Summer was ending in northern Europe. My friend from Denmark told me that Danish Air Transport was using the last MD87 still flying in Europe, and told me to hurry cause DX was asked to ground it soon (at the end of this year). It is a bit hard to know where this special plane was flying, like the MD83 cause the were often use on special leased flight (like football club, military groups and much more). But since this year this plane was used to fly to Karup, and Naples on regular flights (more or less depending of the date - cause DX was receiving more A320 and Karup was use and training route and airport).
I arrived the day before from Brussels, and I spend the night in the sole hotel closer to the airport. It has comfortable rooms with a view next to the terminal and runways. During the day there were no sign of the MD87 but in the early morning after waking up, good new I saw it. After getting myself ready, and having a short breakfast I went to the terminal to get my ticket and to wait for boarding. Here a picture of the terminal a day before when I arrived from Brussels.
After few minutes waiting into a small room, we took a bus to join the plane which was parked in a remote area. We were around 30 people to board at Billund. During our way to the MD87, I was able to catch an A320 from DX waiting for boarding to a sunny destination. As you can see, weather was a bit rainy so I can understand that some danish people were looking for some sun and heat. Our today's flight will be made a short stop at Odense, less than 30 minutes flying between the 2 airports. Let's go to our MD87 !
Boarding was quick, due the low number on this first leg, I had time to take some pictures. This morning was a bit rainy but it didn't disturb me for the camera. It was not possible to board from the rear of the plane, we had to board from the front. I was bit sad cause this is the interest of these planes to board from the rear. But anyway… We were welcomed by 2 stewardess and a steward at the rear. I took my seat and make sure to be comfortable… WOW !!! seats were hard !!!
Everyone was onboard. Today was a training day, so we took a bit more time before starting the engines. Then after the engines start up, and the safety demonstration, the plane started to run, wow the engines had amazing roar !!! Outside it was still raining, next to us was parked an E190 HOP!. A last cabin check, and we were ready to take off. During our taxi we pass in front of the hotel where I slept the night before.
Clouds we very heavy today over danemark, and few minutes after take off, I saw that the safety card was different. It was one of the MD83, not a MD87 what a surprise… For me and my collection. Anyway, during the climb there were no turbulences, but due of the short flight on this first leg, the seat belt sign stayed on. Thought the porthole there was nothing to see, due of all the cloud. The engines roar was still amazing, what a pleasure !
Shortly after the quick climb, we started our descent to Odense. During our decent there were less clouds, than in Billund, the crew made a quick announcement to inform us to stay seated and that we start our approach to Odense. Between I was able to see the Odense coast… But nothing crazy. Then after passing the lowest clouds level I was able to observe the ground… The approach at this airport was a bit special for me due because the pilot keep a high speed to keep the right decent pitch to land.
Welcome in Odense… We land on time, with a grey sky but no rain… That's better for the pictures. Just after the landing the plane made a turn around to be able to join the terminal. We were able to feel how the airport was small by observing around us. No many planes, apart some little tourism planes. Quickly after arrived, doors were opened by the crew allowing the other passengers to get in… And at this airport passengers were allowed to use rear stairs which to board a bit faster. Then once the luggages and pax were onboard, we were ready to go again.
All luggages were on the hold, and all passengers board so we had a second time the safety briefing and pilot start the engines. The plane didn't need a push back and taxi immediately to the take off runway. When we were on the apron of the take off runway we do a turn around. One thing surprised me, we took off on the opposite way that we've land. Anyway now we are ready to take off, full power, release the brakes and the plane speed up, rotates and then start to fly.
We climb higher that the first flight leg so quickly we were able to see the clear blue sky. This was enjoyable. The engine sound was incredible. When we passed the clouds we had some turbulences but nothing heavy. Another thing surprised me, it was the vert speed pitch during the take off, it allowed the plane to climb a bit faster than other plane, this was also help by the 2 engines at the rear. Soon the fasten seat belt sign will be switched off.
During the waiting time, I watched out the porthole and look what I'm having into my seat pocket. You can see that I took another safety card, but that time it was the right one. Also I was able to find the little menu card of what the were selling onboard. Inside the inflight mag, there were no many article about the airlines, but at the end we were able to find a page with the airline's fleet. I hope to be able to fly one day with their MD83. No many of MD83 are still flying now (DAT, Meridiana, Bulgarian Air Charter, and some charter airlines…).
When the seat belt sign was switch off I took time to walk a bit into the cabin, and go to toilets. At that time I was an other time surprised… There were many languages inside. I was able to read some english, finish and japanese. That's quiet a lot ! That is making this plane more special… To see that we need to enter into the toilets to see it cause in the other part of the plane it writing in danish and english. That's an international plane.
I stayed few minutes in the back, and I took time to speak with the crew. They were happy to know that I was doing this special flight with them. And they told me that the plane was doing less and less flight due of some noise problems. The cabin was looking new… But there were one problem, the seats were not the best cause there were some RECARO seats which were a bit too hard. Hopefully the flight was not too long. Then we start the decent.
During the decent I went back to my seat. The seat belt sign was not yet on. The weather was great sunny and hot. I took advantage of this weather to took some pictures. There were some clouds but nothing heavy. We made a little turn on the right to be able to align with the runway. The Napoli area is nice with all the hills. On the other side there was the Vesuve. No chance during this flight to see it. Maybe next flight.
Now the seat belt sign is on. It is time to land, we are on final. During the decent the noise was again great. During the decent we were able to see the plane's shadow. I enjoy this view. We are close to the touch down. When we touch the ground, the plane slow down with a big reverse roar. After landing we made a little taxi, and then went to our parking area. When we arrive, the pilot switch off the engines and we disembark from the front of the plane.
This special flight is finish. It was a nice flight, it was great to fly on a such old lady. I would thanks the crew which was very kind, and friendly. The plane was nice, so sad to get the RECARO seats. See you next flight.
DAT Danish Air Transport
Billund - BLL
Nápoli - NAP
#CABIN : The new cabin was looking good, but the seats a bit had, and a very small pitch in the back of the plane.
#CREW : They were very friendly, that enjoyable.
#ENTERTAINMENT : This flight was the attraction of the day. But there onboard there were no special entertainment (apart the safety card and the onboard mag).
#CATERING : No catering was offer to normal passenger like me (but you can oder some food with the onboard menu). They were serving only meals to people who oder one.
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