It’s hard work writing these trip reports, but here’s the second one of my summer 2004 internship. With 56 airline flights in just over 12 weeks, I could be very busy writing reports if I wanted to!
Flight: CO 1402, 767-200 (N68160)
Departure Airport: EWR
Arrival Airport: LAX
Seat: Flight Deck Jumpseat
I awoke in the recliner located under the President’s Club and Gate 74 around 5:30am on a beautiful Saturday May morning. I didn’t know where I was going to go. Checking the computer I decided that a nice transcon to LAX and then a relatively short 757 hop back to IAH would make for a perfect Saturday of jumpseating for this intern. I climbed the stairs from the ExpressJet crew lounge and was soon at the departure gate in EWR’s very nice Terminal C. When I arrived “it” was there, N68160. It was currently being catered and passengers were gathered in their chairs at the gate area. It was just over an hour to departure and I decided after learning that the crew had yet to arrive, I waited for them. Very shortly after, the Captain and some flight attendants arrived. I spoke with the Captain who said he’d love it for me to come along. He let the gate agent know it was ok, and invited me to board immediately to begin the preflight preparations. On the airplane the Captain showed me how dispatch automatically transmits our flight plan to the FMS and he need only verify the information on the printed flight plan. Everything checked out ok. Also our PDC (pre-departure clearance) had printed on the ACARS with our routing and such. Then he said, time for the walk-around (as the First Officer had not arrived). We went outside and began our walk around. There’s not much to it, maintenance looks over each aircraft before the first flight of the day (this aircraft had arrived from Shannon earlier), so we checked the tires, engine inlets and exhaust, control surfaces, and just for any damage. Then it was back inside, where the First Officer was preparing for the flight. Passengers had also started to board. The flight was full in BF (actually just First since it’s a domestic flight) and economy was full. On almost every flight this summer, First was always nearly or completely full. We pushed back on time and after two normal engine startups, we taxied to Runway 22R. This was a Saturday morning and probably made the shortest taxi I experienced all summer (The longest I had was 3+ hrs). A UPS 767 departed before us, and we were soon cleared to take off. I have a video of the takeoff but don’t know how to post it, so if anyone knows how to, please let me know and I’ll put it up. Throttles up, V1, Vr, V2, and we were off to Newark. Leveling at FL350 I could smell the food being served in First! Before long the chime sounded and Faruk, one of the flight attendants brought us each hot egg and cheese croissants, a banana, some fruit, and yogurt. They were pretty good but a bit soggy, I imagine from being in the oven. I have some other pictures from the flight of the Grand Canyon, and approach into LA, but again, I don’t know how to post them so please let me know and I’ll put them up. We battled some fairly strong headwinds during the trip and a couple of times our groundspeed dropped below 400 kts. Midway through the flight we made our bathroom rotations. I left the cockpit last since I don’t really have any flying duties and went to the aft galley to talk with a couple of the flight attendants. They were very interested in my career and why I was jumpseating. Then they opened the oven and offered me the 20+ leftover croissants. I declined. After our conversation I took my time walking back up front. Most passengers were sleeping or relaxing. The shades were drawn. Different movies were playing on the PTV’s while some just had the map. The passengers in BF all had their seats reclined and were out of it. It was really a quiet and nice flight in the cabin, but I was ready to go up front again. Back in the flight deck we were offered freshly baked cookies along with milk which really hit the spot. Descending into LAX was fairly uneventful. The visibility wasn’t that great, especially once we crossed the mountains. I did see the Hollywood sign though, which I thought was cool. We had a TA on final to Runway 25R but had the traffic in sight (it was an EMB-120 on final to 25L). The Captain made a nice landing and we taxied to the gate where we had to be tugged in because of the lack of space to turn under power. I guess there have been problems with planes blowing baggage bins around or something like that! After the passengers had left the plane I thanked the Captain and First Officer for the very nice ride. The flight took almost six hours so they were spending the night in LAX and taking the return of 1402 back to EWR the next day. The flight attendants were continuing back to EWR on the same aircraft in only an hour. One of the flight attendants gave me a $10 airport coupon which I thought was very nice. Overall the flight was very enjoyable. The crew was awesome and the food was fine (especially the cookies). I left ship 160 (little did I know that I’d ride it at least two more times) and walked over to the gate where the 757-300 was at the gate and boarding had begun for my flight to IAH. When I look back I should have definitely explored the airport, maybe gone over to the TBIT! It was a Qantas zoo!
Hope you enjoyed! Please let me know how I post videos and also any pictures. I’d love to have them up as they really add to the experience. I’ll work at more reports as I find time! Almost 8 hours of flying scheduled tomorrow so I’ll see what I can do!