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SimAirline.net - Message Boards • View topic - College Visit #1 NW CID-MSP-MCI-MSP-CID

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 Post subject: College Visit #1 NW CID-MSP-MCI-MSP-CID
PostPosted: 19 Feb 2009, 06:04 
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It's that time of year... college visits! Wooo.. This particular trip is to visit Kansas State which Rockwell Collins has told me has an excellent aviation program and they do. The aviation campus is smaller and is located in Salina, KS a three hour drive from Kansas City which their main campus in Manhattan, KS, just an hour and a half away.
We decided to tour both because the main campus houses their business and theater degrees, both of which I'm interested in so off we went...

K-State at Salina wasn't for me, it was too small and remote but they did have an excellent program, by your senior year you're flying SIC in their Citation and Kingair on college business. Man wouldn't that be sweet?
Oh and one of their flight instructors and my tour guide up there was REALLY hot. Just sayin'.

You've probably noticed the extremely limited time on the boards lately and that's because I've been on this trip and prior to that, as Technical Director for our theater, I had to run 4 shows last week the last being the amazingly complex Peking Acrobats performance Friday night which by the way was absolutely spectacular.
Due to limited time and hopefully a little bit of sanity I'm gonna try to keep this report shorter than the usual novel.

Northwest Airlines 3042 (Mesaba)
February 15, 2008
Saab 340B+ (N448XJ)
Cedar Rapids CID - Minneapolis/St. Paul MSP
Scheduled Departure Time: 1457
Actual Departure Time: 1441
Departure Gate: B7
Scheduled Arrival Time: 1554
Actual Arrival Time: 1544
Arrival Gate: B8
Class: Coach
Seat: 1D

I checked in online the day before using the Elite status 2009 and was upgraded on the Embraer but first had to endure the Saab 340. Boarding was very quick and easy with about 22 people onboard and we pushed out early.

If you've never been on a Saab 340 before, they're rather hard to imagine but picture this: Small, cramped, everything creeking, shaking and making noise in someway, everything very worn and then there's the noise once those props are started... they make the last row in a DC9 sound quiet.

The Saab lined up for departure on 27 and the buzz was insane as it always is, after about four thousand feet of runway she creaked off into the sky climbing like a bat outta hell. (Which is what the Saab feels like too)
After reaching our cruising altitude of sixteen thousand feet, the flight attendant served drinks of which I had a cup of Pepsi. The flight was uneventful, the Saab just kept buzzing towards Minneapolis/St. Paul.

About 45 minutes later we found ourselves streaking through the clouds on decent for 35, turning final, gear down and props into beta which makes the loud Saab even louder and provides for some interesting descent speeds!

Touchdown was smooth for the Saab which doesn't feel like it has shocks at all but none the less... Props spun back up to maximum hearing loss and we pulled off the runway. If you've ever been to MSP you know that 35 is just about the farthest possible from the regional gates which are completely on the other side of the airport=long taxi.

Everytime I fly into MSP on the Saab something seems to go wrong with the ramp crews-they're never there when they need to be which means we end up sitting 50 feet from the gate for ages and ages. This was absolutely no exception and we sat for about 15 minutes. Not a big deal as we're still early but annoying either way.

Finally they showed up and we pulled right into the snug Terminal B. Time for food!

Northwest Airlines 1843 (Compass)
February 15, 2008
Embraer EMB-175LR (N604CZ)
Minneapolis/St. Paul MSP - Kansas City MCI
Scheduled Departure Time: 1738
Actual Departure Time: 1724
Departure Gate: C7
Scheduled Arrival Time: 1846
Actual Arrival Time: 1820
Arrival Gate: 63
Class: First
Seat: 1D

A few years ago I had lunch with Aaron in MSP and he showed me the best sandwich place ever-French Meadows Cafe located on the F concourse and now just about everytime I'm in MSP I grab the usual turkey sandwich and a bag of snacks from the little hole near gate C3. It's just my routine and I always do it when I'm in MSP.

I walked past the remaining few gates to C7 and saw a disturbing sight: The Delta A319 parked at C5, while it's the best looking aircraft in Delta's livery so far, it looked sad sitting next to the silver 757 at C6. It's when you see it for yourself that it really hits... very sad to see them go.

Anyway boarding started right on time and I was first onboard the somewhat new Embraer, if you haven't flown on one yet, do it, they're fantastic little birds. Extremely comfortable, roomy and bright inside. I enjoy flying them and take them when possible. I took 1D and pulled out some reading homework to get done which kept me occupied for most of the flight. Pre-flight drinks were passed out-Pepsi for me and the captain on today's flight walked into the cabin right before push to do his apparently usual "comedy fun" routine. He was actually pretty good and the passengers enjoyed the personal touch. As soon as he was done I went back to reading and lost focus on anything aviation related for a while.

Takeoff in the Embraer is surprising, she uses a lot of runway for a small aircraft and those little engines really scream. I think we used about 6K of runway, I wasn't really paying attention with the reading and all but that's about right.

Now I didn't see or hear anything but my Dad sitting back in 5D swears we almost hit an A319 crossing over the field right above us by, he says about 300 feet and people in coach screamed. As I said, I didn't see a thing or even hear a sound but that's what I'm told.

I pulled out the new laptop for some 24 after a bit and begun watching the amazing Jack Bauer do his thing with some snacks, my sandwich and plenty of drinks in the prettiest little glasses you've ever seen. I may have to buy some of those... That kept me busy until landing when I went back to reading after squeezing that laptop back in it's case. A 17" doesn't like fitting in my 15" case. lol

Landing was uneventful and extremely smooth, a "greaser" as people call it, one of the aviation phrases that drive me crazy. Anyway, we parked over at gate 63 and headed off into Kansas.


Northwest Airlines 1996 (Compass)
February 17, 2008
Embraer EMB-175LR (N635CZ)
Kansas City MCI - Minneapolis/St. Paul MSP
Scheduled Departure Time: 1820
Actual Departure Time: 1809
Departure Gate: 63
Scheduled Arrival Time: 1945
Actual Arrival Time: 1927
Arrival Gate: F4
Class: First
Seat: 4A

We arrived back at the airport pretty early so I checked in not expecting the upgrade because the website told me it was full... Well the kiosk disagreed and put me in 4A. Sweet.

Kansas City has to be the weirdest airport in history because after 9/11 their design was pretty much destroyed and made horribly inconvenient with the bathrooms (fixed now) and any food located outside security... That sucks but I went through anyway and grabbed a seat to watch some TV on my laptop and kill a few hours.

What seemed like an eternity later it was time for boarding and as usual I was first on board taking 4A and getting a pre-flight Pepsi from the very nice flight attendant. I don't remember much about this flight as I read most of the way but I do remember watching my Dad's flight, the DL M80 to Atlanta push back from the terminal across the taxiway and roar off into the sunset leaving the classic smoke trail signature to the JT8D.

After a fast taxi to 19R and an immediate departure we slowly climbed back towards Minneapolis in the fading light. Snacks were served and drinks handed out, another Pepsi for me in those cute little glasses. More reading....

I didn't notice the descent begin but before I knew it we were flying through an amazing amount of snow-I literally couldn't see the winglet there was so much snow flying back the window at an incredible speed. It went on like this until the wheels squeaked onto 12R and we slowly came to a stop and pulled off the runway.

I've seen some pretty bad weather in my life but this was definitely up there in terms of nasty weather. Snow, sleet and wind were just some of the problems being thrown at MSP but if there's any airport in America that knows how to deal with bad weather it's MSP.

We pulled into F4 and I had a few hours to kill before my flight home but I walked down to the gate anyway.


Northwest Airlines 3325 (Mesaba)
February 17, 2008
Canadair CRJ-200LR
Minneapolis/St. Paul MSP - Cedar Rapids CID
Scheduled Departure Time: 2220
Actual Departure Time: 2302
Departure Gate: A5
Scheduled Arrival Time: 2322
Actual Arrival Time: 0018
Arrival Gate: C3
Class: Coach
Seat: 4B

With the weather getting worse I started getting a little bit worried that the flight might be cancelled and I'd have to spend the night in MSP. That'd be ok with me, I was already exhausted and anything that ended in a bed would be fine with me.

This was the LONGEST 2 hours in my life, I can't begin to tell you how long that felt but it was bad. The flight was delayed and delayed because the aircraft was still in the hangars. Ughhhhh

Anyway about 11, we started boarding and I was dizzy I was so tired, I grabbed 4A and B and immediately tried to sort of lay down which for a 6' person on 2 rows of CRJ seats is an interesting picture... I faded in and out of sleep during the next hour or so with a massive headache and all around unpleasantness. Needless to say not my favorite flight ever.

I remember the takeoff being quick and fast, with only about 15 people on board that's no surprise. The flight felt like a trans-pacific crossing but that's how everything is when you're that tired.

One of the things I remember was the usual BANG when the gear is lowered on the CRJs, that always means the pain is coming to an end and we landed on 27 in what felt like a 3 point landing, I never noticed the nose gear hit.

Taxi in and park and then it was over, I stumbled down to baggage claim just about ready to pass out. Grabbed my bag and got in the car with my Aunt who was all too pleased to be picking me up at 1 in the morning and pretty much passed out.



It was definitely an interesting trip! Heading down to Texas for some much needed vacation next week via MSP, MEM and then MSP on the way home.

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 Post subject: Re: College Visit #1 NW CID-MSP-MCI-MSP-CID
PostPosted: 19 Feb 2009, 07:03 
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Joined: 05 Feb 2007, 23:44
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Great Report Nick!
I know what it feels like when you're extremely tired at an airport. When I was about 7 or 8 I was on my way to the UK, and we were in the transit area at LAX for about an hour and a half and my time clock felt it was about 3 am. It was horrible, first we had to wait for ages to get to the Customs desks (There were only two or three for a loaded 747!) then all we could do was sit inside this room, there were a couple of snacks and drinks but basically nothing else but seats. My parents told me I was white as a sheet, I felt so sick and thought I was about to faint. As soon as I got on that plane I practically fell asleep and I was asleep while we were taxiing. My advice, don't take the night flights!

Sorry, I'm rambling on I bit... continue with the thread :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: College Visit #1 NW CID-MSP-MCI-MSP-CID
PostPosted: 19 Feb 2009, 07:35 
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Nice report Nick (are you sure you went on this trip in February 2008? :wink: )

Anyway, Fraser and Nick, I know how you feel. The absolute worst experience I had was when I was going through customs in Cancun. Picture this, standing on a line at least a mile long in 90 degree heat (Fahrenheit) around 3 in the afternoon (the hottest part of the day)! I went through this in May of 2002, February of 2003, and February of 2004. I will never pass through that airport again!

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 Post subject: Re: College Visit #1 NW CID-MSP-MCI-MSP-CID
PostPosted: 19 Feb 2009, 07:36 
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Wait, you didn't fly on Great Lakes to Manhattan and Salina?! There's no comparison between a B1900D and a subcompact! :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: College Visit #1 NW CID-MSP-MCI-MSP-CID
PostPosted: 19 Feb 2009, 22:41 
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Joined: 10 Jan 2005, 03:32
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FJ flyer wrote:
Great Report Nick!
I know what it feels like when you're extremely tired at an airport. When I was about 7 or 8 I was on my way to the UK, and we were in the transit area at LAX for about an hour and a half and my time clock felt it was about 3 am. It was horrible, first we had to wait for ages to get to the Customs desks (There were only two or three for a loaded 747!) then all we could do was sit inside this room, there were a couple of snacks and drinks but basically nothing else but seats. My parents told me I was white as a sheet, I felt so sick and thought I was about to faint. As soon as I got on that plane I practically fell asleep and I was asleep while we were taxiing. My advice, don't take the night flights!

Sorry, I'm rambling on I bit... continue with the thread :lol:

I don't have much choice re night flights because I usually have to be back the next day and want to maximize the trip... Unfortunately once in a while this happens.

DMM200 wrote:
Nice report Nick (are you sure you went on this trip in February 2008? :wink: )

Haha, templates are usually great but once in a while.... :rolling:

NWADC9 wrote:
Wait, you didn't fly on Great Lakes to Manhattan and Salina?! There's no comparison between a B1900D and a subcompact! :wink:
Toyota Camry and I didn't... it was something like $180 each roundtrip. Yeah not on top of $400+ to get down there.

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