
After 23 minutes, we landed & taxied to A25. We were told that if we had carry-ons, they weren't off yet, so we had to wait on the plane for a few minutes, until they showed up, Cpt. Angelo shook my hand & said "Good Luck!", and we headed into the terminal, dripping...
We had a decent layover in PIT, so I went exploring for a while, stopping in the Discovery Channel Store & I went over to see "Kidsport", which is where I spent the majority of my time while at PIT when I was younger. Always fun to go into an airport that was instrumental in my love for flying. I'm not too thrilled to see it reduced to an RJ hub... Then, I made my way to B38, for:
US Airways 116 PIT-MCO
Airbus A319 N714US
Photo © Chris Barrow
I got to the gate, walked to the end of B concourse, where I saw several flights delayed. I got back to B38 at about 9:35, read 1 page of "A Tale Of Two Cities", my history class's assignment for the next few weeks, and it was time to board. I headed to the flight deck again, and stayed for a few minutes, asking about the joystick & the fleet commonality- they said that the A319 would have the same cockpit as the A330 if it had one more autopilot system, or something like that. Thought that was cool.
We also had an unusual F/A on this flight. Some of his phrases were:
"Ladies & Gentlemen, Boys & Girls"
"Don't put your bags in an overhead @ Row 4 & sit in 14" (He had a good point!)
We pushed at 10:15, after some passengers whose connections were late arrived, and saw the safety video. I saw a 767-200 in a gate a few slots down- any idea where it was from/going to?
We taxied & took off, and for the first 28 minutes, it was bumpy, but when we (finally) cleared the clouds, it was smooth. Drink service came through & I took a water & the bag of pretzels. I was listening to "Hit Mix" on the IFE (I was allowed to keep a headset from one of the A330 flights in the past & was using it), and started the missing letter puzzle in "Attache". I got about 7 done & still have to finish it. The bumps came back for a while, and I guess we left FL 350 for a little higher altitude, which ended the turbulence.
When we came in over Florida, I had my eyes glued to the window, in hopes of seeing any landmarks of DAB (which is where I was headed), but didn't. We landed, and pulled into gate 50. The terminal was full- I hadn't seen MCO's US terminal like that! We took the train, and I talked to a Skyway DO-328 jet pilot. He told me he liked it & that I could find pics on a site called Airliners.net. I told him I was a member of the forums, but I don't know if he understood what I said.
We got our car, and left MCO, headed for DAB. We got there at 3 am, a 21-hr day for me!
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!