Stuck behind a VIP at LGA?

 
Old May 4, 11, 10:32 pm
  #1  
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Stuck behind a VIP at LGA?

This has never happened to me before. I was on US 1489 LGA - CLT this evening and we were on the (east?) side of the runway. I guess that was it. When we turned on the runway, I saw a big 4 on it so I guess that is 4/22. Anyway, there were a few planes feeding in from the other (west?) side of the runway as well. There also appeared to be some Delta planes parked over there as well and a couple of private jets.
I noticed an unusual airplane that appeared to be parked on the west side. It stood out because it was a "full sized" airplane (not a private jet) that was painted completely white. The only markings on the plane were the number 20203 and an American flag painted on the tail.
We are sitting there waiting our turn with one airplane from each side of the runway pulling up and taking off in sequence. Then the "ghost plane" rolls to the other side of the line. Two things happen. No other planes get in line behind it and we stop taking turns with the other line for takeoff. We are sitting there about 8 planes deep while the (west?) side takes off three planes in a row and then the white one. When we roll down the runway, I count 21 planes waiting behind us to take off.
OK, I am curious as hell now. Is Osama in this bird? Anyway, I get to the hotel and and Google White Airplane 20203 and learn that it is a military 737. I think they call them C40's. This one belongs to the USAF.
Just curious, has this ever happened to anyone else? I guess the Air Force gets preference for takeoff over us woeful peons(commercial travelers) . Any idea who might have been in the plane?
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Old May 4, 11, 11:25 pm
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Could really be any government VIP who the Air Force is ferrying around. The C-40B (essentially a modified 737-700 Boeing Business Jet) sometimes serves as Air Force Two as well.

Given it's NYC, it's possible, but by no means certain, that looking through who from the government was in the news there might yield the answer. Could also be related to the president's visit to Ground Zero.
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Old May 4, 11, 11:36 pm
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I'm guessing Obama wasn't onboard. Air Force One, which is any plane that carrier POTUS, would have likely shut down all the air traffic around NYC for it's departure. Don't quote me on the exact number, but ATC keeps something like a 20-mile "bubble" of airspace clear around the presidential airplane while it's airborne.

Jim
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Old May 4, 11, 11:37 pm
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According to http://www.joebaugher.com/usaf_serials/2002.html

20-01/0204 Boeing C-40C

0201 c/n 30755, former N752BC, VP-BFO. To Andrews AFB, MD Sep 19, 2002

0202 c/n 30753, former N754BC, N1787B, N329K, VP-BFE. To Andrews AFB, MD Sep 19, 2002

0203 c/n 33434. Operated by 201st AS, DC ANG. Seen Sept 2005 with "executive jet"-style cheat line and no other markings except US flag on vertical tail and tail number 20203 on lower rear fuselage as if it were a civil registration.
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Old May 4, 11, 11:45 pm
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I imagine you would have a lot of United Nation Diplomatic action from NYC after Bin Ladin
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Old May 4, 11, 11:59 pm
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Originally Posted by BoeingBoy View Post
I'm guessing Obama wasn't onboard. Air Force One, which is any plane that carrier POTUS, would have likely shut down all the air traffic around NYC for it's departure. Don't quote me on the exact number, but ATC keeps something like a 20-mile "bubble" of airspace clear around the presidential airplane while it's airborne.

Jim
I encountered that twice last year. First on a trip to Vegas in February we landed and deplaned just before they issued the hold on air traffic. My friend flying in from SJC wasn't so lucky and got delayed.

Later in the year I was waiting for my flight from MSP and everyone was looking out the window at Air Force One. There was a huge stream of limos leaving the area. It was interesting to watch. It didn't delay my flight very long.

Prior to last year I had never crossed paths with the President's plane.
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Old May 5, 11, 7:46 am
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One Sunday afternoon last year Obama was coming into PHL for a fundraiser in the city. Watched AF1 land on runway 27R and taxi towards the old overseas terminal. Lots of folks took pictures of the 747; I was thinking we'd be delayed and my connection was at risk, but we were only maybe 10 min late into CLT mainly due to the usual takeoff queue at that hour more than anything else.
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Old May 5, 11, 10:01 am
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Could be almost anything, including simply transporting equiptment in connection w. Presidential trip the next day. Might have recd departure priority or simply might have held outside of general departure line feeding from pax terminals so didn't get any priority, just looked that way. Even if it was the President (and it wasn't him if it was LGA yesterday), the delays for AF One are genuinely minimal.
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Old May 5, 11, 12:01 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
the delays for AF One are genuinely minimal.
I would disagree. But I guess you have not been stuck at LAX waiting for a US president to get his haircut.
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Old May 5, 11, 12:13 pm
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Originally Posted by Paper Tiger View Post
Is Osama in this bird?
I think that's highly unlikely. Unless we're talking about conspiracies.
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Old May 5, 11, 1:59 pm
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Flying from PVD to PHL on 4/6, my plane was delayed for over an hour on the ground in Providence because the President was visiting Philly and there was a security hold. My delay wasn't that bad, but the earlier PVD to PHL was also being held and they ended up taking off only a few minutes before we did.

Funny thing, I was in Chicago the next week and driving to ORD to stay at an airport hotel and fly out the next morning ... sitting in traffic, I heard Obama was coming to town for a fund-raising trip and just a little bit later, saw AF1 come in for a landing. I could see the plane that night from my hotel window.
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Old May 5, 11, 4:15 pm
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Originally Posted by Centurion View Post
I would disagree. But I guess you have not been stuck at LAX waiting for a US president to get his haircut.
Of course not, since that never actually happened.
http://mediamatters.org/research/200702090015
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Old May 5, 11, 4:28 pm
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Not Much of a delay

We got to CLT maybe 10 minutes late waiting on the C40. No worse than any other evening at LGA. As far as conspiracy theories are concerned, hey they have to start somewhere, don't they?
I did manage to talk the angel at the Chairman's line into routing me home without going through LGA today, so if AF1 is going to slow things down, I will miss it. Official excuse, my flight is delayed! can't you say that about most LGA flights? Beauty!
Some days I just love USAir!

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Old May 8, 11, 10:02 am
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I think AF1 mainly uses JFK for NYC visits. From there, Marine One takes POTUS to one of the heliports.
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Old May 9, 11, 6:31 am
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Originally Posted by PHL View Post
I think AF1 mainly uses JFK for NYC visits. From there, Marine One takes POTUS to one of the heliports.
EWR also was used in the past...very frequently.
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