What a night. I arrived at DFW airport around 1600 for the last flight back to Chicago departing at 1800. There were storms in Chicago last night and we ended up delayed, boarded late, sat on the plane for an hour, got off of the plane, tried to find something to eat but everything at DFW (United’s area anyway) closes at 2100, re-boarded the plane, sat for another hour then finally got clearance to taxi and take off.
We taxied out to the runway and started to throttle up for takeoff, then the engines went back to idle. We aborted takeoff and got back onto the taxiway. I wondered what was going on, then heard the spinning of the flap motors. I had a window seat and looked out the window to see the leading edge flaps coming down. I could not believe it, they tried to take off without the flaps configured for takeoff. Even with the long runways at DFW I think this would be an issue because the tires are probably not rated at a high enough speed to take off without the flaps extended. The pilots probably received a fault when they tried to go to takeoff thrust and realized what they had done. I was a little concerned after this.
We made it to Chicago without any issues. I was hoping that since about everything was delayed getting into Chicago my connecting flight might still be there. But, I don’t have that kind of luck, it was long gone. It was 0100 and I didn’t want to wait around for a 0900 flight to Moline so I rented a car to drive the 3 hours back to Iowa. Well, they are doing construction work on the exits at O’hare and had 3 lanes closed down to one. It took over an hour to get from the terminal to the car rental lot on the bus. It was 0200 by the time I finally got into a car to start driving home. It was one of the longest drives home from Chicago I have ever had. I got home around 0530 and went to bed for a few hours. I hate it when this stuff happens.