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QF7
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Joined: Fri Aug 16, 2019 11:42 pm

For Pilots: What Is Your Favorite Route/Flight Story?

Tue Jun 01, 2021 1:46 am

I just read the thread on most enjoyable plane to fly, which sparks this one.

In 1965 I was a young lad who happened to fly with my family from Southern Rhodesia to JFK. The bulk of the trip was from JNB on Pan American on what I believe was PA50 on a DC-8. Route was JNB-Brazzaville-LOS-ACC-Freetown-Dakar-JFK.

It just so happened the captain was nearing retirement and he announced that he was doing one last trip on each of PanAm’s far-flung routes. And as such he was re-routing the flight to get a view of Victoria Falls. I don’t know if he descended or not (I’m pretty sure he did) but I do clearly know because of my dad’s photographs that he flew a figure-8 pattern over the falls so people on both sides of the plane could get plenty of photos. Judging from the photos I would guess 15-20,000 ft.

Flash forward many years and I was on a flight DTW-DFW. I remember it was a F-100. The captain announced we were going to arrive early as his son had a soccer game that evening and he was going to be there to watch it. You could tell from the wind noise and the airplane literally vibrating with excitement that we were flying way faster than normal cruise. DTW-DFW isn’t really that far but we landed a good 30 minutes early. I was amazed, both at the accomplishment and the fact that the captain had the power to do it.

So, pilots, what are your favorite routes and stories?
 
Redbellyguppy
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Re: For Pilots: What Is Your Favorite Route/Flight Story?

Tue Jun 01, 2021 5:09 am

I really like landing at kpwm. From the west you descend to fly over Portland head light house. You head out over the Casco bay, around Ft Gorges and down the mouth of Portland harbor. It becomes the Fore river and as it curves around it deposits you right on the extended centerline of runway 29. If you did it right, you’ve been on glide slope this whole time too. It’s scenic and beautiful and fun and I love it. Sure there’s a RNP and of course I have it loaded and the ILS tuned, because I’m a professional, but my eyes are outside, flying, because I’m a pilot.
 
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TWA772LR
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Re: For Pilots: What Is Your Favorite Route/Flight Story?

Thu Jun 03, 2021 1:21 am

I'm not a pilot but I've never not enjoyed a takeoff from SNA. As far a special one-oof flights, I was on WNs last 733 flight HOU-DAL. That was a fun experience especially with the water canon salute in DAL.
 
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TWA772LR
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Re: For Pilots: What Is Your Favorite Route/Flight Story?

Thu Jun 03, 2021 1:22 am

I'm not a pilot but I've never not enjoyed a takeoff from SNA. As far a special one-oof flights, I was on WNs last 733 flight HOU-DAL. That was a fun experience especially with the water canon salute in DAL.
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: For Pilots: What Is Your Favorite Route/Flight Story?

Thu Jun 03, 2021 1:37 am

Surabaya is good fun. 45m wide runway and no centerline lights. A bit of a black hole approach and you have to really trust the radalt callouts because it feels like you're high.

Morning departure out of Haneda. Long taxi to 05, which requires crossing a bridge to a little island just to the south of the rest of the airport. Hand fly the right-hand u-turn over Tokyo Bay. Climb out with the snows of Fuji-San glinting on your right side. Magic.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: For Pilots: What Is Your Favorite Route/Flight Story?

Thu Jun 03, 2021 1:53 am

St. Ex said, “a pilot waits for dawn like a gardener waits for spring”. Something enjoyable about the coming of dawn, wherever it happens—over the Amazon, at 20W waiting for Shannon to come up on VHF, somewhere in China coming from Dubai. The last time was nearing Cyprus on a long run, KPIE to LLBG. Dark since approaching Lisbon and the way down the Med, gathering light, we made a deviation around towering CBs , blam, the glowing Sun. Seemed to go from night to retina detaching sun. Some calls to Israeli security, cleared to enter, released by Nicosia and a quick arrival.
 
chimborazo
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Re: For Pilots: What Is Your Favorite Route/Flight Story?

Thu Jun 03, 2021 12:47 pm

If this includes GA pilots... I'm from UK but have flown in a couple of other places (with instructors as didn't have time for check rides/local licence approval) ... Around Cape Town and the Cape itself in a PA-28 was wonderful, followed by many orbits near the tower while holding for the big jets to land and then flying down the runway at 5ft for about 3/4 of a mile before touching down. Brilliant. Especially from someone who is used to 550m grass strips (was very hard to accurately judge height above ground on that massive, wiiiiide tarmac). Got a photo of the BA 747 (RIP) I flew home on five hours later as we taxyed by it. Good views to land in a passenger jet as well, Table mountain and so on.

Out of Renton around Seattle at 1500ft over all the trees, constantly scanning for similar sized pairs of trees to rip both wings off at the same time in case of engine failure :-) Then standing next to the runway as a brand new 737 blasts down it for it's first flight.
 
Snuffaluffagus
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Re: For Pilots: What Is Your Favorite Route/Flight Story?

Thu Jun 03, 2021 9:24 pm

Back in my regional days, I really enjoyed doing LAX-SAN. We'd be filed for 10,000 feet and got to enjoy nice views of the CA coast. I also enjoyed flying into PWM and doing the harbor visual approach. Basically playing connect the dots with lighthouses and islands before a late turn to runway 29.
 
QF7
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Re: For Pilots: What Is Your Favorite Route/Flight Story?

Sat Jun 05, 2021 1:44 am

Thanks for the stories. Maybe I shouldn’t have said pilots only!

I assume we’re all familiar with stories of the approach into the former Kaitak Hong Kong airport. Another one that could be mentioned in that vein is the approach into Queenstown, New Zealand (ZQN).

Even as a pax it’s fun. You fly down a valley headed directly for a high cliff face and at seemingly the last minute you make a hard bank right to runway heading and even that is not without excitement because there is a river embankment just short of the threshold.

Less thrilling, but still fun, I’ve enjoyed the approaches into Medford, Oregon (MFR), especially from the south.

But, consistent with my username, there is something magical about flying for 15 or 16 hours across the Pacific during darkness and just as day breaks you come in over Sydney and the Harbour Bridge and Opera House.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: For Pilots: What Is Your Favorite Route/Flight Story?

Sat Jun 05, 2021 1:59 am

I have a book of pictures done for brochures, one is from the cockpit over my shoulder landing at SYD after a flight down from HKG, rainy night. I also have pics of circling over the Opera House for the brochures. A couple of great days
 
FlyHossD
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Re: For Pilots: What Is Your Favorite Route/Flight Story?

Sat Jun 05, 2021 4:29 am

So many stories that it's hard to pick a favorite.

Recently, I was telling the story about approaching DEN-Stapleton late one night with a very active thunderstorm WSW of the airport over the foothills. There was plenty of lightning.

Then a bolt of green lightning with ball lightning running down the bolt appeared to hit near Martin Marietta's facility*. The radio lit up with comments by the crews that saw it. It was the only time that I've seen ball lightning.

*This was before the merger with Lockheed.
 
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flyPIT
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Re: For Pilots: What Is Your Favorite Route/Flight Story?

Sun Jun 06, 2021 6:37 pm

Westbound to HNL for the layover. Bonus during Kona winds as the approach will be to the west. Followed by the flight to SYD for the layover (pre-pandemic when crew members weren’t treated as lepers and locked up in police hotels). Bonus if SYD is landing to the south.
 
T54A
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Re: For Pilots: What Is Your Favorite Route/Flight Story?

Mon Jun 07, 2021 8:46 am

I was operating a King Air 200 from Herat (Afghanistan) to Peshawar (Pakistan), a 530nm sector for the Red Cross in 1999. A MAF C210 started at the same time as us, also heading for Peshawar. He very kindly suggested we taxi and back track first as we were obviously quicker. We heard him get airborne after us and we continued our climb to FL270. A little while later called us up and asked if we mind if he climbed through our level, requesting FL290. We had a little chuckle and said no problem. I think we thought he was joking. Next thing we hear him IFPB for the climb to FL290. That’s when we realised he wasn’t joking.

About 10-15 after we landed (we were still putting the covers on), this cheeky little C210 land and parks near us. I wondered over to ask what on earth was under that cowling. The pilot told me it was the last C210 off the production line and had been modified by MAF for extra performance.

I was humbled that day.
 
boacvc10
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Re: For Pilots: What Is Your Favorite Route/Flight Story?

Thu Jul 01, 2021 7:47 pm

T54A wrote:
I was operating a King Air 200 from Herat (Afghanistan) to Peshawar (Pakistan), a 530nm sector for the Red Cross in 1999. A MAF C210 started at the same time as us, also heading for Peshawar.
About 10-15 after we landed (we were still putting the covers on), this cheeky little C210 land and parks near us. I wondered over to ask what on earth was under that cowling. The pilot told me it was the last C210 off the production line and had been modified by MAF for extra performance.

I was humbled that day.


By chance does MAF abbreviation stand for Mission Aviation Fellowship out of I think Sweden (could be wrong)? In the early to mid 1990s they had pro flight simulators in the same building my data comms company was located in Dhaka and an amphibian aircraft at DAC which was busy for a few years. Always wondered about them and what they did.
 
T54A
Posts: 376
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2015 11:47 am

Re: For Pilots: What Is Your Favorite Route/Flight Story?

Fri Jul 02, 2021 6:37 am

boacvc10 wrote:
T54A wrote:
I was operating a King Air 200 from Herat (Afghanistan) to Peshawar (Pakistan), a 530nm sector for the Red Cross in 1999. A MAF C210 started at the same time as us, also heading for Peshawar.
About 10-15 after we landed (we were still putting the covers on), this cheeky little C210 land and parks near us. I wondered over to ask what on earth was under that cowling. The pilot told me it was the last C210 off the production line and had been modified by MAF for extra performance.

I was humbled that day.


By chance does MAF abbreviation stand for Mission Aviation Fellowship out of I think Sweden (could be wrong)? In the early to mid 1990s they had pro flight simulators in the same building my data comms company was located in Dhaka and an amphibian aircraft at DAC which was busy for a few years. Always wondered about them and what they did.


Yes it was definitely Mission Aviation Fellowship.
 
boacvc10
Posts: 549
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Re: For Pilots: What Is Your Favorite Route/Flight Story?

Sat Jul 03, 2021 12:22 am

T54A wrote:

Yes it was definitely Mission Aviation Fellowship.


Thanks a lot.
 
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Aaron747
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Re: For Pilots: What Is Your Favorite Route/Flight Story?

Sat Jul 03, 2021 12:32 pm

Have seen some wonderful approaches from jetliner windows but my favorite has to be a midwinter flight from KSJC to KTRK years ago in a family friend's C-310. It was a clear day so after the green hills of the east bay, we followed Highway 88 out of Stockton, then turned north from Kirkwood and made a gradual descent over South Lake Tahoe. I wish I still had the pictures - visibility was over 50 mi and it looked like we were exploring the fjords of Alaska. Descended a bit further to the Truckee River gorge and made a perfect approach and landing on runway 29 at TRK.
 
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BubbleFrog
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Re: For Pilots: What Is Your Favorite Route/Flight Story?

Mon Jul 19, 2021 3:28 pm

No pilot. We returned from a US holiday to the UK and specifically booked the extra short hop from PDX to SEA (just driving up there would have made more sense in context). Best flight view-wise. And really good craft beer on board.
 
bigb
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Re: For Pilots: What Is Your Favorite Route/Flight Story?

Tue Jul 27, 2021 2:23 pm

I always loved doing the DCA river visual 19 and doing the Harbor Visual into KPWM. I also have sentimental feelings for landing in KCAK(grandmother took me spotting there as a kid and I remember seeing the old observation deck) and KIAH I always went plane spotting there when I was younger and now it’s full circle. Flying the Chicago skyline route in a C-172 is awesome. Too bad Kai Tak isn’t open, I am crossing off childhood bucket list items in my aviation career.
 
trent768
Posts: 204
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2016 5:32 pm

Re: For Pilots: What Is Your Favorite Route/Flight Story?

Fri Jul 30, 2021 8:09 am

Not a pilot, but as a passenger, it's from BDO (Bandung) to HLP (Jakarta-Halim). It's around 10-15 mins from stand to stand. It was so short that I think that the "crusing" altitude was probably around FL050-060. It was so fun watching all the traffic jam at the Jakarta-Bandung toll road from above. I felt so smug by thinking "enjoy your 5 hours trip, peasant!" to the cars below.

Ticket was around $8 at the time and as a comparison: a premium shuttle cost $10, standard class train cost $5, first class train was at $8. I ended paying $11 for my taxi from my dorm to BDO and HLP to my parent's house.

But at least I can "brag" to my friends about taking a flight to Bandung and I got to ride my first turboprop (MZ's MA60).
 
Woodreau
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Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2001 6:44 am

Re: For Pilots: What Is Your Favorite Route/Flight Story?

Sat Jul 31, 2021 5:32 pm

At my first airline I was based in Lancaster PA for 4 weeks. So I had to commute to Lancaster every week.

So it pretty much went like this

Home to PHL. 2hr flight. Cost free sometimes got a first class seat

PHL to 30st - $6.25 on SEPTA train

30st station to Lancaster station - $15 on Amtrak.

2 mile taxi ride from Amtrak station to Crashpad via taxi -$20


So the shortest segment of my commute the 2 mile taxi ride was the most expensive part of my commute. The sometimes first class seat sometimes coach seat and usually the flight deck jump seat was no cost.
 
Max Q
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Re: For Pilots: What Is Your Favorite Route/Flight Story?

Sat Jul 31, 2021 10:25 pm

Too many to mention but two come to mind

Crossing the Alps after an all night flight from NY in the 767, intercepting the final for landing in Milan as the sun comes up, tired but knowing a bed is close by and then a trip to Lake Como in the afternoon


Approaching HNL from the east on an exceptionally clear day, the ocean is dead calm except for a huge V shaped swell, couldn’t make out what was responsible until we descended a bit lower and saw a huge aircraft carrier ‘tearing’ out of Pearl , must have been doing over 30 knots


One of my last trips in the right seat before upgrading and with one of my favorite Captains, sadly no longer with us

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