It happened at Saturday, 22nd of April, 2006.
I'll never forget this date, since I experienced my best passenger flight ever!
(And I fly a lot, for business and private)
Austrian Airlines took me the day before with an A319 from ZRH to VIE. nice flight, nice crew, but nothing really outstanding.
Today, I went back, with flight OS 561 (VIE-ZRH). AUA used a Fokker 70 for the flight. Economy was almost full, while business only was filled two or three pax.
Shortly after take off, I've noticed that we went much more to south west as only to west and we didn't really climbed as supposed.
After a few minutes more, Captain Christian Auer talked to the pax from the cockpit.
He said since today the weather is so nice, he would like to bring us the Alps a bit nearer. He'll ask ATC for a clearance to convert the flight into an Alps sightseeing flight!
I thought: Wow really cool!
And we got the clarence! So, we cruised on flight level 150 only over the nicest, amazing, stunning Alps landscape. I've never saw those peaks so close! It was really overwhelming me.
Captain Auer was explaining almost every bigger peak to the pax. He showed us the highest (and tallest) ski lift support in the world, even the famous "Grossglockner", and all the other very famous Austrian peaks, the most eastern glacier of Europe, all the valleys and much more. We even turned to the south into the Italian Alps, so he could show us the "Dolomit" peaks. After that, we went up to north and passed Innsbruck. A bit later, we saw even the most highest peak of Germany, the "Zugspitze".
All the pax have been sticking to the windows. They loved it, like me!
We cruised almost one hour over the Alps with that low flight level. The course was not just crossing the Alps straight from VIE to ZRH! No, we went to the left to the right more southern, then more norther again and back! So cool all those curves!
The approach was on RWY 34, so we had even a lovely sight to the lake of Zurich and the Swiss Alps in the background. At the end, we landed right on time, but the flight got about 15 minutes extended. All that just to show the pax the amazing world of the Alps.
After landing, I waited till all pax left. (By side a handicaped woman which got picked up by the nice guys of Swissport, which came with a special truck for handicaped people to the aircraft.)
Captain Auer and one of the stewardesses said good by to the pax, so I asked them If I could make some pictures. They have been really nice, offering me to get picked up even by the Swissport guys, which handled the hadicaped woman with the wheelchair. So the regular pax bus left just normal on time without me. I stayed with the crew a bit longer.
So, I could talk a bit longer to Captain Auer and his co-pilot. Really nice guys. They allowed me even to make pictures from the cockpit with them.
I asked them If the know Airliners.net. And yes, they knew it. So they will look into it to see this little report and the pictures.
The pictures belonging to this cool story you can view here:
By the way: Captain Auer told me he would do the same on the flight back, which took of at 11.05 am. It will burn a few hundret pounds more fuel, but the pax love it... And he did! I viewed the Fokker with my binoculars. The RWY 28 departure was complete different. I guess he showed the pax maybe the Gotthard massive, since the went really to the south for a long time after take off!!!
Just cool! Way to go AUA !!! I loved it! Thanks a lot for the most amazing flight in my flying history!!!
[Edited 2006-04-22 22:01:29]
[Edited 2006-04-22 22:08:22]
[Edited 2006-04-22 22:09:58]