Saturday, March 22, 2008

Del Rio, TX: Houston, TX (IAH) to Del Rio International, Del Rio TX (DRT)

CO9553/22MAR08 Houston-Intercontinental, Houston TX (IAH) to Del Rio International, Del Rio TX (DRT) 8:45a 10:30a SF3 N194CJ operated by Colgan Air

Flight Time: 1:24

The lone flight attendant greeted with a good morning and a smile to which I reciprocated. She told me as well as everyone else to sit anywhere behind row 7, so I headed for the last row, row 12. This aircraft has a 1-2 configuration in a single class for a total of 34 leather seats and one lavatory located at the front of the cabin.

As we waited, at 8:40a, the Captain came on the PA and said good morning, welcomed us onboard and said that the weather at Del Rio International is 61F with light winds and scattered clouds. We will be flying at 24,000’ heading westbound and our flying time will be 1:24. Add an extra 16 minutes for taxiing on both ends of the journey for a total time of 1:40.

During that speech, we gained an additional passenger to make a total of eight.

At 8:43, after closing the door, Christy, as she introduced herself, did the demo in English. Small planes are so much more personable. Two minutes later the left engine started and at 8:46a, we pulled forward.

On taxi out, I saw a Colgan Saab in Continental Connection colors and a another Colgan Saab in the Colgan colors and a US Airways Boeing 737-300 taxiing out.

At 8:49a, the Captain said he was ready for departure and a minute later behind a Chautauqua Bombardier CRJ, we were airborne via runway 33L-15R. A Corporate jet had also taken off on 33R-15L and a Continental Boeing 737-500 was waiting to go on 33L after we were gone.

There were a few Fedex A310s on the left as we got airborne.

We made an unusual right turn (we were on the left runway) as we headed out. You could see the Hardy Toll Road heading towards downtown Houston in the hazy distance.

The flight attendant made a speech about the beverage service and that you are earning valuable OnePass miles for this flight. Later, she came by at 9:03a and offered beverages; I asked if she had anything that was hot and she paused, so I told her not an issue, I’ll just have some water. She returned moments later with the water and a packet of Biscoff cookies.
The Captain came on at 9:07a to say that we’ve leveled off at 22,000’ and he was going to turn off the seat belt signs. He welcomed us onboard again and said that in 45 minutes or so we will experience some weather as we approach the Del Rio area and the seatbelt signs will go on again; for now, enjoy the fight.

I fell asleep as I was really tired and awoke as we started our descent. I saw a large airport across the way (I later found out it was Laughlin Air Force Base) and wondered if that was where we were going.

As it turns out, we were headed to a smaller airport down the way.

The terrain below is really arid and bare with sparse houses that were quite large.

We made a hard left turn

and landed at that much smaller airport at 10:08a.

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