Saying Goodbye to the Passenger DC-10 – Pleasure Flights with Biman Bangladesh
BG8 Birmingham Airport Circular flight
- Thursday 6:40am: The Mailbox, Central Birmingham
- BG8 Birmingham Airport to Birmingham Airport
- One less three-holer in the sky.
- Meeting the Biman DC-10 on one of its last flights (1)
- Meeting the Biman DC-10 on the ground (1)
- Meeting the Biman DC-10 on the ground (2)
- Aboard the Biman Bangladesh DC-10 (1)
- Airborn Aboard the Biman Bangladesh DC-10
- Biman DC-10 details
- Decent aboard Biman’s DC-10
- Cockpit visit and leaving Biman’s DC-10 behind
Like everyone, I was welcomed aboard and directed down the back of the plane. Normally for trip reporters/writers, it can be intimidating when no-one else has a camera out, and you’re the only one looking like a nerd. Well, there was no fear in that, as I swear that every person on that plane had a camera of some type in their hand, taking pictures and grabbing a memory for an eternity that’ll sit on a hard disk before it crashes.
Those seats …
Occupying the back row..
Loading in progress
Mop installed as standard
Seating was filling up with the window and window-isles occupied on this run, with only a few Isle isles taken. What do I mean? Take this bad text diagram of the 2-5-2 seating arrangement
WN WI AA MI MI MI AA WI WN X X x - - - X X X Key WN - Window WI - Window with an Isle AA - Isle with an Isle MI - Middle Seat X = Possible seating - = Non possible seating
There. That’s as clear as mud isn’t it? 😉
As the passengers loaded, it was clearly a party atmosphere flight – well how could be anything but?
Eventually people started to settle down and took their seats as service began on the ground. The promised service was a “Juice” service. So what did that mean? Was every expense spared… or did someone head to the Cash and Carry to pick up some cases of water and Capri Suns?
What do you think. Bottled water and Capri Suns for all!
Water service – tray open
The loudspeaker system was shot to bits, so it was near enough impossible to guess what was being said – other than we were due to cruise at 34,000ft and that we should be heading up Carlisle and back (someone mentioned we were overflying Liverpool at one point). As the clouds were pretty much in the way and I had no GPS logging device it was anyones guess where we actually went (as I couldn’t track the flight via Flightaware/FlightRadar24 afterwards).
The safety demo played, and everyone had their cameras out for that – as well as actually reading the safety card (then, promptly pocketing it).
Here’s my bad recording in HD.
With that, the DC-10 push backed and we begun our taxi to the Sheldon end of the runway for a take off. The CEO of Biman Bangladesh – Kevin Smith – also gave a welcome speech too (which WAS audible through the PA system).
Whilst taxing wasn’t a quick affair, there was a short hold before proceeding onto the runway – mainly for the spotters at Sheldon Country Park. After being released from the hold, the DC-10 performed a rolling take off.
Climb was a quick affair, taking us into the sky at a rapid rate.
Those windows… have seen better days.
However, once the seatbelt sign went off – it was truly every person for themselves as they went around photographing the plane and enjoying the one hour ride
Now whilst people were out and about, the Biman staff were also out and about… selling what they could. And they were on the full beans to make some cash from this by selling t-shirts, cap, airplane models – the works. Heck, if they could had ripped seats, from the floor, I think they would had sold them too!
And the crew were out too, posing for pictures with passengers.
There was no further drinks service at that point – and no one cared really.
I spent my time walking around, taking in the goodness… or the assault on my eyes. And there are the details… from other airlines too..
IFE Seating controls
In the block of five.
Front cabin – sales central.
I also caught up with the CEO of Biman Bangladesh Steele, who was leading the celebrations of the day.
And he was extremely happy over the turnouts. Whilst the flight from Dhaka to Birmingham only managed to yield 29 passengers (a mixture of visa issues and – if we’re bluntly honest, cost), the leisure flights were doing a good trade.
He was in the mood to give the DC-10 a good send off – that much was certain.
Deep cloudy skies…
Quickly, that one hour seemed to disappear with people swapping stories, experiences and of course – more sale pitches from hats, t-shirts, polo-shirts and of course – model planes (and yes… I picked one up a couple of models. Just because).
Soon it was time to buckle up for landing.
Certificates were also given out too to commemorate the flight
And it was a good thing too… because it was one heck of a bumpy landing, with the pilot doing a lot of throttling back and forth to bring us down safely. Or to put it bluntly – it was a hard landing.
After a taxi back to the stand, it was time to disembark – with the longest disembarkation ever as everyone wanted to go the cockpit.
The DC-10 cockpit is a rare type in the modern aviation world, as it requires three people to operate it, compared to modern airliners that operate using a two-person cockpit and a flight management computer.
After thanking the crew and the CEO, it was time to disembark
Conditions on the tarmac had deteriorated with the winds from landing very prevalent. Still, I got a few more photos for the collection:
As a reminder that Birmingham Airport was a live airport, traffic was going past to the runway
But even by my standards, I was getting cold. I therefore headed off to the bus to await the last of the people to disembark and board
With the last of the people aboard the bus, it wandered off to a disembarkation point. The bus headed to the FlyBe/Ryanair part of Birmingham airport, which was set up for UK decontrolling of passengers.
After exiting the bus, and heading up into the terminal, I was soon in the public area – and our flight was listed:
From there, I wanted to warm up, so I headed off for the train station, and back to the front door – ending an interesting day out.
Next: One less three-holer in the sky.