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DanTaylor2006
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Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2006 7:15 am

Farewell To The Monarch A300! Gatwick-Birmingham

Wed Apr 16, 2014 8:56 pm


.



Introduction



In 2013, Monarch Airlines announced that they were to retire the last of their Airbus A300-600R aircraft after many years service. Later in the year, they announced an enthusiast flight from London Gatwick to Birmingham, to commemorate the retirement of the type from the Monarch fleet. At £99 for a Window Seat (less for middle and aisle seats), it would have been rude not to! Within minutes of the flight going on sale I had myself booked in seat 29K on the final Monarch A300 flight. Closer to the date, a flypast was also announced at Manchester as part of the flight.

This report will, once again, focus on my video content. However there are still plenty of photos!



Monarch A300 Farewell Flight



Date: 13APR14
Flight: ZB300
From: Gatwick Airport (LGW/EGKK)
To: Birmingham Airport (BHX/EGBB)
Via: Manchester Airport (MAN/EGCC)
Dep: 14:40 (15:30 actual)
Arr: 15:40 (16:30 actual)
Aircraft: Airbus A300-600R
Reg: G-OJMR
Seat: 29K



Check in was announced as opening 3 hours before the flight, at 11:40, so after a decent nights sleep at the local Travelodge it was off on the bus to check in! We arrived at 11:45 and clearly weren't the first, given I was sequence number 121!

I, along with my two friends, had booked access to the No.1 Lounge in the South Terminal to while away the long wait until departure time. I utilised the Premium Security queue and wished I hadn't... it was twice as long as the normal queue, with no prior warning. Next time, I shan't bother!

We lounged around in the No.1 Lounge until around 13:20 when the FIDS were showing the flight as Go To Gate then Boarding (bit early, but with 300+ enthusiasts to organise... perhaps for the best!).


No.1 Lounge South Terminal.

By the time we arrived the holding pen was quite full.


The appropriate flight number...


.

There was an unspecified delay, during which time the magazines and photographers and important people were let out to the aircraft. Around 14:30 we were allowed to board, not via Jet Bridge, but by air stairs of course! Great views ensued.


My first glimpse of G-OJMR!


Beautiful in her own way!


The enthusiasts getting their fill before boarding.


No mistake as to what we are flying today!


A very shiny engine.


Approaching the steps.


Past the engine.


And nearly there.


The pointy end.


One last look outside...

We were greeted by the exceptional crew that would be manning our flight today, and directed to our seats. I headed midway down the cabin to 29K.


.


My view for the next hour or so.


Boarding continues.

By this time, we were running late, but on these occasions you don't mind too much as you're enjoying soaking up the atmosphere! The doors finally closed and we pushed back around 40 minutes late.


Ready to go, you can see the fire engines waiting...

The Captain was very informative and advised us we would be taking the long route to Runway 26L today, in order to receive a water cannon salute from the fire service at Gatwick! Very exciting (and you can see it in my Departure video below).

We held for a few departures, and then it was our turn. The CF6 engines roared into life, and we were up quickly into the bright afternoon sun!



Taxi, Water Salute & Departure from Gatwick   


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAGumiARSxg



We routed East before flying overhead the Docklands area of London, giving great views of City Airport, The O2 Arena and Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park as we routed north towards Manchester.


And we're off.


Climbing.


A well organised cabin, unlike the DC10 farewell.


.


Air vent/Light contraptions... odd.


Enthusiasts getting snap happy.


Approaching the City.


.


The O2 Arena and Emirates Air Line.


City Airport.


.


.


Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.


.

As soon as the crew were released they began preparing a surprise champagne and orange juice service! We hadn't expected anything so it was nice to be given something. The seatbelt signs went off briefly, although most people chose to stay put. Whilst the crew carried out the drinks service, a couple of pilots proceeded around the cabin offering out a 'Certificate' celebrating flying on the last A300 flight and a brand spanking new safety card. A very nice touch, especially as most people had to buy such items on the DC10 flights!


The crew doing their rounds for the last time.

We continued North, towards the Peak District for our eventual descent towards Runway 23R at Manchester, in preperation for our flypast.


.


.


Not in bad condition considering.


.


.


.


Some wear and tear was, of course, evident!

We soon started descending towards Manchester, flying a standard approach into 23R, before levelling out at 1,000 feet. The Captain had explained that this flypast was a farewell to Manchester for its long association with the Airbus A300.

We continued at 1,000 feet as the airfield came into sight - I'm sure it was great for those on the ground, although as we were so high up it didn't feel too exciting on board! The only excitement came when we powered up to climb back to 9,000 feet for the short 15 minute hop down to Birmingham. However, nice to know we were 'on board' when it happened!



Manchester Airport Approach & Flypast   


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYZNl-vbEec



We levelled out once more and headed down the country towards Birmingham, for our final approach and landing on board this magnificent aircraft.


Approaching the West Midlands.


'The Beechdale' which is somewhat local for me!


.


Bescot Stadium/Banks's Stadium.

We flew over Walsall and Birmingham, before heading out towards Warwickshire for our final turn for a Runway 33 approach, which was moderately blustery in places which made it at least a little fun!

We touched down on Runway 33 at 16:30, 50 minutes late but to rapturous applause! And well deserved it was too, it had been an absolutely brilliant flight by all accounts. The crew, in the cabin and on the flight deck, had ensured an absolutely perfect flight.



Approach & Landing at Birmingham   


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AjBf2mItBxQ



We taxied back towards the remote stands, where we were informed a stand had been allocated for us so that we could take as many photographs of the aircraft as we liked. During the taxi the lead Cabin Crew member made a rather emotional goodbye speech, which you can hear in the above video. I genuinely felt like the crew were going to miss this aircraft!


.

We disembarked (again by air stairs) and were allowed to wander around the aircraft taking photos. And what perfect weather we had! Here are my photos and video from the exterior at Birmingham.


.


G=OBYF chilling in the background.


An imposing profile.


.


.


.


.


.


One more close up...


.


And my final shot before waving G-OJMR goodbye...



Inside & Out - G-OJMR on the Final A300 Flight   


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMmazcyuylE



Conclusion



This enthusiast flight was absolutely perfect, and a fab way to send off the A300 in style. Of course, we should have expected the best... Monarch have been organising enthusiast days for a while now, and whilst I haven't been on one before this, I've heard good things! A massive thank you has to go to Toby & Co. at Monarch for the super organisation of the day. It was exceptionally well organised, which isn't a mean feat when you fill an A300 with enthusiasts! The crew really excelled and were an excellent representation of the airline. I had a brilliant day, and am quite sad this is probably going to be my first, and last, flight on an A300. Well done Monarch, and farewell to G-OJMR and its sisters!



Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed a glimpse at this A300 Farewell.

Daniel.
 
gabrielchew
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RE: Farewell To The Monarch A300! Gatwick-Birmingham

Wed Apr 16, 2014 9:26 pm

Nice report Daniel! Maybe I should have booked, although I have flown the A300 and Monarch before (although admittedly not the Monarch A300!)

Quoting DanTaylor2006 (Thread starter):
The Captain was very informative and advised us we would be taking the long route to Runway 26L today, in order to receive a water cannon salute from the fire service at Gatwick! Very exciting (and you can see it in my Departure video below).

Nice of you to get the salute!
http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights: AMS-RIX-BUD-VDA,ETH-TLV-FCO-LHR,STN-TXL-LCY,LTN-CPH-LTN,LGW-SZG,MUC-LHR
 
aidoair
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RE: Farewell To The Monarch A300! Gatwick-Birmingham

Wed Apr 16, 2014 10:49 pm

A fab report thanks ! I've been waiting for one to pop up on here ever since the day.

It's nice to see Monarch giving a last salute to some of their long serving work horses in this way !   

Cheers,
 
Carfield
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RE: Farewell To The Monarch A300! Gatwick-Birmingham

Thu Apr 17, 2014 8:48 am

Thanks for sharing during this special occasion.
This bird changes the history of Airbus and will be truly missed.

Carfield
 
celestar
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RE: Farewell To The Monarch A300! Gatwick-Birmingham

Thu Apr 17, 2014 8:49 am

What a flight! I am going to miss out the A300 which always have a special heart in me. I simply love that airplane, with tons of models of A300 in different scale.
May I ask what engine type it was? For CI, they have a strange choice of using PW I think.
One thing I remember few years ago was travelling on China Eastern from Shanghai to Shenzhen, the seat I was on broke and I have to be moved to another seat at the rear, and having to be re-seated again because that seat was broken! Memorable indeed - laughed by my colleagues who think I am too over-weighted. The broken seat simply refused to be adjusted back to normal position and is always at full recline!
 
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CrimsonNL
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RE: Farewell To The Monarch A300! Gatwick-Birmingham

Thu Apr 17, 2014 8:58 am

Hi Dan, great report! Very nice indeed of Monarch to organize such a trip, and what a nice way to log the increasingly rare A300.

Regards,

Martijn
Always comparing your flown types list with mine
 
conrad
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RE: Farewell To The Monarch A300! Gatwick-Birmingham

Thu Apr 17, 2014 10:38 am

Really nice trip report. Thanks
 
FLIEGER67
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RE: Farewell To The Monarch A300! Gatwick-Birmingham

Thu Apr 17, 2014 2:47 pm

Hi, D.,

great story and pictures about an exceptional and emotional day.
Really special to follow and also to see myself in one of you´re pictures!.

Greetings,
Markus(FLIEGER67)
Tripreporter.net
 
ba319-131
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RE: Farewell To The Monarch A300! Gatwick-Birmingham

Thu Apr 17, 2014 7:19 pm

Nice summary of the day Dan, what an excellent event it was, well done to Monarch and of couse Gatwick and Birmingham airport for allowing us so much ramp access, just superb!

This will likely be my last ever A300 flight so it was nice to get it on a home grown airline and to be surrounded by so so many fellow enthusiasts.

Cheers

Mark
111 732 733 734 735 736 73G 738 739,7M8 BBJ 741 742 743 744 752 753 762 763 764 772 77L 773 77W L15 D10 D30 D40 AB3 AB6 312 313 318 319 320 20N 321 21N 332 333 342 343 345 346 359 351 388 CS1 CS3 I86 154 SSJ CRJ CR7 CR9 CRK 145 170 175 220
 
BAWairbus
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RE: Farewell To The Monarch A300! Gatwick-Birmingham

Thu Apr 17, 2014 8:01 pm

An absolutely brilliant insight into Monarch's enthusiast flights.

I think it's wonderful that Monarch remembers that for some of us, flying isn't just about getting from A to B, it's about the different experiences each aircraft brings to the magic of flight.

A treat for all onboard and so nice of them with the freebies!

When I said my farewell to the A300 in January, G-OJMR took me to Lanzarote. I think you can see from the pictures I took of her for my trip report compared to yours shows she was buffed for this special occasion!

Thanks for sharing  

BAWairbus
 
debonair
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RE: Farewell To The Monarch A300! Gatwick-Birmingham

Thu Apr 17, 2014 9:58 pm

Great TR, great pictures!

Quoting DanTaylor2006 (Thread starter):
Not in bad condition considering.

What will happen to this beauty? The scrapyard? Or will she soldier on as a freighter?
 
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DanTaylor2006
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Posts: 377
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RE: Farewell To The Monarch A300! Gatwick-Birmingham

Thu Apr 17, 2014 10:43 pm

Thank you all for the kind words so far, I'm glad you have all enjoyed!

Just before I reply, the links to my videos haven't come up because they were https not http so here are the clickable links for anyone who doesn't wish to copy/paste!

Departure from Gatwick - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAGumiARSxg
Flypast at Manchester - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYZNl-vbEec
Arrival at BHX - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AjBf2mItBxQ
Inside & Out (A look around G-OJMR) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMmazcyuylE


Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 1):
Nice report Daniel! Maybe I should have booked, although I have flown the A300 and Monarch before (although admittedly not the Monarch A300!)


Cheers! It was a great event, but at least you have logged an A300 hey!

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 1):
Nice of you to get the salute!


Absolutely, was very exciting to find out it would happen.

Quoting aidoair (Reply 2):
A fab report thanks ! I've been waiting for one to pop up on here ever since the day.


Thanks, you're welcome!

Quoting Carfield (Reply 3):
Thanks for sharing during this special occasion.


You're welcome. Glad to be able to!

Quoting celestar (Reply 4):
What a flight!

Absolutely 
Quoting celestar (Reply 4):
May I ask what engine type it was?


General Electric CF6.

Quoting celestar (Reply 4):
One thing I remember few years ago was travelling on China Eastern from Shanghai to Shenzhen, the seat I was on broke and I have to be moved to another seat at the rear, and having to be re-seated again because that seat was broken! Memorable indeed - laughed by my colleagues who think I am too over-weighted. The broken seat simply refused to be adjusted back to normal position and is always at full recline!


That sounds an... ummm.. eventful flight! Hahah.  
Quoting CrimsonNL (Reply 5):
Hi Dan, great report! Very nice indeed of Monarch to organize such a trip, and what a nice way to log the increasingly rare A300.


Cheers Martijn! Absolutely.

Quoting conrad (Reply 6):
Really nice trip report. Thanks


No problem, thanks for reading!

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 7):
Hi, D.,

great story and pictures about an exceptional and emotional day.
Really special to follow and also to see myself in one of you´re pictures!.


Hey Markus, thanks. I see you too 
Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 8):
Nice summary of the day Dan, what an excellent event it was, well done to Monarch and of couse Gatwick and Birmingham airport for allowing us so much ramp access, just superb!


Cheers! It really was a great event (and might convince me to part further cash with Monarch should they hold any future events!). BHX have been great throughout, with both this and the DC10! Lots of ramp access!

Quoting BAWairbus (Reply 9):
An absolutely brilliant insight into Monarch's enthusiast flights.


Absolutely. Like I said above, I may be tempted into future events!

Quoting BAWairbus (Reply 9):
When I said my farewell to the A300 in January, G-OJMR took me to Lanzarote. I think you can see from the pictures I took of her for my trip report compared to yours shows she was buffed for this special occasion!


I'd imagine so, got to have her looking her best on her last day 
Quoting debonair (Reply 10):
Great TR, great pictures!


Thanks!

Quoting debonair (Reply 10):
What will happen to this beauty? The scrapyard? Or will she soldier on as a freighter?


Sadly she will be off to a facility (Tarmac in Tarbes I believe?) to be parted out shortly.

Thanks again!
 
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aerdingus
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RE: Farewell To The Monarch A300! Gatwick-Birmingham

Fri Apr 18, 2014 4:36 pm

Bittersweet, very nice report but sad to see this bird go! I think I may have flown this bird in 2003 to HER. It was the only reg showing up in photos for DUB at that time so that's my conclusion. When I flew her she was in the old livery! I didn't know much about planes back then and got scared cause I thought she looked ancient! I remember it was very spacious and we were served a meal.

Great report, well done for getting such a special flight!

 
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lpdal
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RE: Farewell To The Monarch A300! Gatwick-Birmingham

Fri Apr 18, 2014 5:24 pm

Hi DanTaylor and thanks for a well written report  

Looks like Monarch's A300s are in great condition despite their age. Contrast that to other airline's younger AC in deplorable condition....Does Monarch have a J class?  

Thanks again!

-LPDAL
TWU represented. All of my views and posted content are mine alone, and should not be viewed as official communication from my employer, its subsidiaries thereof, or any other entities or airlines.
 
02hilliert
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RE: Farewell To The Monarch A300! Gatwick-Birmingham

Sun Apr 20, 2014 11:01 am

Quoting LPDAL (Reply 13):
Does Monarch have a J class?

No J Class, but a Premium cabin was installed on 1-2 A300s each Winter, and the A330s in the fleet have a Premium Cabin year-round.


Great trip report Dan - let's hope there are plenty more Monarch enthusiast events to come!
Next Up: Back to the US - Charlotte & Kansas City
 
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DanTaylor2006
Topic Author
Posts: 377
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2006 7:15 am

RE: Farewell To The Monarch A300! Gatwick-Birmingham

Tue Apr 22, 2014 4:11 pm

Quoting aerdingus (Reply 12):
Bittersweet, very nice report but sad to see this bird go!

Indeed it is! Glad I got to fly one before the end.

Quoting aerdingus (Reply 12):
Great report, well done for getting such a special flight!

Thank you  
Quoting LPDAL (Reply 13):
Hi DanTaylor and thanks for a well written report  

Thanks, you're welcome  
Quoting LPDAL (Reply 13):
Looks like Monarch's A300s are in great condition despite their age.

Yes, I've seen far worse on younger aircraft!

Quoting 02hilliert (Reply 14):
Great trip report Dan - let's hope there are plenty more Monarch enthusiast events to come!

Cheers, I hope so too - mainly because I want to go on another  
 
EL-AL
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RE: Farewell To The Monarch A300! Gatwick-Birmingham

Sat Apr 26, 2014 3:12 pm

Hey Dan,
Thank you for this report, always sad to see an old work horse making its last landing.

Quoting DanTaylor2006 (Thread starter):
Later in the year, they announced an enthusiast flight from London Gatwick to Birmingham, to commemorate the retirement of the type from the Monarch fleet

Very nice of them to think about that. I wish here we had some more respect to aviation history.

Quoting DanTaylor2006 (Thread starter):
At £99 for a Window Seat (less for middle and aisle seats), it would have been rude not to!

Agree

Quoting DanTaylor2006 (Thread starter):
We touched down on Runway 33 at 16:30, 50 minutes late but to rapturous applause! And well deserved it was too, it had been an absolutely brilliant flight by all accounts. The crew, in the cabin and on the flight deck, had ensured an absolutely perfect flight.

Those are the most enthusiastic applause i ever heard after landing.

Great report! Liked the videos too. Jonathan
every day is a good day to fly
 
roberts87
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RE: Farewell To The Monarch A300! Gatwick-Birmingham

Sun Apr 27, 2014 2:50 pm

Hello Dan,

What a great report! A fantatic way to say goodbye to the A300 indeed, good stuff by Monarch. I seriously considered along as well, and when I see this report I do regret that I didn't. Thanks for sharing!

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