Monday, November 9, 2009

A Day's Quick Flight Around Europe - FRA-OSL-TLS-FRA

The Flyer Talk Star Alliance Mega DO...
Nov. 5
Frankfurt Charter flight across Europe - Frankfurt departure for Oslo aboard a Condor 757-300.
•05:20 CET Latest time to meet at the gate
•05:50 CET FlyerTalk charter DE9254 departs Frankfurt for Oslo
•08:30 CET Charter flight arrives Oslo.
•08:45 CET Charter flight parks at the SAS hangar. Program continues.
•11:30 CET Charter flight departs Oslo for Toulouse.
•14:40 CET Charter flight arrives Toulouse
•15:30 CET Exclusive inside tour of the Airbus factory
•19:40 CET Charter departs Toulouse for Frankfurt
•22:00 CET Evening reception / party

Yes, morning came early but we were there and so was the plane, a Condor 757. Our seats were in Row 45 in the very back cabin.

Two of the DO's three major organizers, Oliver (on the left) and Tommy were at the door to greet us.

It was snowing as we landed in OSL, but the SAS hospitality inside their giant hangar was warm.

Even an airport fire truck appeared planeside to greet us.

It was nice to enter the "cozy" hangar, especially since we'd left our jackets back in the hotel room in our rush to be ready to board by 5:00 a.m.

A flight attendant welcomed us with a professional rendition of "Fly Me To The Moon" as she descended the stairs of a 737.

A group of dancers performed enthusiastically to equally enthusiastic applause.

The Norwegian Army provided an interesting demonstration of the medical evacuation service they run in co-operation with SAS, converting a 737 passenger plane into a medivac plane within 24 hours. It surprised us to learn here and elsewhere how quickly airline seats can be installed and removed.

We enjoyed the chance to get up close to the equipment.

It was interesting to read the label showing that this Ford truck unit with its built-in stairs was manufactured in Minnesota.

We also got a good look at jet engine pulled out for maintenance, and a chat with the jet-mechanic instructor showing the fine points.

Another highlight of the program was the deployment of an evacuation slide from the back door of the 737.

Organizer Tommy777 got to slide down and you can just see his upraised arms over the crowd. Update: A video is now available here.

The rest of us who wanted to got to pose at the bottom.

The musicians serenaded us as we headed out to the buses to return us to our plane.

The folksy friendliness of everybody in Oslo made our stop there a real highlight of our tour.

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