Time for some irreverence

We were on a United Airlines flight recently–a Boeing 737-900ER, so it was legacy Continental Airlines. It was equipped with the Boeing Sky Interior, and this was the first time we’d seen the interior outside of a mock-up. It was as nice as we’ve often said.

On board was a mother and her lap-child (which is a bad idea, but that’s another topic). We are always fascinated to watch a newborn-to-about-two years old discover the world. This little tyke was taking in the Sky Interior and the blue mood lighting and thought it was pretty cool. So did we.

The Captain, as one often does, announced we would be descending shortly and we would be arriving at the C Concourse, “C as in Continental.” It was obvious which legacy airline making up today’s United he was from.

On approach to O’Hare, we wound up doing a full go-around. By this we mean engine throttles way up, nose attitude way up and a sharp left hand turn. First time in all the decades of flying we’ve had one of these. Speaks well of air safety. All the pilot said was he was directed to do so by the controller because there was an airplane in front of us.

On the next leg, we were on a Bombardier CRJ-200, or what we call a Tinker Toy airplane. Before push back, the pilot asked for two volunteers to move from the front to the back for weight-and-balance. Seems the airplane is designed for a full load and 2,500 lbs of cargo and we only had 1,500 lbs, so two people needed to move to the back to offset the thousand pounds. Several comments to those two passengers about their weight as they moved down the aisle.

15 Comments on “Time for some irreverence

  1. As you said, a go-around is a safe operation. Many people get concerned if they have that maneuver performed on an aircraft they are a passenger in, but when done properly, it really should not be of a concern.
    Weight and balance is critical for any aircraft, particularly a small aircraft like the CRJ-200, or just about any other RJ type. I assume those two pax that moved on your CRJ weighed about 150-200 lbs each, so moving from the front of the aircraft to the back actually shifted 300-400 lbs, lightening the nose by 150-200 lbs and adding that same weight to the tail. Good move by the flight crew, I think.

  2. What’s a ‘not full go-around’? I think I’ve had full ones – two on approach to Vienna, one on approach to Stansted. Always exciting.

    • We’ve had a couple of go-arounds where we were it was more like changing altitude rather than a power-on, light-a-fire-in your-britches thing.

      • Ah well, mine were the latter type. 🙂 My partner does not appreciate them, at all… Recently also had a BA 767 flight going wobbly just out of Heathrow due to wake turbulence (during a turn she started rolling in the wrong direction, pilot quickly levelled her off and later announced the reason). Again, not appreciated by Her Indoors.

  3. Ordinary flights can become memorable for many reasons. As far as I can remember I had 3 go arounds during the last 25 yrs. A 737, an A310, but most memorable a DC10 near undershoot. Memorable because I sat in the cockpit jumpseat..

  4. I experienced practically the exact same type of “go-around” @ORD mentioned here(even down to a crying infant)…this was on an AA Mad Dog-80 a few years back.

    I actually posted a youtube video on it. 🙂

    While I’ve heard of pax needing to move for “weight and balance”, I’ve never had to the many times I’ve flown at least on a Jungle Jet ERJ-140/145.

  5. A few years ago on a Usairways 767 that was going to Milan, the crew asked about 30 people from the rear of the plane to move forward before takeoff and then when airborne return to their assigned seats. I have seen this procedure on small regional planes but never on a widebody.

  6. I was on a United flight last year where all the crew had Ex-Con pins on their uniforms and proudly announced that they were a Houston based Continental crew. As much as they might not like the merger, that behavior is really unprofessional.

  7. I recently flew on an Alaska Airlines 739 ER from Seattle to Phoenix. Not only did it have the Sky Interior, it had the slim profile seats. The seats are really a BIG improvement! In spite of the thinner padding, they provide better back support, and noticeably more legroom.

    The Sky Interior is nice, but since it was a daytime flight, I didn’t get the full impact of the LED lighting.

  8. I was actually on a flight on Alaska from SEA to ORD last week that was also 737-900ER.
    I need to see what line number that plane was because it had that “New Airplane Smell”.
    Seats were very comfortable and roomy. Had to warn a guy about the new stow bins because I could see he expected them to open a different way. Also my first experience with the new sky interior and my flight was at night. Too bad the return flight was on an older plane.

  9. A lion Boeing 737/8 overshot the runway in Bali and broke in two in the sea this morning all 132+ – passergers survived with minor injurys

    • I’ve been watching the story. There is a lot of conflicting information from various news sources. The pax could is anywhere from about 101 to 172, and the account of the accident says it slid off the runway, and another account says it ditched into the ocean while on approach to Rwy 09. Still another source says the altimeter was off by 170′. Apparently this airplane had only been in service for about two months, delivered new from Boeing in Feb. 2013.

  10. While I’ve heard of pax needing to move for “weight and balance”, I’ve never had to the many times I’ve flown at least on a Jungle Jet ERJ-140/145.

    Lucky you. I have been asked to move many times. It all depends if the ac is full, not full but with passengers evenly distributed, or if the few o/b had all chosen to seat in front.

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