Across the Atlantic – Part 2

So, the flight.  It was huge!  Totalling eleven hours it was the longest flight I’ve ever been on.  Like I said in my previous post it would have been great to have had breakfast in Paris but time wouldn’t allow so we had to wait until lunch was served on the flight.  I have to say, the food was excellent, the best I’ve ever had in-flight (no it wasn’t my first in-flight meal).

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The meal was most welcome.  I’m not sure what the green stuff was but it was tasty and the piece of chicken was top notch.  I was also surprised to see that the butter was from Ireland.  Once I had demolished the meal and had my tray taken I started a letter to a good friend – another first; I’ve never written a letter while in flight before.  It was so good at passing the time, I usually think for ages about what I want to say.  The in-flight movies sounded so lame that I didn’t attempt to watch a single one.  I spent the rest of the flight bouncing between trying to sleep, listening to music and reading.  I find it almost impossible to sleep on a plane.  Maybe that’s a good thing bearing in mind that I’ll be in the front seat in the not too distant future.

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It was a relatively smooth flight, only a few patches of turbulence.  The weather wasn’t amazing, we were above cloud for the majority of the flight.  When you could see though, the scenery was brilliant.  Snow-capped mountains and sweeping glaciers could be seen for miles.  It looked fantastic from our nice warm viewpoint in the sky.  I wasn’t in a hurry to get down there.

The decent and approach into SLC seemed to take forever – mainly because we couldn’t see anything.  We were only about 1000 feet above the ground before we could see it – how do I know that you ask?  I’m either just really good at estimating altitude or I spoke to the pilots afterwards.  You’re right, I spoke to the pilots.  Being unable to visit the flight deck during the flight I stopped by on my way off the plane.  The pilots were very friendly and I was grateful they gave me a bit of their time.  They must have been pretty tired by this point.  While I was in the flight deck the ground power hookup fell out and all sorts of stuff started clicking.  A ground engineer came up to look at a few things and all was well because the APU was still running.  I made a quick exit after that, even though they said I was fine to take a look I could tell they wanted to finish work and get home – good on them.

Across the Atlantic – Part 1

I recently crossed the Atlantic to head over to Utah to catch up with some friends and attend a church conference before I crack on with flight school.  It has been three years since I was last over and it could be a lot longer before I’m back – saying that though, if I can pop up sometime during foundation flight training while I’m in Arizona that would be a real treat.

We took a route most of us had never done before – Manchester-Paris-Salt Lake City.  My sister had done it before and the rest of us were none the wiser.  The mammoth journey started not long after I woke up at 02:30, only two hours after I went to sleep.  It reminds me of the time I went to Ireland a few hours after a Muse concert.  The drive to Manchester was fine, nothing to report there.  We checked in at about 4:45.  After spending probably thirty minutes in the line we got to the desk and were told that we had to use the electronic check-in at the back of the line.  Fortunately they said we could skip back down the line to the desk.  I would have been ever so slightly irritated had it been otherwise.

The electronic check-in machine didn’t work because we were connecting in Paris to the USA so back to the desk we went.  All sorted.  Time was short, we went straight through security, walked to the gate, sat there for ten minutes and then boarded.  The flight to Paris was fine, very quick with not much to look at.  The fun started when we arrived in Paris.  We had a couple of hours before boarding our next flight and so were looking forward to a bit of breakfast.  Thanks to the French security we had to pass through we had to say goodbye to breakfast.  They were so slow it was untrue.  No-one was in a hurry.  There were as many people going through as there were in Manchester only much much slower.  I wonder how many people the caused to miss flights.  And how many breakfasts they caused to be skipped.

A few hours into the Atlantic crossing lunch was served.