Have you ever been to Algeria? Did you know that it is the 10th largest country in the world? Me neither, but I was about to find out! I have been travelling to Algiers to attend a meeting of the IFALPA (International Federation of Airline Pilot Associations) Air Traffic Services Committee. About fifteen pilots from all over the world are coming together to discuss all kinds of aviation related matters that influence the work of a pilot and I am one of two representatives of our German pilot association Vereinigung Cockpit.
But first I had to get to Frankfurt. I took the first flight of the day leaving at 06.15 am (way to early if you ask me) on a Boeing 737-500, reg. D-ABIT. Here are two snapshots of the flight:
I spend the next two hours in a corner of Terminal 1, near my gate B60. Not that much going on…
Finally I was able to get on the bus that took me to the aircraft – an Airbus A321-100 with reg. D-AIRB. It is the second A321 that was delivered to Lufthansa in February 1994 and I have done three landings as a pilot on it myself. The first one was early in my flying career in December 2008 on a flight from Stockholm to Frankfurt, the second in May 2010 on Frankfurt to Barcelona and the last landing was on 30th September 2010 on Hamburg-Frankfurt. But today I would only be a passenger.
On our way out to runway 18, I had the chance to take some snapshots of aircraft on the apron. There were two C-17A Globemaster of the US Air Force that arrived shortly prior to our departure after they had diverted from Ramstein Air Force Base due to foggy weather there. These two photos shows 04-4136, which is based at McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey. It is assigned to the 305th and 514th Air Mobility Wing.
As we got to the holding point of runway 18, I saw an Emirates Boeing 777-300ER (reg. A6-ECB) that had already lined-up and that was followed by Qatar Cargo A7-BFC, another Boeing 777. Before our departure I could take a shot of Lufthansa’s “Die Maus” aircraft D-AIRY that features one of Germany’s most famous TV characters for children.
One of Frankfurt’s best known spotting positions was empty when we departed… Later on we had a fantastic view on Europe! We flew south towards Zurich and then turned towards Lake Maggiore to continue further to Genoa and Corsica and then directly to Algeria, but you will read more about that in Part 2!