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The Last Of Pax Tri-Jets, YYZ-AMS On KLM's MD11

Thu Mar 03, 2016 9:49 pm

More detail version can be found on my personal blog:

Since I decided to restart writing trip reports, I have been digging through my archive (will talk about it later in my next blog post), finding photos and videos, some of them are quite boring, some are quite unique (Airplane types, locations, special events, etc).

This trip report, as you have noticed in the title, it's a report on the very last passengers Tri-Jet, the MD11, one of my all time favorites. I have always been fascinated by the tail mounted engine.

As someone who was born in the 90's and grew up in the 00's, by time I can recall in my memory, the sky has already been dominated by 777 and A330. Although I may have been in some "classics" Tri Jets such as the L1011 and DC10 according to my parents (I somehow doubted it, they cannot really identify planes nor care about it), the earliest memory I have in a plane was a Thai Airways (TG) 777-200 (non-ER).

Fast forward 15 years, by the time I can afford and make decisions on a trip, Passenger Tri-Jets are already unicorns in the sky, only KLM and Biman Bangladesh Airlines had scheduled Tri-Jets in passenger service.

Lucky enough, KLM scheduled the MD11 directly to my former home city, Toronto before they were retired later the year in October. I knew it was a now or never opportunity, I immediately booked it once I had confirmed my holiday schedule. I still cannot believe it actually happened.

Flight Info:
Airlines: KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
Origin: Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ/CYYZ)
Destination: Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS/EHAM)
Departure: 12 May 2014, 1735 EST
Arrival: 13 May 2014, 0740 CET
Duration: 07hr05min
Aircraft Type: McDonnell Douglas MD-11 (reg: PH-KCD, Florence Nightingale, 19.7 years old)
Seat: 12J Economy Class

Finally, the mighty 3 holder!

My gate is getting ready, I cannot wait to get on board!
note the plane in the background belongs to the gate next to me

I have always been fascinated by the tail mounted engine,
unlike the S-duct (I thought it was ugly when I was younger but I like it now), you can see the entire engine, even the fan blades!

I usually buy an Airliner World magazine while waiting at the Airport...
What a coincident, they had a story covering the retirement flight of Biman's DC10
Too bad I forgot to ask the captain to sign it.

Start boarding! The queue was long...
It's not a small plane after all.

My boarding pass,
And whoever took my seq:001...

It's getting real...
My MD11 virginity...

Making sure it's the MD11

Side story, the captain noticed me taking tonnes of picture while greeting other passengers,
He asked if I were an enthusiast and offered to take a picture of me and this logo.
We chatted a little before door was about to close.

I still can't believe it, I'm on board the MD11!
The plane was refitted not too long ago... (a couple years?)
it was fitted with PTV and new sitting arrangement from 2-5-2 to modern 3-3-3
It look fairly new, although the classic design overhead bins show its age.

Legroom is fairly okay... 31" pitch
well, it's not the reason why I took this plane right?

Seating Guild!
I was in the first row (12) of economy, right behind Economy comfort which has better recline angle.
This row is not recommended as you don't get extra legroom and the passenger in front of you get extra recline... you get the idea.
Although this plane is long retired, I think it will apply to other KLM planes too.

Ugh, Air France 777 heading to CDG.
The plane who killed the MD11 programme (more like the A330/A340, but still)
That's all you see nowadays.. 777.. even KLM uses 777 for AMS-YYZ now.

preparing the cabin for departure

Cabin view,
Love those overhead bins, although they are quite small and hard to access in today's standard

Crossing Runway 33R

Take off:

Safely card with my own personal IFE at the back

In flight service follow shortly after we reaches cruising attitude.
It's KLM, of course they have Heineken.

Cheers to the MD11

If I remember correctly, MD11 was the first passenger jet equipped with winglet right off the production line and it was quite a unique design too.. Even the latest 737 MAX copied it!

Cruising along the East Coast

Meal time!

Forgot what it was.

Sunset as we are about to leave Canada via Newfoundlands

Drinks after meal.
Since the middle seat was empty,
my seatmate and I decided to unitize it

Cruising at 966kph at FL345

The door!
It's quite unique
Not only it opens upward (like 767)
the window mechanism is two circular polarizing filter
So you turn it to allow light to pass through or not.

Walking around the cabin before they turn off the light.
Front EY cabin,
the "screens" were to separate EY comfort and normal EY

KLM logo on the bulkhead


back EY cabin

Crossing the Atlantic
The moon was bright.

refreshment before landing as we are above England.

KLM is slightly more generous than AC...
AC only gives you a cold muffin...

Sunrise on the other side

Still can't get over this glorious view

Turning into Netherlands from North Sea


Only in AMS!
Over the wing Jet bridge!

This is how it works

Passengers can board the plane directly from R3 and R4

One last view of the MD11 (Not exactly, I took the same plane from AMS to YYZ a couple months later)

Classic overhead panel

I waited everyone to disembark so I can ask if I can have a cockpit visit...

Surprise !
The captain I chatted to earlier was LOOKING FOR ME!!!
He even went to L2 and asked a FA to "keep an eye on me" in case he missed me.

Before I even ask, he said: "Sure you will want a visit to the cockpit, follow me"
Then I followed him to the cockpit

the FO was organising some paperwork to prepare to handover the plane (he joined the conversation later) while the captain and I are having a chat, talking about the plane and stuff.
They loved the MD11, they are also sad about the retirement of MD11,
the captain told me that he will retire with the plane in October and the FO will be going to the 747 fleet.

Before I leave, he offered me his seat for a picture, I gladly accepted it and I hope maybe one day... I will be flying a jetliner as well.

That was the best flying experience I have ever had, and the friendliest captain and FO ever..
I forgot his name already but if he ever sees this,
Thank you so much, and I hope you're enjoying your retirement as an airline pilot.

The End.

Thank You so much for reading,
more flight reports will be coming soon!

if you like it or anything you feel like I should improve in the future  Comments are very much appreciated

Also, if you're interested, More of my flight reports can be found on my blog:
Boeing: 717,734,738,739,753,74R,742,743,744,74E,748,763,772,773,77E,77L,77W,788,789
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RE: The Last Of Pax Tri-Jets, YYZ-AMS On KLM's MD11

Sat Mar 05, 2016 6:06 am

What a great read! Thank you for sharing. The pics high above the Atlantic at night with the bright moon, and then those at sunrise...what a treat to experience aboard my personal favorite A/C  

BENAIRE - The Refined Airline
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Posts: 2718
Joined: Tue Dec 05, 2006 8:58 pm

RE: The Last Of Pax Tri-Jets, YYZ-AMS On KLM's MD11

Sun Mar 06, 2016 1:39 pm

Very nicely done, lots of great photos and information. Pity she's gone.

Quoting KLM11 (Reply 1):
The pics high above the Atlantic at night with the bright moon,

I agree, that was fantastic!

Thanks very much  
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