Trip Time : 1 hr 39 min and 32 seconds
DL 433, 06:10 am
Photo © Ryan Gaddis - SPOT THIS!
Photo © Chris Sheldon
On Monday morning, I woke up at 245am. I took a shower, and did some final packing. I drove to Midway airport to find long term parking. I parked there without any difficulties. It is my first time into Midway with a brand new terminal, having been to the old terminal several times before. The new terminal is awesome, beautiful and easy to navigate. After 45 minutes, I boarded the Boeing 737. I asked the captain for permission to visit the cockpit, and he gave consent. The first officer was there, and I took the opportunity to ask him about the flight. He was very friendly and welcoming.
After that, I went to take my window seat 20A, with a spectacular view. We pushed back on time, and for quite a distance too.. The engines started spooling up. Flaps were set for takeoff and we began a short taxi to 22L. We lined up and had a smooth takeoff and climbout. It was pretty much cloudy all the way down to ATL. When the seat belt sign went off, I took my laptop out and there was noone seated next to me, giving me a comfortable and roomy ride. I put my laptop on the tray of the next seat, and started the GPS device on the laptop. The flight path displayed a moving map display telling me where I was. We were doing about 440 mph ground speed and on the south-east of the state of Illinois.
The plane then turned in a south-west direction, seeming to head towards STL. After 5 minutes we turned back into the original direction, with speeds up to 460mph, making it look like strong crosswinds up in the sky. After 10 minutes we turned south, near Evansville, IN , yet again, 10 minutes later we turned to the southeast for another 10 min. Near Nashville we again turned to southwest for 10 min, speed constant at 440mph, then turned to south for 4 min and then guess what? We turned east about 90 degrees and the groundspeed increased to 668 MPH! WHOA!
By now we were south of Nashville, turned southeast and speed went back to 460mph near Rome, GA. We then began descent to ATL and I turned the laptop off. We landed smoothly on 27R, and arrived at gate B-30. Then, I had a two hour wait to make my connection to FLL. Feeling hungry, I ate at Chili's for breakfast. The air conditioners blew cold air against my head and neck, making me feel cold and uncomfortable. I was sitting next to the window to watch the ramp activity. Breakfast done, I then walked to gate T-1 to catch my flight to FLL.
Trip time: 1 hr 19 min and 53 seconds.
DL 1510, 1125 am
Photo © Gregg Stansbery
I patiently waited to board the plane. Soon, we were allowed to board the plane, first stop, the cockpit. I asked a flight attentant for permission to see the cockpit. She told that the pilots hadn't arrived yet. 5 minutes later, the captain came in. He allowed me and and I asked again for the flight details. Then, I went to my seat 37A, my favourite on Boeing 767-432ERs because of its view yet again. The plane pushed back on time, and made a long taxi to Runway 27R. The plane took off smoothly.
Once the seat belt signs were turned off, I took out my laptop and started the GPS program. It seemed to be going to straight towards Cross City and Tampa then Ft Lauderdale. Our speed averages 460mph and there were no winds up in the sky. It was good. With a break in the clouds, I could see a little bit of Orlando, spectacular indeed. All of sudden, I spotted another aircraft below my plane. I grabbed my binoculars and saw a Northwest Airbus A320, in the new livery! Wow, what a wonderful view! I watched for about 10 minutes, then the NWA A320 went directly under my plane. I guess the NW A320 is heading to FLL. We began to descend soon after and touched down smoothly on Runway 9L, then taxiing to our arrival gate D-5. I deplaned and then went to collect my rental car and drove to the hotel. I stayed for 4 days in FLL for a relaxing vacation.
The next day, I arranged to meet Airliners.net member Sinlock. We met at top of the parking garage at FLL airport. So, I followed him to the spotting area near runway 9L. It was a friendly and beautiful spotter area. A policeman was there, looking at us, for security reasons. However, he gave us no problem at all. I chatted with Sinlock for a couple of hours. It was fun to watch some planes. A pity it was really cloudy that day. Oh well. Once, an AA 757 lined up on runway 9L ready for take off but the plane was holding too long as an Air Jamaica A320 is trying to making S-turns approaching the runway to avoid hitting the AA 757.
Eventually AA 757 took off and the AJ A320 was forced to abort its landing, being too close to the AA 757 taking off on the runway. The AJ A320 climbed out with landing gears still down, and a few minutes later the gears went up, climbing toward the north circling to land again. A few minutes later, the AJ A320 arrived and Sinlock and I were applauding to its successful landing! It was fun. I left the spotting area around noon as Sinlock had to leave. It was nice meeting up with him.
I will write my return leg FLL-ATL-MDW as soon as possible .
[Edited 2003-11-21 01:41:20]