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BOM-CDG-ATL-OKC Part 2 (lots of photos)

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  • BOM-CDG-ATL-OKC Part 2 (lots of photos)

    **Note: All times are local**

    Date: 1/15/06
    Flight: Delta DL 1112
    Leg: ATL-OKC
    Seats: 31ABC
    SDT: 8:45a.m.
    ADT: 8:43a.m.
    SAT: 10:08a.m.
    AAT: 10:05a.m.
    Aircraft: McDonell Douglas MD 88
    Reg: N 990DL
    Dep. Weather: Cold and clear, visibility 10mi. Light westerly wind.
    Arr. Weather: Pleasant. Visbility 10mi. Wind SW @ 20 gusting to 35mph.

    Nice start to the day...

    The next morning, we had to get up pretty early since the first flight out to OKC was at 8:45a.m. After some of the best sleep I’d had in recent months, I woke up, and of course, the first thing I did was look out. It was way too cold to step outside, but always good to have large windows. Already there were planes inbound to the airport on their way for the downwind approaches. And a few takeoffs as well. I couldn’t wait, since this would be my first time flying in an M80 series jet, yep, an M88. I had been wanting to fly in atleast one of the M80 series, I was pretty excited. After getting ready, I did a room check, got some new film out for my camera, put it in, checked the weather, and we went down to the hotel lobby to check out, and then to the restaurant for some breakfast. Made-to-order omelettes, pancakes, waffles etc, plus a choice of cereals, muffins, fruit and the usual stuff like doughnuts, cinnamon rolls, coffee, etc. Good stuff, it was the best “outside” breakfast I’ve ever eaten. After breakfast, it was time to catch the shuttle, which runs every 15 minutes. So we decided to go for the 7:15 pick-up, but there already was a shuttle waiting outside, so in we went. Back down I-85. I could see the new control tower in the distance, with some faint morning light. And of course planes, lol. We got dropped off at the North Terminal, and so had to walk across to the South Terminal. That gave us an opportunity to check out the enclosed displays that have been kept in the walkway connecting both terminals, all kinds of stuff including model trains of all sizes, models of vintage DL ‘craft etc. Pretty neat. Then the central rotunda, where you have some coffee shops and bookstores and a nice seating area in the middle. It also has a circle-shaped ceiling with skylights. Then we entered the South Terminal. Quite a bit of pax traffic here as is most likely the case every morning for the hordes of DL/DL Conn flights leaving ATL. Besides the rows of DL counters were plenty of DL kiosks as well. A separate section of counters had been kept for international check-in, including the SAA flight. we waited in one of the lines for check-in, but after a few minutes, a DL agent came around and allowed a bunch of us to go the DL Int’l counters (for SAA, DL Business Elite and Y check-in). So after a quik check-in and getting our boarding passes, we headed to Concourse T. Sec. chk. was quick, had to take off shoes and belts, but TSA agents were keeping a continuous, steady flow. And after that, we headed for the gates. No train required of course, T is connected to both, North and South Terminals. After getting to gate T8, I decided to go for some photography. Here’s a photo of a DL 764ER ready for an MCO departure.

    [DL 764ER ready for an MCO departure. Taken from Concourse T at ATL]

    On the south side of T, I watched as DL buses went along the service road on the landside. I wonder if these are ground transportation buses for shuttling passengers or for DL personnel and staff? Other activity included American M80’s arriving/departing. AA/Eagle seem to have a decent operation at ATL. Taking off on either side of the field included plenty of DL/DL Conn airliners, FL jets and some others including an Air Canada 319. Around 8:10a.m., I looked on the north side as an AA M80 rolled in, behind it a DL M88, which I thought might be our jet. Sure enough, after taxiing around the AA M80 in front of it (the AA M80 was waiting for its gate ramp to open), it came in to the T8 ramp. After quick servicing, boarding was started. It was done in zones. I took a look around the gate holding area, didn’t seem like there were too many passengers for a 150+ seat aircraft. In fact, we were in one of the last zones, and there were only about 35 or so passengers in the plane! Wow, neat. We were in the rear section of the plane, just before the left side rear service door. As a result, we had plenty of seats to ourselves. Some passengers took the $40 upgrade to Business Elite. Well, anyway, once settled, I notied the M88’s cabin really was wider than it looks from outside. The seats were quite comfortable too. Man, what better way to start the day! Good breakfast, smooth check-in, and now I get to ride in an M88! After a while, I heard some high-pitched noise, which was the hydraulics being activated. The trailing edge flaps started lifting up into their original position.

    [Looking out the window from 990DL. On board DL 1112, ATL-OKC]

    Then, another sound came from the engines, but it wasn’t start-up, something else whch I couldn’t figure out. The FA welcomed us aboard. Flight time would be around 2hr. once airborne. Pushback occurred two minutes early, and then came the engine start-up. Number two was first to be started. Wow! What an awesome sound! It was really cool. Flaps were lowered for t/o, and off we went to RWY 26L. Here are some more photos I snapped along the way:

    [Cago ramp. from right to left: OAI DC 10, an unmarked 300, CX Cargo 747, Fedex DC 10]

    [A familiar sight at ATL. ASA CRJ on the t/o roll]

    Ahead of us was a lineup of DL Conn CRJ’s and some company 88’s. However, arriving traffic was still fairly light, so we moved up to #1 in no time. Engine #1 was started up as we approached the 26R end. Finally, we were given clearance for the runway, which allowed me to snap a few shots:

    [Lineup of oldies but goodies. Our M88, followed by the DL 732 and NW DC 9-40]

    [Turning onto RWY 27L at ATL. Sorry about the quality of some of these, I did the best I could with my filmroll cam and Adobe Photoshop]

    Takeoff clearance was almost immediate, and both engines revved up with that awesome sound. Not to mention that buzzsaw! Thanks to the light load, rotation was done right before passing Concourse E, which allowed me the pleasure of the following :

    [Concourse D right after takoff. Onboard DL 1112 to OKC]

    [Parts of Concourse A (left) and Concourse T (right) at ATL. On climbout from runway 27 left]

    [The then under-construction RWY 10-28 at ATL]

    The flight plan called for a basic WNW course, flying near Birmingham, then south of Tupelo, MS., near Little Rock and then Oklahoma City. The flight was very smooth, little or no turbulence. If memory serves me, cruising altitude was 35,000ft. Snack service was available on this flight. However, due to the light load and the fact that the seatbelt sign stayed on for a long time, the FA’s didn’t start service until about an hr. and 15min into the flight. I had some Snyder’s pretzels and some Sprite, but I wasn’t that hungry anyway. Descent started somewhere over western AR. After miles of green country as they call it here, we finally started flying over the flat plains (then again, you haven’t seen flat until you’ve been to the TX/OK panhandles). Initial approach took us pretty much along Interstate 40, which runs right through the downtown area, followed by the eastern suburbs and over Tinker AFB, then over downtown, before making the turn for RWY 17L.

    [City of Birmingham and Birmingham Int'l Airport. Taken from DL 1112, ATL-OKC]

    [The Downtown Airpark just south of downtown Oklahoma City. This airfield has been shut down for financial reasons]

    [Downtown Oklahoma City looking east. On final approach to OKC]

    Flap deployment started just before going over the downtown skyline, but right after the flaps were at a pretty good angle, they went back up by a good bit. Interesting to watch. There was also a lot of drag. Final to RWY 17L was interesting. After the left turn had been made, the aircraft was bouncing all over the place due to the strong crosswind. Gears went down with a thud of the opening wheel well doors, followed by the roar of air rushing around. During the last 3 miles or so, the pilots continuously adjusted the throttles, which made for a fun-to-listen-to engine whine and noticeable altitude drops. Then came the end of the residential area north of the field, followed by Airport Road. Just before touchdown, another throttle up, then back down as the mains firmly settled on the concrete, the right main followed instantaneously by the left. And then full reverse, almost till we stopped. The plane used less than half of the 9800ft runway. After that, we took one of the crossfield TWY’s, and then onto the ramp.

    [American Eagle RJ's at OKC's West Concourse. Welcome to Oklahoma City]

    Several planes were at the gates, including some Eagle RJ’s, Southwest 737’s, and a UAX CRJ. We headed down to baggage claim, where we noticed the bags had already arrived in the Delta office. Got those, put them in a waiting Airport Express van and headed back.

    Well, we certainly weren’t planning on an extended travel day, but good thing it all ended well. As for AF, it certainly needs to get things back in order at CDG, as other friends/relatives have had a similar experience with the airline. Also judging from the reviews for the airline and the CDG hub. We might revert back to LH (DL Skymiles is better though). And yes, DL was a better option through FRA. Might give AF/DL one more chance though, who knows... Well, anyway, that’s about it, thanks for reading!


  • #2
    ^You're welcome, reading the installments was a real delight. Congrats in adding quite a few new entries in your log and credits for the details both written and picturial backing them.
    Thanks for visiting
    *Avimage's Monthly Slide list *


    • #3

      Hey Alain,

      thanks so much for the comments on both parts of the review, glad you enjoyed reading.