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My flights- 11-10 to 11-11 (warning- long read!)

Pro Member Chief Captain
belgeode Chief Captain

So I got this wild hair up my you know what and decided to fly to Chicago for the weekend... no apparent reason, just to fly there.

So to Orbitz I went and booked a round trip with stops in BOS and CLT coming and going. Here is a brief review of my flights over the last two days on US Air and United. (All 737 flights, in keeping with my love of flying it on FS9)

Sat morning- USAir 1780 to KBOS from KPIT:

Typical Pit weather... overcast, 40 degrees, so the order of the day was a stop at the deicing pad on the way to runway 28R (Ironically the same runway I always pick for my Steeler Air flights... though oddly enough there were no Steeler Air planes today Wink ). We got our clearance and within no time we were gear up and into the soup. Not long after the morning sky opened up creating a beautiful sculpture of cloud formation around 8k feet. We got up to FL 370, and had the smoothest ride it has ever been my privilege to fly! I did not see terra firma till we were over MA, and ready to come down... the descent was uneventful and we came in on 4R (I think it was 4R). Boston in the fall was absolutely breathtaking, as was the terminal... I must go back to this city soon...

Quick jog to Terminal C for the United flight to ORD...

Sat morning late- United 535 to ORD from BOS:

This was my favorite flight of all of them. United as you may know has the headsets and channel 9 tuned to COM1. I was amazed that what I heard on the channel was pretty dead on to what I would normally hear in FS9! I had no doubts of where we were at any given time, even when over Ontario we had to go from FL340 - FL360 to avoid some light chop. My favorite part was listening to the Air France pilots... OMG I never knew a French accent was so funny on COM... On initial approach, they put us in a holding pattern over Lake Michigan so that some of the heavies could come down, but about 8 minutes later we were well on our way to runway 22R. A kiss on the runway later I was ready for a relaxing evening in Chi-town! I love O'Hare, such a beautiful airport!

Chicago by the way was absolutely amazing. What a gorgeous town. I recommend everyone visit there at least once... and make sure you stay in the Hyatt Regency O'Hare... the service and prime rib is OUT OF THIS WORLD!!! I ran into many Marines celebrating the Corps birthday Sat nite, they made my nite, those guys... It was almost a shame to leave the party at the bar.

Sun morning late- US Air 1953 to CLT from ORD:

I got to the airport early so I could do some planespotting... OH MY GAWD did my eyes get a feast... Speed Birds, KLMs, Virgin, JAL, more United and American 777's than I could shake the proverbial stick at! It was a planespotter's dream come true. 757s galore in ORD... and even the odd Mexicana Airbus and Lufthansa A340. Of course we were late for takeoff cause the ground crew could not figure out what was sticking out of the bottom of the US Air Embraer that was parked in the spot our 737 was supposed to be in.... 30 minutes later accent on the LATEr... we were finally boarding. I might add I had to do some negotiating to get a window seat as this flight was jam packed... but at least I got to sit next to a hottie. The flight itself was largely uneventful, except for my checking my watch to make sure I would make the connection in CLT, and of course my lack of cash to purchase my usual heinekens that I had the day before.... ugh. As we landed on 18R in CLT I knew that the flight to KPIT was going to be delayed... more traffic than ATL on a good day.

Sun afternoon LATE- US Air 772 to PIT from CLT:

So after running through the airport like a Steeler wide receiver, I made it to gate C3 just in time to board, and to watch the sunset. Not surprisingly this flight was a little delayed too, and though CLT had awesome weather, I got the feeling we were a lil slow to get to our cruise of FL 330. By time we passed Virginia I had no point of reference at all... pitch black... clouds from 5000 - about 35k in various layers. My only cue as to our flight plan was the feeling in my inner ears and looking at the interior of the cabin up front. I pretty much called it... we were gonna come in on 10R in PIT. Sure enough, we made our way through the clouds, and over Ohio, then lined up for... you guessed it, 10R. Then the rain started.....

Oddly enough it was a relatively smooth final, a couple neg G's here and there, but our captain did a splendid job of bringing us in. I bet he was a Pittsburgh native... well the fact that he asked me how we (The Steelers) did today against Cleveland, when I was deplaning kinda gave it away too. (We won btw).

In all I will give the US Air / United combo 4 stars for excellent service and flying! I cannot wait to fly again!

(BTW- I will be updating this post with some pix later... after I get my camera out of my suitcase and have time to upload.)

Only thing that could have been better... I wish I was riding shotgun in the cockpit.

US AIR TALES- Stories of one man's virtual life as a pilot

Pro Member Chief Captain
VegasFlyer Chief Captain

Great report Bel! Lucky you, you just go and fly when yo feel like it. Anyway seemed like a great trip to me. I do get the same idea from time to time, to just go on the internet by a ticket with as many stops as possible and go fly. Can't wait for the shots! Very Happy

Pro Member Chief Captain
belgeode Chief Captain

Chicago Trip pix part 1- KPIT to KBOS

Typical PIT weather... welcome to Pittsburgh...

A lil bit of de-icing for the road... you missed a spot there buddy.

Keep it rollin rollin rollin rollin... yeah.... ok now rotate!

Cloud dunes... umm yeah.

Jet Blue 258... traffic at FL 340, 3 miles, report them in sight...

And if you look to the left you will see a challenging par 4... Watch out for the 737 please.

Dude... toga party at 9 tonight... be there or else!

Frequent Flier...

So I call this one... stunning architecture... STOP LOOKING AT HER!

Stunning architecture take 2... sorry no girl this time.

Air France heavy... where's my package man? You are three weeks LATE!

Dude, my ride's here... gotta run thnxokbye...

end of part one.

US AIR TALES- Stories of one man's virtual life as a pilot

Pro Member Chief Captain
belgeode Chief Captain

Chicago Trip pix part 2- KBOS to KORD

Boston Logan rocks... awesome airport, ingenious tower design!

So yeah, that's us! This picture does not do our takeoff speed justice.

I so need to live there... look at that waterfront! Buffy have Jeeves pull my yacht up front please!

You cannot really tell from looking but this is over Ontario. All of a sudden I feel for some bacon... brb.

United 535 hold over FINKS, we'll get you down in about 8 minutes...

Welcome to Chicago! (As Welsh would say)...

So you think we are in United country yet?

Inside O'Hare... the belly of the beast. Well that dude has enough belly for all of us I think...

Hyatt Regency O'Hare... the atrium right outside the room I was in.

Room 459... good place to crash tonight I guess. Might I recommend the prime rib... at $35. for the buffet it is WELL worth it!!!!

Sorry about the blur. I was trying to get a good shot of the elevators.

end of part 2.

US AIR TALES- Stories of one man's virtual life as a pilot

Pro Member Chief Captain
belgeode Chief Captain

Chicago Trip pix part 3- KORD to KCLT

AAGH!! The Japanese are invading!!! But damn if they don't have a sweet ride!

Lufthansa A340... very nice looking plane.

Sad to leave you O'Hare... it's been an awesome time. See ya soon.

This apparently is the United Nations terminal... L-R Iberia, KLM, United, Alitalia, British Airways aka Speed Bird!!!

Somewhere under there is Indiana.... don't worry you ain't missing much...

I love clouds... so much variation...

Lake Norman about 8 minutes out of Charlotte Douglas...

Here's a little glimpse of downtown Charlotte... the next banking capital of the world.

And this shot is called traffic.... Apparently CLT is competing with ATL and ORD for most traffic waiting to takeoff...

And what pictorial story would be complete without a nice sunset shot. Sunset in Charlotte...

Last pic in this series... could not take any pix at night for the last flight to PIT... so I leave you with this shot of terminal B and C, and the lovely little food court in between.

All in all, an awesome journey, over 2000 miles covered, and impeccable service. Can't wait to do the next journey... let's see... New Orleans, Atlanta, Dallas? Hmmmm decisions decisions...

US AIR TALES- Stories of one man's virtual life as a pilot

Pro Member Chief Captain
Welshflyer Chief Captain

Superb shots bel Clapping , what a treat, real plane pics for a change, made my day Very Happy !

Pro Member Chief Captain
morris91 Chief Captain

Yer man im with Welsh its a nice change to see a real flight for a change.

Like what you said about the japs and the united nations. Laughing

Pro Member Chief Captain
bawls327 Chief Captain

Welshflyer wrote:

Superb shots bel Clapping , what a treat, real plane pics for a change, made my day Very Happy !

Man dude I agree. I loved those shots dude truly amazing. Good to hear that the steelers won to bet ya that made you even more happy.

Pro Member Chief Captain
VegasFlyer Chief Captain

Welshflyer wrote:

Superb shots bel Clapping , what a treat, real plane pics for a change, made my day Very Happy !

Exactly what I think! Very Happy Great job Bel!

Pro Member Chief Captain
belgeode Chief Captain

Thanks guys...

I forgot to mention.... those of you who know old Football heroes... You'll never guess who was sitting in the seat in front of me on the charlotte to PIT flight...

LC Greenwood, one of the Steelers Halll of Famers from the 70s "Steel Curtain" defense!

And I did not even recognize him at first! hahaha, the dude behind me was the one who pointed him out.

Did I get an autograph.... no. hahahhaha.

US AIR TALES- Stories of one man's virtual life as a pilot

Pro Member Captain
cheezyflier Captain

those are some really good shots!
i have to ask, do airports still have observation areas?
the local field back home used to have a platform on top of one of the bldgs behind the tower so that people could watch the runway. once 9/11 happened they closed it.

Pro Member Chief Captain
belgeode Chief Captain

The ones I visited did not. I KNOW that KPIT has a mezzanine above the departure terminal landside... but I have never been up there.

I love the fact that the windows are so huge though, especially at O'Hare.... made for some easy photography while waiting. What you see here is the best of what I got... but I must have taken like 200 pix total LOL.

I think for my next trip I am going west... PHX maybe, DFW, or MSY.

US AIR TALES- Stories of one man's virtual life as a pilot

Pro Member Chief Captain
CRJCapt Chief Captain

Great photos, I miss KPIT.

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