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28th April 2005 MAN-DUB-DSA (Inagural!) FR 732’s! Very Long + Pics

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  • 28th April 2005 MAN-DUB-DSA (Inagural!) FR 732’s! Very Long + Pics

    This trip all started when Ryanair announced that they would begin daily services from DUB to DSA starting from the first day of commercial operations at the airport. Talking to James Rowson and Dale Coleman on MSN we all decided it would be pretty cool to be on board an inaugural flight, a first time experience for all 3 of us. After looking at the options the 1X daily flights from DUB-DSA-DUB was not enough to depart and return to the same airport, plus if we went on the DSA-DUB flight it wouldn’t have been a ‘first’ as the first departure went to a TOM 737. So we decided been the first ever commercial arrival into DSA would be what we wanted. We decided on flying MAN-DUB on the first flight of the day out of MAN, and return on the DUB-DSA flight, which would be the inagural flight on this route and would also be the first ever-commercial passenger service landing at DSA! So we booked our flights I think costing less than £35 each for the whole journey.

    So time flew and we was now on the 27th April 2005, seen as we were departing from a different airport than what we were going to be arriving and the fact the outbound flight was so early we decided to brave public transport and stay the night at MAN. James and myself got the train from Sheffield and Dale got dropped off to meet us as he lives in Manchester. As we had the evening with nothing to do we decided to go down to the airport pub for a few pints with James Matthews, Dalpreet Singh, Alex Howarth and Nuno. Conversation flowed and one pint turned into two and two to four, here is the group photo of us stood outside watching the evening arrivals courtesy of Daz:

    So after getting the boot out of the pub as they were closing we went on for a typical after drink snack…. A Kebab! Amazingly we arrived safely after some insane driving from Nuno and Daz. So out stomachs settled we were still hungry for more beer, so we headed to our hotel which was the Bewleys only to find the bar was…. Dum dum daaahhh…. SHUT! So we went hunting for a hotel bar, which was open. Luckily Nuno’s hotel bar was open at the Marriott: D. By the time we had finished it was getting on 2AM and it hit us we would have to be up in less than 5 hours so we had to call it a night.

    Flight Number: FR553
    Aircraft Type: Boeing 737-230(Adv)
    Registration: EI-CNT
    Departure Time: 0755
    Actual Departure Time: 0755
    Arrival Time: 0850
    Actual Arrival Time: 0850


    It was soon 5:30AM and time to get up so we could leave the hotel at 6AM and be at check-in with some time to spare. The weather in Manchester was not amazing, quite typical actually…. Wet. After a short walk to the terminals we headed straight over to the FR check-in desks, which were unusually busy, with plenty of people checking in golf bags. After a good 20 minutes wait we had finally checked in and decided we should head straight through to departures as we were looking to be pushed for time as it was, so no time to stop for food L.

    We arrived at the security checkpoint and were welcomed by a frenzy of activity. It was extremely busy with very long queues even for the Domestic/Rep of Ireland! I think this was mainly because there was a lot of flights departing at this time in the morning, especially long haul flights to LAS, ORD and IAD for BMI and SFB for Travel City Direct MON and MYT. Personally I don’t like departing from MAN T1, its good to see they are improving it with renovations but it still has a long way to go.

    After finally clearing security we headed straight for the gate, which was at the very end of pier #. Here we got a great view of arrivals and had just got their in time to see our aircraft taxiing in and I was delighted to see it was EI-CNT, the Vodaphone logojet, my first FR logojet! After about 10-15 minutes waiting it was time to board, eager to get the best seat possible all 3 of us edged closer to the agents awaiting clearance to begin boarding. The agents then called passengers up by sequence numbers, I only just made the first batch of passengers allowed to board, Dale and James did not but they still bordered at the same time. Maybe an indication that FR boarding really isn’t organised at all!

    I got settled in seat 17F just behind the wing with a great view of the thrust reverse buckets, everybody loves shots of them in action! The flight seemed pretty full, and the captains entry in my logbook confirmed there were 115 passengers on board this mornings flight. While waiting for the doors to be closed and pushback to commence we were forced to listen to FR’s crappy music and annoying adverts about scratch cards with a grumpy old guy providing the voiceover.

    The doors were closed and pushback commenced, engines started up and we began our short taxi to Runway 24L. As we taxied to 24L we passed a nice visitor, an Air Greenland 752 operating for Air Scandic. The runway was clear this morning so we had clearance straight away. Take off roll was longer than usual for the FR 732, probably due to the extra hold luggage of all those golf clubs! We banked to the Left slightly and then adjusted course for Dublin.

    The flight was pretty uneventful, as usual when I fly Ryanair I didn’t bother buying a drink or food as theirs not much point, and been hung over probably added to that reason. Decent starts pretty much as soon as we had reached the cruising altitude of FL190. The decent was long and pretty boring, as the weather outside was dull and grey. We came in on runway 16 with a relatively smooth roll out. We had quite a long taxi too, as there were some apron repairs going on. Apparently after listening to live DUB ATC they call this the ‘Grand Tour’ as it goes all over the airport before reaching the stand. One aircraft of interest was a US Airways A319, which apparently is now painted in a special scheme with Germanwings.

    No flight deck visit today which was a shame, FR usually allow it but it seems the past 4 sectors I have flown with FR I have not been allowed to go in and take a photo or two. But my logbook was filled out which was great!


    So now we were in Dublin for an amazing 5 hours! What to do! First stop was McDonalds. My hangover was already dying down so it was time to fill the hole that had grown in my stomach with a gorgeous Bacon And Egg McMuffin meal, I don’t think Dale and James felt the same though! So we waited, and waited until it was finally time to go check in.

    Flight Number: FR1968
    Aircraft Type: Boeing 737-230(Adv)
    Registration: EI-CNV
    Departure Time: 1200
    Actual Departure Time: 1245
    Arrival Time: 1255
    Actual Arrival Time: 1345


    We wanted to be the first to check in as apparently FR give away free flights to the first people who check in. We spotted some empty check in desks and thought we were in a good position. This was not the case L. A few minutes later we saw a checkin agent sticking an A4 piece of paper onto a checkin screen, it was obvious this would be the checkin desks and that they have not got a screen saying FR1968 to DONCASTER prepared yet. We went over and sure enough it was, and there was already a queue of 6 or 7 people, aah well you cant have it all!

    We checked in with the first few sequence numbers on our boarding ‘paper’ so we would at least be able to board first. As usual we headed streight through security to get airside where we hoped there would be some good photo ops to be had! DUB’s security was pretty tight today as we had to take our shoes off and have them put through the x-ray machine, unlucky for the person who handled my shoes.

    We proceded to Pier B which is the longhaul pier where all of the flights to the US depart from like CO, EI and DL where we figured we should be able to get some good shots through the glass of parked aircraft. Sure enough there was a pretty good view, here are a few shots taken from this area:


    After about 30 minutes an airport employee came upto us and warned us that if airport security saw us we may be detained as photography isnt allowed in the terminal. We had all the shots we wanted so wasn’t bothered with the warning and we proceded to our gate area. Reaching the gate area which was on the lowe level of the FR pier it was very busy as there were quite a few flights scheduled to depart. Every so often I looked up at the gate screen with our flight details on and the boarding time kept going up and up with no announcements of a delay at all. The FR flight to Blackpool however was also been delayed by the same sort of times but they got announcements. This got me thinking was Ryanair really aware they were to fly to DSA today.

    Unfortunately the 737-800 we were to believe was going to be operating did not show, and instead an old 732 turned up, EI-CNV, apparently it was a last minute aircraft change which is why our flight was delayed.

    Finally at 1230 boarding commenced, with no mention it was the inagural which was a bit of a dissaapointment. Again all 3 of us shot to the queue as soon as possible so we could be the first to board and get the best seats. Again I opted for just behind the wing so I could get more reverser thrust bucket action. James and Dale also sat 1 row and 2 rows behind me resepectively. Finally all passengers were on board and the welcome announcement begain, again with no mention it was the first flight into DSA, again quite dissapointing as it seemed quite a few people were on the flights just to be the first into Doncaster. It was a light load, id say no more than half full.

    Pushback finally commenced and we began our taxy out to the active. Departure today would be on runway 28 There was no other traffic and again like the departure from MAN, we were cleared streight away for departure. We banked to the right which gave us a great overview of DUB:


    Again the flight went smoothly and with the flight been quite empty it gave me the chance to move around and take a few shots from the back of the aircraft:


    We were only cruising at FL190 for 10 minutes or more and we begun our decent, unfortunately it was very cloudy so I couldn’t see where our decent flightpath would take us as I was interested to find out if it would go over my house as I live 7 miles away from DSA. I didn’t even know that much about DSA so was very unsure about which runway we would come in on, this turned out to be runway 20.

    Touchdown was smooth and as we rolled I got a glimpse of the terminal for the first time, it looks awesome. We rolled to the end of runway 20 and came off the very last exit, all around the airport perimiter fence you could see loads of people wanting to take photos and watch the first arrival. We finally pulled on stand 6.


    I decided to wait and be one of the last to get off as I had my logbook to collect and hoped for a flight deck visit, again it was a firm no. I stepped off the aircraft and had a good look around, there was plenty of press and a few camera crews interviewing people.

    Fortunately neither of us got interviewed and we joined the queue for passport control, which was going very slow due to it been the very first time they have had to go through this process, so today special branch were there checking our passports. Im sure James will never forget the comment “And what is your purpose of your visit to the United Kingdom?” when presenting a British passport.

    So now we were about to go through the arrivals doors when we were welcomed by airport officials handing out free Champaigne and goody bags to people arriving! After the dissapointment of the FR flight things were finally bearing fruit! While sipping our champers we had a look around the terminal landside and it really is an awesome terminal, definitely one of the best ive seen.


    So that was that, we then got picked up by my friend Ben and we went to find a spot to shoot the 2nd arrival of a TOM 737:


    I hope you all liked that report, hope it didn’t bore you to death and I hope to get some more posted very soon like MAN-LHR-MAN in Business on BD and other upcoming trips MAN-AMS-MAN on LS and MAN-FRA-JFK-FRA-MAN on LH.

    My thanks goes out to all involved in this trip!
    Last edited by v1images; 2005-05-22, 09:25.
    E-Mail Me - My Photo's - My Photographer Profile

  • #2
    Ah dear, that night before was very, very entertaining. It's amazing what hire cars will do . Got to say I wasn't feeling the best for the MAN-DUB sector.
    Once again a very informative report Jase, nice work!


    • #3
      Another great report Jase. The one thing I learned from this trip... Drinking the night before then flying first thing the next morning doesn't mix very well

      Thanks to both Jason and James for making this trip possible!



      • #4
        Great Report! Too bad Ryanair didn't do anything special for the innagural.
        - The baby will be back -


        • #5
          Originally posted by babypurin
          Great Report! Too bad Ryanair didn't do anything special for the innagural.
          Lots of details, superb writing, nice jobs. Very informative on how penny pinching FR can be ....

          Thanks for visiting
          *Avimage's Monthly Slide list *


          • #6
            Originally posted by kaddyuk
            I Guess Tokyo taught you NOTHING???

            I felt alot more worse on that morning than I did on the morning we went to Tokyo


            • #7
              you guys all wore the same jeans in the first picture... lol

              That's a nice terminal building you have there in Doncaster. Any specfic reason to the name "Robin Hood"?


              • #8
                Originally posted by avro_arrow_25206
                you guys all wore the same jeans in the first picture... lol

                That's a nice terminal building you have there in Doncaster. Any specfic reason to the name "Robin Hood"?
                Apparently Robin Hood and his merry men spent most of their time in this area of South Yorkshire.... puzzles me, I thought they came from Sherwood Forrest in Nottingham, maybe a more fitting name to EMA.... its grown on me now and all the locals call it doncaster sheffield airport.
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                • #9
                  Great report I love the pics. Did you like the 732?
                  You've got to try to find what's right before your eyes-Finger Eleven


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Alaska Air Rules
                    Great report I love the pics. Did you like the 732?
                    Always love a ride on an old 732, my 4th flight on one this year! Shame they will be dissaperaing out of UK skies soon .
                    E-Mail Me - My Photo's - My Photographer Profile


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by bapilot2b
                      Always love a ride on an old 732, my 4th flight on one this year! Shame they will be dissaperaing out of UK skies soon .
                      I love them also. It is also a shame that they are leaving Alaskas skies also
                      You've got to try to find what's right before your eyes-Finger Eleven