Special Reports

MD-11 Farewell

By Aviamagazine | November 2014
Last MD-11 Pax flight on the planet.

After 21 year in service with KLM, the last scheduled passenger McDonnell Douglas MD-11 flight was operated on October 26, 2014, followed by three special farewell flights on November 11. These were to be the last passenger flights of the type in the world. Tickets for this event were sold within minutes, but Aviamagazine was fortunate to been on one of the flights.

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With facing out the MD-11 came an and to 80 years of Douglas aviation within KLM. In fact, KLM operated all Douglas family aircraft. DC-2, DC-3, DC-4, DC-5, DC-6, DC-7, DC-8, DC-9, DC-10 and the last Douglas build MD-11. KLM started flying the DC-2 in 1934.

Around 700 enthusiast were fortunate to get tickets for the three flights. We were on KL9897, the second, and before last flight. KLM opened a special row of checkin desks in terminal 1 of Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, were normal checkin procedures were followed. After clearing security we headed for gate C22 were busses were ready to take us to R platform, normally used as cargo ramp. With a small goody back, also containing lunch, we entered R platform where Florence Nightingale (PH-KCD) was waiting our arrival. Nice touch were the special titles applied. Also on the ramp was sister ship PH-KCB and KLM (DDA) DC-3 PH-PBA.

At 13:00 the captain started the three General Electric CF-6 turbofans and we were pushed back for a short drive to runway 18L. At 13:09 we rotated off the runway banking right and heading for the coast at 3200 feet (1000m). We continued along the coast towards Zeeland while the cabin attendants supplied juice or special farewell wine. As an additional treat we found a copy of KLMs 230 page farewell book on our seats. We passed over rotterdam on low altitude and headed for Zierikzee climbing to 10000 feet (3000m). After that we made a left turn, heading for Breda, Utrecht and Amersfoort, at 16000 feet (5000m). The flight continued over de Flevopolder heading Lelystad. Meanwhile, the flight crew was doing a polonaise through the aisles, and enthusiasts were writing there farewells on the overhead bins and the back of the seats. We followed the dike Lelystad - Enkhuizen and made a final turn at Alkmaar lining up for a final at runway 18R. We touched down at 14:08 and taxied back to R platform.

After leaving the aircraft we are able to photograph the KCB and DC-3 before heading back to the terminal.




Later that day KL9899 left for the final flight, making history when it landed at 16:39 as the last passenger flight of a MD-11.

In all a great day with lots of compliments to KLM for organizing this historic event!

KLM MD-11 Fleet

Overview of KLMs former MD-11 fleet.



Amy Johnson

Flown to Crestview, FL for parting out. (26 September 2014)


Maria Montessori

Flown to Crestview, FL for parting out (8 December 2014)


Marie Curie

Flown to San Bernardino, CA for parting out. (11 April 2014)


Florence Nightingale

Flown to Mohave, CA for parting out. (11 January 2015)


Audrey Hepburn

Flown to Mojave, CA. (17 November 2014)


Annie Romein

Flown to Victorville, CA for parting out. (4 January 2013)


Maria Callas

Flown to Victorville, CA for parting out. (23 April 2013)


Anna Pavlova

Flown to Victorville, CA for parting out. (3 August 2012)


Mother Teresa

Flown to Victorville, CA for parting out. (12 October 2012)


Ingrid Bergman

Flown to Victorville, CA for parting out. (9 December 2013)

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