So in between spotting from the Viewing Deck, I left the Terminal to get some images of the preserved Airbus A300 (F-BAUD) in the CGN Terminal car-park. The airframe was used as a Zero Gravity test-bed and was replaced in 2014 with a younger Airbus A310, in May 2015 (3 months before my last visit) it had been placed in the car park and now I was able to get near it and have some up-close images of it.
I also took the time to get some images inside the Terminal of this awesome German airport.
I went to security and passed into the air-side area of the airport around 16:00pm, a good 1 hour and 45 minutes before my flight was due. Though I saw mostly Germanwings Airbus A319 and A320, the view was really good.
My flight arrived around 17:15pm and parked up right in-front of the glass. The Boeing 737-8AS(WL) operating this flight was EI-ENM.
We had been shown on the boarding screens that we were supposed to go to Gate 12, however to make life easier and as the section of the Terminal was empty, they boarded us from Gate 10.
I sat back and waited for the massive que of around 170 people to die down to the last dozen before I joined the back. I walked out onto the tarmac and found the que for the front of the 737 to be rather slow and long. However it gave me some brilliant photographic opportunities.
I got on the aircraft and found my seat for the next hour, Seat 9A. I could not have gotten a dirtier window! The one infront that I could use was cleaner, but I still found myself able to photograph and film out of the main 9A window.
This flight was busier and I found myself feeling a bit cramped. Which feels normal for a Ryanair flight where you don't have any spare seats to yourself.
The flight departed on time. We climbed out into a nice clear flight. It was generally quite smooth.
I bought a can of pepsi and a tube of plain Pringle crisps for the flight. I also picked up for a friend a model of Ryanair Boeing 737-800, which carried the registration of EI-DAZ, a plane that left the Ryanair fleet in 2011 and is now flying around Russia for Nordstar Airlines.
We were about 40 minutes into the flight when we began descending over the English shores as we neared STN, however we suddenly turned away from the airport, making a single circuit before making our final descent into London Stansted. We arrived 3 minutes after our scheduled arrival time. So that was pretty punctual- they even blared out the jingle.
After leaving the plane, I entered the immigration lines for passport control and got through as quicker than my previous visits.
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This story doesn't end here though…
I arrived at STN and got picked up by my dad. We had dinner in the McDonalds and we tracked the progress on the US Air Force ONE who was due to arrive that evening. We went around to the main spotting place at London Stansted (Belemer Road) and after a good 45 minute wait in the pitch black darkness, POTUS Barrack Obama arrived in his Boeing 747-200.
A fantastic round off for that day, and it was time to get ready to fly with Ryanair the next day (report coming).
AIR FORCE ONE at London STN:
Cologne - CGN
London - STN
Cologne/Bonn- I really liked the view and the lay-out of the airport and its airside section of Terminal 2. I think its an amazing place for flying and spotting.
London Stansted- I got through immigration quicker than my past two visits. Which was a bonus, then again I was slightly ahead of the evening rush period. They didn't mind me or a good 25 others wait at the Fence for Air Force ONE.
Ryanair- Apart from the annoyance of the dirty window, Ryanair was as good to fly with as always...
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