One of the many activities planned for today was a visit to the Denver aviation museum — Wings Over The Rockies. After a short intro in the Harrison Ford Theatre, small groups were taken around to enjoy the history of flight, all expertly guided by volunteer retired pilots who lent some of their own experiences to the most wonderful experience. This tour was arranged by the Jason Dahl Scholarship Fund which SMD3 proudly supports.
As the day begins, we find tales from the previous evening and will do our best to track them all down. First, the simulator group from Friday evening started around 10 p.m. And lasted until 2 a.m. — yes, you read that right, MegaDoers were flying simulators until 2 a.m. While some were flying, others were playing dice with a number of actual veteran and active senior pilots, exchanging interests and stories. But this turned out not to be your typical simulator experience. MegaDoers were encouraged to try and take the aircraft they were flying to it’s limits and that resulted in experiences that will live long into the future. For those who simmed into the night, this single experience of time with pilots and extraordinary flying time may well define their best MegaDo experience ever.
The Hyatt Grand Denver has certainly spoiled us this morning and here’s just some of the proof.
As we head into the weekend activities of this SMD3 weekend, we reflect on those fellow travelers we lost 10 years ago.
The flight to Denver was the best. By now we have all become even more friends and friendly with each other and at times there truly were more people standing in the aisle (that’s us) than sitting in seats. We enjoyed a most excellent local version (MegaDo-style) of the flight attendant’s preparation for the flight and hopefully video’s of that will make their way to milepointTV soon.
In case you are wondering, and you know you are … there was “restraint” and no widespread pillow fights broke out on this flight. There were some small scale paper airline skirmishes involving the MilePoint “air force” planes and SkyMall catalog pages homemade paper airplanes but nothing too much.
There was however our annual Christmas lights pageant in which the call buttons were lit up in every seat. Classic quotes from the onboard flight staff ranged from “somebody’s going to get a broken finger” to “just because you have a light on over your head doesn’t mean you are any smarter” to when preparing to land, “hey, there’s a couple missing, make sure they are all on”. Yes the annual call button Christmas light pageant has become quite the ritual if only for the witty comments of the flight attendants.
If you want to view a video of arriving into DEN as well as listening to the binds of the call buttons and the flight attendant’s broken finger comment, see the video on milepointTV.
And finally, what MegaDo would be complete without a charity raffle. With prizes ranging from unlocked LG phones and iPads to a CLEAR membership and Qantas First Class pajamas and SWUs — a bunch of money was raised (will get that total for future blog post). A special side raffle was held for the MilePoint charity efforts for LIVESTRONG and only 100 tickets were available at $20 each. Still, this side raffle sold out and MilePoint provided three main prizes: an iPad, 25,000 AAdvantage miles and two SWUs. Very good odds and it produced very happy winners and much support for a number of charities.
So, what did you miss?
Montreal bids us all a wonderful “adieu”. So with swag in hand, carryon and checked luggage, we’re our way to Denver with enough new friends, knowledge and memories to again say — MegaDo Rocks.
Leaving Bombardier, we all smiles with yet another swag bag. This one featuring our very own seat belt — and before the jokes start … It is not a seat belt extender. Also included were a quite nice pen and note pad, assorted C-series aircraft stickers and our very own SMD3 piece of chocolate. Checked bag of swag anyone?
One of the most popular sessions was the cabin mock-up for Bombardier’s new C-series plane with 2X3 seating (sort of a modern MD-80). Realizing comfort and the challenge of a single-aisle airplane, the questions and interest was at a very high level. And before you ask the question … yes it features first class seats for upgrades.
Imagine trying to fly a plane with 160 co-pilots or better yet … backseat drivers. In truly a H-I-G-H point of the day, several MegaDoers had a chance to fly a simulator with the rest of us looking on and providing real time “feedback”. We learned that the term “rotate” means something different to a passenger than a pilot. So amid the voices of “stall, stall”, “abort takeoff” and “pull up” our MegaPilots did a takeoff and landing as well as what we are guessing was a fly by over someone’s house. Truly a great experience and we still don’t know where we landed!
When asked a series of questions at Bombardier, some questions were almost universally answered the same way … “Rewards” and selecting all the models of single-aisle airplanes we are familiar with. Yes, asked and answered.