June 8, 2005
USAirways flight# 992
Photo © David Marcoux
My mom drove my sister and I to the airport, left the house at 6am. About 10min later,we arrive at BWI. said bye to mom and went inside for check in. The airport didn't seem that busy, it was really slow actually. At the US ticket counters, there was no line. Several kiosks were free, so my sister and I went to get boarding passes and check bags, which went by quickly, thanks to a friendly US agent. Then we walked towards security. The line (or lack there of) was almost non existent. I was so happy about this, as standing in line for security is one of the few things I dislike about air travel. After security, we started the long walk to gate D22, but we decided to make a stop at Roy Rogers for some breakfast. I had some sort of egg and sausage biscuit, with some little potato fries. My sister had the same thing, but instead of sausage, she had bacon. We sat at a counter by the window, where we could see outside, I saw many planes at their gates: NW 757, Air Jamaica A321, FL 717, and off in the distance at the remote parking, I saw hooters air 737, and AOM DC-10. We finished our breakfast (which was very nasty IMO, and the cashier that served us was rude and looked like she just didn't give a damn, I really hate roy rogers), then we went to gate D22, where i found our 757 waiting at the gate, with another US 757 keeping her company, looking good. while sitting there, i had a great view of traffic departing from rwy 28. and there was alot of traffic. i saw several WN 737's, a few AA planes, 757 and MD-80's, a DL 757, UA 757, US 757, FedEx A300, UPS A300, a few FL 717's, and a few more that i cant remember. at the neighboring gate, a FL 717 was already boarding for thier flight to Sarasota. around 6:30, they started the boarding for our flight.. FINALLY!! we were in zone 8, i was in 14F, and my sister next to me in 14E. once on the plane, i found that it was very light, id say load factor was 40%. A bussiness man was in the aisle seat next to my sister(14D) and was travelling with another guy in 14C, so they decided that since there was many open seats that they would move. we were happy, my sister moved to the aisle seat giving us both more space, freeing up the middle seat. We pushed back for an ontime departure, and headed for the runway. during taxi, it seemed that we were in a race with a WN 737 for the runway. we were ahead for a while, but the WN plane took off before us, whats up with that?? oh well. i saw a little FedEx prop scuddle ahead of us when we stopped at the holding spot, and a USA3000 A320 waiting patiently behind us. finally we lined up on 28, sat for about 15seconds, and then we were rolling. it felt like a full power takeoff, but probably wasnt, as the plane was light. it was a VERY short takeoff roll, i dont think we used up even half the runway. we rotated and shot up like a rocket. this is one of many reasons i love the 757. a minute after takeoff, we made a big wide turn to the left, we went over parts of the Chesapeake Bay, which was really cool. our trip to PHL was short but nice. smooth air, little puffy clouds, but a little hazy. Then, before i knew it, we started descending into PHL. close to landing, on approach, i saw downtown Philly, the stadiums, and parts of the shipyard, then we landed ontime and bounced a few times on 27R, (i think it was 27R, if im wrong, correct me please) we quickly slowed down and turned off the runway, and went to our gate(sorry i dont remember what gate it was, but it was one of the B gates) we left the plane and went to meet my aunt, who was already at the airport. she was outside near the baggage claim smoking a cigarette. We sat with her for a few minutes, but went inside because it was really hot. we went back through security, which was quick, there was almost no line. then walked down to gate B11. while sitting at the gate, i could see planes line up and taking off on 27L. of those, i saw several US planes of all types, a few WN, and 2 UPS MD-11's, which i found really cool. By the way, is PHL a hub for UPS? because i saw a huge UPS building, probably a hanger, with some UPS planes parked next to it towards the end of 27L. i also saw a UA airbus(couldnt tell if it was 319 or 320 as it was far away), a DL MD-88, and an AA MD-80.
June 8, 2005
USAirways flight# 1061
Photo © Helmut Bierbaum
me and my sister are in zone 6, i had 23A, she had 23B, but my aunt sat further up front, i think she was in 15 or 16A. the load on this flight was about 80%.once in my seat, i looked out the window and could still see traffic taking off from 27L. The captain came on and welcomed us aboard, said that we were looking at an ontime departure, he said that it would be smooth sailing all the way down to FLL. then a FA came on and welcomed everyone. and by the sound of them, the seemed like they really enjoyed their jobs, and was happy to have us, i've noticed this on all my US flights, it made me glad that i was flying US again and not some other airline. we pushed back ontime and the safety video started. I noticed how new the cabin looked, i knew that the plane was kinda old, but it looked like they do well in keeping up the plane. on the other hand, the planes age showed when i saw the flaps extend, they were a little dirty. we taxied for takeoff on 27L, where we were #2 or 3 for takeoff( i dont remember which). i find that in PHL, 27L departures are wierd because of the way planes line up. it seems that planes line up from 3 or 4 different places to get to line up on the main runway, its like a hodge podge of planes coming from all directions trying to get to one spot. its kinda hard to describe, but if you are familiar with PHL, im sure you know what im talking about. but anyway, we lined up for takeoff and the engines spooled, only like a 757 can, i was pushed back in my seat. it was another short takeoff roll. something about the 757 that i noticed; during rotation, just before the wheels leave the ground, i hear a somewhat loud "bump". i hear this on all the 757 flights, and its always the same sound and at the same time on takeoff. it sounds like its coming from the landing gear, but what is the cause of that noise? shortly after takeoff, we made a wide left turn, and i could actually see PHL behind is to our left, which i thought was really cool. we quickly gained more and more altitude, then we leveled out and the captain came on and said we were at our cruising altitude, which was 38,000ft. the air was so smooth up there. during the flight, i saw a WN 737-700 w/wingletts zoom past us in the opposite direction giving off some really cool contrails, shortly after, i saw a FL 737-700 zoom by just like the WN plane, it had some nice contrails too. i wish i had a camera, it would have made for an awesome shot. after that, the flight went uneventfully. then, i felt the plane dive down slightly, and spoilers deployed (i always liked it when the spoilers deploy in mid flight). the captain came on and said we started the descent to FLL, and that there would be a bit of turbulence, so the seatbelt sign was turned on. just as he said that, the turbulence started, it wasnt bad. on a scale of 1-10, id say it was a 4. we got lower and lower, we made a series of wide right turns, i guessed then that we were landing on 9L, because if it were 27R we would make one sharp right turn, and come in from over the ocean and land to the west.once over land, i saw that we flew just north of the airport. i had a clear view of FLL to our left(south) we flew very close to some large cumulus clouds that dotted the vacinity. clouds look way different when you see them from their point of view than they do from the ground. we made the left turn to line up for final approach. flaps were set to full and power was reduced from the engines. its surprising how much you slow down while still in the air. it feels like stepping on the brakes in a car. we went over the turnpike, then I-95, and then touched down on 9L with a thud. we slowed down, not using much reverse thrust, and taxied to our gate. all in all, a great flight.
once again, it was what i felt, a perfect day of flying with USAirways. i dont know when my next flight will be( it will probly be to FLL), but i know what airline ill choose, over and over again.
look for my return TR, FLL-PHL-BWI, ill try to have it ready within a day or two