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727C47
02-11-2007, 08:20 AM
It twas a rainy friday afternoon in the bay area, a steady drizzle spritzing down while we taxiied past all those lovely FedEX 727s, DC & MD-10s and 11s,and Airbi , dormant now,awaiting their wake up calls for the nights work to come. We were flight 2704, a 727 repositioning flight, blasting empty save crew from OAKland by the bay, to MEMphis by the river,for a charter to be accomplished later by another crew. Minutes later checklists complete ,we took rwy 11,advanced throttles (thrust levers), converted JetA to copious amounts of black smoke, and really offensive amounts of deep thundery,cracklely JT8D noise (music),over came weight and drag, with lift, and thrust, pointed our nose skyward, and departed.

Slicing thru all that grey,and wet,twisting and turning per the Mariner 4 SID,we soon found ourselves on top in the low 30's, pulling a long contrail, and heading east on course for Memphis. Level at Fl 350, we cruised at a fuel efficient .8 mach, the autopilot engaged, on a heading for Razorback VOR, some 2 hours and change ahead, the VOR which would be our gateway for descent and arrival .

Beneath us the undercast thinned out and disappeared,revealing the treasures hidden underneath, snow capped Rockies, and brilliant red rock deserts, the geographic beauty of the wild west, miles,and miles beneath us, the sky, that sub-stratospheric sky around and above us a brilliant blue, marked here and there,by the passing contrails of our brothers and sisters , vanishing toward the far horizon.

The turn of the earth caught up with us 1 hour out of Memphis, and the sun winked out behind us, leaving in its wake a riot of red ,orange,and gold on the retreating western sky.

Descent time, throttles to idle, we plummet from the heavens keeping our speed up per ATC, 350 kts indicated,right near the barber pole, the 727 doing her space shuttle imitation, while we prepare to return to the planet beneath us.

below 10,000 we slow and configure flaps,and leading edge devices ,angling and arching into the relative wind, we pivot onto the visual approach for rwy 36R, weighing only 115K, feather light for a 727, I ease her, coax her down ,flaps 30, 130 knots on the clock, Landing checks complete, we touch down in a welter of noise,and reverse thrust.

Taxi in, past all those FedEx freighters ,now just beginning to stir at their mother hub. Park. Shutdown. A good days work complete. God's grace.

njgtr82
02-11-2007, 08:54 AM
do you fly for Champion?

727C47
02-11-2007, 09:11 AM
do you fly for Champion?

si !

cancidas
02-11-2007, 01:58 PM
i'm so jealous!! you guys hiring?

hiss srq
02-11-2007, 06:51 PM
i'm so jealous!! you guys hiring?

Ditto that one kind sir. I will not bitch and moan about an old plane so as long as it is a 727. BTW you capture the essence of it all very well in your writings.

727C47
02-12-2007, 07:11 AM
thanks brothers ,actually we are hiring ,you can go to the website for details. pay is not the greatest for FE's, but we are in negotiations for a second contract. we are ALPA, and the 727 is God's gift to pilots. by the way cancidas ,love that avatar, i'm a former DC-3 guy myself.

PhilDernerJr
02-12-2007, 07:29 AM
Great writeup! Please keep them coming. :)

727C47
02-12-2007, 07:33 AM
wilco,hopefully come spring i will be able to hook up with you guys,and gals, for some jfk spotting, i will bring my daughter, and show her the old sod.

hiss srq
02-14-2007, 12:37 AM
Awwww shux you mean I would have to come in as a plumber?

727C47
02-14-2007, 09:30 AM
affirm,sorry about that....when i joined pre 9/11 it was 18months to capt., and only a few months on the panel,post 9/11 it was years on the panel,now with things getting better again,and pilots leaving for new adventures its down to months again. but on the plus side you would never have to take that written again if you want fedex or ups.

cancidas
02-14-2007, 11:18 AM
flying a 727 is good enough, don't care how many bars on my shoulders! having that much fun at work ought to be illegal...

727C47
02-14-2007, 11:36 AM
it is a great ship, a true classic ! and its probably the last jet out there that is truly flown (except for NW DC-9s !), every generation after ,starting with 757,the pilot is a step removed the ship, an automated interface stands between he/her , and the soul of the ship.

T-Bird76
02-14-2007, 02:06 PM
Great report, is it true Champion's 727s are going away being replaced by A319s?

727C47
02-14-2007, 04:40 PM
rumor control has that or the 737, replacing our noble 3 holer, in truth, eventually we will have to replace them, in fact,no decision has been made,in hope, I get at least another year in the 727 before going to the schoolhouse. cheers !