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Dec. 17 '05: OKC-ATL-CDG-BOM

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  • Dec. 17 '05: OKC-ATL-CDG-BOM

    Date: 12/17/06
    Flight: Delta Connection ASA 4281 (cs #3)
    Leg 1: OKC-ATL
    Seats: 16C/D
    SDT: 12:04p.m.
    ADT: 12:06p.m.
    SAT: 2:59p.m.
    AAT: 2:47p.m.
    Aircraft: Canadair Regional Jet 700
    Reg: N718EV
    Dep. Weather: 39F, overcast with light to moderate snow mixed with rain, visibility approximately 2 miles.
    Arr. Weather: Temperature in the mid-40’s, overcast. Visibility 10 miles. Easterly winds at 5-10 mph.

    Off to the airways…

    Flying in winter is a hit or a miss. Either you have no wintry precip, or you have wintry precip which screwballs everything. And the last time we flew out in winter was back in Dec. 2000, when an ice storm just had to come and mess things up. That series of flights was H-E-L-L, but I’m not gonna go there right now, wrong time, wrong review. So anyway, as you might have ventured a guess by now, the forecast for our departure day called for light to moderate snow mixed with rain in off-and-on periods. I was concerned needless to say, but not that much as there was virtually nothing falling from the sky and nothing on ground when I woke up and peeked out the window. So my dad and I proceeded to eat some breakfast, check the house and head off to Will Rogers Airport in Oklahoma City. The Airport Express arrived promptly on time at our place and the driver took about 25 minutes to get to the airport. Yeah, traffic’s not usually a problem in Oklahoma City. Some light snow had already begun to fall when we reached the departure ramp of the terminal, but I didn’t care too much, at least we were AT the airport, not stuck at home like the previous time. We got out, paid the driver, and headed off into the check-in lobby. The design of the newly expanded main terminal and west concourse at OKC is very nice. Spacious, with high a ceiling, lots of glass all around and plenty of viewing areas (unofficial, i.e.). As usual, a separate line was kept for Delta international passengers. Not a whole lot of people ahead of us, as we were pretty early. The agent at the desk was very friendly, and gave us our boarding passes all the way through to BOM. After that, we headed through to security. The first check was of our photo ID, and then it was off to the metal scanners. Here there was a little wait, nothing to long though, but we did have to take off our belts and shoes and all that jazz, and after security, we headed off to gate 11 in the west concourse, which is connected to the airside of the main terminal. The airside of the main terminal (the curved portion has been kept and expanded north and south) houses WN, and will also have three additional gates for DL/DL Conn. Till then, gates 1, 11 and 12 in the West Concourse are temporarily for DL/DL Conn. Anyway, we kept our carryons at the gate, my dad waited there and I headed off into the main terminal to do get some photos and explore. The new Mahogany lounge next to the WN gates is great, nice, large comfortable lounge chairs, coffee tables, and wide screen TV’s. New shops and restaurants include the world’s first airport Sonic in the main terminal food court, Scholtsky’s, Sbarro’s, then the Big 12 Conference Store (you know we just have to have that), and a number of outlets in the west concourse like OKC Marketplace for freshly made sandwiches and other items, The Shops @ OKC, OKC Travelmart (sundry items like milk, trail mixes, etc.), Route 66 Grille (sandwiches, wraps, and other stuff), and more. I decided to see what was going on outside. Planes coming in on 17L were using the perimeter taxiway (Foxtrot) because work was being done to widen Echo. Southwest planes were at all of WN’s gates, 14, 16 and 18 (why they chose to number the gates that way I have no clue-the terminal only had 15 gates at the time with the west concourse included. Probably to continue the “even” numbered north side of the west concourse, but it’s stupid IMO). Here’s a shot I got from a nice open spot inside the main terminal:

    [Southwest jets at OKC]

    A Comair CRJ 200 came in from CVG at gate 12, followed 20 minutes later by a COX 145 from IAH, which had been delayed by thunderstorms there. The gate agent announced over the PA that all pax with connections had been rebooked already, something new which I know for sure I hadn’t heard before. Well anyway, by 11:30 or so, some light snow began falling, mixed with rain. I looked at the WN ramp again and what do you know, WN’s Arizona One got pushed back:

    [Arizona One headed out to RWY 17L]

    WN’s ramp was busy as usual for the next 30-45 min with planes coming and going. The ground crew did a very impressive, quick 20-min turnaround on the aircraft and the ERJ 145 was on pushback right quick. After engine start-up, it was on its way back to IAH. Soon after, a NW Jetlink Avro came in from DTW, followed closely by our CRJ 700 from SLC. Boarding was started after 15 min or so, and by this time, the light periodic snow showers had been replaced by a heavy snow and rain mix. We boarded nonetheless, and I noticed that everything hitting the wing was melting on contact. Good. The FA welcomed us aboard, and the captain gave a short introduction as well.

    [Looking out the window inside the CR7. It was raining and snowing pretty hard outside]

    Right before pushback, one of the ground crew personnel came around to the right wing and gave the wingtip a brief rub, just to check there was nothing accumulating. Nope, all clear. We got pushed back along aside the Jetlink Avro. A bit about the –700 if you haven’t flown in it before. Unlike all other planes which have a slight nose-down attitude on the ground, in this plane, you can actually sense the nose-down attitude, I mean you really know you’re at a downward angle. Feels really strange at first. Well, back to the flight. After pushback was complete, both engines were started (this plane also has the noisiest start-up I’ve experienced yet), flaps deployed and we were vectored to RWY 17L (the Avro to 17R). This was an pretty slow taxi, but visibility was pretty bad by now. On the cargo ramp: UPS 752 and an Airborne Express D93. Once the pilot turned the aircraft to the piano keys, I looked to the south, visibility was probably no more than 2 miles. But OKC isn’t a hub, so no worries. We taxied into position, held for a few seconds, and then the pilots pushed the throttles forward. Wow, what a rush! (Although sitting right on the trailing edge, it was a pretty bumpy takeoff roll; I’ve heard it’s smoother up front). We were airborne in less than 25 seconds on a full load. And let me tell you, this plane can climb. We were at cruising altitude in no time. Weather along the way was ok, nothing that great, with overcast skies dominating, few clear spots over Alabama and Mississippi. The FA came around with snacks and drinks, the usual, Snyder’s pretzels, soda, coffee etc. I decided on some Sprite and pretzels. Decent to Hartsfield –Jackson International was pretty smooth, just a few patches of turbulence over horizontal rolls made evident by clouds (which took on the exact form). Part of the tropical jet streaming into the southeastern states at the time. Skies were overcast at ATL. Initial approach took us over the western suburbs of Atlanta, made a few turns to the SE south, then west again. Then SE to intercept the localizer for an ILS to RWY 8L. On the way down, we were accompanied by a DL M88 on its way to 9R. Pretty cool sight, I’ve never experienced a parallel approach before. Well, actually I have, but it was on the way down to DFW, the plane looked like a sausage with a tail, that was it (Why wouldn’t it, it was a Maddog landing on the other side of the field, and DFW has a pretty good east-west coverage). Here, I could actually make out the titles and everything. About two miles out, full flaps were deployed and the CRJ took on the characteristic nose-down attitude. Holding either in position or short of 8R were two AA M80’s, a private? 752 between 8R and L, and DL ‘craft. Touchdown was a bit hard, followed by a bumpy rollout. At the concourses were plenty of DL/DL Conn aircraft and of course FL ‘craft. I got a shot of this FL 73G w/ winglets:

    [Air Tran 73G with winglets in cs#2]

    Our arrival gate was in Concourse C, and we headed in. Took the train to Concourse E for the next leg.

    Date: 12/17/06
    Flight: Air France 301
    Leg 2: ATL-CDG
    Seats: 34JK
    SDT: 4:16p.m.
    ADT: 4:56p.m.
    SAT: 6:30a.m.
    AAT: 6:34a.m.
    Aircraft: Airbus 330-200
    Reg: F-GZCO
    Dep. Weather: In the upper 40’s, overcast. Light easterly winds.
    Arr. Weather: Temperature in the low 30’s, clear. Visibility 10 miles. Westerly winds at 5-10 mph.

    Another transatlantic crossing…

    Concourse E was bustling with people, no surprise of course. Planes were parked at the gates and being serviced. Flights to FCO, AMS, LGW, FRA, ZRH, CDG, CUN, MEX, and the list went on. Our plane was at gate E16 and was delayed by about half an hour, although it didn’t matter because we had about four hours at CDG before the last leg to BOM. I looked at all the DL 763ER’s and 772’s, some of which I had flown in before (N1610D, N1606B, N865DA, N864DA (now in cs #3 of course) and others. I decided to go see about some food, but it took one look at the prices to bring me back to the gate and eat my Clif bar. Soon it was time to board anyway and I was looking forward to this flight. It was another new plane for me, an Airbus 330-200. The view out the windows of E16 isn’t that great, blocked by an extension of the building. I was able to take a look at the registration though before we boarded. Boarding was done by zones for Y class. First, business and premium members could board as they wished. Once inside the cabin, I noticed the familiar Airbus-style windows and curved walls. Headed straight for the window seat behind the wing. Outside, for viewing pleasure was an Aeromexico 752 with a DL 772ER parked next to it:

    [Aeromexico 752 headed to MEX, behind is a DL triple]

    I decided to start playing with the PTV options, but the only one that was on was the Geomap, the camera wasn’t working and didn’t work for most of the flight. So, another look out the window. Plenty of DL/DL Conn and FL jets, heavies and what not. As the pushback time neared, the FA welcomed us aboard and other FA’s came by with the menus. Pushback soon commenced followed by engine startup on ramp 6 east. To our right was a DL 763ER waiting for an open jetway. Assigned takeoff runway for us was 9L, and we headed there via 6 east, TWY Dixie and TWY Mike. Got some more photos of planes at E and D:

    [Concourse E lineup. Surface testing being done as we pass by DL heavies at the gates on our way to 9 left]

    [Concourse D lineup. From nearest to farthest: HP 320, FL 712, Midwest 712, Independence CR2, AC EMB 175 (pushback), NW D95 (pushback), and DL Conn RJ's]

    At the end of 9L, a DL M88 was holding on Lima, and we were given clearance for the active. The pilot took the plane on the active, held for a bit, then spooled the engines up a bit. I noted the characteristic high-pitched exhaust noise, which was followed by the gradually deepening roar of the P&W’s. Brakes were held for a while then released. Exhilarating. The plane sped down and we were airborne in less than 30 sec. The initial course took us roughly on the runway heading for a while, then a turn to the NE, and then to the NNE. The flight path took us close to the Greenville/Spartanburg area, followed by Greensboro, close to Lynchburg, VA. and then off the coast neat NYC. Then south of Cork, Ireland, followed by a crossing over southern England, and then northern France. We flew close past the towns of Le Havre and Rouen. We had the Asian Vegetarian meal, which consisted of rice, two veggies in a thick spicy gravy, the usual (roll, butter, a piece of Brie cheese (not that great; I ate a much better piece on an LH flight) and for dessert, a cup of creamy Dannon mousse-style vanilla yogurt, which was probably the best item of the meal. AF’s food quality has declined though. Breakfast was better. Anyway, now to the descent and landing. Initial descent took us over the northern suburbs of Paris, and it was still dark. The City of Lights lived up to its name, and provided us with a great view. As we approached CDG, I could see planes having taken off, speeding past us. It’s always fun to watch flashing lights on planes especially at night. We flew past CDG on the downwind for RWY 27L, with more planes flying by, these landing of course. After doing the 180, we began the final app. to CDG. Full flaps weren’t apparently required. Buildings, roads, and an expressway later, the airport came in sight, with blue, green and white lights visible. Touchdown was soft but with an obvious hop. Once the main gear settled on the concrete, I noted a braking sound similar to that of the Classic 747’s, the characteristic high-pitched noise. Reminded me of the Air India and Lufthansa 742 touchdowns . Full reverse followed, and we were off on one of the high-speeds. Close on our tail was a company Airbus heavy. After crossing 27R, we were on the 2A ramp. Plenty of AF ‘craft, including a Vietnam 763ER and a China Southern 772ER. The pilot parked Charlie Oscar on one of the stands across from the terminal and it was time to head into a waiting AF bus.

    Date: 12/18/06
    Flight: Air France 134
    Leg 3: CDG-BOM
    Seats: 48JK
    SDT: 10:30a.m.
    ADT: 11:14a.m.
    SAT: 11:40p.m.
    AAT: 12:30a.m.
    Aircraft: Boeing 777-200ER
    Reg: F-????
    Dep. Weather: Cold and clear. Light westerly winds. Good visibility
    Arr. Weather: Temperature in the upper 70’s, hazy. Good visibility. Westerly winds at 5-10 mph.

    Well, we got into the bus, it was still dark outside. We headed to the west side of the T2 area, then back east again on the airside service road to Terminal 2E. We had to go inside 2E, and then take another bus to 2A. I enjoyed it, but for the majority of the pax, it was clearly annoying. Anyway, once inside 2A, we went through security (this sec. check for pax which have already been sec. chk’d is pretty dumb IMO, but anyway… I guess you can’t argue with double-proofing). By the time we were at the departure gate, a hint of daylight was present. We took turns in freshening up in the restrooms in 2A, sans hot water. Is CDG the only airport in the developed world without running hot water faucets? Anyway, during the trip through 2E, I noticed that we didn’t have the seats we had requested. So once the AF agent came at the gate in 2A, I asked her if there was an available window and aisle. She checked, and the only ones available were 48J and K, so we decided to take those. Activity outside started increasing, with AF Cargo 74’s, Delta jets and others taxiing by. 2A is not a spotter friendly terminal, as you cannot go right up to the windows like in 2C and take photos, because of the hallway that separates the gate areas from the windows. Apparently, Aeroports de Paris designed the current Terminal 2 at BOM. I have no hesitation in believing that. So no photos, sorry. Boarding time soon came, and we headed into the plane, already at the gate. I was kind of interested in experiencing the GE 90-equipped 772ER, having flown in the P&W DL triples before. Pushback was about 50 minutes late. After pushback and engine startup, we started the taxi to RWY 27R. The first thing I noted about the GE 90’s was the spool-up noise. It’s not the typical high-pitched exhaust noise you get from most other engines, instead, it’s more of a smoothly-increasing metallic whine. Sorry if that didn’t make any sense, it is pretty difficult to describe. Once at the 27R end, the pilots lined up the ‘craft and we held for a few seconds. Then the GE 90’s were spooled up once again, and then the whine was replaced by a tremendous roar, to which the entire rear portion of the cabin started shaking pretty good. We experienced side-to-side motion while the middle seats experienced, shall we say, vertical displacement? That was probably the first time of all my flights that I have experienced something like that, it was quite exciting needless to say. Not to mention the look on the passengers’ faces seated in the middle seats was priceless! My guess was the engine exhaust vortices were buffeting that part of the aircraft. Brakes were released a few seconds later, and the triple started rolling. A rather short t/o roll allowed for a great overview of the T2 complex, a glimpse of T9 and all of T1. After flying westbound for a while, the bank to the east began. Dinner was served about an hour into the flight. The flight path took us over eastern France, southern Germany, over part of Austria, then the Black Sea (I think), then over Iran, where we took more of a southerly track, our over the Arabian Sea, then the Indian state of Gujarat, and the south turn to BOM. I decided to make some good use from the entertainment system after it started getting dark. A really fun thing to do was take the Air France aviation quiz, with three levels of difficulty. Easy, medium and difficult. Movie selection for this flight included “War of the Worlds”, (which is an ok movie, mostly loaded with special effects), and some other Indian movies. I dozed off here and there, with spurts of video gaming in between. Soon, we were flying above the state of Gujarat. We made a right turn to the south near Ahmedabad, and a beeline for Mumbai. Can’t really count off the top of my head how many times I’ve experienced the same approach from the north to BOM, but it never ceases to be boring, especially since it has always been at night. We were vectored down over the northeast and eastern suburbs, then a right turn to the SE. What was different this time though was I could actually see two aircraft approaching BOM before ours, pretty cool. Also shows how busy BOM can be during the international rush hour, especially with all the new int’l flights at the airport. The one on final approach before us was an AI 313. Well, after another right turn to intercept the RWY 27 centerline began the usual long final. Landing was pretty good, with minimal reverse thrust. Close on our heels was the SAA 343E from JNB, which I saw and heard, with full reverse thrust being deployed. After crossing RWY 14-32, we were on the cargo apron, followed by the T2 ramp. Since I was on the right side, I was able to see all the aircraft parked at the gateless stands: the 9W 343E, an AI 742 and 744, the Austrian 763ER from VIE (which had arrived shortly before, as buses were taking pax to the terminal) and an AIX 738 with the Elephant tail. As the pilots took the plane to the assigned jetway, a Thai 332 was on pushback for a departure to BKK. AF uses section C of Terminal 2, which was built specially for AI (and still is mostly used by AI) but is now used by 22 or so other airlines as well. This section has 5 jetways, and 5 more gates on the first floor for flights using the stands (and of course buses are used). Since our flight was about an hour late, and 3 other aircraft also arrived pretty much 5 min before or after ours, the small customs and immigration area of 2C was, well, in complete disarray. We took the escalator down to that level. We should have taken the stairs instead. Right at where the escalator ended was a sea of people, and it was going nowhere. So we quickly started looking for “open” spots where we could squeeze in and be able to stand at least. Section A of the terminal is much better, it’s actually smaller than the one in C, but is handled better. Well anyway, after that interesting little excursion, we headed to the chaos called the baggage claim area. Surprisingly enough, I was able to find two carts in relatively short time, and even more surprising, all four bags came out in less than 30 minutes. After lining up for the security check, we were finally through (had to show the ticket stub from the disembarkation card to the guards at the end of it all) and headed out where my mom was, and off to the car.

    So, my opinion of AF? It’s definitely not the airline it once was, and after having read and heard opinions from plenty of other people, it seems being on-time isn’t one of the top priorities there. The food quality has gone down as well (I remember the AF flights we took from BOM to IAH in November of ’97, wonderful food, and correctly sized portions too). The customs/immigration situation at BOM’s 2C didn’t surprise me that much, they still need to work that out pretty good. Overall though, not bad. Which isn’t the case for the flights back to OKC, but that’s another flight review. Thanks for reading, and as always, any comments/questions are welcome.

    Last edited by Foxtrot; 2006-05-30, 18:47. Reason: topic change

  • #2
    wow, really, really long, but very detailed and interesting to read.


    • #3
      Thats awesome... I read the first coloumn. Will probably read the rest on the way to my work tomorrow. Got it printed already.

      Great report so far !
      Inactive from May 1 2009.


      • #4
        Originally posted by Chris@YYZ
        wow, really, really long, but very detailed and interesting to read.
        Looking to read the return.

        Thanks for visiting
        *Avimage's Monthly Slide list *


        • #5


          thanks for the comments guys. I'll be posting the return sometime later in June, but first on the way are two reviews of a couple flights from w/in India (to BLR and back).



          • #6
            HaHa I can't wait reading the sidetrip to BLR
            Thanks for visiting
            *Avimage's Monthly Slide list *


            • #7
              Sweet report. liked the pictures. gotta love the WN planes

              Stop Searching. Start Traveling.


              • #8

                Yep, I like WN's new livery and take photos of it as much as possible.