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The Trip To Cali That Took Me Around The World

Thu Nov 23, 2006 4:23 pm

the idea was simple, go out to california for the 2006 salinas airshow and do what i've done for the past few years, enjoy a great airshow while collecting a paycheck. like always, my ideas are always better off as ideas.

i departed JFK on 27 Sep on AWE405 to PHX. for some reason i always choose the early morning flights and this one was probably one of the first few departues from JFK that morning. the air was cool and crisp, we rolled off of 13R and were airborne in our southern turn right over the intesection of 4L. that's about all i remember as the nyquil i had taken first thing in the morning was starting to take it's effects. welcome la la land, next stop PHX. oh, aircraft was N817AW.

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Photo © Steve Brimley

ladies and gentlement, welcome to phoenix sky harbor international airport where the local time is 930 and the tempurature is 97 degrees. ugh... glad the terminal was air conditioned. when i finally came to and got out of my seat i texted my buddy letting him know where i was, and made my way from the A gates over to the B concourse for my connection to MRY. i realy love flying on HP, the people are always freindly and helpful... they even clear me off the standby lists before i even show up to the podium. ASH2769 departed on time with me enjoying the relative comfort sitting among a few AA FAs on thier way to play golf at pebble beach. my, what a flight. we passed over LA where the wildfires send smoke and some moderate turbulence skywayrd... sadly i couldn't sleep through this flight but why bother, the views of the coast were amazing. aircraft was N939LR.

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Photo © Paul Spijkers

sadly, i got some really bad news on sunday and wasn't able to enjoy the airshow to completion. the message i got send me scrounging to try and find a flight to poland asap. i was considering MRY-PHX-LHR-WAW but i missed the last phoenix departure and decided to call a freind of mine that works for netjets. just to my luck, there was a G-V in SJC waiting to ferry over to EGGW (London's Luton) and i was instructed to go meet the crew at the Jet Center and be on my way. an hour later we taxxied out of the ramp and departed for the 8 hour flight to london. even loaded down with enough fuel to make it to moscow the gulfstream rolled only 3000 feet before it was airborne. the meal was delicious and the company just as entertaining. the crew was very relaxed on this flight, they were going home. the aicraft: CS-DKB, i'm not 100% on that though.

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Photo © Michael Van Bosch

i met up with my cousin in london who picked me up from luton and took me over to LHR where i hopped a BA flight (lost the ticket stub) to WAW. don't remember what ship it was...

alas, all good things must come to an and and this morning i pulled myself out of bed and dragged over to the shower to get ready for yet another long day of flying. i have to go back to work tommorow and while i would love to stay over here permanently i just can't afford to. i got to WAW and got onto LO5375 with nonstop service to FRA, ship was SP-LLA a 733. i was way to tired to realize the flight was operated by centralwings and not LO.

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Photo © Remi Dallot

in FRA i had to practically run over to cath a flight to JFK. the gate agents there were spectacular and helped me out, even gave me an entire row in the back of the plane to sack out and sleep. no idea what the movie was or what meals were served, i had a pepsi and i clicked my body off, waking up as rubber met asphalt here in JFK. ship was, i think, D-AIKC but i doubt that anyone was out today to confirm that for me.

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Photo © Florian Negele

it's now 0225 on thursday and i can't get to bed. after sleeping my way across the atlantic, over the van wyck and in my bed up until an hour ago i'm sore as ever, but just not tired. all in all, was a very exhausting week of flying and as much as i'm glad to be home i wish i wasn't. i can think of better places to be that here right now...
"...cannot the kingdom of salvation take me home."

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