Last weekend (October 28th/29th 2017) the attention of aviation enthusiasts understandably focused on the last flights of Air Berlin with several activities at different airports. But aviation history was written also in our neighbouring country, the Netherlands. With the end of the summer schedule the last Fokker 70 left the KLM Cityhopper fleet marking the end of the collaboration between KLM and the former Dutch aircraft manufacturer Fokker.
In September I had seen incidentally that one of the last Fokker 70 flight would be on the route HAJ-AMS, leaving HAJ on th 28th Ocober 6:15 pm and arriving in AMS at 7:15 pm. Due to the low ticket prices at taht time I decided to book the flight, stay a nigth in AMS and return the next day to Hannover. It was planned that all in all seven Fokker 70 would make their last flights on that evening arriving at AMS within two hours with PH-KZU being the last Fokker 70 to land coming in from LHR.
The aircraft performing my flight was PH-KZW, seen here on arrival from AMS.
The crew did their best for an entertaining flight. While boarding the aircraft a quiz made by the co-pilot was handed out to all passengers. The first price was a recently published book on the Fokker 70. Also noisemakers were given to the passengers to express their enjoyment during the flight.
Later on everyone got a small bag with typical dutch products e.g. a key chain with typical dutch „Klompen“. Since at least this time every passenger became awrae that this was far away from an ordinary flight. Apart from that it was the last flight for one of the stewardesses before retirement which was celebrated by the whole crew.
View from my window seat in the last daylight.
Due to the strong wind that evening we landed at AMS on runway 27 and taxied to an apron parking position. Whereas most passengers left the aircraft immediately after the doors were open aviation enthusiasts were allowed to stay on board, take a look into the cockpit and talk with the crew. This took a while so the last buses were gone and a third one had to be ordered by the crew. This took another 30 minutes so there was plenty of time letzt to take photos etc…
the meanwhile empty cabin…
After arrival of the bus we were allowed to leave the aircraft (next to us PH-KZS, that came in from Norwich…)
and take further pictures. As you can see everyone was relaxed and in a happy mood, everyone wanting could pose on the stairs for pictures.
A last view of the characteristic tail in front of the AMS-tower.
On arrival at the terminal I saw that the visitor terrace was still open. (I will never understand why AMS has a visitor terrace without any (glass) walls, no entrace fee and no security control that is even open in the dark. German airports always argue that EU regulations stand against such things but are the Netherlands not part of the EU???
Without tripod more a creative picture. PH-KZU is arriving from LHR after the last commercial flight.
The hotel I booked was located very close to the terminal. So the next morning I walked to the approach of runway 36C to take a few pictures.
Very white ASL-freighter OE-IFB.
The sun broke through the clouds for the TUI-Dreamliner PH-TFK.
And one of the many Delta 333 at AMS.
Three Fokker 70 including „my“ aircraft PH-KZM had already left AMS the night before. Four Fokker 70 were still at AMS on Sunday morning and information on the social media suggested that these four aircraft would leave AMS between 10 and 11 am, perhaps performing a flyby formation. Because takeoff was expected from the Oostbaan being far away from the terminal I took a bus to the general aviation terminal at Schiphol Oost. When I arrived all four aircraft were already parked next to each other on the apron and aviation enthusiasts gathered at the fence.
Taking pictures was possible through the mesh of the fence. The results were quite nice (PH-KZB) with contribution of the sun coming through the clouds from time to time.
Overview from the old tower (from left to right PH-KZL, PH-KZU, PH-KZB and PH-KZS).
After the crews showed up they began with the flight preparations.
Exactly on time shortly after 10 am the pushback of the four Fokker 70 leaving to Norwich began.
Lead by the special coloured PH-KZU the four Fokkers taxied to rwy 04 following a formation of follow me/apron vehicles.
PH-KZU was also the first one in the air, after takeoff all aircraft made a nice turn to the right.
Unfortunately a flight formation did not take place, rumours said that the approval was not given by the dutch aviation authority due to the strong wind. Just PH-KZU returned and made an overflight of runway 04 with speedbrakes applied, fighting with the strong crosswind.
At 1:15 am I left AMS on the flight to HAJ with the recently delivered EMB-175 PH-EXO.
The spotting trip ended with a bumpy approach at HAJ due to strong winds accompanied by a heavy downpour.