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N178UA
Topic Author
Posts: 1701
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Flying The Oldest Passenger Jet (FLY-SAX DC9-14)

Thu Jun 19, 2014 12:52 pm

Flying the oldest passenger jet and oldest DC-9 in the world




http://www.samchuiphotos.com/FLYSAX/3.JPG




Highly Recommended


This trip report can also be seen in Youtube video format from below link. This is highly recommended as you can hear the sound of the DC-9-14 classic with good motion from the cockpit.

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




BACKGROUND



FLY-SAX (East African Safari Air Express Ltd) operates 2 DC-9-14 regularly on routes around East Africa. I have been wanted to fly on the baby DC-9 for a very long time since I’ve came to know their existence when my friend UAEdispatcher who flew them in 2011.

To me DC9-14 is like a first generation regional jet. The stubby look of the original DC-9 really drew my attention as I never flew one before.

The 2 DC-9-14 in FLYSAX fleet:

5Y-XXA is no. 19th built DC-9

5Y-XXB is no 4th overall built DC-9 but sadly it has been discontinued and spared for parts.

P.S. They also own a DC-9-15 in an all VIP configuration.


There is no published schedule on the FLYSAX DC-9-14. it operates on behalf of FLY540 on Kenyan domestic flight plus its own international flight to a range of destination from Nairobi to Mombassa, Kisumu, Juba, Mogadishu and Zanzibar. So it is a pure gamble without prior information to go to Kenya to buy a ticket where the DC-9-14 will operate on its next flight.


One can only find out and confirm the DC-9-14 schedule at the FLYSAX/FLY540 ticket counter. We did just that the day before. It was confirmed to fly to Kisumu on a 6:15am departure and return at 7:10am with a 10 minute turnaround! We purchased 2 one way ticket easily on FLY540.com. The fare was about 80 USD one way. Kisumu is the third largest city in Kenya on the shore of Lake Victoria. It is approximately 160 miles NW of Nairobi. It is a gateway to the bordering Uganda.





DEPARTURE


We have an early start at 5am. The check in was a breeze although the flight is full. Check in crew is so nice that they work to aviation enthusiasts' favor and gave us good window seat with views to the engine. A slightly unanticipated delay from 6:15am to 6:45am has allowed us the chance to photograph the DC-9-14 on the apron in daylight. There are no aerobridges at domestic terminal so it involves a walk to your plane. They don’t mind you photo and film it around!


http://www.samchuiphotos.com/FLYSAX/1.JPG


http://www.samchuiphotos.com/FLYSAX/2.JPG


http://www.samchuiphotos.com/FLYSAX/4.JPG




ONBOARD


The DC-9-14, 5Y-XXA is 1966 built, 48 years old. (much older than me) It has an immaculate interior. To our surprise, it has 2 class with 10 seats in Business/Premium Economy and 70 seats in Economy. That is a total of 16 rows with 2-3 configuration.


My seat 13A unfortunately was taken by some other passenger, so I was re-seated in 2F, a very comfortable premium seat! A large American Church group was onboard to Kisumu with us.


http://www.samchuiphotos.com/FLYSAX/5.JPG


http://www.samchuiphotos.com/FLYSAX/7.JPG


Complimentary Tea/Coffee/Soft drinks and cookie were served on the short flight.

http://www.samchuiphotos.com/FLYSAX/6.JPG


Flying time to Kisumu is only 30 minutes. Please see the video for the takeoff and landing actions.


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




KISUMU STOP


Since we are on the same flight back to Nairobi, we did not deplane. The agent came onboard to add our name to the flight manifest but did not give us new boarding pass. So we were onboard a flight without boarding pass! With a very light load of 20 passengers joining, we were told to move anywhere you like. Our turnaround time on the ground was 15 minute.

I have a brief chat with the pilot about the DC-9-14. They’re all very proud of the plane and have no issue to invite us to the flight deck during flight. I gave my jumpseat chance to my friend Charlie, which we have “a gentleman agreement” that he will take video of the landing for me.  http://www.samchuiphotos.com/FLYSAX/8.JPG


Another new Kenyan carrier, FlySKYAERO has a DC-9-32 on the apron in Kisumu, which became the DC-9 capital in the world that morning!

http://www.samchuiphotos.com/FLYSAX/9.JPG



RETURN FLIGHT

With only 26 minute of flying time at 24,000 feet. We savour every moment onboard. We were free to walk around and take as many photo as possible. The 26 minutes flight felt like just 5 minutes, it was never enough onboard a classic!

http://www.samchuiphotos.com/FLYSAX/10.JPG

http://www.samchuiphotos.com/FLYSAX/11.JPG



Video from landing inside the cockpit

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



AN AMAZING FLIGHT EXPERIENCE


I fell immensely in love with the DC-9-14 that I want to fly more and more. It is a real classic jet. During the flight, I was enjoying every seconds of it. Words can’t express how grateful I felt to be able to fly on her finally after 3 years of waiting. I knew I was extremely lucky. Watching the pilot flying from the cockpit is a real show. Everything is done manually and to perfection. It seems to me the classic plane give perfect feedback to the pilot who exert manual control over autopilot.


http://www.samchuiphotos.com/FLYSAX/13.JPG


With confirmation with Aviation historian and data analyst, the DC-9-14 is also the oldest commercial passenger jet nowadays (48 years old!) one can buy a ticket and fly on. However, the oldest flying jet honor goes to Congo VIP B707 9Q-CLK (from 1959!)

The country of Kenya is lovely, much better than I thought. The people are really helpful, yet always relaxed and very polite. Once they’ve learned I came from a long way just to fly the DC-9, all the crew and pilot tried their best to provide us an enjoyable experience! It is a truly amazing experience! 48 years later, the DC-9-14 is still going strong. The pilots think it can fly another 5,000 cycles easily, extending life for another 1.5 years at least. I would love to bring a birthday cake to celebrate her 50th anniversary!


http://www.samchuiphotos.com/FLYSAX/14.JPG


FRIENDSHIP


I would like to thank my travel companion Ian and Charlie for making the trip immensely enjoyable and a total success. The trip would not be the same without you guys around! Travelling as a group allow me appreciate the experience more than ever. Thank you!




Don’t forget to view the cockpit footage in the Youtube video.

This trip report can be BEST seen in Youtube video format from below link:

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



Sam Chui

Facebook:SamChuiPhotos.com
Youtube: Sam Chui
Twitter: @SamChuiPhotos



A preview of my next trip report

An African Milk Run

http://www.samchuiphotos.com/FLYSAX/15.JPG

http://www.samchuiphotos.com/FLYSAX/16.JPG
For more of myself and my flight reviews visit http://www.SamChui.com
 
debonair
Posts: 3993
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2004 10:50 pm

RE: Flying The Oldest Passenger Jet (FLY-SAX DC9-14)

Thu Jun 19, 2014 8:55 pm

WOW! Fantastic TR - I would love to fly this beauty soon - what an excellent a/c!

BTW: is the F28-4000 still active in Kenya? It would be great to catch both...

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Felix Gottwald



Looking fwd to the next TR: An African Milk Run!   
 
767747
Posts: 2222
Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2005 10:08 am

RE: Flying The Oldest Passenger Jet (FLY-SAX DC9-14)

Fri Jun 20, 2014 1:19 am

Great report, Sam!

Quoting N178UA (Thread starter):
My seat 13A unfortunately was taken by some other passenger, so I was re-seated in 2F, a very comfortable premium seat! A large American Church group was onboard to Kisumu with us.

Not a bad switch! Very cool that you got on a DC-9. I'm sad that no more of them grace MSP any longer ... I had many great flights on the "9" when NWA was around.

Matthew
I love to fly!
 
penguins
Posts: 430
Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2010 9:52 pm

RE: Flying The Oldest Passenger Jet (FLY-SAX DC9-14)

Fri Jun 20, 2014 6:46 am

Great report! I would love to go to Kenya to fly her, but with the recent massacring of non-Muslims and general instability in the region I doubt I would go if given the chance. I value my life over a rare plane.
 
dc9northwest
Posts: 2270
Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2007 5:33 am

RE: Flying The Oldest Passenger Jet (FLY-SAX DC9-14)

Fri Jun 20, 2014 7:35 am

An excellent DC-9 report. Aces.

Thanks for putting this together!
 
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saleya22r
Posts: 174
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 2:13 am

RE: Flying The Oldest Passenger Jet (FLY-SAX DC9-14)

Fri Jun 20, 2014 12:24 pm

Thank for a great report&video!

I checked the history of this particular aircraft. As I suspected, this DC-9-14 flew many years in AY colors as OH-LYD in the 70's and early 80's. As the AY fleet of -10 series DC-niners was small, I am pretty sure that I've flown on this plane in my native Finland. I can well remember the impressive climb rate in cold weather. No slats in the -10 series as we can see!
 
eielef
Posts: 724
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2007 4:07 am

RE: Flying The Oldest Passenger Jet (FLY-SAX DC9-14)

Sat Jun 21, 2014 12:32 am

Unique report, SamChui. Thanks for sharing!
 
The777Man
Posts: 6135
Joined: Sun Jul 04, 1999 4:54 am

RE: Flying The Oldest Passenger Jet (FLY-SAX DC9-14)

Sat Jun 21, 2014 6:51 am

Thanks for a nice report Sam!

Good to see you fly on a DC-9-10! I have one flight with a DC-9-20 with SAS when I was about 14.

Looking forward to your next report !

The777Man
Boeing 777s flown: UA, TG, KE, BA, CX, NH, JD, JL, CZ, SQ, EK, NG, CO, AF, SV, KU, DL, AA, MH, OZ, CA, MS, SU, LY, RG, PE, AZ, KL, VN, PK, EY, NZ, AM, BR, AC, DT, UU, OS, AI, 9W, KQ, QR, VA, JJ, ET, TK, PR, BG, T5, CI, MU and LX.. Further to fly.. LH 777
 
UK_Dispatcher
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Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2001 8:44 pm

RE: Flying The Oldest Passenger Jet (FLY-SAX DC9-14)

Sat Jun 21, 2014 7:01 am

Quoting debonair (Reply 1):
BTW: is the F28-4000 still active in Kenya? It would be great to catch both...

The F-28 was parked at NBO the whole weekend we were there, but I heard it is still active.

It will be interesting to see whether the DC-9 makes it into the current FlySAX livery like the F-28. It will certainly look very sporty if it does.

Quoting N178UA (Thread starter):
I have been wanted to fly on the baby DC-9 for a very long time since I’ve came to know their existence when my friend UAEdispatcher who flew them in 2011.

UK_Dispatcher to you  
 
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Ryan h
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RE: Flying The Oldest Passenger Jet (FLY-SAX DC9-14)

Sat Jun 21, 2014 8:54 am

Nice report and nowdays a rare aircraft.

Although, I would be a bit worried about flying African airlines.
South Australian Spotter
 
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saleya22r
Posts: 174
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RE: Flying The Oldest Passenger Jet (FLY-SAX DC9-14)

Sat Jun 21, 2014 3:43 pm

Here she is, over 30 years younger:

http://cdn-www.airliners.net/aviation-photos/middle/7/9/1/0585197.jpg

According to

http://www.planelogger.com/Aircraft/...ation=OH-LYD&DeliveryDate=28.02.83

The first flight took place 29.12.65, delivery to AC 24.02.66. In AY fleet between 1971-1983.

A remarkable history.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 7):
Good to see you fly on a DC-9-10! I have one flight with a DC-9-20 with SAS when I was about 14.

I think SK used their small Diesel Niners well into the 90's. I actually made a short hop with SAS in June -93, TKU-ARN. It was probably one of their old DC-9-20 planes.
 
lychemsa
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RE: Flying The Oldest Passenger Jet (FLY-SAX DC9-14)

Sun Jun 22, 2014 8:55 am

I took my first DC-9 flight in 1966 from Las Vegas to Phoenix on an airline called Bonanza. It was the first time that I sat backwards facing other passengers. If I recall there was in fact a table.

Interesting to see Kisumu as I had friends who lived there.

I would have liked to visit Kenya. Shame that there are so many problems there now.

Thanks.
 
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eastafspot
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RE: Flying The Oldest Passenger Jet (FLY-SAX DC9-14)

Mon Jun 23, 2014 6:08 pm

Fanstastic TR!

Congratulation for this nice log since my attempt proved to be a miserable failure last February for the reasons you've mentionned at the beginning. Despite the numerous mails sent to Fly540 or East African Express, they've never replied to me  . Anyway well done!
I never thought that a return on the same flight would be possible there!

Quoting UK_Dispatcher (Reply 8):
The F-28 was parked at NBO the whole weekend we were there, but I heard it is still active.

Correct, and catching this beauty is also a pure gamble!

Many thanks for sharing and looking forward to reading the rest obiously  
Quoting lychemsa (Reply 11):
I would have liked to visit Kenya. Shame that there are so many problems there now.

It is not as dangerous as it looks, believe me!
In the other hand, you can grab some really good deals there since Kenyans are dying for tourists nowadays   .

[Edited 2014-06-23 11:52:17]
Fly with Air Burundi, Air Tanzania, Golden Wings Aviation, Kenya Airways, RwandAir and Uganda Airlines...Jumuiya ya Afrika mashariki !
 
SQueeze
Posts: 324
Joined: Thu Mar 20, 2014 11:33 pm

RE: Flying The Oldest Passenger Jet (FLY-SAX DC9-14)

Tue Jun 24, 2014 1:06 am

Wow ... what a great read.

The plane is in immaculate condition, i couldnt tell it is that old.....
 
N178UA
Topic Author
Posts: 1701
Joined: Sun Jan 07, 2001 9:56 pm

RE: Flying The Oldest Passenger Jet (FLY-SAX DC9-14)

Tue Jun 24, 2014 6:21 am

Quoting Penguins (Reply 3):
Great report! I would love to go to Kenya to fly her, but with the recent massacring of non-Muslims and general instability in the region I doubt I would go if given the chance. I value my life over a rare plane.
Quoting lychemsa (Reply 11):
I would have liked to visit Kenya. Shame that there are so many problems there now.
Quoting Ryan h (Reply 9):
Although, I would be a bit worried about flying African airlines.

Did not have one single problem in Kenya related to security, in fact the peak of safari season is appraching, we've seen a large amount of European and American arriving in NBO as tourist. On our DC-9-14 flight, we have a large group of American who are going to Kisumu for church missions.

I felt very safe in Kenya, and the people are really nice and welcoming.

Did not worry about one single thing on flying African Airlines.

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 12):
Congratulation for this nice log since my attempt proved to be a miserable failure last February for the reasons you've mentionned at the beginning. Despite the numerous mails sent to Fly540 or East African Express, they've never replied to me . Anyway well done!
I never thought that a return on the same flight would be possible there!

I also enjoyed many of your African TR   Each flight are unique experiences in Africa! Kisumu seems getting a lot of DC-9 schedules.


Sam
For more of myself and my flight reviews visit http://www.SamChui.com
 
Il62Mdakar
Posts: 92
Joined: Sat Apr 10, 2010 3:01 pm

RE: Flying The Oldest Passenger Jet (FLY-SAX DC9-14)

Sun Jun 29, 2014 8:47 pm

Thank you for the brilliant report. As always a unique aircraft and airline.

The DC-9 looks brilliant for her age - inside and out.

I still fondly remember my only ride on a baby DC-9 with AeroCalifornia into Mexico City about 10 years back. An amazing experience.

Wouldn't mind another flight though. It's amazing how Kenya became a DC-9 stronghold now with no historic connection to the DC-9.

Looking forward to your African milk run report.
 
N178UA
Topic Author
Posts: 1701
Joined: Sun Jan 07, 2001 9:56 pm

RE: Flying The Oldest Passenger Jet (FLY-SAX DC9-14)

Fri Aug 22, 2014 11:42 am

Quoting IL62Mdakar (Reply 15):
It's amazing how Kenya became a DC-9 stronghold now with no historic connection to the DC-9.

Ditto.

The next report is now up and running:
An African Milk Run - African Express MD-82/DC9-32 (by N178UA Jul 30 2014 in Trip Reports)


Sam
For more of myself and my flight reviews visit http://www.SamChui.com

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