I'm glad to finally be with you after three years of reading the forums!
I'd like to start off my a.net career with something rather nice: My first trip report.
I'll kick it off with my city trip to Helsinki last summer.
I was lucky enough to meet the captain of the first leg on an Austrian aviation forum, so after some bureaucratic efforts, it was settled that I could enjoy the flight up front.
A320-200 OE-LBN "Osttirol"
Check-in was done at a self-check-in counter in Vienna's terminal 1, which predominantly serves the Star Alliance carriers.
After having a coke and an aspirine at the beautiful Panorama Café (highly recommended), we proceeded towards our gate, with the expected A320 waiting for us to board. Like usual, we were greeted by the Senior FA
and the Captain himself. He recognized me from my passport image and showed me the way to the cockpit. (I believe I'd have managed it without his help as well, but it had more style that way.
Pretty tough to get good pictures in this kind of lighting conditions...
The FO was a young German who was actually working for LH
and was about to return to Berlin to fly for DE
. We had a nice chat about Vienna and Berlin while we had to wait for a missing pax. The Captain then decided to offload his bags in order to secure a punctual departure. So, the 107 pax in the loadsheet were wrong.
Upon taxi, the crew introduced me to my headset and my seat and welcomed the pax aboard. Pretty cool to witness the same old phrases (blablabla) from the other side as well...
A handsome fella from Renton:
We surprisingly had no typical rush-hour q in front of us, so we could perform a rolling takeoff on RWY 29, which is the most common runway before noon:
Passing the GA
Like always, a left turn was carried out to follow the SID that avoids overflying the city. After that, however, to the southwest of the city, we got on track pretty directly towards FRA
Passing through 7,000:
Beautiful clouds along the river Danube, above the Bavarian/Upper Austrian border:
The crew was obviously having loads of fun, poking fun at certain collegues and ATC. Highly enjoyable, as was the relation between the Cabin and the Cockpit.
I was lucky enough to be presented the captain's C class breakfast (Omelette... mmh), even though I was on a Miles spending trip, booked in Y. What's better than enjoying something you haven't paid for in a place you love to be but usually can't???
Weather in FRA
was less than friendly. I never knew rain could be that loud when it's pouring at the windscreen of a descending Airbus...
We passed to the south of the airport and city and approached the 07ers. We expected a 07R arrival, but fortunately we were given 07L which meant we wouldn't have to wait to cross one runway.
Our approach, showing a pretty nasty cell to the east of the airport:
On final, with some LH
widebody just having rotated off 07L:
On shorter final, with an American Beauty waiting:
This is FRA
, no doubt:
D-ABEE blocking our way into the gate:
After engine shut-down, I said goodbye to the crew as I unfortunately had a rather tight connection to HEL
...(due to an ATC delay...)
A319-100 D-AILW "Donaueschingen"
This was to be my third flight (only!) on an A319. I was expecting nothing grand from LH
, even though they are among my favorite airlines (I must admit, I don't know CX
The aircraft was equipped with the (then) new leather interior which I found to be very classy yet it was providing the sleeker look that LH
desperately needs inside the cabins.
Taxiing out to RWY07L again:
Waiting for a 733 to land. Fortunately we were give TO
clearance ahead of the 744, speeding things up a bit:
After a left turn we were flying overhead the city by the Main, already on our northeast-bound track:
After an eventless flight (FAs were friendly and quick, food was bland but sufficient, no airshow, no nothing) above a thick cloud layer (the route lead us over Germany, the East Sea and Sweden), we approached HEL
This, Ladies and Gentlemen, is Estonia:
A nice view of the Finnish capital:
I can't remember ever seeing anything that flat...
Touching down on 22L:
Taxiing to the gate:
So much for the journey TO
Finland. More on helsinki itself can be found in my Helsinki picture thread on SkyScraperCity.com
The return trip will follow a little later, but ...fire away!
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