September the 8th 2005 was supposed to be my big day. I was heading down to BHX from GLA for my Air Traffic Control interview. Sadly things didn't turn out as planned....
Thanks to the online check-in it was straight through to security for me. GLA was busy at this time of the morning, lots of people awaiting holiday flights with MyTravel and Air Transat etc while as usual the domestic pier was full of suits, including myself Sat down next to the aircraft and 15 minutes later we were called to board the aircraft. It was my first time on an Avro and I was very pleased to see the blue leather seats. Sat down got ready for departure.
The pilot informed us that there were significant delays this morning but we wouldn't be affected, not quite sure what the delays were but I was happy to hear we would be fine. We taxied to runway 05 and this is when things started to go wrong. For 5 weeks now I've had some kind of virus in my stomach and I started to feel it again as we turned onto the runway. The Avro quickly accelerated and lifted off very smoothly. We levelled off for a few seconds before climb power was applied and we were on our way to cruising altitude. We banked left soon after and the cabin crew were released. From what I saw the flight was about 90% full, about 80% in suits.
Lets just say despite the fact I love flying this was my worst ever flight, I was stressed, feeling very sick and even shaking. The only comfort was an extremely good looking FA :P
As soon as we reached cruising altitude we seemed to be on our way back down and began the approach to BHX. It was quite funny to hear the engines powering back the way they do. We touched down smoothly and taxied to Gate/Door A.
Quickly went to find a toilet in BHX before getting on the monorail to the train station.
As this isn't about day trips I won't go into my interview too much, lets just say it was meant to last the whole day and I only lasted 40 minutes.
One relatively enjoyable part of the day was the aviaiton experience at BHX, very nice for us aviation types.
G-**AS I think
This flight I was dreading more than the first as I felt sick before I got on. But once I was there I just tried to dose off. We taxied out to the active behind an Aer Lingus 737 and an SN Brussels Avro. BHX seemed to be Avro/146 heaven !! Soon enough we were on the runway where I noticed an FR 732 behind us. Again we accelerated extremely fast although It was about 22 seconds before we were off the ground. Our very informative pilot said we would be cruising at 24,000ft and should make good time on our flight back to Glasgow. This flight had an 80-85% load from what I could see.
We were soon up over the Scottish border and the view over the clouds was spectacular. This cheered me up slightly before we made our descent to GLA. We came out below the clouds to be greeted by a simply stunning horizon. The sky was bright red like lava from a volcano, the clouds infront seemed to glow blue and green aswell. I only wish I'd bothered to grab the camera down and take some shots for you guys.
After a few turns we approached Glasgow's runway 05 for another smooth landing. After touchdown the F/O informed us that due to traffic in the GLA area ATC had held us up for a while, which explains the numerous turns we made. We had arrived on time nevertheless and I was happy in the thought I was only a 20 minute drive from my house again.
To finish off I'd just like to compliment both BA and the Avro for what would have been 2 superb flights if I'd been feeling better. Some of the F/A's were wearing a new uniform which apparently will go out across the company in a few weeks. There is always a silver lining to bad stories and for me it was that NATS will phone to re-arrange my interview and also the amazing sunset on approach to GLA.
Thanks for reading,
[Edited 2005-09-09 15:20:05]