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ORD-LAX And Back (working Vacation On The Saab)

Thu Feb 12, 2004 2:31 pm

I haven't written a trip report in a while so here it goes:
I decided to pick up some overtime and while searching for open trips I came across one out of our LAX base on the Saab 340B. Having not flown the Saab in a while and wanting to get out of the cold I picked it up. So mid-day Saturday I heading out to ORD too take my deadhead flight out to LAX.

Feb 07
AA Flight 1803 ORD-LAX
Reg:N/A (was in a rush and couldn't see them)
Out[of the gate(Skd;Act)]:2:03p(cst);1:58p(cst)
Off(the ground):2:35p(cst)
On(the ground):4:32p(pst)
In[at the gate(Skd;Act)]:4:32p(pst);4:42(pst)

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Photo © PolishAir42 - Chicago Aviation Photography

Even thought I showed up to the gate late I still got a First class seat, After boarding the last passenger the door was closed and they began to de-ice us (it had snowed lightly earlier but had stopped during boarding). Once deicing was complete, we pushed back and taxied out to Rwy 32L for a very quick takeoff. Once we were well established in our climb the captain came over the PA to announce our route of flight (ORD-MLI-OMA-Colorado Springs-Northern Arizona-LAX),at cruise altitude (FL320 initially, FL350 final), also to apologize for the late depature and that unfortunately we had a 100+ mph headwind so we couldn't make up the time lost in de-icing but we would only be a few minutes late.
Once we reached cruise the fa's served the normal AA first class service (drink, warm nuts, hot towel, lunch, drink refills), for lunch there was a spinach pasta or a chicken breast with plum sauce. I selected the chicken breast and lucky got it (Non-rev and Deadheading passengers can ask for any f/c meal but you only get what's left after the paying passengers get served).
Once lunch was served they started the film "Runaway Jury", I found it interesting and actually watched the whole thing. After lunch came the best part of f/c ,ice cream sundae!
After the movie I tried to look out the window at the Rockies and Grand Canyon as best as I could (6E is a aisle seat) without disturbing my seatmate, a nice gentleman who was going to New Zealand from LHR (via ORD and LAX).
Finally we slowly descended into the Los Angles area and ended up landing on rwy 25L for a quick taxi (after waiting for a LH 747-400 to takeoff on rwy 25R) to the gate.

Now I worked a 3 day trip a total of 6 flights (1-2-3), instead of writing each individual one I'm just going to summarize,
Feb 07:
1.LAX-SBA MQ Flt 3109
Saab 340B

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Photo © Jerry Search

Short flight (22 min.) , no service, very bumpy (high winds that day), and only 4 passengers.

Feb 08:
1.SBA-LAX MQ Flt 3036
Saab 340B
reg:Same plane as on the 7th, N338SB
Short flight (21 min.), no service, 30 passengers.
2.LAX-MRY MQ Flt 3027
Saab 340B

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Photo © Ben Wang

1 hour flight, full service, 7 passengers, lots of private a/c at MRY for AT&T golf tournament (Challengers, Falcons, Citation X, etc.), great overnight!

Feb 09:
1. MRY-LAX MQ Flt 3026
Saab 340B

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Photo © Konstantin von Wedelstaedt

1 hour flight, full service, 32 passengers
2. LAX-SBA MQ Flt 3041
Saab 340B
reg:same as MRY-LAX
21 min flight, no service, 4 passengers, got a great view of NAS Point Magu (Saw F-14s, P-3s, E-3Cs,plus a P-3 doing touch and goes on the active runway.
3. SBA-LAX MQ Flt 3040
Saab 340B
reg: Had the same plane all day N241AE
22min flight, no service, 25 passengers

ALL the flight I worked departed off of Rwy 26L and arrived Rwy 26R at LAX. Also while working I say a C-5 Galaxy parked at a remote spot at LAX, and Singapore Airlines A340-500 that does the longest commercial flight LAX-SIN parked at the Tom Bradley Terminal.

FEB 09
AA Flight 1612 LAX-ORD
Out[of the gate(Skd;Act)]:1:47(pst);2:27p(pst)
Off(the ground):3:09p(pst)
On(the ground):8:29p(cst)
In[at the gate(Skd;Act)]:7:42p(cst);8:37(cst)

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Photo © AirNikon

After finishing work I took the bus from the AE satellite terminal to Terminal 4 for my flight back home. Upon reach the gate the agents working the flight announced that the plane would be leaving late due to Air Traffic Control Flow control program in ORD (High winds). Not really surprised (I'm based in ORD and Flow control is a way of life there), I heading over to nearest window facing the Tom Bradley Terminal. After watching a Air China 747 load up, a Varig MD-11ER get towed out of the alley, a Swiss A40-200 get towed in, and a AA 777-223/ER get towed in. They announced boarding of my flight and I head back. Once everyone was onboard the captain working the flight made an announcement about the flow control delay into ORD, but the odd thing was that he did it in the middle of the aisle in F/C using the FA Pa handset so everyone could see him. From a FAs standpoint, I was glad he did that, instead of doing it in the cockpit behind a reinforced door, and leaving the FAs to fend off all the irate passengers on there own.
After pushing back from the gate we taxied over near the end of rwy 25R and waited an additional 30 mins before getting released to head to ORD.
Once again it was classic AA F/C (drink, nuts, towel, dinner[chicken again], drink refills)
The movie was Under the Tuscan Sun which looked okay but I opted to sleep the rest of the flight. I woke up as we descended into Chicago around Janesville, WI to end up landing on rwy 27R (it looked like who ever was working arrivals had us lined up for 22R but switched as we turned for final over the lake).

All in all I enjoyed my little trip and I hope you enjoyed reading it.

I reject your reality and subsitute my own
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Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2003 5:49 pm


Thu Feb 12, 2004 4:39 pm

Great report...

How is it flying SAAB340?

I know you are the commander up front, but I am surprised that AE does not provide any drink service on the really short LAX-SBA flight... I know weather can be a factor, but I remember getting drinks on my United Express EMB-120 flight from SAN to LAX and back...

Also how high do you usually climb to on these short flights to SBA? 10,000ft...

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Posts: 452
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RE: ORD-LAX And Back (working Vacation On The Saab)

Sun Feb 15, 2004 5:21 am

I'm glad you enjoyed my report.
I'm an FA for MQ not a pilot (well I am a private pilot)
and flying the Saab is fun in my opinion. Most of my fellow FAs tend to dislike the Saab but I enjoy it because it feels like your really flying (unlike the ERJ which is sorta sterile), it's the plane i started on with my company, and I just got a soft spot for it.
As for my SBA flights being non-service, the company keeps on changing it from non and full all the time. Personally I feel it's a safety hazard to do a service on a flight that short (on average 20 to 22 min long) due to the low altitued it's flow ( 6, 7, 8,000ft) where you tend to encounter more bumps (i.e. turbulance, wake turbulance) than say above 10,000 which the MRY flight is done at. Also the SAN flight right now is non-service for us but it was full and the company wants to make it full again.

I reject your reality and subsitute my own

RE: ORD-LAX And Back (working Vacation On The Saab)

Wed Feb 25, 2004 8:18 pm

"United Express EMB-120 flight from SAN to LAX and back..."

On all my UA express RJ flights SAN to LAX they have all been non-service flights.

Nice trip report! I wish I was short enough to be a f/a for a regional but I cant stand up in any of the regional

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