Moderators: richierich, ua900, PanAm_DC10, hOMSaR

 
User avatar
peacejet
Topic Author
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2016 12:01 pm

An Air India trip of the A320 extremes(Double Bogey delight)

Sun Jul 03, 2016 5:02 pm

A trip of the A320 extremes of Air India- by Peacejet

Image

Background- Hello A’neters. Peacejet from India here. I have been lurking on this site reading trip reports and look at airplane photos since 2008, but I did not have anything to contribute until now because I have never flown on a plane until now. Though aviation industry has undergone a sea of change with the proliferation of low cost carriers since 2003 with Air Deccan leading the way followed by Indigo, Spicejet, Go Air etc and prices have come down, I remember seeing a one way Delhi-Chennai price in 1990’s being quoted at around Rs.20000/- (approx 295 dollars) and has come down to around Rs.5000/- (approx 74 dollars) in all airlines because of the LCC’s. But for an average middle class family like mine, it is still unaffordable to go on a vacation on an airplane even today because of the prohibitive cost.

So, the last vacation my family went was more than 10 years ago and I was pestering my parents to go on a vacation and I had a wish that I must take my parents on an airplane using my own earnings. I had started a job some time back and had saved some money. Now, seemed like a ideal time and I was pestering my parents to go on an airplane. The problem is, they are among the vast majority of people in India, who are scared of flying on a plane, because accidents will occur. I used to belt out statistics that travelling by plane is much safer than going by road blah blah blah. But they are unconvinced, and the MH370, MH17 and the recent MS804 crash doesn’t help things either, along with the Indian media which hyperboles everything on the likes of “The nation wants to know!” and “The Nation demands answers” (Indian readers will know this all too well), and the media control by the companies which operate some private airlines. Air India is one such receiver of unnecessary slander from one media house in India.

I have a very particular interest in aviation since childhood; we all know who we grow up to be.

Image

It is a hobby of mine to track all aircraft coming into Chennai(VOMM) airport, I can predict which plane will be operating which rotation today and I know many plane registrations and flight numbers and times by heart and the fact which helped me was for 3 months my office was located a few kilometres from the start of runway 7 which provided a ideal opportunity to see and capture photos of airplanes, which I posted on my FB(they were from a point and shoot camera, not worth posting here). Everyone were like, what is this VT-ANU and VT-ANT crap and VT-EXA and VT-EDE? All I see that you have posted a small plane, a large plane. Everything looks the same? But only we aviation freaks know that each plane is unique with its own personality and history. Yes, we are the few who are looked as crazy here, even by my parents. :roll:

Coming back to the point, since a vacation by flight was finally decided, we wanted to go on one of the longest possible flights on domestic sector. We decided on Delhi as the place and next came the search for flights. I was given freedom to book as per my wish. Being the Avgeek I am I knew what flights operated what time and there are quite options to go to Delhi, Air India, Jet Airways, Spicejet and Indigo are the options. I really despice the LCC’s because of their operating philosophy and hence Air India and Jet Airways were the only option. I had booked my ticket on May 1st and Air India had 5 flights a day with a base fare of about Rs.4400/-, Jet Airways with a base fare of Rs.4200/- in the lowest economy fare. A point to note that Indigo being a LCC with around 13 flights a day to Delhi was quoting Rs.4700/- as the lowest price. Some, LCC eh? :shock:

I always wanted to fly Air India, because it is the flag carrier and the pride of my nation and I just love its new Flying Swan livery. It has to be the best in the world. So, Air India it was. I wanted to fly on different aircraft types and hence I booked AIC143 which is always operated by the VT-EDx series of the newer A320(usually VT-EDC,EDD,EDE,EDF and very rarely when equipment change occurs the flight will get delayed by one and half hours and will operate using VT-EXx series, yes I am such a avgeek folks) and the return was booked on AIC429 which operated using an A321(Delhi being one of the engineering hubs of Air India, aircraft rotations are difficult to predict), but lo and behold Air India known for its sudden equipment changes subsequently in the month downgraded my flight to a A320 and that too the flights were operated with the classic version which are approximately 23 years old and are of the rare double bogey landing gear type and are slated for retirement next year. I did not mind that, as I would get to fly on the double bogey which will not be in the skies in the future. In my opinion, Air India receives unnecessary negative slander. Yes, the merger of Air India and Indian(erstwhile Indian Airlines) was a fiasco, but it has been turned around a lot, it is almost always on time and the services have also improved.

Another point worth mentioning is that Air India allows 25 Kgs of baggage allowance per person and free seat selection at the time of booking which can be subsequently changed at the time of check-in. Other carriers offer only 15 Kg and no free seat selection. Indigo charges Rs.300/- for selecting a window seat and Rs.100/- for Aisle seat, the same too with Spicejet, and food is buy-on-board which is exhobirantly priced as usual. But, Air India has no charges for seat selection and seat change and food is complimentary, no other airline will be this customer friendly.

I was excited about my first flight journey and was counting the days to my first ever flight journey.

Please do note that all photos were taken using a Lumia 640XL phone, a Canon Powershot A490 P&S, and a Sony DSC-H400 P&S with 63x zoom which I purchased exclusively for the flight trip. Please note that the take off and landing images was taken from a 720p video on the H400 which did not turn out be as expected, so kindly excuse those images.

Flight details-
Flight Operator- Air India
Flight No- AI143/AIC143
Flight Date-15-06-2016
STD-08:45, ATD-09:02
STA-11:45, ATA-11:23
Aircraft Registration-VT-EDE
MSN- 4236
First Flight-19/02/2010
Age-6.3 years
Seat- 18 D,E,F


I knew VT-EDE will be operating the flight, because the aircraft starts the journey the previous day afternoon from Delhi as AIC142 to Chennai, then as AIC 967 to Thiruvananthapuram with continuing service to Sharjah in the evening, it returns from Sharjah to Thiruvananthapuram in the night and continues to Chennai early in the morning as AIC968 and then goes to Delhi as AIC143 in the morning.

Arrived at Chennai airport at 06:45 in the morning. Chennai Airport, when it was constructed, was located outside the city and now it is well within the city limits and has reached its capacity and has no place to expand surrounded by residential areas on all sides.

Air India has the concept of International Connectors. Flight nos upto 399 and 900 above are international connectors, which is essentially an international flight with a domestic leg. My flight is a international connector with onward connection to Paris using a Dreamliner. The reason why Air India has introduced this that passengers travelling aboard can clear immigration at their origin airport itself for any international flight, instead of clearing immigration at the connecting airport which in this case is Delhi. Saves time and tension. Domestic passengers will be allowed to bypass immigration and go to security check directly by showing the boarding pass.

So, being an international connector, we had to board from the International terminal which is the newly constructed T4.

Chennai Airport is one of the scenic airports in the world located adjacent to the Pallavaram Hills, while you get down at departures, both domestic and international, you get a good view of the hills.


A view of the Pallavaram Hills-
Image

Entering the Terminal-
Image

Indian Airports have the rule that you have to show the ticket along with an identification proof before you are allowed to enter the airport. Airport security is handled by CISF(Central Industrial Security Force) who speak hindi only and being a non-hindi speaker I am there were some funny moments before entering and during security check as it was my first time flying after all. So, after the security scrutinizes you with the photo on the ID proof and eyes you from top to bottom, you are waved in. The fresh AC air hit me. It was a welcome relief from the humid conditions outside.

Today check in was at Row-32 to 62. So, off we went.
Check in area-
Image

Air India Maharaja Welcoming us-
Image

Yes, AI143 it is-
Image

Oh, on a side note, I forgot to mention this, VT-EDE operated the previous day AIC142 as usual, but then, as you know, life is full of surprises, VT-EDE was sent back to Delhi as AIC539 in the evening and an A319 VT-SCK operated the flight to Thiruvanathapuram and the subsequent flights, this had never happened since I first started tracking planes. I was heartbroken, and my seat selection was at stake, I had particularly selected those seats because, they were away from the engines and behind the wing which will give me a good view of the ground and runway 25 will be operational at airport at that time. Yes, everything we do is because of a reason for us Avgeeks, as you will find out later.
VT-EDE later returned back to Chennai the previous night as AIC42 and was scheduled to operate AIC569 to Mumbai the next morning at 06:30. I was devastated. :cry:

Coming back to our point, our entire luggage weighed only 18 KG. An aweful waste of 75 Kg luggage allowance. All process complete, boarding card received, I asked the check in agent whether the aircraft was downgraded to A319. Then he with a very serious face(the business like face which pilots have) typed something into the system and said no, A320 is only scheduled, though he could not find the registration. I was dumbstruck, how is it possible? Then, only later during boarding, I realized the masterstroke of Air India. :shock:

The boarding card shot,
Image

See the “D” on the boarding card? That means the domestic flight departs from the international terminal.

Went to security next, bypassing immigration because we were domestic passengers and after clearing security with some guffaws of course being first time traveller(did not keep the cellphones and cameras in bag, did not stand at the yellow line for my turn etc. The language barrier with the security people did not help either, and fellow people in the line helped us). Women have a separate line with closed areas for security and the crowd was lesser there and she was on the other side in no time.

After clearing security, we arrive in front of the large glass view area, where we can see outside, and this beauty was just arriving.

Saudi Arabian airlines-HZ-AQE-arriving from Dammam

Image
Image

Our gate No was 11, which is the first gate in the International Terminal and is located in the Old International Terminal.

The connecting corridor to the old terminal
Image

A common lounge for all airlines near gate 11
Image
Image

This is view of the gate from the seating area. No outside view unlike the new terminal.

Image

Now look at this display board, remember that I mentioned the masterstroke of Air India.

Image

See flight AIC263 to Trivandrum/Thiruvananthapuram, it is an onward connector to Male. It was delayed because the A319 aircraft VT-SCO supposed to operate it operated AIC569 to Mumbai at 06:30AM and VT-SCK returned back to Trivandrum as AIC263. That means VT-EDE was still in airport. I was excited like a kid now. I then knew it would VT-EDE operating today, and I told this to my parents and they were like, we get a plane to sit and go right? I was like yeah, you wont understand this. :ugeek:

08:20 came, boarding did not start and there was no one at the gate, I knew VT-EXC was coming in from Hyderabad and hence if VT-EDE was not there, it would operate our flight at around 10:00AM if we were delayed. But then suddenly at 08:30 there was a flurry of activity at the gate, and everyone queued up and our boarding stubs collected and we were made to hurry to the gate.

We crossed G-ZBJA and the British Pilots who would be operating the flight to London and when I turned the corner. I saw her, VT-EDE. :oops:

Love at first sight

Image
Image
Image
Image

She overnighted at Chennai just to operate our flight.

Gate neighbour. G-ZBJA

Image

Quickly running down the gate, we went in the aircraft. Man, it was spotless almost like a new plane even the seat fabrics looked new. I did not see VT-EDE for three weeks prior to this flight. Maybe she underwent maintenance.

The business class seats
Image
Image

The separator between Business and Economy
Image

Seat view

Image

I knew that the A320s did not have IFE, but the seat arm rests had IFE controls and I could feel the IFE monitor behind the seat cover in front of me. Why Air India? I just want flight map after all.

View from my seat- Cargo being loaded and fuel truck loading fuel along with gate neighbour
Image

The cargo bay door
Image

Close up of ZBJA
Image

We started pushback at around 08:55. Safety announcement was made in hindi and English during pushback and startup.

The morning International ops-
Image
Image

This VT-TMK of Trujet Airways a regional carrier based in the state of Andhra Pradesh. This flight will be operating to Hyderabad.
Image
Image

Saudi had also pushed back just ahead of us
Image

Just then VT-BDO, a Boeing 757 Cargo of Blue Dart aviation landed.
Image
Image
Image

Saudi taxing behind Blue Dart
Image

We are taxing behind Saudi
It was a rather fast taxi to Runway 25
Image
Image

This is where all the fuel for aircraft is stored
Image

The most crucial building in the airport
Image

Cargo Terminal
Image
LX-VCV- Cargolux cargo which came in from Muscat
Image
Image
A6-DDC- Ethiad Cargo B777 which came in from Shangai, it will continue to Abudhabi
Image

Holding short of the runway, taxiway Juliet and Runway 25 it is,
Image

The wind sock. The wind is from the south in the morning and hence we are taking off towards the south.
Image

Saudi took off ahead of us and the sound of the A330 engines vibrated everything in our plane.

Then we taxied onto the runway. Held for some time and in typical Airbus style the flex systems did the job of the engine spool up and I was pushed back into my seat. Being first time, I was amazed at the acceleration.
Image
Image

Airborne
Image
Image
Image

The Adyar River
Image

The reason why I chose starboard side seating
Image

The view of Chennai airport
Image
Image
Image

Crossing Ambattur lake
Image

It was a hazy day, otherwise taking off at 09:00AM Chennai has the best view ever. With the sea on one side, and land on the other.

Crossing the Tamil Nadu-Andhra Pradesh border.
Lake Pulicat which marks the border
Image

Lake Pulicat and the sea in the distance
Image
Image

Inside Andhra
Image

There was a Low Pressure Area in the Sea because of the South West monsoon near the cost of Andhra. The clouds associated with that
Image
Image
Image

Penna River with Nellore town to the right(not in image though)
Image

Starting to see some blue sky
Image
Image

Yes, my favourite plane, coincidentally my family whatsapp group photo was VT-EDE
Image

Another seat view. Seat back contents were the Safety Card and todays newspaper
Image
Image

A close up of the winglet
Image
Image
Image
Image

The land below became hazy. Eventually we settled at 34000ft
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

An interesting point to note is that Chennai ATC is one of the most technologically advanced ATC’s in India and has Performance based navigation(PBN) and has Hyderabad, Bangalore, Nagpur & Thiruvananthapuram, Mangalore ATC under its control, that means Chennai controls majority of Bay of Bengal, Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea Oceanic regions and airspace upto central India, all planes more or less fly a direct route unless weather plays a factor. Our flight was more or less straight north after take off. On landings, planes need not do step descent, PBN software ensures Continuous Descent approach and landing for all aircraft, which saves fuel for aircraft.

Breakfast service was started shortly after the seat belt signs were switched off.
The Vegetarian breakfast tray-
Image
The contents-
Upma(a wheat based dish) on the left, Masala Dosa on the right(a rice lentil fermented dish, stuffed with potato), and sambar(a side dish) in the middle, and then the usual fruit bowl, bun, butter jam, and creamer with sugar for coffee or tea which was served afterwards.

Image

Air India branded water bottle-
Image

After having coffee the crew retreated to the galley and came back whenever passengers pressed the call cabin crew button.
The rest of the flight flew by literally, I was looking out the window and seeing the clouds rolling by and I could see the ground colour change from brown to blackish brown in central India and finally yellow as we flew over the deserts of Rajasthan.

The landscape slowly turning to yellow as we progress north,

Image
Image

Then suddenly the engines spooled down, and we felt the push down to earth

Image
Image

We descended through the clouds

Image
Image

Descending over Faridabad-
Image
Image
Image
Image

We landed on Runway 29.

Coming up over the runway threshold-
Image

We flared for some time before a firm landing-
Image

Vacating from the runway-
Jet Airways A330 next to Air India Regional ATR-42
Image

VT-ESF- A320 of Air India in Star Alliance livery and a double bogey variant
Image

An unseen bird for me
Image
Image

BA in remote stand
Image
Image

The Captain stopped on the taxiway and came on the PA and informed that the gate was occupied by another aircraft and it would be ten more minutes, but a few seconds later he started taxing to the gate.

When our plane was turning towards the gate, I saw this beauty behind

VT-PPK- A321 coming in from Colombo as AIC282
Image

Now, co incidence part, as I was entering Chennai airport in the morning I was her taking off as AIC273 to Colombo(yes, she was late taking off from VOMM). She had trailed behind us all the way from Central India where the airway from Colombo merges with the airway we took from VOMM. Such a small world isn’t it?
We parked at the gate and PPK parked adjacent to us,

Mandatory engine shot of the CFM engine on exiting
Image

Gate neighbour
Image
Image

Rare birds which I will never see
Air Astana and China southern
Image
Image

We deplaned last as we did not want to stand among the crowd, and by the time I finished with the photos, the pilots and cabin crew had also deplaned and walked by and man, they are well groomed, All the pilots I saw were well groomed as if they were going for a modelling assignment with spotless uniforms, is it a rule or a unwritten norm or what?
Since it was International connector flight, we deplaned in the International part of the airport, and AI ground staff were asking everyone walking by whether you are connecting anywhere and guiding passengers accordingly.

We were parked at the end of the terminal and it was a long walk.

Arrivals on the left and International transfers on the right
Image

Coming down on the escalators with a view of the famous Mudra’s
Image

Domestic passengers have to walk to the end of the immigration counters and show their boarding passes and can walk out into the “shopping mall” and then onwards to baggage claim.

Never seen these many flights before. Belt 8 for us.
Image

We picked a pre paid taxi at the airport to our hotel.
Then, it was all set for our return flight after a relaxing vacation.

Continued below
 
User avatar
peacejet
Topic Author
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2016 12:01 pm

Re: An Air India trip of the A320 extremes(Double Bogey delight)

Sun Jul 03, 2016 5:14 pm

Flight details-
Flight Operator- Air India
Flight No- AI429/AIC429
Flight Date-20-06-2016
STD-09:45, ATD-10:05
STA-12:40, ATA-12:47
Aircraft Registration-VT-ESE
MSN- 431
First Flight-28/05/1993
Age-23.1 years
Seat- 25 A,B,C changed subsequently to 22 D,E,F


So, as I had mentioned earlier, I had wanted to try out the A321 and hence, I had booked this flight. I had selected row 25 on the port side just for a change, as during landing on Mondays, the planes at the time of the day will come over land entirely and land on Runway 25 at Chennai. So, I thought not much to see.

But both AI(Air India) and AAI(Airports Authority of India) had some surprises. AI had downgraded the flight to A320 which meant my seat selection which would anyway be honoured would be at the very back of the cabin and AAI had made the main runway 7/25 Maintainenece to be conducted everyday. Earlier, it was only on Tuesdays and Saturdays that the secondary runway would be operational as the main runway would be taken up for maintenance from 10AM to around 5PM after UL122 takes off to Colombo at around 10:00AM using an A330, after than only A320’s and B737’s which are the most used by airlines here will operate using the runway, and rarely A321 will use the runway too. This is because the secondary runway was earlier small capable to operating only ATR’s and Q400’s and was subsequently lengthened a few years back to operate narrow body jet aircraft so that the main runway can be taken up for long overdue repair work. No other wide body aircraft is allowed to operate during this time and so the only wide body which comes during the afternoon is the afternoon Srilankan rotation of UL127/128 which now uses an A320 instead of A330.

But this expansion is not without issues. Since the expansion would require the runway to cross the river Adyar flowing parallel to the airport, a bridge was constructed over the river and runway expansion was completed. And this meant the river when it overflows can easily enter the airport, which resulted in this.

https://www.flightradar24.com/blog/heav ... rite-offs/
Also, the capability of the bridge over the runway to withstand the landing forces of the planes landing from Runway 12 side was questioned as the heavy flow of water may have weakened the trusses. Eventually, after the water subsided an inspection was carried out and both runways were declared fit to be operational.

Coming back to the point, the secondary runway being in use meant that the landing will be from the sea because the winds will be from the south east based on the monsoon. I had to absolutely get the seat changed.

So, the previous evening, I did the web check in, I already knew it was the classic version and hence it is an all economy configuration, so I thought why not book at the front next to the engines, but by the time I did the check in all the seats in the front were blocked and only 22 and 18 rows were free on the starboard side. So, row 22 it was since 18 would come over the wing.

I also knew that VT-ESE would be operating my flight since the usual flight rotation is

Previous day-> Mumbai->Bangalore->Chennai->Kolkata->Chennai with an overnight halt at Chennai and then Chennai->Delhi(AIC440)->Chennai(AIC429, my flight)->Bangalore->Mumbai and very rarely does it change.

But wait, have I not heard of this aircraft before. Yes, sure enough,

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/indi ... 684425.cms

This aircraft was involved in a tyre burst incident exactly a year ago in Srinagar airport. The old AI A320’s does not have brake fans from what I read and this meant that the brakes get to cool only when they are on ground and hence, the turn around time for the flights operated by these aircraft tend to be longer, atleast 1 hour to enable the brakes to cool, lest they burst on take off on the subsequent flight. But my flight took out in half an hour after coming in.

I did not inform this to my parents lest they get worried.

So, off to the airport,

On the way to airport, AI operates from T3

Image

The beautiful ATC tower,
Image

Up on the ramp to departures, Jet airways and Vistara

Image

Entering Air India area
Image

Woah!!

Image

Row E it is, common check in for all flights,

Image

Check in staff was efficient, and on learning we were from Chennai, the check in agent started speaking to us in Tamil, though he was a North Indian, nice way of engaging customers instead to the usual serious routine. Even the check in agent for the onward flight talked freely with us, though the one on the onward flight was a AI employee but here he was a SATS employee.

The baggage weighed only 18 KG. Got the boarding pass.

Image

Asked the agent regarding the registration of the aircraft, he told he could not find it, but he told it was an all economy configuration so no changes expected. Sometimes, the a/c going as AI143 will operate AIC429 after delay or any other mixed configuration a/c will operate which will ruin my seat selection.

Off to security, and the usual chaos, my bag went through the scanner, was promptly asked to open the bag, and take my two newly purchased water bottles and the security accompanied me upto to the waste bin and made me drop it into it. This did not happen at Chennai. Anyways, there were water bottle vending machines at every gate, which I used to purchase water, my first ever vending machine experience, was pretty straightforward and easy to use.

As I had mentioned earlier,

Image

Wanted to go up to the food court to get breakfast as only snack service would be available.

Spotting time. VT-ESJ.

Image

Image

Image

Double bogey

Image

Delhi is Dreamliner country after all,

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

4 aircraft lined up for departure

Image

The only south Indian food outlet available in T3. Vaango means “Please come” in Tamil.

Image

The prices were exhobirant. My parents ate idly priced at a cool Rs.178/- for 3 pieces whereas normally it costs only Rs.21/- for 3 pieces elsewhere. I trotted off to McDonalds next door and purchased the only vegetarian option available.

Image

Image

While coming down from the food court

Image

VT-PPD an A321

Image

Delhi being a silent airport, no announcements would be made and we have to look at the boards for gate information and we allotted gate 29B,

Off to the gate area, and it was a pretty short walk.

Image

Plopped my things at the gate and started spotting. It was a good place because I could see the take off and landings.

My friend VT-EDF being prepared to move to a gate.

Image

Image

Image

Image

VT-EDF pushed back

Image

Image

Image

Taxing on own power to gate

Image

Image

This bird coming in after landing
Image

Jet airways ATR72 prepping for Take off
Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

VT-PPM

Image

Image

Image

Vistara bird

Image

Then I saw this bird land, I knew that was the plane that will take me back to Chennai,

Image

Image

Image

And sure enough, the bird I predicted came and parked at Gate 29


VT-ESE just as predicted.

Image

Image

The IAE engines,

Image

Dont you just love it when your predictions come correct.

So, back to spotting,

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

My first ever SQ shot,

Image

Image

Image

VT-JFJ taxing-

Image

VT-JFJ taking off-

Image

View from my gate, and my plane parked

Image

Image

Image

This beauty came in and parked at Gate 30. VT-PPL

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Soon, it was time to board, and on the jetway,

Parked at gate 28 on the left, VT-EXE is just 7 months old, A320 with sharklets, would have loved to fly on that,

Image

Image

Image

Image

All the gates were almost occupied, my parents told me that the place resembles CMBT(Chennai Mofussil Bus Terminus) at Chennai, which is the largest Bus Station in Asia and has buses coming in and going out from Chennai to all over the state and neighbouring states all through the day and is always crowded. Here only instead of buses, there are planes. I could attest to that, so many planes!

VT-PPL on the right,
Image

Image

The cockpit view of my plane

Image


Image

Is the first officer looking at me?

Image

Captured an A319 VT-SCI coming in,

Image

Taxing past us,

Image

And moving to a gate to my left

Image

Ground crew doing their work,

Image

Engine and double bogey view,

Image

See it before it becomes history,

Image

Went inside the aircraft, all economy as expected, the cabin looked old, the walls were dull, the seat fabrics required change, in essence, the aircraft was showing its age. My father asked how old is this aircraft? I gently avoided it saying I have to take photos. I did not want them to get nervous.

Image

Plopped down into the seat, and the leg space was lesser than that of VT-EDE, and the A/C was not running at all, it was very uncomfortable inside the a/c and lo and behold my window is the only one which is scratched like hell both on the inside pane and the outside pane. Inside pane is understandable, but the outside? How? Why Air India? Why me?

I tried to do my best for the photos, but some will be out of focus because of the scratches,

My scratched window, you can see how worse it is,

Image

Image

Image

Wing view,

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

We taxied to Runway 11 for take off,

Wind sock on the other side,

Image

A point to note here is even while waiting to taxi to active, the AC was not working and we were sweating and the lights went off and came on when the a/c went from APU to Engine power, not experienced this on the previous flight.

A sharklet Indigo coming to land, while we hold,

Image

Take off roll-

The take off was sluggish, not like the push back felt on the previous flight.

Image

Turned right on take off, did a 180 and turned left to join the normal route to the south.

Image


Image

Image

Image

Dwaraka area

Image

Image

There were some threatening CB’s on the left side which we avoided,

Image

It was a bit bumpy. The cabin crew had announced that it would be bumpy all the way up to Chennai in the pre flight announcement, and to keep seat belts fastened at all times.

Image

Image

The air was unstable with few bumps and we eventually climbed up to 35000ft.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Scratches, why?

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Snack service started,
Image

The snack service consisted on one Dosa(a pancake type rice-lentil dish cut into four pieces, a piece of cheese sandwich, a cake, water bottle and a juice bottle

Image

Image


Metal cutlery in economy. Yay!

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Devloping CB’s. The monsoon had advanced to Central India at this time, and there was a low pressure area brewing in the Bay of Bengal off the coast of Andhra Pradesh which we would be flying through.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Ice formation?

Image

I forgot to mention, both times, when we were cruising, when I touched the windows, it would feel cold. Is it the case always? Dont windows heat up because of the air friction?

Image

The rest of the flight is spent looking out of the window as usual.

Old style cabin indicators
Image

Then it became fully clouded as we neared the LPA near Andhra Pradesh and nothing was visible on the ground. Then, we began our descent eventually.
There were some breaks in clouds over Andhra as we neared the coast.

Image

Image

Image

Image

It was like this most of the time at the later half of the flight.

Image

There was a break in the clouds, and we had a beautiful view of Pulicat Lake, the sole reason I switched seats to this side of the aircraft.

Image

Image

The normal approach to the secondary runway 30 is to go downwind over the sea if there is traffic else come parallel to the coast and make a right hand turn to fly visual straight in. There is no ILS on the secondary runway.

Since an aircraft was landing ahead of us, we turned into the sea and looped back for landing.

Descending over Pulicat lake,

Image

The lake has many small islands,
Image

Image

This is Sriharikota, the place where all rocket lanches are done by ISRO(Indian Space Research Organisation)

Image

Image

Image


L&T Kattupalli Port

Image

Image


Ennore North Chennai Thermal Power Plant(NCTPS)-

Image

We turned into the sea as usual

Image

Ships waiting at outer anchor of Chennai Port

Image

Finally starting to see land,

Image

Entering land over Palavakkam area,

Image

Image

Image

Buckingam Canal

Image

Buckingam Canal to the right and Old Mahabalipuram Road(OMR) to the left

Image


Image

Velachery MRTS(Mass Rapid Transit System) railway station-

Image

St Thomas Mount Metro Station(under construction)-
Image

The Railway tracks near Palavanthangal Railway station-

Image

Crossing the Grand Southern Trunk Road(GST) Road into the runway threshold

Image

The GST road is a lifeline to the city and connects it to all the southern districts.

Touch down

Image

The braking was slow, but then the aircraft braked hard suddenly eventually slowing down to taxi speed and vacating the runway.(There are no rapid exit taxiways in Chennai)

Taxing to the terminal

The new domestic terminal in the center of the image(where we will be heading), Old domestic and International terminal to the right side and the new International Terminal at the far right, with the beautiful Pallavaram hills serving as background.

Image

Image

View of the remote parking bays,

Image

All good things must come to an end. Kingfisher graveyard.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Indigo which landed ahead of us,

Image

At this moment it hit me, a burning smell, like that of rubber burning, it was getting more pronounced by each second. My parents asked me what the smell was, and since we had landed, I blurted out the details of this aircraft. They were like, its OK we have landed. The wheels and the brakes had overheated as usual, lucky the tyre did not burst.

Image

Image

Crossing the Main Runway,

Image

Repair work underway

Image

Image

Image

Old International Terminal

Image

Domestic terminal

Image

Image

Image

VT-PPE- A321 with VT-SPK Spicejet operating to Vishakapattinam

Image

Image



VT-SLB in the background

Image

VT-PPE being connected to ground power

Image

A look back at my plane

Image

Walking into the new terminal to baggage claim

Image

Baggage belt being displayed for all later flights. My flight flashed when I saw it first and later never displayed

Image

VT-SLB had just came in from Madurai and its passengers were also deplaning along with us,

Image

It follows a Delhi->Chennai->Madurai->Chennai->Delhi without fail almost everyday. Spicejet mostly operates the same plane on some routes everyday.

Image

Image

Image

It was Belt 2 for us, but the previous flight was not yet complete

Image

And after collecting the baggage, it was out outside ending our first ever plane trip

Image

Verdict-
Being an Air India fan, I tried this flight and was able to see the extremes, of both the newer and older A320. If we had flown on the older A320 first, it would not have created a good first impression. Both flights gave different experiences, the first flight was fun where I could feel the seat pushback during take off and feel the climb and turns, whereas the second flight was more gentle in the same. AI has the best pilots, most of them ex air force and are used to hand flying(not the usual V1, rotate, NAV). We can clearly see their skills during landing. Other airline flights will wobble left and right during landing in the crosswind(you know the typical Airbus wobble, UL is the worst and the sharp Boeing wobbles), but AI pilots would keep the plane steady in crosswind with good rudder and stick control and land gently, with the plane showing no jerks or drifting throughout, even I have overheard passersby at the airport standing at the traffic signals on GST Road would say that other airline planes wobble a lot. AI pilots are the best in my opinion.

The cabin announcements were limited to the “Doors arm and crosscheck”, “Cabin crew to your seats for take off/landing”. More announcements regarding altitude, speed and what cities we are overflying, descent announcement would be forthcoming. The cabin crew also were too professional, almost the American style mentioned here in the forums, “Veg/Non-Veg?” thats all. There was no IFE, which I was initially upset about, but apart from the moving map which we people prefer, I don’t see the need for IFE in these short flights.

AI has a shortage of capacity on short haul routes and excess capacity on long haul routes. New leased A320’s are expected to join next year and the Double bogeys will be retired then. AI is trying hard to keep the double bogeys in a good condition, but age of the plane still shows. But, I was happy to fly in a plane which will soon be a part of history.

Overall, it was a good experience on VT-EDE and VT-ESE on Air India, a Star Alliance member. I would fly them again as long as it is on the newer A320’s or A321.

Chennai too known for its beautiful scenery on take off and landing did not disappoint. The best time for take off and landing is after 8AM when Chennai affords a beautiful view of the sea or the city, depending on the runway in use and whether you are taking off or landing. I had done my homework well and did the seat selection accordingly and I was rewarded minus the scratched window.

Image

Thank you, until the next flight, opportunity willing. :D
 
User avatar
jaybird
Posts: 432
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2001 4:23 am

Re: An Air India trip of the A320 extremes(Double Bogey delight)

Mon Jul 04, 2016 12:13 am

wow .. great post .. thanks so much for sharing! :-)
 
beeweel15
Posts: 1027
Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2003 12:59 am

Re: An Air India trip of the A320 extremes(Double Bogey delight)

Mon Jul 04, 2016 2:15 am

Great post nice pictures. I almost forgot about those A320's with the double boogies. They are one of the very early build 320's built for AI specifically glad to see them still flying.
 
User avatar
CrimsonNL
Posts: 2205
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2007 6:34 pm

Re: An Air India trip of the A320 extremes(Double Bogey delight)

Mon Jul 04, 2016 6:12 pm

Hi Peacejet and welcome to Airliners.net :) Congratulations on your first flights! Indeed very cool to get the super-exclusive double-bogey variant! Not to worry about the new ones with winglets, there will be plenty of time to try one of those. Always go for the old types first ;)

A good report, well written and clearly you are very passionate about aviation!

Best regards from AMS,

Martijn
 
jetwet1
Posts: 3383
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2007 4:42 am

Re: An Air India trip of the A320 extremes(Double Bogey delight)

Mon Jul 04, 2016 7:28 pm

I'm sure most of us on here have long forgotten their first flights, mine was 40 years ago, I have vague memories of it.

I have to ask, what did your parents think of the whole experience ?
 
jgp777
Posts: 42
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2007 5:49 pm

Re: An Air India trip of the A320 extremes(Double Bogey delight)

Mon Jul 04, 2016 10:45 pm

Wonderful trip report. Extremely detailed and shows your love for aviation! Do keep up the passion!! I used to fly Delhi - Chennai and back every week for work for two years until last year June. Ive been on all the Delhi - Chennai flights of AI. Loved the AI439 morning service as it would almost always be full or upgraded to a 787 or 77W or sometimes be routed with AI803 via BLR. Being a Silver FFP and having chatted up with a number of ground staff who began to know me very well after seeing them every week, I would get upgraded many times. I remember flying on VT-EDE a number of times, and back then it used to have IFE screens, wonder when they changed it. Without a doubt, Ive chosen AI almost always, except when 9W were operating their 332 for a few months.
 
User avatar
peacejet
Topic Author
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2016 12:01 pm

Re: An Air India trip of the A320 extremes(Double Bogey delight)

Sat Jul 09, 2016 1:43 pm

jaybird wrote:
wow .. great post .. thanks so much for sharing! :-)


Welcome! :D
 
User avatar
peacejet
Topic Author
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2016 12:01 pm

Re: An Air India trip of the A320 extremes(Double Bogey delight)

Sat Jul 09, 2016 1:47 pm

beeweel15 wrote:
Great post nice pictures. I almost forgot about those A320's with the double boogies. They are one of the very early build 320's built for AI specifically glad to see them still flying.


Lucky to fly in the double bogey. They are due to retire next year when the newer A320's are leased in.
 
User avatar
peacejet
Topic Author
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2016 12:01 pm

Re: An Air India trip of the A320 extremes(Double Bogey delight)

Sat Jul 09, 2016 1:48 pm

CrimsonNL wrote:
Hi Peacejet and welcome to Airliners.net :) Congratulations on your first flights! Indeed very cool to get the super-exclusive double-bogey variant! Not to worry about the new ones with winglets, there will be plenty of time to try one of those. Always go for the old types first ;)

A good report, well written and clearly you are very passionate about aviation!

Best regards from AMS,

Martijn


Thank you! :D
 
User avatar
peacejet
Topic Author
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2016 12:01 pm

Re: An Air India trip of the A320 extremes(Double Bogey delight)

Sat Jul 09, 2016 1:54 pm

jetwet1 wrote:
I'm sure most of us on here have long forgotten their first flights, mine was 40 years ago, I have vague memories of it.

I have to ask, what did your parents think of the whole experience ?


My parents still have the fear of flying, they are unconvinced. They told me that they came just for me. But they were impressed that we were able to save 2 days at both ends of travel. It usually takes 30 hours to travel by train which now was cut to 5 hours home in Chennai to hotel in Delhi and vice versa.

With this website now I have immortalized my first plane trip. :mrgreen:
 
User avatar
peacejet
Topic Author
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2016 12:01 pm

Re: An Air India trip of the A320 extremes(Double Bogey delight)

Sat Jul 09, 2016 2:02 pm

jgp777 wrote:
Wonderful trip report. Extremely detailed and shows your love for aviation! Do keep up the passion!! I used to fly Delhi - Chennai and back every week for work for two years until last year June. Ive been on all the Delhi - Chennai flights of AI. Loved the AI439 morning service as it would almost always be full or upgraded to a 787 or 77W or sometimes be routed with AI803 via BLR. Being a Silver FFP and having chatted up with a number of ground staff who began to know me very well after seeing them every week, I would get upgraded many times. I remember flying on VT-EDE a number of times, and back then it used to have IFE screens, wonder when they changed it. Without a doubt, Ive chosen AI almost always, except when 9W were operating their 332 for a few months.


I remember the AI439 service, sometimes I would track it coming through Bangalore or it would first come to Chennai and then proceed to Bangalore and then back to Delhi. The reason why I remember it very well is once it offered me my first ever Dreamliner sighting, VT-ANU, the Star Alliance livery plane when it came to land from Delhi once and the 777 when it took off to Bangalore. Flight radar had this photo,

https://www.planespotters.net/photo/345 ... -777-237lr

It was taking off around 10:30AM, and I was at my workplace near the Runway 7 end and it was taking off from 25, I just looked at the photo and thought it was a A321 photographed from the bottom, but only when it went overhead after the morning Emirates service and I heard the distinct 777 rumble that I checked and realized that I missed a opportunity to capture a AI777 almost never seen in Chennai. :oops:
 
Thommyie
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 8:21 pm

Re: An Air India trip of the A320 extremes(Double Bogey delight)

Sun Jul 10, 2016 7:15 pm

What an amazing trip report. I think everyone can feel your passion for aviation. Thank you so much for sharing!
 
User avatar
aerdingus
Posts: 2720
Joined: Tue Dec 05, 2006 8:58 pm

Re: An Air India trip of the A320 extremes(Double Bogey delight)

Mon Jul 11, 2016 10:12 pm

Well done on your first flight and first trip report. I've been curious about the AI double bogey 320s for ages and am delighted to see them covered here. I enjoyed all the details and information, well done.I hope to see more from you :)
 
BrooklyBOMgal
Posts: 75
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 7:16 am

Re: An Air India trip of the A320 extremes(Double Bogey delight)

Tue Jul 12, 2016 3:29 pm

Greetings from BOM. Nice trip report. Well written....in fact it was more like I was taking the trip myself. Looking forward to more TRs from you. Cheers.
 
User avatar
peacejet
Topic Author
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2016 12:01 pm

Re: An Air India trip of the A320 extremes(Double Bogey delight)

Sun Jul 17, 2016 1:34 pm

Thommyie wrote:
What an amazing trip report. I think everyone can feel your passion for aviation. Thank you so much for sharing!


Thank you!
 
User avatar
peacejet
Topic Author
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2016 12:01 pm

Re: An Air India trip of the A320 extremes(Double Bogey delight)

Sun Jul 17, 2016 1:36 pm

aerdingus wrote:
Well done on your first flight and first trip report. I've been curious about the AI double bogey 320s for ages and am delighted to see them covered here. I enjoyed all the details and information, well done.I hope to see more from you :)


Thank you! I will put up more trip reports once I get the opportunity. :D
 
User avatar
peacejet
Topic Author
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2016 12:01 pm

Re: An Air India trip of the A320 extremes(Double Bogey delight)

Sun Jul 17, 2016 1:37 pm

BrooklyBOMgal wrote:
Greetings from BOM. Nice trip report. Well written....in fact it was more like I was taking the trip myself. Looking forward to more TRs from you. Cheers.


Thank you! Hope to put up more trip reports in the future. :D
 
ojas
Posts: 1195
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2008 10:23 am

Re: An Air India trip of the A320 extremes(Double Bogey delight)

Sat Jul 23, 2016 6:37 pm

Really nice TR! ... enjoyed the elaborate pictures.

Thanks for sharing.
 
User avatar
peacejet
Topic Author
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2016 12:01 pm

Re: An Air India trip of the A320 extremes(Double Bogey delight)

Sun Aug 07, 2016 11:09 am

ojas wrote:
Really nice TR! ... enjoyed the elaborate pictures.

Thanks for sharing.


Welcome. :)
 
User avatar
Rookie87
Posts: 321
Joined: Tue Sep 08, 2015 9:33 pm

Re: An Air India trip of the A320 extremes(Double Bogey delight)

Thu Jan 12, 2017 7:36 pm

I thoroughly enjoyed your trip report! I felt like I was there with you!!
You reminded me of how much more fun it is for us enthusiasts to be flying
 
sumantra
Posts: 30
Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2016 11:12 am

Re: An Air India trip of the A320 extremes(Double Bogey delight)

Fri Jan 13, 2017 4:29 am

What a lovely trip report, Peacejet! Detailed descriptions, planning, homework, and of course, great pictures, as well.
I look forward to reading many more trip reports from you: with the same level of delightful detail.
You may like to share a link to your trip report on http://www.airliners-india.net as well, a vibrant forum for Indian aviation.
Many of us are regulars here.
Cheers, Sumantra.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

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