Saturday, November 02, 2013

Planes in T-Town (Tulsa)

Had several hours to kill waiting in Tulsa last week for my flight back home, and I watched as an American Airline jet was pulled away from the gate.

But then it just sat there.

It's engines were not turned on. Hmmm.

Admittedly it had been a cool night but I was surprised when a truck with a cherry-picker rode up to the silent jet. 

The truck had the name  ICEMAN painted on its side. Aha.

Yep. They de-iced the plane. 

Passengers had quite a (disturbing?) view as the wings were sloshed and then solution was hosed onto the horizontal parts of the tail.

I pictured myself in the eerily silent plane. 

Looking out my little window as the slushy mixture hit the glass and flowed down in a slow slurry.

But I was not on that AA plane.

I was comfortable in the heated Tulsa terminal.

My plane that was to fly me to Atlanta had not landed yet. Dang, it probably had not even taken off from wherever it was.

It was announced it was running three hours late so I had plenty of time to roam around with my camera.

Pretty nice activity happening right outside. 

Not bad for a rather chilly Saturday morning.

In the background of the de-icing procedure was an extremely large plane someone told me was a Russian freighter that came to Tulsa often. 

I had noted the multiple wheels and knew that it was designed to carry - and land with - an extra heavy load.

VERY heavy cargo. Yikes.

We have large USAF planes here in Charleston but not with so many wheels.

Even the Boeing Dreamlifter was slightly smaller in comparison.

And it's a converted 747.

Eventually they called my flight and, as we taxied out, I saw the nose of the Russian cargo plane was now opened. 

I was on the wrong side to get a shot but, as we made turns to race down the tarmac, I thought I might have one chance as we lifted off and banked. 

I was ready...and got one shot!

Despite it being an actual "grab shot," I was composed enough to include the Tulsa skyline in the background.

The flight attendants had already announced that all electronic devices had to be turned off.

My digital camera DID have an on and off switch so technically I was in violation.

But I had not seen a plane that large before.

That should count for something. 

(NOTE: The FAA just announced that such devices now have been declared OK to operate. Whew.)

Landed at Charleston and paused to look over a "local" Halloween t-shirt in a shop window.

As I walked toward baggage claim, I saw a large image projection of what the CHS lobby will look like with a skylight dome.

Looking at the present lobby, I didn't feel it looked 25 years out-of-date.

(Click on the photos for more details.)

My whole trip to San Diego and back, with a stop in Tulsa to see my daughter and 2-year old grandson, was FREE. 

I used 60,000 frequent flyer miles.

I flew CHS to ATL, then on to SAN. Coming back, Delta had me fly to ATL, switch to a smaller plane and fly back to TUL, A few days later, TUL to ATL and then CHS.

My current frequent flyer balance with Delta now is 68 miles.

They didn't charge for my one piece of luggage.

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At Mon Nov 04, 02:26:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I was eleven, I flew to Finland by myself to visit family. There was a problem on the return flight and the plane was twelve hours late. The Finnair plane was replaced by something called Karrair. They were on the wings welding them before we boarded. There were only windows every second seat. When we landed in Greenland to refuel (which is not green at all), I watched as we tried to get off the tarmac. We were almost at the end and I could see boulders ahead when we finally took off. Perhaps they've lengthen it since then, but I thought for sure we were going to end up in the tundra. I suspect the plane was laden down with duty-free booze. (Cathy)

At Mon Nov 04, 03:08:00 PM , Blogger chuckography said...

I love your comments! Thanks. Glad you lived to tell this.


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