Happy New Year all!
Although a member for a while, this is the first real opportunity I have had to post a unique trip report on A-Net. Because I fly on business a lot, most of what I experience is "the same old thing" that is posted on this forum. However, during this holiday season, I had a unique opportunity to fly roundtrip from OXC to TUL and back on two fantastic machines, a Learjet45 and a CJ2. Here are the details. Hope you enjoy my first report.
December 17th, 2004
OXC - TUL
The trip was booked via one of the leading "Membership Card" programs, which will remain nameless. We were originally scheduled to fly out of Oxford at 9am, but due to a maintenance issue with our original plane (a Beechjet 400 Reg. N642AC) we were upgraded to a learjet45 based at the Oxford airport. The customer service agent for the membership program did a very good job keeping us informed of the mechanical issues, and made sure we were well informed of the rescheduling process. Although we were delayed by over 2 hours while the flight crew prepared our new plane, we were very fortunate to get this upgrade, as the LR-45 is a superior aircraft compared to the Beechjet 400. The interior of the aircraft was configured in a double club format, offering more then enough room for the four people in our party. In addition, the added range of the Learjet45 negated the need for a fuel stop, which would have been necessary with the Beechjet 400 due to the strong headwinds.
Around 11am, my family and I were shuttled to the hangar to board the plane. The flight crew was waiting for us, and loaded our bags (and Christmas gifts) into the rear cargo hold. We boarded the plane at 11:10am and were given the routine safety information about the L-45. The captain offered us a beverage and explained that due to strong headwinds, the flight to Tulsa would take approximately 3 hours and 30 minutes. He then closed the door, and shortly thereafter we began our taxi out to Runway 36. Being the only aircraft taxing at the time, we immediately started our take off role at approximately 11:20am.
The route of flight took us northwest were we crossed the Hudson River at West Point, NY with incredible views of the Bear Mountain Bridge, the USMA, and of New York City. We then proceeded ssw across NJ, PA, MD and VA, just north and west of Washington DC. We were able to get a great view of Dulles Airport before proceeding across WV, KY, IL, MO, and finally into the Tulsa OK area.
We approached TUL from the north, and landed on RAY 19R at approximately 1:40pm CST. We parked at the Mercury Air Center FBO.
January 2nd, 2005
TUL - OXC
Unlike our outbound flight, yesterday's flight was flawless. We arrived at the Mercury Air Center FBO at approximately 8:50am, and were allowed to pull directly onto the apron to our plane. Being the end of the holiday season, there were 3 other aircraft and crews awaiting passengers at the time. I did not get their registrations, but the three aircraft were a Beechjet 400, a Learjet 31A and another CJ2. We were the first passengers of any of the 4 planes to arrive.
The flight crew greeted us as we got out of the car, and proceeded to help us load the plane with our Christmas loot! They were assisted by the ramp workers, and together nearly filled the 70 cubic feet of space in the rear cargo hold. My family boarded the plane at approximately 9:00am. The interior of the CJ2 was immaculate. The plane is only two years old, and was very well maintained. The cabin was configured in one club section, with two rear seats facing forward. Although equipped with a lav, it did not have a full lavatory like the Lear45, which is why the family decided to use the bathroom before boarding!
Once loaded up, the female first officer (forgot her name) showed us the safety features of the CJ2. She then returned to the flight deck and we began our taxi to RWY 19R at approximately 9:10am CST. As we left the FBO, a Falcon2000 arrived and took our spot at the FBO apron. What an impressive plane!
We followed a Comair CRJ to the end of RWY 19R, and watched her take off. With no other visible traffic in the area, we were cleared for take off at 9:18am. The weather in Tulsa was overcast with showers, so approximately 45 seconds after take off, we were above the clouddeck for most of the 3 hour flight home.
The CJ2, albeit a smaller plane than the 45, was very comfortable. The one thing the CJ2 had that the LR45 did not was a small tv screen that outlined the speed, altitude, distance to destination (DTD) and time to destination (TTD) of our flight. Because the weather of across our entire flight path was covered in clouds, I could not tell the exact route of our flight. About 2hr 30 minutes into our flight, cruising at 43,000 feet at a speed of 465 mph, the clouds broke as we crossed the Jersey coast into the Atlantic Ocean, beginning our decent. We then turned north, continuing our decent, crossing Long Island at Westhampton Beach, and proceeded across Long Island Sound, making landfall at West Haven, CT. We did get spectacular views of New Haven, The Yale Bowl, and Tweed New Haven airport. We continued north to Oxford, where we circled south to land on RWY 18 at approximately 1:20pm.
Would love comments and any information on the aircraft I saw at Tulsa yesterday morning! I have pictures of the interiors of both the LR-45 and CJ2, and will post them at another time.