Hey there, I just got back from Aspen, and here is a try on my first ever trip report. I just went there and back non-revving with only a night in Aspen. Since I'm in college for law enforcement, I find it interesting to do ride alongs with cops from all over the country, and working for XJ, gives me the opportunity to do so. And this is why I went to Aspen.
Flight Number: NW3439
Aircraft: Avro RJ-85 N525XJ
Scheduled departure time: 21:02
Actual departure time: 20:58
Scheduled arrival time: 22:25
Actual arrival time: 22:20
Gate Number: C23
OK, so I get off work at 20:30, knowing the plane leaves at 21:02, so I just change and walk to the gate. This trip would be a lot of firsts for me; first time flying XJ, first time flying an ARJ, first time in Aspen, and first time flying F/C (and, first time writing a trip report ). I walk up to the counter, get my boarding pass and sit down for a few minutes until first class and elites board. I get on board and take my seat, 2D. Just in front of the engine, so I had a full view out my window (too bad it was completely dark outside...). Just as I sit down, the F/A comes over and asks if I would like a pre-departure drink, I opted not to, but hey, I'm starting to like this already. We push back a couple of minutes early, and we are on our way. The plane was really empty, with only 4 people in first and 24 in coach. When we get to the runway, we have to wait a while, number three in line, after two NW DC9s. As we start our takeoff roll, I can't believe how quiet this plane is, even sitting right by the engine. We climb out and it is really nice and quiet. After getting a Diet Pepsi and some packs of almonds, I take a nap, since I was really tired after working 13 hours prior to the flight. The F/A, knowing why I was going to Aspen, told me to grab some extra packs of almonds, so I had something to snack on overnight. I wake up when we're approaching Aspen, and put my seatback in "the upright position" We almost glide into Aspen, as the people living there are very noise sensitive. We disembark and I go to meet the Aspen police officer I will be riding along with. A very interesting night is ahead of me.
Flight Number: NW3438
Aircraft: Avro RJ-85 N501XJ
Scheduled departure time: 14:00
Actual departure time: 13:50 (more about this later)
Scheduled arrival time: 17:20
Actual arrival time: 16:51
Gate Number: 7
After being with the Aspen police over night, it's time to leave paradise and head back to Minnesota. We drove out to the airport around 11:00 to get me checked in, just to save time later. We then arrive at the airport at 13:30, half an hour before the scheduled departure time, thinking I will have lots of time. But no, when I'm in line for TSA they call the final boarding call (it is now 13:35, 25 minutes early). I finally get through and the Air Wisconsin agent sees me and runs outside to tell them to hold on. I give her my boarding pass and get on the plane. I find my seat, 3A, and sit down. The door is closed immediately afterwards. I asked the flight attendant why they are leaving so early, and she's like "we are?", and checks her schedule. She realizes that there is still 15 minutes left, and is just as surprised as myself. Now why would they finish boarding 20 minutes before departure time. Luckily, I got on, but barely. Had I not, I would still have been in Aspen, since it was the last flight of the day. But enough complaining, now on to the flight. My seat 3A isn't as good as 2D, as my view out the window is...the engine! Luckily the seat pitch is enough in first that everybody gets two windows, so I can look out the window ahead. Aspen is ARJ heaven by the way. At the time I left, there were two XJ ARJs, one for MSP and one for MEM, plus two UAL Express (Air Wisconsin) BaE-146s, probably headed for DEN or LAX. Never have I seen so many bizjets either, with probably ten parked on the ramp. The cop told they had 60 bizjets there at the same time last weekend! We take off and immediately lower the throttle, again for noise abatement. Once we are far enough away from Aspen, they throttle back up and start climbing faster. We flew over the mountains, with the turbulence that comes with flying low over mountains. All of a sudden, the mountains seem to disappear, and there are just plains. I didn't know the transition from the Great Plains to the Rocky Mountains was that sudden. Again, I'm really tired, and since there is no food service, I take a nap. When I wake back up, we're over the Twin Cities on final. Time to put my seatback up again. We land at MSP almost 30 minutes prior to schedule, so we must have had nice winds.
All in all, it was a great trip, and in a couple of weeks, I'll be going MSP-DSM-MSP, this time to ride along with a Des Moines K9 officer. I have also talked to the CVG police, so I'll be going there sometime also. And, I'm gonna try and get in touch with the SLC police. Flying all over the country in F/C doing ride alongs, can it get any nicer?
Hope you enjoyed my trip report!