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Monarch Farewell A300 - Part One

Video Description

To mark the retirement of the A300 from commercial service, and to celebrate the impact the A300 had made on the airline over the previous 24 years during which the fleet had accumulated over 300,000 flying hours and had carried over twenty million passengers. Monarch’s last ever passenger carrying A300 service, flight MON300, was scheduled to depart at 14:40 and was booked to carry a full load of 347 enthusiasts, guests and senior staff from the airline. Enthusiasts came not only from the UK, but also from across Europe and even from the USA to fly the A300 one last time. The crew selected for the last flight were all very experienced. By early 2014, all of Monarch’s A300 type rated first officers had moved on to other fleets, so for the final few weeks Monarch’s A300 flights were operated by two captains. Monarch Chief Pilot Captain Martin Pound was in charge of the last flight. Captain Pound said “I was the first [A300] project pilot appointed in 1989. I was involved the in the delivery of the aircraft and the first commercial flight from London Gatwick to Toulouse in 1990. I flew the first flight and now I am flying the last. I am very proud, but at the same time very sad.” On the last flight, Captain Pound was assisted by Captain Stewart Smith, another very experienced A300 pilot. Both Captain Pound and Captain Smith were looking forward to going on Airbus A320-family training courses after G-OJMR had been retired, but they also agreed that they had enjoyed their many years of flying the A300. Captain Smith said “It’s a pilot’s aeroplane, a pleasure to fly by hand rather than an aeroplane flown primarily by computers.” In addition to the wealth experience on the flight deck, the passengers in the cabin were looked after by a cadre of cabin crew who were also extremely familiar with the A300 – between them they had accumulated almost 208 years of flying during their careers.

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