Eg777er From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2000, 1834 posts, RR: 15 Posted (13 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 2745 times:
Well, I’m writing this at 41 thousand feet over Prague (we have just flown over Dresden, fact-fans) on the way from London Heathrow to Bahrain.
My day started bright and early at 7am with a wake up call at my flat in Berkshire. My car was due to arrive at 7.30 am for the hours drive into Heathrow (the flight was due to leave LHR Terminal 4 at 1025). Unfortunately the car did not arrive until 8am. By this time I was getting a bit worried. I live in Crowthorne, which is a small town in the South East of England. Usually it takes ages to get to Heathrow in the mornings because of all the traffic. However when the car came it was a BMW 528i SE (according to the driver!) which had very nice acceleration thank you very much…doing over 100mph on a stretch of ‘A’ road between Ascot and Windsor. Amazing speeds for the rush hour traffic!
The route we took was through Windsor (past the castle) and then onto the M4, and then the M4 spur into the airport. We hit the Northern Perimeter Road and turned left to head for Terminal 4. I saw a Lufthansa A319 landing on runway 27R. When we headed down to the East Side Maintenance Area. There were loads of aircraft there, including lots of BA 747-400s, a CX 744 and A340 and there was also the tail of an ex-BA now Qantas B767-300ER sticking it’s backside out of one of the hangars. After this nice tour of Heathrow’s facilities we arrived at T4 at about 0910. Checked in and received my pre-assigned seat – 26K. I was told that the seat next to me (26K is a window, the arrangement on the 777 is 3-3-3 so the middle seat) was empty and the flight was not full. It’s always nice to have a free seat next to you.
After buying a Daily Telegraph in WHSmith I went through security and got some food at ‘Pret a Manger’. Boarding was through gate 1A on a bus AGAIN. I don’t think that I have ever been on a jetway with this flight, it is always a damn bus!! So went on the bus, got on the a/c and found my seat. Next door to us was a BA 744, G-CIVA. Our aircraft was a B777-200A, regn G-ZZZA, named ‘Sir Frank Whittle’. Was this the first 777 BA took delivery of?
The seat next to me was indeed free, and the stewardess told me that there was plenty of space as there was only 60 passengers on the flight. Nice one BA, making lots of money again! We pushed back a bit late and had a short taxi to the take off runway 27L. As we taxied we pulled in to the side taxiway to allow Concorde to taxi past on her daily BA001 to New York JFK. What a roar as she took off! As we rolled onto the runway and accelerated I saw another LH A319 (might it have been the one that I saw landing on the way in? Who knows!) and an Air India 744 and CY A310. Also, just for you Teahan there was the ubiquitous SR A330. I also saw the GF A340 in the special colour scheme take off before us. It is undoubtedly going to Bahrain, so we will see if our allegedly faster 777 (according to Boeing anyway) will catch up. With only 60 pax we should be going fairly quickly, and we are flying as high as flight level 410.
Lunch was served, Lamb medallions washed down with a very nice Vin d’pays de Oc Chardonnay. I was glad to see that my PTV was working – for the last 4 flights on BA it hasn’t. I know there are a load of Americans on this forum that will say ‘I get stuck on a 4 hour trans-con with no drinks and 28in of legroom and I have to pay $4 for a pair of headphones and you should be lucky you have a PTV at all even if it doesn’t work…’ but to be honest when I see a PTV in front of me I expect it to work. The films howeve where not what was promised in the IFE guide – I was promised ‘American Beauty’ but had to settle for the World is Not Enough (007) again! A very good film – Denise Richards: “I’ve got to get it back otherwise someone’s going to have my ass” – Pierce Brosnan: “First things first”. LOL
That’s all for now. We are now almost halfway to Bahrain, flying at 998 Km/h with 4:15 to go, and as distance of 2225 miles until touchdown. I’ll write the rest and upload tomorrow morning. Now back to 007 on the PTV…
Well it’s now Friday afternoon, 7th July and I am finishing off this trip report for Airliners.net. The rest of the flight was pretty good. I got a cockpit visit whilst about an hour from touchdown. There was a Northern Irish First Officer and an English captain. Both very hospitable. At the time we were cruising at 410 at a speed of M0.84. I asked loads of questions about the cabin air quality – the captain said that BA were conducting an investigation into alleged problems with the 777, but he said that most of the incidents involved smokers whose lungs could not cope with being 12 hours at a height of 7,500ft (the height the a/c is pressurised to.). I spoke to the F/O about the now-legendary LHR ATC delays – he said he was stuck at LGW trying to get to Atlanta on the Saturday which resulted in him having a 4-hour delay! He was a great guy, had flown Pipers, 146s, 747-400s and then the latest 777s. The captain was asking me if I was flying out on business to Bahrain – had to break it to him that I was only 17…
I was kicked out by the CSD (Cabin Service Director) after about 20 minutes and returned to 26K. We started descending over Dharhran into the haze which made the ground very hard to see. We came in towards Bahrain with the airfield on my side of the a/c – I thought we were going to do the traditional overflight and landing on Runway 30 from the South. However we suddenly banked away from the airport and entered the traffic pattern for the Northern end of the runway, runway 12. We lined up, gear came down and so did the flaps, and floated onto a very smooth landing. A Gulf Air A320 in the anniversary colour scheme was waiting to take off, as was a Qatar Airways A320. A DC-8 landed after us but I couldn’t see what airline operated it. Pulled up at the terminal was the GF A340 I saw at LHR plus an EK A310-300, a Kuwait Airways A310 and the usual bevy of Gulf Air A320s.
Went through immigration and met my parents. Seamless.
Went to the airport at 6.10am this morning (I’m supposed to be on holiday!) to fetch my brother. He was on GF008 arriving from LHR – equipment was an A330-200. Obviously GF are using the A340 on the 002 outbound from LHR and the 007 inbound because they need the capacity. Don’t know if they are making any money though – there were only 80 people on my brother’s flight!
Jet Setter From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 9, posted (13 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 2458 times:
To my knowledge, in the UK at least, charter airlines giving out newspapers is quite common. Virgin Sun have The Sun (or The Express for Premium Passengers) Bitannia have The Express and Air 2000 have The Independent and The Mirror.
CV880 From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 1049 posts, RR: 2 Reply 10, posted (13 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 2456 times:
Eg777er -- sounds like a nice trip. You had asked about G-ZZZA, and I'm working from memory, but it is indeed one of the first batch of 777s for BA. I believe that G-ZZZC was actually the first delivered since ZA would have been in the test program: as far as I know, it was the first 777 with GE engines and first flew in early Feb. '95.
Bacardi182 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 1088 posts, RR: 1 Reply 11, posted (13 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 2434 times:
so the gulf air A340 arrived before the 777? But i thought the 777 was supposed to be some special time machine and the french peice of crap airplane was supposed to go as fast as my pinto? (American sarcasm at it's best!)
Eg777er From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2000, 1834 posts, RR: 15 Reply 12, posted (13 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 2435 times:
ZZZA was in the 'classic' livery - even had 'Sir Frank Whittle' on the side.
Bacardi182, we were at a cruising speed of M.84 all the way, but bear in mind that the GF A340 was about no.4 for takeoff just as we were pushing back from the hard stands of T4 (by the Cargo Terminal) and we also had to 'pull over' to the side to let Concorde past.
I think we caught up a bit - we had some ATC delays on the way out of LHR - they held us at 6,000ft for a while in the initial climb.
Tailscraper From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 16, posted (13 years 5 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 2388 times:
Sorry for the delay in replying, but I´m a busy person-and am in Abu at a friends place. J-Class? How about F? Dad´s Co. pays so...
It was an A330 to my surprise, I don´t update myself with their timetable though. It was pretty much a run-of-the-mill flight apart from a rather spectacular GA on approach, flipping Egyptair can´t get off the bloody R/W in time; they´re still giving out those bloody awful Arabian Castle sculptures, they just don´t get the message that no-one wants them, they´re as bulky as hell, and tacky too.
Eg777er From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2000, 1834 posts, RR: 15 Reply 19, posted (13 years 5 months 1 week 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 2377 times:
Ahem methinks you protest too much.
After all, perhaps the poor people would not be poor if they didn't buy all the cigarettes? and if they stopped smoking they wouldn't be dead? Noone forces anyone to smoke - they start because they want to and most people can't stop even if they want to because they lack the personal volition.
Anyway, both your posts were completely off topic.
And an American criticising a curcuitous route (you come from the land of conspicuous consumption) does not stand up...
Ahem From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 20, posted (13 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 2364 times:
Hurrah.... just knew this was my lucky day....(being humbled by the world's most intelligent and eloquent 17 year old!--WHY THANK YOU SIR WHAT AN [UNDESERVED] HONOR)
Its common knowledge that big tobacco gets away with in the third world what they can no longer do in the first, namely targeting children at a young age, mass-marketing campaigns aimed at people too
uneducated to know better, etc. This was recently documented by the BBC in the documentary series 'Life' currently airing on BBC World.
Trouble with your little analysis is that the vast majority of the third world does not understand the negative effects of prolonged tobacco use, and the tobacco industry does absolutely nothing to educate its customers in this regard. But of what use is a mere warning label in a country with 30-40% literacy rate?
I'm off topic? Since this question was directed at Tailscraper, how do you explain your uninvited contribution?
This lad jet-sets all over the globe, sipping fine champagne in his padded Cradle-seat---all paid for, of course, by an industry that literally gets away with murder.
My simple question was, does the boy ever feel even a pang of guilt? The question still stands for him to answer, if he should so choose.
Seems pretty straightforward, does it not?
As to your last 'comment', How many people do you know that travel LHR-DXB via JNB?? I see no reason why this "...does not stand..." Keep up the racism and hatred though.
Ahem From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 21, posted (13 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 2354 times:
Eg777er, many apologies.
Looking back on it, I realize I am off-topic.
Oh wow Mr. Nigel R. Neo-Colonial! I really enjoyed your fascinating trip that every other dumb sod in the world takes every day of his life.
But pray tell, when you were watching 007 on the telly, didn't you notice the slightest bit of coincidence between Bond's derring-do and that of your own daily existence??! How do people tell you apart? Remarkable, isn't it?
Good thing those nice pilots didn't fall unconcious, but if they did thank God you were on hand to singlehandedly land the plane. Good to know we have people of such caliber-OR SHOULD I SPELL THAT CALIBRE-in her majesty's employ.
I do wish you the best of luck rescuing those poor Bahrainis from themselves!
Eg777er From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2000, 1834 posts, RR: 15 Reply 23, posted (13 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 2330 times:
'Racism & Hatred????' WHAT!!!!????
'How does a 17 (now 18 actually) year old boy get the balls to insult an entire race of people' Where are you coming from with this? Where have I ever insulted anyone from any race??
'Clearly you're a person who's never worked a day in his life.' - Well you're wrong again, 2 months work experience at Bahrain Airport for the worlds' favourite.
FYI I have watched 'LIFE' on BBC World but it was a load of crap and not worth watching.
'This lad jet-sets all over the globe, sipping fine champagne in his padded Cradle-seat'
Now here we come to the crux of the argument. YOU ARE A SAD AND JEALOUS PERSON! Who cares what Tailscrapers Dads job is - he is just a professional doing a job - as are most people in Bahrain, Dubai, London or anywhere else in the world. Your future president, if you take the argument to the extremes that you are, is directly responsible for 'murdering' people in an inhumane act that most of the world abandoned 50 years ago...the death penalty.
Anyway, just to whet your appetite - and your jealousy - even further here are some choice pics: