Topic Author
Posts: 416
Joined: Wed May 15, 2002 12:26 am

FRA-TXL On Board D-AIAX 2008/11/16

Mon Nov 17, 2008 9:08 pm

Yesterday on November 16th I spent a day in Berlin. The flight from Frankfurt to Berlin was over on board the LH A321 D-AIRF. The return flight was planned to depart on 17:25 LT at Tegel airport. Unfortunately the Quick Check-In machine showed up an expected delay of one hour when I inserted my ticket. The pilots later told me they lost the green hydraulic system on rwy18 in Frankfurt, needed to shut down the engines (with their engine driven pumps for the corresponding system) and asked for a tow truck back to a parking position. An aircraft change was initiated and therefore only 60mis delay seemed like a wonder for me.

Everyone who ever was in Berlin knows that the waiting rooms a rather small at this airport. There was another flight coming from Frankfurt at 18:15. This A321 had a broken circuit breaker that needed to be replaced in Berlin. Therefore a total aircraft shutdown was necessary. No electricity means no light, no cleaning, no loading and no fueling. So this second flight also built up a delay of ca 30min. Meanwhile the third A300 arrived from Frankfurt. Lufthansa couldn’t find a gate position for this one due to the two already blocked gates. An apron position was assigned and three loads of passengers were crowding the waiting room. 2/3 of them had no seats…

The A321 with the broken CB was the first to depart also it had been the second to arrive. My A300-600 D-AIAX was ready after refueling and a really quick servicing and catering. The crew was very polite and enabled me a jumpseat ride in the front office. We had a short way to the active and were asked for an immediate takeoff on 25L.

We had a nice race with an AirBerlin A320 landing on 25R. We won! We made a space shuttle like takeoff with 8 tons of fuel and a full cabin. Our angle of attack was shortly at +21°.

When we requestd a shurtcutt we were quickly transferred tio MUC Control  Wink We were cleared to FL 280 from the Bavarians. They control the airspace up to Magdeburg! What a huge area! I took the opportunity to compare the AutoFlight system with that of the 737 which I’m trained onto right now. The pilots were very cool and explained a lot during the flight. They showed up quite some differences when inserting directs (shortcuts) in the FMC. The A300-600 automatically turns to the next waypoint while the A321 and A340 don’t. You would have to confirm that on the new Airbuses. That’s why my pilot once flew straight ahead instead to the next waypoint.

It is also possible to preselect a new altitude before reaching the top of descent. The new altitude will activate automatically then. If no lower altitude is inserted prior to reaching the TOD the autothrust system will reduce power to fly the aircraft at minimum clean speed (flaps , slats and gears up). Another interesting thing was the battery indication on the overhead panel that illuminates brighter when a battery is being charged. Also the fault lights in the fuel pump pushbuttons come on if the tank is empty and go off after a while due to a time delay that avoids a for a long time dry running fuel pump. According to the captain the fault light shouldn’t come on because the time delay is just normal and doesn’t interest any pilot as long as it is working. But he knows that problem since he is flying this aircraft. For some 30 years he added laughing.

Food was served shortly before entering the airspace of Frankfurt. While the pilots were eating salmon with melon and cakes I was trying to get a few shots of the moon, Frankfurt and the instruments. Fly me to the moon...

Some knobs, button,s, levers, clocks, levers, bulbs...

After we were cleared to enter the ILS the PIC wanted to make a bet that a runway swap will be requested by ATC. He won again! At 1600 feet Frankfurt tower asked us to swap to 25R to give space to another aircraft elbowing from behind. Our empty A300 had 130 knots IAS on final! All others were faster. That’s why we had to make place for a company ship. It didn’t overtake. That’s not allowed in FRA because the runways are too close to each other. But by swapping we could at least keep the distance for each runway on it’s own.

We managed to leave the runway via taxiway Golf which by far needed some aggressive breaking. It was great to see how the pilots managed to catch up some time. Never the less they went to bed one hour later that day after their return to Berlin. After the flight they told me that 5 of 11 A300s are for sell right now. One is already gone. It was sold to a company in England where it was scrapped and used as a spare spart spender. Cannibalizing an A300… Even Lufthansa is supposed to have bought spare parts from their own sold jet. And Lufthansa Italia is forming as well. They are looking for pilots at Air Berlin to fly Lufthansa Italia aircrafts. Cannot believe this. The pilots and their union couldn’t either.

Thanks to everyone who worked on our aircarfts this night. It's good to see that problems are fixed quick and by well trained mechanics and that pilots are still lucky if anyone cares about their jobs (that's rare today!).

The delay was quite huge but the cockpit ride was worth it!
Life starts at take-off!
User avatar
Posts: 3563
Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2005 1:24 am

RE: FRA-TXL On Board D-AIAX 2008/11/16

Mon Nov 17, 2008 10:18 pm

Nice story, and something different from the front office  Wink Thanks for sharing this with us.
And about the AB6: it's a great aircraft to fly on, and very comfortable! Had 'my' flight on it last summer, and it was a great experience.

"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
Posts: 175
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2001 12:58 am

RE: FRA-TXL On Board D-AIAX 2008/11/16

Tue Nov 18, 2008 11:41 am

WOW, great report! I wish we had more of these rather than what was served for a dinner in the front cabin!

Thanks a lot!
Posts: 1744
Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2007 7:45 pm

RE: FRA-TXL On Board D-AIAX 2008/11/16

Wed Nov 19, 2008 11:59 am

Nice and compact report of a great experience!
It is a pity to see the AB6's slowly being phased out, I love them!
D-AIAX is also covered in my personal log, as I flew FRA-AMS on her last year!

Thanks for sharing!
Joost ( D-ALCE )
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.
Posts: 1647
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2001 5:16 pm

RE: FRA-TXL On Board D-AIAX 2008/11/16

Wed Nov 19, 2008 3:51 pm

An interesting report from a different perspective.

Taking photos without a flash under poor lighting condition is always a challenge. You should either have impossibly stable hands or use a tripod. Otherwise they just turn out so blurry that it's difficult for us to see the details that you had originally wanted us to see...
There's always a better way to fly...
Posts: 998
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2004 10:02 am

RE: FRA-TXL On Board D-AIAX 2008/11/16

Thu Nov 20, 2008 7:04 pm

Oh, 2 A321s got a problem together, hope this wont happen again and it caused people to think their maintanence may have been not as good as it used to be, however, very good report, thanks!
Lufthansa Group of Airlines
Posts: 5195
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2003 4:43 am

RE: FRA-TXL On Board D-AIAX 2008/11/16

Thu Nov 20, 2008 9:11 pm

Hi, Stephan,

thanx for posting this special report.
I like to read from your point of view.

While D-AIAL is covered in my log from a MUC-FRA leg back in summer, now I´ve added also
D-AIAU A306 ABA Interkontinental at the 18th ATH-FRA, another great ride.

Markus (FLIEGER67)
Posts: 8201
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2001 1:27 pm

RE: FRA-TXL On Board D-AIAX 2008/11/16

Fri Nov 21, 2008 1:48 pm

Great stuff, really intersting read!

A real shame the AB6's are starting to leave the fleet, such a magnificent aircraft.


Posts: 1183
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2007 4:39 am

RE: FRA-TXL On Board D-AIAX 2008/11/16

Fri Nov 21, 2008 8:24 pm

That was a very interesting report! Especially from a mechanic/technician's point of view. I didn't know that MX staff were allowed up front. Since you work in the MX business i would like to ask you how the relation is between MX staff and Pilots. Is it good or bad? From relative short personal experience the relation between there two doesn't seem to be too good. But i assume people change and grow up as the time goes, right?

Thank you for sharing, and i hope to see more from you!
SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
Posts: 504
Joined: Mon Nov 12, 2007 6:27 pm

RE: FRA-TXL On Board D-AIAX 2008/11/16

Fri Nov 21, 2008 8:41 pm


interesting report, thanks for sharing!
It seems as if I had the same seat just 2 weeks ago on FRA-BCN  bigthumbsup .

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Stefan Sonnenberg

Nobody is perfect - not even a perfect fool.
Topic Author
Posts: 416
Joined: Wed May 15, 2002 12:26 am

RE: FRA-TXL On Board D-AIAX 2008/11/16

Sun Nov 23, 2008 2:58 pm

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 8):
i would like to ask you how the relation is between MX staff and Pilots. Is it good or bad?

At LH it's quite good. Sure we have some very few pilots who maybe have a bad day or some very new co-pilots who claim to be the top of the top. But more than 90% of our pilots have been friendly to my colleagues and me. The best crews though are supposed to be on our 737s. Condor has also very relaxed crews! CityLine is also very cool to fly with in the cockpit. All together I'm very satisfied with the pilots I've met! Even on AF or the grounded TriStar in CDG I've been welcomed in a warm way!

Quoting Whisperjet (Reply 9):
It seems as if I had the same seat just 2 weeks ago on FRA-BCN

Ah, but your picture is a thousand times better than mine! Congrats! It's a shame to have such an old camera, no tripod and so low skills if I've the opportunity to ride in the cockpit...
Life starts at take-off!

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

Popular Searches On

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos