Moderators: richierich, ua900, PanAm_DC10, hOMSaR

 
captainstefan
Topic Author
Posts: 338
Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 7:53 am

Delta's Final DC-9 Flight..Ever. (Ferry To CLT)

Fri Jan 31, 2014 8:54 am

The day had finally come - Delta Air Lines was retiring the last two DC-9s from service more than two weeks after the originally scheduled-turned ceremonial retirement. Ship 9873 / N782NC was being flown to Thief River Falls airport (TVF) to be included in the Northland Community & Technical College's fleet of maintenance trainer aircraft, and ship 9870 / N779NC was being flown to Charlotte/Douglas International Airport (CLT) to become a part of the Carolinas Aviation Museum (the home of N106US, "The Miracle on the Hudson"). As a Delta employee, and through some spirited wild goose chasing, I was added to the standby list for the flight to Charlotte (at 5:30am the morning of the flight, no less). The two flights were to take place Thursday, 23 January, one day after N779NC flew the final revenue DC-9 flights (ATL-VPS-ATL, trip report here).

I checked in with my somewhat secret reservation and got my seat request card for flight 9944 to Charlotte. The TSA agent checking boarding cards was curious, but seemed not to care too much. After clearing security, I made my way to the southern end of the T gates where both DC-9s sat - N782NC at T2, and N779NC at T1, preparing for departure. I presented my request card to the gate agents, who just opened the boarding door and sent me down the bridge! Cleared and off to the races!

I got to the plane and found the party was well underway - the crew organizing the handover to the museum had received a volunteer flight attendant from Delta's ATL base, Patricia Ringness and she was buzzing about telling stories from years past aboard DC-9s while she passed out beverages and snacks. I stepped into the cockpit to talk to the pilots, CA Scott Woolfrey and FO Joel Schrader (who had flown us on the final revenue flight as well). Joel sent me back up to the gate to print extra dispatch releases - turns out they were his gift to me! He knew how much I liked flight paperwork from the flights the day before, and I couldn't thank him enough. Captain Woolfrey came out to the cabin and gave a brief history of the airplane after discussing emergency procedures - our aircraft, by the time it reached Charlotte, would have flown 76,104 hours and 71,537 cycles. He added that the aft pressure bulkhead is rated for 110,000 cycles, which meant that if Delta flew the airplane full time until they were required to ground it, it would be in service until the year 2032.

Most of the other passengers for the flight had selected their seats already, and all of them were in the four rows of First Class and the first few rows of economy. I scoffed at their selections and dashed back to row 24 - the Men's Tees of DC-9 seats, for you golfers out there - and set up shop. Two cameras, audio recording app, and notepad ready to go! Enjoy the pictures, videos and commentary.


The portal to history... or a party. You decide.




The flight crew preparing the old lady for her final voyage.



FO Schrader performs the preflight check on his oxygen mask.



Patricia tells us stories from the Braniff and Muse Air days



The cabin of N779NC, from the rear jumpseat (with everyone aboard)



The cabin from row 9



My digs. The best seat in the house - a great view and great surround sound.



PUSHBACK/STARTUP VIDEO: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-12jUnr6tbM


Leaving gate T-1 behind



Legroom view (notice the brand new safety card - a lot of those mysteriously went missing after we landed)



The taxi out, passing Korean Air's A380 loading up for ICN.



An iconic sign with an iconic wing



Holding short, waiting for word that flight 9960 was indeed pushed back and taxiing. Their dispatcher had trouble getting in touch with their destination airport, TVF, which encumbered their release from the gate. Not a chance wed let them be the last ones off, however.



TAKEOFF VIDEO - SHORT VERSION: http://youtu.be/kbdWcIHOsBA

TAKEOFF VIDEO - EXTENDED VERSION: http://youtu.be/SzP3HT7f2tA


Cruising through northeast Georgia - a week later this would be covered in snow and ice.



Cabin in cruise



Starting the descent into the Charlotte area. Our flight time was supposed to be 33 minutes, but I think Captain Woolfrey decided it was too nice a day to stop flying so soon.



The door that soaked a few unaware flight attendants with de-icing fluid (pressurization seals the door, but the cabin isn't pressurized during the spray of glycol)



The flight attendants from the final revenue flight the day prior signed the wall of the galley for posterity.



First Class



Captain O'Nan jokes with the passengers before landing. He was instrumental in coordinating with the museum in Charlotte for the handing over of the aircraft.



Getting closer and closer to the end of the line for this old gal



GO-AROUND VIDEO: http://youtu.be/4wX6h2pdPZk

LANDING/WATER CANNON SALUTE VIDEO: http://youtu.be/Lr5M5XdYAYw


Deplaning for the final time



Sure looked (and sounded) to me like she was crying as she spooled down for the final time.



Hey, why not?



The original plan involved deplaning through the aft airstairs, but apparently no one on the ramp in Charlotte was properly trained on lowering them - since they can only be released externally.



Saying the final goodbyes to her.



Captain Woolfrey's autograph on the panel



...and FO Schrader's



This was about half of the welcoming committee that included media, airline employees, friends and family of those involved.



Drip drying in the sun



Our ship's older sibling, the DC-7 dressed as Eastern's Clipper Atlantis



The flight crew disembarks to greet the crowd



A portrait with ship 9870. Taken by Jason Wade.



The cake (we couldn't tell what the ship number was of this one) provided for those in attendance.



Captain O'Nan giving a thankful speech



Joel, Patricia and Scott cut the cake, wrapping up a fantastic but bittersweet occasion.



I hope you all enjoyed this trip through history as much as I did, and don't worry - it's ok to shed a tear or two for the lovely lady, the DC-9.
 
himmat01
Posts: 1035
Joined: Sat Dec 04, 2004 4:34 pm

RE: Delta's Final DC-9 Flight..Ever. (Ferry To CLT)

Fri Jan 31, 2014 9:13 am

Thanks for posting this great report and it was a real pleasure reading it. Unfortunately, this is one of the few types I have never flown.
 
User avatar
aerdingus
Posts: 2725
Joined: Tue Dec 05, 2006 8:58 pm

RE: Delta's Final DC-9 Flight..Ever. (Ferry To CLT)

Fri Jan 31, 2014 1:48 pm

Quoting captainstefan (Thread starter):
Patricia tells us stories from the Braniff and Muse Air days

Fair play to her!

Quoting captainstefan (Thread starter):
Leaving gate T-1 behind


Pity yis couldn't get one last powerback  
Quoting captainstefan (Thread starter):
An iconic sign with an iconic wing

Great photo, well done

Quoting captainstefan (Thread starter):
Cabin in cruise

It looks so fresh and new..

Quoting captainstefan (Thread starter):
The door that soaked a few unaware flight attendants with de-icing fluid (pressurization seals the door, but the cabin isn't pressurized during the spray of glycol)

Now that looks...original!!

Quoting captainstefan (Thread starter):
Sure looked (and sounded) to me like she was crying as she spooled down for the final time.

And with the water drops on the window as tears...

Quoting captainstefan (Thread starter):
The original plan involved deplaning through the aft airstairs, but apparently no one on the ramp in Charlotte was properly trained on lowering them - since they can only be released externally.

Sign of the times eh! pity. Interesting that the jump seats are attached to a door?

Quoting captainstefan (Thread starter):
Our ship's older sibling, the DC-7 dressed as Eastern's Clipper Atlantis

Beautiful Only two digits away in the sequence but a whole world away. Both beautiful iconic a/c.

Emotional! Well done on commemorating the DC-9. I never had a chance to fly on one, but got her younger sister the SK MD80 who was also retired in last year. Great that you got a ferry flight, that's like my dream to fly empty haha.

Cheers  
 
jetwet1
Posts: 3672
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2007 4:42 am

RE: Delta's Final DC-9 Flight..Ever. (Ferry To CLT)

Fri Jan 31, 2014 3:20 pm

Thank you for taking the time to post this, long live the mighty DC-9 !
 
NDiesel
Posts: 149
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2011 1:58 pm

RE: Delta's Final DC-9 Flight..Ever. (Ferry To CLT)

Fri Jan 31, 2014 7:27 pm

Hey!

I highly enjoyed your report -- it's a shame I never got the chance to fly the DC-9. Patricia seems like one of those flight attendants that helps keep up the magic of flying!

Brgds,

Mike
 
MSNfan
Posts: 158
Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2008 5:24 am

RE: Delta's Final DC-9 Flight..Ever. (Ferry To CLT)

Fri Jan 31, 2014 10:02 pm

Thank you so much for posting this excellent report of such a special experience. What a takeoff from ATL!! I'm really going to miss those DC-9s...
 
User avatar
KLASM83
Posts: 506
Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2005 10:08 am

RE: Delta's Final DC-9 Flight..Ever. (Ferry To CLT)

Sat Feb 01, 2014 2:37 am

LOVE the videos. He went all out on that takeoff from ATL. Thanks for this great T/R, history has been made.
 
phllax
Posts: 788
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 6:53 am

RE: Delta's Final DC-9 Flight..Ever. (Ferry To CLT)

Sat Feb 01, 2014 11:39 pm

What was the 3-bell chime indicating immediately post rotation?
 
DeltaRules
Posts: 5648
Joined: Sat Sep 01, 2001 11:57 am

RE: Delta's Final DC-9 Flight..Ever. (Ferry To CLT)

Sun Feb 02, 2014 12:37 am

Nice job! What does the museum plan to do with the plane? Open up the inside for walkthroughs? Static display?
 
User avatar
CARST
Posts: 1590
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2006 11:00 pm

RE: Delta's Final DC-9 Flight..Ever. (Ferry To CLT)

Sun Feb 02, 2014 7:06 pm

Hi Stefan, what a fantastic report. I already read your other "last flight" report on friday at lunchbreak, but had no time commenting. But this one is worth a comment. Great job!

Quoting captainstefan (Thread starter):
The day had finally come - Delta Air Lines was retiring the last two DC-9s from service more than two weeks after the originally scheduled-turned ceremonial retirement

Such a rare chance in life to get on such a flight. Too bad Delta did not did few farewell flights for fans of the DC-9. I bet a lot of people from a.net, flyertalk, etc. would have loved to get on such a flight.

Quoting captainstefan (Thread starter):
Patricia Ringness and she was buzzing about telling stories from years past aboard DC-9s while she passed out beverages and snacks
Quoting captainstefan (Thread starter):
Captain Woolfrey came out to the cabin and gave a brief history of the airplane after discussing emergency procedures - our aircraft, by the time it reached Charlotte, would have flown 76,104 hours and 71,537 cycles. He added that the aft pressure bulkhead is rated for 110,000 cycles, which meant that if Delta flew the airplane full time until they were required to ground it, it would be in service until the year 2032.

Fantastic you had such a good and entertaining crew. This is probably what makes such a flight so special.

Regarding the cycles, I guess many people here would have loved it if the DC-9 soldiers on until 2032. This would at least have resulted in one thread per month for the next 18 years about the retirement date of the fleet. ^^

Quoting captainstefan (Thread starter):
I scoffed at their selections and dashed back to row 24 - the Men's Tees of DC-9 seats, for you golfers out there - and set up shop.

You just know what is a good seat. Close to the engines!

Quoting captainstefan (Thread starter):

FO Schrader performs the preflight check on his oxygen mask.

Not many people can have a close look at the preflight preperations. Nice pics!

Quoting captainstefan (Thread starter):
Starting the descent into the Charlotte area. Our flight time was supposed to be 33 minutes, but I think Captain Woolfrey decided it was too nice a day to stop flying so soon.

I guess he would have flown even longer if DL would have supplied him with enough fuel.

Quoting captainstefan (Thread starter):
Our ship's older sibling, the DC-7 dressed as Eastern's Clipper Atlantis

But isn't it amazing that the DC-9 is just two Douglas generations older than the DC-7 but soldiern on much, much longer than her "younger sibling"?

Quoting captainstefan (Thread starter):
I hope you all enjoyed this trip through history as much as I did, and don't worry - it's ok to shed a tear or two for the lovely lady, the DC-9.

I really enjoyed both your reports. Keep up the good work,

Carsten
 
captainstefan
Topic Author
Posts: 338
Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 7:53 am

RE: Delta's Final DC-9 Flight..Ever. (Ferry To CLT)

Mon Feb 03, 2014 1:02 am

Quoting phllax (Reply 7):
What was the 3-bell chime indicating immediately post rotation?

I was wondering the same thing... maybe the DC-9 saying "wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee"?

Quoting DeltaRules (Reply 8):
Nice job! What does the museum plan to do with the plane? Open up the inside for walkthroughs? Static display?

I believe it will be open for interior tours within a few weeks, while stored outside the current hangar. There are plans to build another large hangar to hold the two Douglas aircraft in addition to a few others.

-------

Thanks for the kind words, everyone. I am glad I could share it with all of you.
 
MEA330
Posts: 192
Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2002 7:06 am

RE: Delta's Final DC-9 Flight..Ever. (Ferry To CLT)

Tue Feb 04, 2014 6:27 pm

Very nice TR

Are the 3 crew ex NW ? and which type are they moving to after the DC-9?
 
airindia787
Posts: 94
Joined: Fri May 20, 2011 8:01 pm

RE: Delta's Final DC-9 Flight..Ever. (Ferry To CLT)

Tue Feb 04, 2014 11:31 pm

Excellent TR. I especially enjoyed watching the takeoff video and steep climb. Something that few jets nowadays are capable of doing.

I was lucky enough to be able to fly on a DC-9 back in 2012, an ATL-ORD segment. I will always remember that flight, especially peeking into the cockpit and admiring the old instruments as well as the whine of the JT8Ds.

[Edited 2014-02-04 15:31:39]
 
captainstefan
Topic Author
Posts: 338
Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 7:53 am

RE: Delta's Final DC-9 Flight..Ever. (Ferry To CLT)

Thu Feb 06, 2014 6:34 am

Quoting MEA330 (Reply 11):
Are the 3 crew ex NW ? and which type are they moving to after the DC-9?

Not sure, though I heard FO Schrader say he's completing his training on the MD-88.
 
777STL
Posts: 2770
Joined: Mon Dec 13, 2004 8:22 am

RE: Delta's Final DC-9 Flight..Ever. (Ferry To CLT)

Fri Feb 07, 2014 11:52 pm

Ehh, sort of a technicality because of the merger. DL retired the DC9 a long time ago.
 
FlyASAGuy2005
Posts: 3965
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2007 4:55 am

RE: Delta's Final DC-9 Flight..Ever. (Ferry To CLT)

Sat Feb 22, 2014 5:28 am

Quoting MEA330 (Reply 11):
Are the 3 crew ex NW ? and which type are they moving to after the DC-9?

Captain Woolfrey is now a 757/767 captain. The FO is now on the 88 (as an FO as well).
 
MEA330
Posts: 192
Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2002 7:06 am

RE: Delta's Final DC-9 Flight..Ever. (Ferry To CLT)

Sat Mar 01, 2014 8:55 am

Quoting FlyASAGuy2005 (Reply 15):

Thank you
 
RussianGirl
Posts: 107
Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2011 7:58 am

RE: Delta's Final DC-9 Flight..Ever. (Ferry To CLT)

Sat Mar 01, 2014 3:30 pm

Hi Stefan!

Thanks for interesting report! Like your video, espesially love the song of the engines

Vsego horoshego,
Anastasia

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: LS83 and 23 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