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ManuCH
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Hello "Bye Bye MD-90" ZRH-ZRH Sightseeing Flight

Sun Jan 30, 2011 8:22 pm

The Swiss airline Hello is retiring its last MD-90 from the fleet in April 2011. To celebrate this occasion, AirEvents has organized a "Bye Bye MD-90" flight. As soon as I heard of this opportunity, of course I had to book a seat. So here's a trip report of this special flight, from Zurich to Zurich.

FHE 6999
From: Zurich
To: Zurich
ETD: 11:00
ETA: 12:00
Aircraft: MD-90
Registration: HB-JIF
Seat: 3E

Check-in was a blast. We had our dedicated counter at check-in 3 (probably the only Hello flight at that time of the day) and it took about 30 seconds per person to do the check-in, as was to be expected: after all, there was no checked luggage (although it would have been fun to try sending the luggage from Zurich to Zurich), no connecting flight, just standard.



This is the first time I got a boarding pass where the departure and the destination airport are the same  

And guess what... I was early! For some reason I'm always early at the airport. To kill the whole hour I had, I went browsing the many shops there are at Zurich Airport. Then, at 10:25, boarding time finally arrived.



We didn't have a jet bridge. Hello flights usually board using a bus. So here it was, our bus bringing us to the airplane which would fly us to... Zurich.



Soon we reached our stand. The airplane wasn't quite ready yet, but we were still allowed to leave the bus to take picture of this beautiful MD-90.



Finally, boarding began. I took a moment to take a couple of pictures from the top of the stair.

The aircraft from a nice perspective


The crowd waiting to board


We were greeted on board by the captain and 2 flight attendants and the organizer of this special flight. I quickly took my seat, 3E, and immediately noticed the nice Hello logo on the bulkhead.



The aircraft interiors were nice, like your average MD-90. A bit cramped, if you ask me. But everything was still in perfect working order and in a very good shape. After all, Delta is apparently purchasing the MD-90's retired by Hello.



In the meantime, the de-icing truck started doing its thing...



... and the captain showed up to welcome us on board personally.



He's a really nice guy and he did his best to make this flight a really enjoyable one - and definitely succeded at it! You could tell by the things he told us that he's a real aviation enthusiast. Just perfect for a flight like this one!

Now the waiting part began. For some reason, ATC lost our flight plan (yes, they do have a mess because of airspace restrictions due to the World Economic Forum in Davos), and the Hello guys had to re-dispatch everything. This took the best part of an hour. The pilot apologized and kept entertaining us with news from ATC, which was nice. 45 minutes late, we finally pushed back.



The cabin crew made a funny safety briefing, with all sorts of jokes. "Yes, even the MD-90 is equipped with a pressurized cabin" ... "As we'll be flying over Lake Geneva today, we need to show you how to use the life jackets". And finally, the best part: "The use of electronic devices is not permitted during take-off and landing - except for your cameras, of course". The crowd cheered!

A couple of minutes later, we took off from Runway 28. I was really impressed by the MD-90's take-off performance. The last time I've flown on one was when I was a little kid, so I didn't really remember these details. Our light take-off mass of 60 tons helped making it feel even faster and more powerful. We rotated at 140 kts. And boy, is it silent!

You can find a video of take-off and landing at the end of the trip report.

There was a thick layer of high fog, but we quickly passed through it (it was at approximately 3-5000 feet or so). Above that, weather was beautiful.



As I said, the eastern part of the Swiss airspace was off-limits due to the WEF (which is a pity, as the Canton of Graubünden has very nice mountains), so we settled for a flight over the west part of the Alps. We flew towards the Bern region, where we could take pictures of the Eiger-Mönch-Jungfrau montains, then proceeded towards Canton Wallis/Valais. We could even see the Matterhorn far away, but we were unable to circle around it due to departing traffic from MXP. The entire sightseeing part took place between FL160 and FL190.

Enjoy the view!

Lots of Swiss mountains...



Eiger-Mönch-Jungfrau



More Swiss mountains...



Canton Wallis/Valais



The Matterhorn in the background, in the clouds



The revolving restaurant on top of Mount Pilatus



The pilot was nice and did extensive 360 degree turns to the left and to the right around the most prominent landmarks, adding frequent comments on our whereabouts.

In the meantime, AirEvents held a prize draw of 2 MD-90 models, in 1:100 and 1:150 scale.



Soon we had to start our short descent towards Zurich. We entered that layer of fog again, and a few minutes later we landed safely on Runway 28 again.

During the "thank you and goodbye" announcement, which can be heard in its entirety in the video linked below, the cabin crew authorized us to steal the MD-90 safety card. Cue the cheering crowd once again!



And we were also encouraged to stop by, chat with the pilot, take a seat in the cockpit and take pictures. How does that sound?



The bus drivers had already been instructed by the crew to be patient, as it would take a while for everyone to deplane, take pictures and everything. After taking the 2 quick snapshots of the cockpit, I took a few more pictures from the outside.



The rear exit is always a bit special...



Isn't it a bit cold??



While waiting for everyone to get out of the plane, I also took a couple of quick pictures of other airplanes.



Finally, the bus brought us to the baggage claim area. Guess what? We even had our own baggage claim belt! Automated systems galore...



And here's our (very delayed) flight at the top of the "Arrivals" table



A quick snapshot of the very cramped arrival hall...



And last but not least, here's the video of the captain saying hello, as well as recordings of take-off and landing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fFmNGLdNH7Q

My main impressions:

- very friendly crew
- an enthusiastic captain
- very powerful and silent airplane
- great organization of a sightseeing flight in an airliner

What can I say? This was a really nice flight, with a great crew - the pilots and all the flight attendants. Thank you to Hello and AirEvents for organizing this. I'd join such an event again anytime!
Never trust a statistic you didn't fake yourself
 
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airbuseric
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RE: Hello "Bye Bye MD-90" ZRH-ZRH Sightseeing Flight

Sun Jan 30, 2011 8:33 pm

Hi

thanks for the quick posting of this memorable trip. Beautiful sights on the Swiss Alps, indeed, the weather was a big bonus for all of you on this flight. Sad to see more Airbus 'metal' in the skies from now on. The MD90 will be missed.

Regards
Eric
"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
 
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CrimsonNL
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RE: Hello "Bye Bye MD-90" ZRH-ZRH Sightseeing Flight

Sun Jan 30, 2011 8:41 pm

Hi Manu, thanks for sharing! A very enjoyable report of a unique flight! Glad you had a good time.

Regards,

Martijn
Always comparing your flown types list with mine
 
Burj
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RE: Hello "Bye Bye MD-90" ZRH-ZRH Sightseeing Flight

Mon Jan 31, 2011 1:03 am

Wow! This is too cool, thanks for sharing!

As a Delta frequent flier I'll probably end up on an ex-Hello plane so I'll keep an eye out for any errant logos that aren't removed when the planes are "Delta-fied"
 
aflyingkiwi
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RE: Hello "Bye Bye MD-90" ZRH-ZRH Sightseeing Flight

Mon Jan 31, 2011 1:21 am

Hi,

Sounds like you had a blast on this "Bye Bye MD-90" flight. The pictures of the Alps look absolutely amazing. It's a shame that the MD-90's will be leaving the fleet. I guess it won't be too long before DL has all the remaining MD-90's.

Regards,
aflyingkiwi
 
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DanTaylor2006
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RE: Hello "Bye Bye MD-90" ZRH-ZRH Sightseeing Flight

Mon Jan 31, 2011 5:02 am

Hello! (See what I did there... no? Lol)

Sounds like an incredibly enjoyable experience! I'm glad the crew were all into it and made it extra special, it's always a plus on events like this. Your photos are amazing, I'd love to do such a flight and take in views like that. My only approaches over the alps have been either high altitude or in fog!

Thanks for sharing this unique experience.

Regards,
Dan.
 
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ManuCH
Topic Author
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RE: Hello "Bye Bye MD-90" ZRH-ZRH Sightseeing Flight

Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:18 am

Thank you guys for your comments!

Quoting DanTaylor2006 (Reply 5):
Hello! (See what I did there... no? Lol)

  

Quoting Burj (Reply 3):
As a Delta frequent flier I'll probably end up on an ex-Hello plane so I'll keep an eye out for any errant logos that aren't removed when the planes are "Delta-fied"
Quoting aflyingkiwi (Reply 4):
I guess it won't be too long before DL has all the remaining MD-90's.

That's exactly it. It's apparently confirmed that Delta is buying all Hello MD-90's.

It should be fun seeing an errant Hello MD-90 flying around in the US. Looking forward to some pictures when that happens!  
Never trust a statistic you didn't fake yourself
 
FlyingFinn76
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RE: Hello "Bye Bye MD-90" ZRH-ZRH Sightseeing Flight

Mon Jan 31, 2011 7:48 am

Hello, Manu!

(That pun was intended!)

What a very nice read about a very special flight - I'm glad you managed to be part of it, looks like the atmosphere was very different from your usual Hello charter flights. Kudos for the crew for small things like allowing the safety card to be nicked and cameras being used all throughout the flight.

I flew over the Alps on the same day as well, the weather over there was really pretty and there were really beautiful shots of the western and southern parts, quite like your photos. Will post some pictures once I get around doing the report, will be quite a few days as I'm far too busy.

BTW it looks like you managed to photo at least one a.net member, probably others as well!

How much were the tickets?

Thanks for getting this up so quickly!
 
HT
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RE: Hello "Bye Bye MD-90" ZRH-ZRH Sightseeing Flight

Mon Jan 31, 2011 8:15 am

Sound & looks as if you (personally and the others) had a great time !

Quoting ManuCH (Thread starter):
ATC lost our flight plan

  

Quoting ManuCH (Thread starter):
"The use of electronic devices is not permitted during take-off and landing - except for your cameras, of course". The crowd cheered!

While landing at LYR a SK flight attendent made me shutting of my digi cam ! Grrr ...
I complied, but only for a moment.

Quoting ManuCH (Thread starter):
Guess what? We even had our own baggage claim belt! Automated systems galore...

LOL !

-HT
Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
 
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Ryan h
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RE: Hello "Bye Bye MD-90" ZRH-ZRH Sightseeing Flight

Mon Jan 31, 2011 9:07 am

Quoting ManuCH (Thread starter):
Now the waiting part began. For some reason, ATC lost our flight plan (yes, they do have a mess because of airspace restrictions due to the World Economic Forum in Davos), and the Hello guys had to re-dispatch everything. This took the best part of an hour. The pilot apologized and kept entertaining us with news from ATC, which was nice. 45 minutes late, we finally pushed back.

In Switzerland, where they claim everything runs like a Swiss watch?.

Great report.

Something different from the usual reports.
South Australian Spotter
 
fersolieslava
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RE: Hello "Bye Bye MD-90" ZRH-ZRH Sightseeing Flight

Mon Jan 31, 2011 9:27 am

This was a fun Trip Report To read, and Kudos for your really cool pictures! It's must be a special bittersweet experience to fly "retiring" flight, but then again, in the aviation industry the best way to go is upwards and forwards and we look into the future for better, faster and safer aircraft! I suppose that is why they have never been fitted with "reverse" gear yet!  
 
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sultanils
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RE: Hello "Bye Bye MD-90" ZRH-ZRH Sightseeing Flight

Mon Jan 31, 2011 11:35 am

Hi ManuCH,

Great & interesting report with stunning pics of the Alps. Good job!!

(Sulta)Nils
In thrust we trust.
 
LH526
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RE: Hello "Bye Bye MD-90" ZRH-ZRH Sightseeing Flight

Mon Jan 31, 2011 12:31 pm

Quoting Ryan h (Reply 9):
In Switzerland, where they claim everything runs like a Swiss watch?.

Which actually run some seconds slow or fast per day ... nothing to worry about  
Great TR Manu!!
Trittst im Morgenrot daher, seh ich dich im Strahlenmeer ...
 
FLIEGER67
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RE: Hello "Bye Bye MD-90" ZRH-ZRH Sightseeing Flight

Mon Jan 31, 2011 7:30 pm

Hi, Manu,

great pictures from a real special event.
No ´90 in my log here, it seems it will be so also in the future.

Btw. I saw some pictures before I read you´re report from one of the A.netters also in you´re pictures,
something really special.

Greetings,
Markus(FLIEGER67)
Tripreporter.net
 
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ManuCH
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RE: Hello "Bye Bye MD-90" ZRH-ZRH Sightseeing Flight

Mon Jan 31, 2011 7:52 pm

In the meantime, a fellow passenger sent me a screenshot of the GPS track he took during the flight, where you can see our route, speed and altitude. Very nice. Thank you Stepan!

http://www.siamo.li/forumpics/GPS_track_MD_flight.jpg

Quoting Ryan h (Reply 9):
In Switzerland, where they claim everything runs like a Swiss watch?
Quoting LH526 (Reply 12):
Which actually run some seconds slow or fast per day ... nothing to worry about

If there's a delay in Switzerland, there's probably a legitimate reason for it (yeah right)   

Edit: a correction to the original post. We actually landed on runway 14, not 28!

[Edited 2011-01-31 13:08:04]
Never trust a statistic you didn't fake yourself
 
mxp
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RE: Hello "Bye Bye MD-90" ZRH-ZRH Sightseeing Flight

Mon Jan 31, 2011 8:31 pm

Hi
thanx for the report.
I was on the Besucher Terrasse and i saw you taking off
I did a shot of the aircraft parked
Alberto
 
cerretaman
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RE: Hello "Bye Bye MD-90" ZRH-ZRH Sightseeing Flight

Tue Feb 01, 2011 6:32 am

Damn those flight attendants are hot...   

oh yea cool trip report
u mad cause i'm stylin' on you?
 
MEA-707
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RE: Hello "Bye Bye MD-90" ZRH-ZRH Sightseeing Flight

Tue Feb 01, 2011 8:52 am

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 7):
it looks like you managed to photo at least one a.net member, probably others as well!

yes, in the cabin picture I am sitting in 5D (big guy in the front leaning to the left), 3 seat rows behind in A and B are Plymspotter and Birdwatching, and there must be others as well.
nobody has ever died from hard work, but why take the risk?
 
Birdwatching
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RE: Hello "Bye Bye MD-90" ZRH-ZRH Sightseeing Flight

Tue Feb 01, 2011 1:23 pm

Quoting ManuCH (Reply 14):
In the meantime, a fellow passenger sent me a screenshot of the GPS track he took during the flight, where you can see our route, speed and altitude. Very nice. Thank you Stepan!

Any chance you could ask your friend to provide the actual file? I'd love to import it into Google Earth and experience it in 3D with the Alps and all! Any file format will do.

Soren   
All the things you probably hate about travelling are warm reminders that I'm home
 
PlymSpotter
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RE: Hello "Bye Bye MD-90" ZRH-ZRH Sightseeing Flight

Tue Feb 01, 2011 5:47 pm

Excellent report, really nice to see some of the first pictures from it - I can just see myself in a few.    The flight was a great experience, certainly one that I couldn't miss. I've only just arrived back in the UK, so have yet to look at my pictures, but hopefully they came out as well as yours.

Quoting ManuCH (Thread starter):
While waiting for everyone to get out of the plane, I also took a couple of quick pictures of other airplanes.

You know that AA 767 intrigued me. It was lifted up by the tug at the same time as our flight, yet it only pushed for departure when our MD-90 arrived back on stand almost an hour and a half later. Seemed like a long time to have it sitting there?  


Dan  
...love is just a camouflage for what resembles rage again...
 
Ndebele
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RE: Hello "Bye Bye MD-90" ZRH-ZRH Sightseeing Flight

Tue Feb 01, 2011 5:47 pm

Thanks for sharing this report with us. As I was on the same flight, it was nice to compare the pics you took with the ones on my camera. The GPS-tracking of the routing adds some very helpful additional information when it comes to identifying the mountains and villages on the photos!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 7):
BTW it looks like you managed to photo at least one a.net member, probably others as well!

You can see me on several of the photos you took during boarding and after de-boarding. But you can't see me on the cabin shot as I was sitting back in row 19.
 
acidradio
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RE: Hello "Bye Bye MD-90" ZRH-ZRH Sightseeing Flight

Tue Feb 01, 2011 7:42 pm

Manu this was a great trip report!

I'm sorry you are losing your beloved MD90. I've lost airplanes here (ie. the DC9) which I grew up with and have many fond memories. Crazy enough though it is probably going to live very close to me. DL is buying up all of them and it looks like many of them will be MSP-based. I will make sure that they take good care of your bird for you  
Ich haben zwei Platzspielen und ein Microphone
 
PlaneHunter
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RE: Hello "Bye Bye MD-90" ZRH-ZRH Sightseeing Flight

Tue Feb 01, 2011 7:48 pm

Hi Manu,

great report about this special flight with many excellent pictures. The weather was perfect for that event and you had better views of the mountains than I had on the LH A380 sightseeing flight back in July - but the thrilling go-around at SZG was a nice compensation...  


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
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ManuCH
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RE: Hello "Bye Bye MD-90" ZRH-ZRH Sightseeing Flight

Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:01 pm

Thank you again for all your nice comments!  

While we were taxiing out, another user caught a shot of our plane while waiting for his flight. Thank you Airsicknessbag/Daniel for the picture!

Quoting Birdwatching (Reply 18):
Any chance you could ask your friend to provide the actual file? I'd love to import it into Google Earth and experience it in 3D with the Alps and all! Any file format will do.

I forwarded your request but didn't get an answer yet. I'll contact you directly if/when I receive the actual file. By the way, I thought I recognized you but wasn't sure - now I know better. Well, maybe next time!
Never trust a statistic you didn't fake yourself
 
infodesk
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RE: Hello "Bye Bye MD-90" ZRH-ZRH Sightseeing Flight

Thu Feb 03, 2011 8:52 am

Hi Manu,

Wow, you worked hard to get this one up so quickly. It was a truly fantastic flight and I am so glad to have been a part of it.

Quoting ManuCH (Thread starter):
For some reason I'm always early at the airport. To

Sounds like me!

Quoting ManuCH (Thread starter):
"The use of electronic devices is not permitted during take-off and landing - except for your cameras, of course". The crowd cheered!

Imagine the job they would have had telling everyone to turn them off.....

Quoting ManuCH (Thread starter):
couple of minutes later, we took off from Runway 28. I was really impressed by the MD-90's take-off performance.

Yes, what an experience, like a rocket.

Quoting ManuCH (Thread starter):
A quick snapshot of the very cramped arrival hall...

Oh, DXB must have landed!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 7):
BTW it looks like you managed to photo at least one a.net member, probably others as well!
Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 13):
Btw. I saw some pictures before I read you´re report from one of the A.netters also in you´re pictures,

You two don't miss much!

Quoting PlymSpotter (Reply 19):
You know that AA 767 intrigued me. It was lifted up by the tug at the same time as our flight, yet it only pushed for departure when our MD-90 arrived back on stand almost an hour and a half later.

It was AA65 due to leave for JFK at 1005. It went tech and they must have needed the gate so had to move it to an open stand.

Thanks again for posting
Happy flying
Infodesk   
"Do nothing in haste, look well to each step and from the beginning think what may be the end" - Edward Whymper
 
Contact Air
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RE: Hello "Bye Bye MD-90" ZRH-ZRH Sightseeing Flight

Sat Feb 05, 2011 6:58 pm

Hi Manu,

Great report and pictures! I was also on board of this flight (seat 17E) and I share your positive impressions - a really great experience.

Regards
Christoph
 
mhodgson
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RE: Hello "Bye Bye MD-90" ZRH-ZRH Sightseeing Flight

Mon Feb 07, 2011 9:48 pm

Hi Manu

I was also on the flight, and can just be seen in your cabin photo. It was a great trip, and even though I don't speak German could tell the crew were enjoying themselves! My first time in an MD80/90 aircraft, and what an experience it was!

Great report and photos, the Google Earth track has been very useful for me!
No trees were harmed by this message. However, several million electrons were terribly inconvenienced
 
MSS658
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RE: Hello "Bye Bye MD-90" ZRH-ZRH Sightseeing Flight

Sun Feb 13, 2011 7:38 am

Nice report, glad you made it on this special flight. Like the pics as well.
Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer

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