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Catching a Monarch Airbus A300 Faro - London Gatwick

Discussion in 'Trip Experiences' started by charlest103, Oct 30, 2013.

  1. charlest103

    charlest103 Hangar Associate Member V

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    Before I begin, once again I didn't think of doing this till after the trip, so apologies for the lack of variety when it comes to the photos! Check out my videos of the flights though!

    With Monarch being the last European airline to operate the Airbus A300 on scheduled passenger flights, when they announced the type’s retirement, I knew I had to book myself a flight on one. The A300 was one of many aircraft types I had not yet been on!

    With only three remaining in service and one of these due to leave in early November, my most viable option was to fly from London Gatwick to Faro before the end of the Summer schedule. Monarch were offering £25 off on return flights, so me and a few friends booked ourselves a one night trip to Faro, flying out on one of their A321’s and back on the A300.

    Having checked in online and it being a quiet Friday afternoon, we were through security and into the departure lounge within 10 minutes.

    Upon arrival at the gate, we were surprised to see Monarch Boeing 757 G-DAJB sitting at our gate and an A321 at the adjacent gate. Could it be that we were on a 757 instead of the expected A321? Sure enough the A321 was headed to Dalaman and we were indeed on one of Monarch’s three remaining 757’s! As I love 757's this was a great!
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    Date: 18th October 2013
    Flight: ZB216
    From: London Gatwick (LGW / EGKK)
    To: Faro (FAO / LPFR)
    Dep: 16:30
    Arr: 19:10
    Aircraft: Boeing 757-2T7

    Reg: G-DAJB
    Seat: 16F


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    G-DAJB is the oldest aircraft in the Monarch fleet at 26.7 years old at the time of flight, making it the oldest aircraft I have ever flown on and even older than the A300 we were going to travel on the next day!

    We boarded the aircraft and it was nice to see it was in very good condition for an aircraft this age. With 209 passengers on board the flight was pretty full and we pushed back from stand late.

    I had pre booked seat 16F expecting an A321, so was very relieved to see it was row 15 on the 757 that didn’t have a window and that row 16 was fine. The captain announced our cruising altitude for today would be 37,000ft.
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    Ready for take off on Runway 08R, half an hour behind schedule
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    I don’t know if its because this aircraft is older, but the engine sound on this 757 has to be the best I’ve ever heard!

    Please watch my take off video to hear the amazing sound of those Rolls-Royce RB211's


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    With headwinds of 70mph slowing our progress, we were not going to land on time
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    About an hour into the flight we encountered turbulence and the seat belt signs were switched on for over an hour. We had turbulence for most of the remainder of the flight.

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    It soon began to get dark, though there was no nice sunset to be seen on this flight unfortunately.

    After what seemed like a long time, we began our descent and the lights of Faro began to appear.
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    Soon after we landed on runway 28 at Faro at 19:40, 30 minutes behind schedule.
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    Here's my landing video, Faro looks beautiful at night! Notice no reverse thrust was used after landing.


    We arrived on a remote stand and we were bussed to the terminal.
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    Faro airport is very close to the city and taxis are only 10 euros.
     
  2. charlest103

    charlest103 Hangar Associate Member V

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    The following morning we arrived back at the airport and after waiting ages to pass through security we entered the departure lounge. We didn't have long to wait before the gate information was displayed on the screens and we made our way towards the gate area. Once again we were bussed to the aircraft. (Please view my video of this flight at the end of this section)

    Date: 19th October 2013
    Flight: ZB215
    From: Faro (FAO / LPFR)
    To: London Gatwick (LGW / EGKK)
    Dep: 10:25
    Arr: 13:10
    Aircraft: Airbus A300B4-605R
    Reg: G-MONS
    Seat: 14J

    Now it was time for my first flight on an A300! I was really pleased to see G-MONS would be our aircraft, the oldest remaining A300 in the fleet and the next to be retired with only a few weeks left in service. Once again, Monarch seem to have looked after their aircraft well and the interior was in fairly good condition.
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    The weather in Faro was very wet and stormy which was a shame. Once again this flight was very nearly full.

    Take off from Runway 28 at Faro.
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    The captain had warned there would be turbulence after departure, however apart from a few bumps, the departure was very smooth.
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    Some great views shortly after departure
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    We worked our way around most of the bad weather up to our cruising altitude of 34,000ft.
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    With a tail wind pushing us towards the UK, I didn't have long to enjoy flying on this lovely aircraft.
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    Before long, we began our descent into a miserable London Gatwick. It was around this time that my camera decided it was more interested in the rain on the window than what was actually outside. Because of this, the landing section of the video is slightly out of focus, sorry!
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    We arrived 10 minutes ahead of schedule, landing on runway 26L at Gatwick.
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    Check out my full flight video! The sound of this aircraft is just great!


    Once we had arrived on stand, we visited the cockpit where the great pilots gave us a tour!
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    G-MONS, to be withdrawn from service on the 3rd November. Just over 2 weeks after my flight!

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    Thanks to the fantastic Captain, we ended up spending at least 10 minutes in the cockpit. It was then time to leave the aircraft and this brought to an end my first and I expect my last ever A300 flight. A fantastic end to a really enjoyable trip.

    Overall I really enjoyed my flights with Monarch and was impressed by their staff.

    If you made it this far, thanks for reading :)
     
  3. Lee Ferrara

    Lee Ferrara Administrator Staff Member

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    GREAT post Charles! I think people will really enjoy this!!
     
  4. Sierra1

    Sierra1 Hangar Bronze Member III

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    Great Review!! Loved it!! Keep up the good work!!
     
  5. Ronnie Heydon

    Ronnie Heydon Hangar Associate Member I

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    Great videos Faro is one of my favourite destinations
     
  6. Shawn White

    Shawn White Hangar Silver Member I

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    Those cockpit pictures are awesome!
     
  7. Shawn White

    Shawn White Hangar Silver Member I

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    Isn't the A300 also the only Airbus jet with a yoke control stick?
     
  8. Lord Leighton

    Lord Leighton Hangar Gold Member I

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    Nice Show! I always liked the 757 a lot.
     
  9. Gary737

    Gary737 Hangar Silver Member II

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    Nice report and great cockpit photos! I rode the cockpit jumpseat on an American Airlines A-300-600 once. The Captain actually put on leather driving gloves!

    I'll admit that I had no clue where "Faro" is so I assume that you went to the southern tip of Portugal.
     
  10. charlest103

    charlest103 Hangar Associate Member V

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    Thanks! I bet that was great fun! Yes the flights were to/from Faro in Portugal.
     
  11. David Barnshaw

    David Barnshaw Hangar Gold Member I

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    Awesome pics.and video's,look forward to the next one of your trips,very well done Charles-and to Monarch as well for letting you take the flight-deck shots.
     
    Lord Leighton and Edward Jeszka like this.
  12. Edward Jeszka

    Edward Jeszka Hangar Gold Member I

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    Really a great report and some great pictures. I would have to include this one in the "Good Times In Aviation" file. Thanks for getting it all on the forum.
     
    David Barnshaw and Lord Leighton like this.
  13. Terry Harding

    Terry Harding Guest

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    Shawn - The A310 series also have a yoke.
     
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