The others left for ZRH already on Saturday, but I had to work on saturday, so I took LX1165 STR-ZRH on sunday morning. I nearly missed that flight because I missed my train connection to the airport, but that's a different story. Alright, so the flight with me on board left STR at 08:20 and arrived at ZRH at 09:05, operated by HB-JAM:
Photo © Harri Koskinen
Having arrived at ZRH, I checked in at one of the four dedicated Farewell MD-11 counters. Then I met Christoph and my colleagues and we went through security and took the people mover to Pier E where HB-IWE was ready for boarding soon.
Most of the following pictures were taken by Christoph, he had a window seat so we decided it's best if he takes care of the photos.
Onboard, I met Adam (a.net username: Deltawings), he was sitting just two rows in front of us.
The flight attendants all enjoyed their job today, they all wore special "MD-11: 1991-2004" caps and they were really a great team.
Some photos before push-back:
We pushed back by 11:00 and taxied towards runway 10 - the first time for me to take off from this short runway (2500m). But as we didn't have any baggage and cargo and of course also not much fuel aboard, the MD-11 accelerated like a rocket and pressed us into our seats!
Immideately after take-off, we turned left very hard, still having a massive climbrate, so we were pressed into our seats even more - very powerful. Unfortunately it was very clouded:
One of the three guys in the cockpit made very informative announcements about the routing throughout the whole flight. Then came the greatest announcement ever: We were going to approach the airport of Berne, with a go around just a few hundred feet above the ground! Yippie! What a pity that I didn't spend the additional money for the window seat Anyway, it was a great experience, and Christoph made some nice photos:
Then we started climbing again, and once we had a few 1000 feet below us, fasten-seat-belt signs were switched of, and everybody made an inflight tour through the whole airplane.
"But please take your seat again as soon as we switch on the fasten-seat-belt signs again before landing!", the purser announced. So this was a kind of a "Reise-nach-Jerusalem" game To give you an impression about the atmosphere, here's two photos of the game:
Our further routing was southwest to Geneva, Lake of Geneva, then to the east, north (Lake of Constance) and then back south to ZRH. I have to idea about which photo shows exactly which mountain, lake or landscape, so here are just the links to the photos, the filenames only indicate what I think can be seen on the photos:
Much too soon, we already started our descent into ZRH, runway 14:
Part of our routing:
After landing, we all applauded the crew - which I usually find very annoying after landing, however on this flight it was really a nice way to show the crew our appreciation for their work, it was really great how they all did their part to make this flight so special!
While we taxied to our parking position in front of Terminal B, the song "Time to say goodbye" was played. So sad to see the MD-11 leave!
We were then allowed to have a quick look into the cockpit, then we deboarded by stairs. A last photo after deboarding,
then we were invited to have a meal in the old, now unused Terminal B gate area, organized by the MD-11 Club. Here we met also the passengers of the very last flight, which left just after the meal. 500+ MD-11 fans having a meal while having a view facing HB-IWE being readied for her last flight. Thanks again to everybody who was involved in this event!
We then went upstairs to the public viewing deck to take photos of the last flight leaving:
Some spotters taking photos from airside - does anybody recognize himself on this photo?
The others decided to start their way home now. For me, this meant some 90 minutes of spotting the usual ZRH sunday afternoon traffic, then HB-IWE returned and was welcomed with a water salute:
Now I had to hurry to catch my flight back to STR, operated by HB-JAS:
Photo © Peter Unmuth - VAP
This day was so great! My last chance to finally fly on the MD-11 (at least on Swiss), the great team of the Swiss MD-11 Club, and of course the go around at BRN, so cool! Also nice to meet Deltawings. The whole day was so cool but also very long, so forgive me if I forgot to mention anything. Thanks for reading my report, I hope you liked it. If you have anything to add or comment, feel free to reply.
[Edited 2004-10-31 21:34:27]