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ORF-ELP Champion B727 w/ salute! DL, US (Vids/Pics)

Sat Sep 13, 2008 6:33 am

It has taken me an extraordinarily long time to compose a trip report for my trip between Norfolk, VA and El Paso, TX back at the end of May 2008, but nonetheless, I finally got down to it. This was a trip that I will, without a doubt, hold near to me for the rest of my life.

May 31, 2008 was Champion Air’s final day of operations, with the last revenue flights taking place on Friday, May 30th. Just a few weeks beforehand, I decided I would make a trip out to El Paso to visit my aunt and uncle. Instead of taking a traditional routing out west, I decided that someway, somehow I would have to get myself on a final Champion flight on May 30. And just that I did!

After some major crunching of numbers I finally found a routing that made sense (to me, anyway) and that would work financially. I settled on an itinerary for May 30 that had me flying ORF-ATL-OKC-LAS-PHX-ELP. Five segments and over 20 hours of travel time in one day! Not bad. After all, I would be flying on the next-to-last (I learned this later on) official Champion flight, and on a Boeing 727.

I managed to secure a Delta award ticket to OKC using Continental miles, which helped relieve some of the cost. Thank goodness for that. To get on the Champion flight from OKC to LAS, I had to book the ticket as a roundtrip through Worry-Free Vacations and opted to be a no-show on the return flight (operated by Allegiant) the next week. I felt terrible about intentionally being a no-show, but desperate times call for desperate measures. For my remaining flights, including the return from El Paso to Norfolk, I purchased tickets on US Airways. In the case that my Champion flight was extremely late or cancelled, I also purchased a reasonably-priced refundable ticket on United from OKC to ELP through DEN.

The very early morning of my trip arrived, and I awoke at 3:30am in preparation for my 6:00am flight to ATL. Making sure to remember my fully charged batteries and empty memory cards, I left the Peninsula and made my way to ORF. It’s so nice crossing the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel at that hour, as it’s practically the only time there’s no congestion. For the life of me I cannot remember if I checked in with DL when I arrived at the airport, or if I did so the night before. At any rate, security that morning was rather backed up, so it took me some time to get down to the gate (not that ORF is a big airport). There was plenty of time to get a breakfast pastry while I waited for my flight to begin boarding.

MD-88, N976DL
Seat 31E

The flight this morning was operated by MD-88, N976DL, and was almost full. We left the gate on time and were airborne minutes later. I occupied seat 31E and had forgotten how loud those wonderful Pratts are in the back (not that I minded). The takeoff was powerful and a smooth climb-out followed. During the course of the flight, I received Biscoff and cranberry juice from an extremely pleasant flight attendant who inquired about my itinerary for the day. Boy was she surprised when I went through the rest of my travels. My seatmate works for a geothermal heating company in Oklahoma (he was also headed on to OKC), so we had a very interesting conversation on renewable energy and the benefits of utilizing geothermal energy for homes and office buildings.
The flight soon drew to a close, but during our descent into ATL, the aircraft rocked continuously from left to right as we skirted clouds and fog. The landing itself was very smooth and a tad early. Of course, a long taxi to the gate diminished that early arrival, but I was just happy to have finished my first flight on schedule.

Photos from DAL1552 in-flight and after arrival at the gate in ATL:

I can’t say that I mind the Atlanta Airport, and during my 1.5 hour visit to the great state of Georgia, I enjoyed plane watching and people watching. But, it was soon time to board the CRJ-700, N713EV, to OKC, and a surprisingly orderly boarding process occurred. We boarded by way of a ramp attached to the aircraft, so it was nice being able to get out on the tarmac. Paperwork in order, the forward door was closed on schedule, and a symphony of CF-34 engines began behind me (I was in 18A, the second-to-last row). To see anything whatsoever from my seat, I had to severely crane my neck almost into the row ahead of me. I don’t understand why the windows can never seem to be aligned on the larger CRJ series (or some ERJs, for that matter), but it certainly makes seeing anything a challenge and test of flexibility.

CRJ-700, N713EV
Seat 18A

We made a very long taxi to the runway, trailing a rather large number of aircraft. After some time elapsed, my time planespotting came to an end, as we turned quickly onto the active and completed a rolling takeoff. I must say that I was very much impressed by the takeoff performance of the CR7. It took a while to reach cruising altitude, and I dozed on and off until the standard beverage service. The flight attendants on this ASA-operated flight were cheerful and friendly, and did a very professional job. Time passed very quickly, despite this being my second-longest segment of the day. As we began our initial descent into OKC, I noticed the side wall of the aircraft next to me becoming hotter and hotter, to the point where it burned severely to touch it. Forward and behind my seat, the side wall did not seem so hot, and I will admit that some nerves kicked in. I debated on whether to ask a flight attendant about it, but we were soon on final for landing, and the wall began to cool. Could there have been a heavy sun glare bouncing off the tail or wing and hitting the fuselage next to my seat?

We made a very steep turn just prior to landing, but the touchdown was nothing less than perfect. With that, the Delta portion of my trip came to a close. I don’t usually fly DL or its regional carriers, but I was very impressed by the quality of both flights. The crews were great, the planes were clean, and both flights were on time. First impressions are often lasting impressions, and because of my positive experience, I will not hesitate to fly DL again in the future. Thanks for the perfect flights!

Some planespotting in ATL and a photo from during the flight to OKC:

N713EV after arrival from ATL:

Upon entering the Oklahoma City Airport, I began my 6.5 to 7-hour layover before my Champion flight. I was struck by how nice the OKC airport is on the inside. I had heard that the airport was given a complete makeover just recently, but I had no idea how it would look. After a complete walk of the terminal (which took only about ten minutes), I bought an Oklahoma shirt (hey, I was a visitor for 7 hours!) and settled for some pizza. I enjoyed a leisurely lunch, watching numerous clueless-looking people and trying to understand largely unintelligible announcements.

A view from inside of the OKC terminal:

Look what showed up here! I’ve been trying to see one of these for years:

Boingo wireless internet was available, so I purchased a 24-hour subscription. The primary reason I purchased the internet was to track the inbound Champion flight, as it had to travel from Puerto Vallarta to Dallas, TX for U.S. customs, and then on to OKC. Looking at Flightaware history, sometimes the flight got held up in Dallas, so I wanted to be able to tell whether or not I would have to use or cancel my refundable United ticket. For the good part of three hours, all I did was check flight status and weather reports. Champion’s flight status tool over the phone was less than helpful, and still reported on time departures, even though it was obvious they would not be. Still having not left security, I spotted the Champion Air crew walking down to the gate and asked them what they knew of the flight’s status. They knew nothing more than I did, and so I left security after being airside for roughly 5.5 hours. Realizing I should print my US Airways boarding passes for LAS-PHX-ELP later that evening, I approached the US counters only to find no kiosks and no employees in sight. There was absolutely no sign of life. So, after about five minutes of waiting, I asked an employee from another carrier where on earth US’ employees could be. I don’t think I every received a straight reply from this less-than-friendly individual who could obviously have cared less about things.

After losing some precious time, I quickly made my way over to Frontier’s ticket counter, where Champion Air passengers were to check in. Since Champion was technically a charter airline, much of its operations in OKC seemed to be handled by Frontier, including check-in. I quietly grabbed a stack of Champion Air luggage tags from a basket and waited in line for the Frontier agent. I asked to have a second boarding pass printed as memorabilia, but the agent said he was not authorized to do so. Oh well, never hurts to ask. Then, I realized I had been struck by the SSSS Fairy on my boarding pass. So, off to secondary screening I marched, along with what seemed to be about 50 percent of the Champion flight. Would there have been some reason for this? Anyway, it was painless and the TSA was generally pleasant during the process.

The departure boards in OKC showed the departure time of my flight as being one hour earlier than scheduled for some reason, but I just knew to ignore it. By the time I reached the Frontier gate from which my Champion flight would be departing, the Champion logo and flight information had been placed overtop of the Frontier sign, offering some photo opportunities. I received some blank stares from my fellow passengers until the gate agent announced that this would be Champion’s last-ever flight from OKC to LAS and its second-to-last revenue flight overall. Ah, after that I could photograph anything I wanted without feeling suspicious! At this point, I also refunded my United ticket from a gate counter, as everything seemed to be running smoothly.

Photos in the gate area that depict the temporary Champion signage:

As the departure time drew nearer and nearer, there was still no sign of the aircraft. I explained to some Champion flight attendants and their husbands that I had traveled this far out of my way just to fly on Champion. I also informed them of my already tight connection time in Las Vegas, as I knew I would have to walk between Terminal 2 and Terminal 1, and get my US Airways boarding passes. Knowing my time was limited, I had my mom check me in online, but no airline in OKC could print the boarding passes for me. I figured United would be my best bet, but the individual said he could not print them because they would be on UA ticket stock. Okay, now I was really starting to panic. Departure time at this point was only minutes away, and Flightaware indicated that the 727 had finally left DFW. Several announcements from the gate agent confirmed that the aircraft was inbound, and soon enough I heard a distinctive roar of JT8Ds in reverse. Aircraft N681CA quickly vacated the runway and began its backtrack to the gate. A gate agent made an announcement that the aircraft would be receiving a water cannon salute prior to reaching the gate, and to look directly out the window to see it. Sure enough, two fire trucks lined the taxiway and began their salute. Wow! What a sight it was!

I snapped the best pictures that I could from the terminal while 681’s previous passengers disembarked. “I’m in this for real now,” I thought, as the UA flight to Denver (part of the itinerary I refunded) began boarding. Soon, Champion Air welcomed us aboard, and I was the first or second passenger on board because of my seat assignment (28F). I got halfway to my seat when I realized that this would be my only chance to see the cockpit of this classic bird. So, I slammed my bags down and ran back to the front of the plane before the next wave of passengers came. I was easily granted access, and chatted with the pilots for a minute, taking pictures all the while. I wished them the best of luck and made it back to my seat.

The tail of N681CA, as seen from the terminal:

Some shots from the cockpit, including one of the flight engineer’s panel:

Boeing 727-200, N681CA
Seat 28F

It did not take long for everyone to board and be seated (I had the whole row to myself), and soon the preflight announcements began. I’m amazed how composed the crew remained, but I still could tell a few tears were shed during the safety briefing. Things became very emotional for me during pushback, as the Allegiant aircraft taking over Champion’s routes from OKC taxied past.

Scenes from just prior to pushback, including the Allegiant aircraft that would be assigned to Champion’s former routes from OKC:

Soon, those three wonderful JT8Ds came to life directly behind me, creating a sound I will not soon forget. We began to edge forward and the Captain announced that we would be receiving another water cannon salute on our way to the runway. I could not believe it! Even if I missed my flight in Las Vegas, this made my trip completely worthwhile. The water salute was unlike anything I have ever experienced, and we were soon headed for the runway. A rolling takeoff commenced, and the sound of those engines was simply fantastic. It was a long trip down 17R, followed by a shallow climb out, and it is safe to say that I had a grin on my face throughout.

Apparently ATC gave us a more direct route to LAS to make up some time (of which I needed every second). During cruise the flight attendants completed a beverage and snack service, but the snacks (small packages of Pringles, etc.) were several dollars. I had to get the full Champion experience, so I broke down and paid for chips. The flight attendants were terrific, though, and kept a professional attitude throughout. Absolutely amazing considering the circumstances. I spent the duration of the flight asking for extra napkins (souvenirs, of course!), taking pictures, and watching the Rockies and Grand Canyon down below.

Some photos from during the flight depicting, among other things, the cabin of N681CA, the Grand Canyon, and the Strip:

The flight went extraordinarily quickly, and before I knew it we began our descent into LAS. It had to have been the most gradual descent I have ever experienced. Ok, this had been a wonderful flight and everything, but I did have a connection to make in LAS that I would just make at the rate we were going. I was ready to get on the ground, yet we kept on turning and seemed to be getting no closer to the ground. At last, the JT8Ds throttled back and we began descending at a much higher rate. So, I thought that my connection would be safe after all. Well, I was in for quite a surprise when the 727 lurched forward, leveled off, and turned away from the airport. Great. So, where were we headed now? Apparently the runways were switched right before we landed, and now we were headed far out into the desert before turning back around. Now I was in a panic. With just forty-five minutes and counting, I was already planning my marathon run over to Terminal 1. The city finally came into view over the right wing and we made a sharp turn for 19R. It was beautiful to say the least. Forty minutes. The landing gear and flaps came down, bringing the 727 in for a steep approach. Grabbing a safety card, I packed my carry-on, and got ready to run to the front upon reaching the gate. CCP500 finally touched down more than 50 minutes late at around 7:17pm local time. Keep in mind my US Airways flight from the other terminal left at 7:55pm. We exited the runway and taxied for a bit, during which the crew bid everyone thank you and farewell. It was a very special announcement to me, however, as they explained to the plane that “a gentleman in the back” had two more flights and needed to get off first. That was definitely going above and beyond in my book.

So, the 727 continued its taxi toward Terminal 2, but came screeching to a halt at 19L to allow one or two departures. I think I could have walked to the terminal faster than the rate we were going. But, nevertheless we made it to our gate, and amazingly enough, everyone actually waited for me to get to the front upon arrival at the gate. As I ran to the front, the passengers and crew clapped their hands for me and chanted “Run Forrest, Run!” It was quite memorable. It seemed like it took some doing to get the jetway in place, and by the time I made it into the terminal it was about 7:25pm. Thirty minutes until departure. From looking at Google satellite images of the airport, I knew how to get from Terminal 2 to Terminal 1, and miraculously I found my way. It was a much longer run with luggage than I anticipated, and I was soaked in sweat, panting, and ready to keel over when I reached Terminal 1. I can only imagine what people said about me as I came roaring into the terminal looking like I had spent a week in the desert. About 7:35pm, I made it to a US Airways kiosk to print my boarding passes. Even though I had already checked in, it would not let me print boarding passes since it was less than 30 minutes prior to departure. By some miracle, a very kind, elderly US employee was willing to help, and she demanded that a special services employee print my passes immediately. She then showed me which way was the fastest to get to security and bid me goodbye. I wish I could have thanked her.

Security really slowed me down. I asked a very confused looking traveler if I could get in front of him (he agreed), but as soon as I got to the front, everything stopped. With only one line open, I had nowhere to go. Well this was just dandy. After what I had been through, I could not believe my flight was likely going to leave without me because of this. About 7:45, a head screener came slowly walking over, took a look at some object in a lady’s carry-on, and left. Things resumed operation, and I made it through shortly after. Now I was sprinting. I flew past a group of women who yelled at me for going too fast on the moving walkway (they were standing), and made it to my gate (on the far end) at 7:50pm. I casually walked on the aircraft, as boarding had just begun. We left a few minutes late, but I simply reflected on how I had gotten off a plane, left a terminal, run some distance outside, got boarding passes, got held up in security, and made it on another flight in 25 minutes. What a trip so far. I took a final shot of N681CA as we prepared to push back:

Airbus A319, N814AW
Seat 4A

I don’t have much to say about the next two legs of my journey, except that everything went rather smoothly. The flight down to PHX was a great one, with a very clean A319 (N814AW), beautiful sunset, friendly crew, and on-time arrival. The takeoff out of LAS was one of the most powerful I have ever experienced. While I loved flying on DL and Champion (MG), I must admit it was nice to be back on my usual airline.

I had some time in Phoenix, so I called my family back on the East Coast to inform them of how things were going before they went to bed. I was so tired that I almost collapsed walking to my next gate.

CRJ-200, N7291Z
Seat 11A

My flight to ELP was on a Mesa CRJ-200, registration N7291Z. We left the gate about fifteen minutes late, as the crew tried to explain to a non-English-speaking mother that she could not hold two children during the flight. By this point I completely passed out, and was happy that I had the only empty seat on the plane next to me. The flight attendant was one of the nicest I have come across. In fact, she asked me whether I would like a drink then or wait until I had taken a nap. Takeoff out of PHX took up a lot of runway from what I remember. I slept some more and awakened for the descent and arrival into ELP. I had even slept too long to ask the flight attendant for a spare safety card! We landed somewhat late at around 12:15am local time. I love the El Paso airport, and I met up with my aunt and uncle shortly after deplaning.

ASH2881 prior to pushback in PHX:

Wow, what a day! I left Norfolk, VA at 6:00am and arrived in El, Paso, TX at 12:15am local time (so 2:15am back East). After five segments, some 20 hours of travel time, and just under 24 hours since getting up in VA, I enjoyed a nice shower and completely collapsed for the night.

My weekend trip to west TX was wonderful. We went to Carlsbad Caverns and did some hiking in the Franklin Mountains. I sure do enjoy going out to visit, but I wish it wasn’t so unbearably hot in the summer.

Some photographs from my trip, including the Franklin Mountains and Carlsbad Caverns:

Before I knew it, I had to return home to Virginia. The day’s itinerary consisted of “only” three segments: ELP-PHX, PHX-CLT, CLT-ORF. My morning flight left the gate on time, but was held up for traffic flow into PHX. So, wheels-up time for this 737-300, N302AW, was about twenty minutes late.

Boeing 737-300, N302AW
Seat 3A

We flew on the edge and a bit into Mexican airspace before heading northwest. The flight was uneventful, and I seem to remember the crew as being very pleasant. I had a nice conversation with two older ladies headed back to Roanoke, VA after attending a church convention in El Paso. We arrived on time; however, it took a ridiculous amount of time to get into a gate. Luckily, my connection was a couple hours away, but I felt for the ladies next to me who had to transfer to DL in less than an hour.

Two aircraft departed ELP while we waited for clearance from PHX. I especially like the NASA T-38:

Some photos after departure of AWE422:

On approach to PHX:

N302AW at the gate in PHX:

There was quite a lineup of US planes in PHX, including the “Nevada” A319:

Airbus A321, N192UW
Seat 5A

After snapping some pictures, eating lunch, and working on a report, my A321, N192UW, arrived at the gate a tad behind schedule. Getting onboard was about the biggest mess I have ever seen, and not a soul seemed to understand the boarding process (even though it was explained numerous times). It was a completely full flight, and the aircraft took a while to load. We pushed back about ten or fifteen minutes late and were airborne about ten minutes later. Now that was one long takeoff roll! I hate to complain, but about that point, I realized my feet were in a giant wad of pink bubblegum on the floor. Now that was pleasant! I tried to cover it, pick it up—do something with it!—but it was just plain stuck. I avoided it the best I could throughout the flight, but I fell asleep, and inevitably I woke up with the giant wad stuck to my shoe from one side to the other. At least getting it off provided some in-flight entertainment, as I was not paying one iota of attention to the movie. That issue aside (I did finally get the pink gum off and partially out of the way), I purchased a turkey sandwich for my meal, which was actually very fresh and tasty. Descent into Charlotte seemed to take forever (it always does for some reason), and after drifting slowly down for about 40 minutes, we finally seemed to make some progress on lining up for an approach. Landing was smooth and on time.

Boeing 737-300, N533AU

I had plenty of time to get to my departure gate for the flight to Norfolk, so I did some spotting and had my usual bite to eat at Sbarro (always a tradition for me when I am in CLT). Boarding for USA930, operated by 737-300 N533AU, was right on schedule. The flight was full, and I ended up trading seats for a window on the right side so that a family could sit together. It did not take overly long to get airborne, and flight time was well under an hour. The flight was a nice way to end my very long weekend trip, and we arrived gently into Norfolk on time. I have had primarily positive experiences on US, and this trip was another fine example of how the airline is really capable of operating. Great job US!

The view from row four before and after I switched sides:

With that, my trip to El Paso came to a close after a total of eight segments on three airlines. I never imagined that everything would go so smoothly. That being said, I cannot thank the employees of Champion Air enough for making my flight to Las Vegas something I will never forget. I certainly wish all former Champion Air employees the best and brightest futures. Additionally, I am proud to say that I can now add the 727 to the list of aircraft on which I have flown. This trip was not about doing a mileage run or traveling to a record number of cities in one day. Rather, it was to do something that I will remember for the rest of my life.

Thank you for reading this report. I really hope that you enjoyed it. As usual, comments, questions, and suggestions are much appreciated.

Best regards,


[Edited 2008-09-12 23:40:36]
All nonstop flights are direct, but not all direct flights are nonstop!
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ORF-ELP Champion B727 w/ salute! DL, US (Vids/Pics)

Sat Sep 13, 2008 6:42 am

Sorry, I kept referring to the 727 by the wrong reg. number, but I've fixed that!
All nonstop flights are direct, but not all direct flights are nonstop!
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ORF-ELP Champion B727 w/ salute! DL, US (Vids/Pics)

Sat Sep 13, 2008 7:07 am

A most excellent report! Can't believe that was the last 727 PAX service in the US. Good for you, as you flew into history, and then ran around McCarran Airport. Loved the videos, adn the pics. Interesting approach routing for the 19's over the west side of Vegas.
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ORF-ELP Champion B727 w/ salute! DL, US (Vids/Pics)

Sat Sep 13, 2008 9:02 am

Great report of a great experience.
Sorry to hear that the USA are now also out of pax 727's.
In europe it will be difficult aswell to get on one.
Other continents must welcome us in order to let us fly the 727 now  Smile

flown: F50,F70,CR1,CR2,CR9,E75,143,AR8,AR1,733,735,736,73G,738,753,763,744,77W,788,319,320,321,333,AB6.
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ORF-ELP Champion B727 w/ salute! DL, US (Vids/Pics)

Sat Sep 13, 2008 12:52 pm

Great TR Adam! Glad to see some blue-fins  Smile

Nice to see something out of ORF. Great pics of the lineup in PHX. I never really got a got line up in PHX and I missed my opportunities for that in CLT.
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ORF-ELP Champion B727 w/ salute! DL, US (Vids/Pics)

Sat Sep 13, 2008 2:29 pm

That was great! Sounds like you had an exciting and memorable experience. That was quite the trip! Thanks for the great LAS shots and all of those 727 pics/vids, too bad they are all gone around here (at least for PAX service anyway).
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ORF-ELP Champion B727 w/ salute! DL, US (Vids/Pics)

Sat Sep 13, 2008 2:35 pm

Great report, thanks for sharing! How cool that you were able to take part in this historic flight and experience the water salute, etc. Your pics are wonderful. Also, I especially liked that first pic from your hiking in the Franklin Mountains! Well done and I look forward to reading more of your reports in the future.

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ORF-ELP Champion B727 w/ salute! DL, US (Vids/Pics)

Sun Sep 14, 2008 1:51 am

Thank you all very much for your comments! I really appreciate the feedback.

Quoting BZNPilot (Reply 6):
I especially liked that first pic from your hiking in the Franklin Mountains!

Thanks! Yeah, that was from the inside of a cave at the top of a really steep trail. It was cool inside the cave, but it got brutally hot in the sun.
All nonstop flights are direct, but not all direct flights are nonstop!
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ORF-ELP Champion B727 w/ salute! DL, US (Vids/Pics)

Sun Sep 14, 2008 3:11 am

Good for you getting the last 727 flight in the US.
I always enjoyed seeing the three holes at DIA.
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ORF-ELP Champion B727 w/ salute! DL, US (Vids/Pics)

Sun Sep 14, 2008 4:36 am

I wish you had takeoff/landing vids from all the flights, however, I enjoyed the 727!
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ORF-ELP Champion B727 w/ salute! DL, US (Vids/Pics)

Sun Sep 14, 2008 1:33 pm

Wow, what a great report, I'm glad that you finally got round to writing it!

It's funny to think that an aircraft such as the 727, which used to be so common, is now so rare. I flew them many times on my trips to the US, but never anywhere else! Great that you got to experience one before they disappear completely.

Thanks for the report!


[Edited 2008-09-14 06:34:53]
Ladies & gentlemen this is Captain Tobias Wilcock welcoming you aboard Coconut Airways flight 372 to Bridgetown Barb
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ORF-ELP Champion B727 w/ salute! DL, US (Vids/Pics)

Mon Sep 15, 2008 3:09 pm

Quoting BAViscount (Reply 10):
I'm glad that you finally got round to writing it!

Thanks! I am, too!  Smile

Quoting AAden (Reply 8):

Do you know when Champion stopped flying to DEN by any chance?
All nonstop flights are direct, but not all direct flights are nonstop!
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ORF-ELP Champion B727 w/ salute! DL, US (Vids/Pics)

Mon Sep 15, 2008 11:05 pm

Thanks for posting your awesome trip. It's so sad to think that the ol' 727's are pretty much gone, my first flight was in AC's 727's back in 1992. It's sad to think that I'll probably never be in one again, sigh.

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ORF-ELP Champion B727 w/ salute! DL, US (Vids/Pics)

Tue Sep 16, 2008 6:11 pm

Thank you for posting an excellent trip report and your pics are fantastic. What a great experience. I felt tired after reading about your very long outbound trip - but I would have done the same - who wants to go non-stop when you can make multiple stops right? Esp if one of the sectors involves a B727. Thanks again
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ORF-ELP Champion B727 w/ salute! DL, US (Vids/Pics)

Wed Sep 17, 2008 7:25 pm

Quoting Palmjet (Reply 13):
but I would have done the same

I'm glad that I'm not the only one!  Smile
Of course, as my uncle said, I could have made it to Europe and back in the same amount of time!
All nonstop flights are direct, but not all direct flights are nonstop!
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ORF-ELP Champion B727 w/ salute! DL, US (Vids/Pics)

Mon Sep 22, 2008 3:58 am

This was a great TR. Thanks for recording what is the second to last 727 scheduled flight. The water salute/rolling takeoff video and the Stratosphere Visual approach to LAS were incredible. Also enjoyed the "Lost Wages" comment by the FA.
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ORF-ELP Champion B727 w/ salute! DL, US (Vids/Pics)

Mon Sep 22, 2008 1:26 pm

Fantastic TR. I was able to do a bit of a similar Champion trip in Nov '07 on LAS-TUL-LAS but only grabbed a couple of safety cards and a single napkin, so good thinking on your part to grab all that stuff before the flight was over!!

Loved the videos too. One of my favorite things about the 727 was it's takeoff - the time between rotation and the time the mains left the ground was probably the longest out of any plane out there. It seems like the 722 just ran on its mains for a good 4-5 seconds after rotation and before they actually left the ground.

Anyhow, again thanks for a great TR!! Wouldn't surprise me if this is the last TR sees featuring the eternally glorious 727.
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RE: ORF-ELP Champion B727 W/ Salute! DL, US (Vids/Pics)

Wed Sep 24, 2008 2:32 am

Thanks for your comments!  Smile

Quoting Phatfarmlines (Reply 15):
Stratosphere Visual approach to LAS

So that is what that is called? I assume it is named after the hotel (Of course, it felt like we were dropping out of the stratosphere on the approach!  Smile ).

Quoting Transpac787 (Reply 16):
was able to do a bit of a similar Champion trip in Nov '07 on LAS-TUL-LAS

Your outstanding trip was definitely an inspiration for mine! And it was worth every penny!

Quoting Transpac787 (Reply 16):
722 just ran on its mains for a good 4-5 seconds after rotation and before they actually left the ground

Because you mentioned that in your report, I paid attention to it on my own trip. That certainly made for an interesting (and longer) takeoff roll.
All nonstop flights are direct, but not all direct flights are nonstop!

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