The Queen of the Skies

| | Comments (1)

747s are the most beautiful aircraft in the skies.  Concordes were too but they don't fly anymore.  A380s are just big and fat.  No the 747 was just beautiful.  And I am going to sorely miss them. 

My first flight on a 747 was on VH-ECB in 1983 when we went to America for the first time. This was taken at our stopover in Honolulu.  

VH-ECB in Honolulu

On the next leg of the flight, from Honolulu to LA, David and I were allowed to go up to the cockpit before we arrived into LA.  I remember seeing LA from the cockpit of that 747.

My last ever flight on a 747 was from Hong Kong to Sydney coming home from our East Asia cruise.  In fact the flight over and the flight back were both on 747s.  I was hoping to go up to the flight deck on one of those flights.  Unfortunately we very late getting into Hong Kong on the way over and didn't want to hassle them, and I was far too tired on the way back.  So that was the end of that.  Here is VH-OJS in Hong Kong, the last 747 I ever flew on.

VH-OJS in Hong Kong

The week before last, Qantas flew its last 747 around Sydney, Brisbane and Canberra for a series of farewell flights.

And as it turns out, I'd been on that particular 747 before - when she was painted bright red Wunala Dreaming in 2004.

Here she is at Sydney Airport next to VH-EBU (Nalanji Dreaming).

VH-OEJ and VH-EBU at Sydney Airport

And here she is at LA as we left for Denver.

VH-OEJ in LAX

Since I couldn't get a ticket for the joy flight out of Canberra because Qantas' website sux donkey balls, I did the next best thing and headed out with a bunch of planespotters to see a 747 in flight for likely the very last time (it got a lot more crowded than this later on).

Planespotters

I actually took this on my phone looking through binoculars.

747 in Canberra

There was a pretty strong southerly wind, and most flights were taking off to the south.  The tower asked which way they wanted to go, and they said they wanted to take off to the north, with the tail wind.  

VH-OEJ taking off from Canberra

VH-OEJ taking off from Canberra

They turned quite quickly round to the south - a lot more tightly than any of the commercial flights.  She passed round the back of Mt Ainslie behind the trees.

VH-OEJ rounding Mt Ainslie

And then headed down to the Snowy Mountains, so we all stood around waiting for three quarters of an hour.  We were all watching the radar for the return, and I spotted her first through the binoculars.

And then the flybys of Canberra.

First from the south up and over Mt Ainslie where we all were.

VH-OEJ over Canberra

VH-OEJ over Canberra

VH-OEJ over Canberra

VH-OEJ over Canberra

Going pretty slowly too - flaps were partly extended

VH-OEJ over Canberra

VH-OEJ over Canberra

Coming back over the airport

VH-OEJ over Canberra

VH-OEJ over Canberra

VH-OEJ over Canberra

VH-OEJ over Canberra

Did a loop, then came back the other way

VH-OEJ over Canberra

VH-OEJ over Canberra

VH-OEJ over Canberra

VH-OEJ over Canberra

VH-OEJ over Canberra

Then another loop and straight into land.

VH-OEJ landing in Canberra

Water cannon salute (C-130 taking off in the background)

Water canon salute

Water canon salute

Last week VH-OEJ left for the Mojave Desert to the aircraft graveyard :(  But on the way she left this goodbye..

747 farewell

Goodbye Queen of the Skies

1 Comments

Sylvia Johnson said:

That post brought back some lovely memories. I was almost crying by the time I got to the end. Glad you put the last flight farewell picture in.

July 28, 2020 9:38 AM

   

Leave a comment

Kazza's "Boring Life Of a Geek" aka BLOG

IT geek, originally from Sydney, moved to Canberra in 2007. Married to "the sweetie", aka Stu. Prolific photographer, Lego junkie and tropical fish keeper.

Kazza the Blank One home