After a very busy two days in a series of long meetings it was time to head home to Perth. After talking to my boss I found out that we would be finishing a bit earlier than expected at just after 4pm. This meant I would be able to switch from my 20:40 QF653 flight, which would be operated by a 737-400 to an earlier flight which would be operated by a 747-338. Hmm I wonder which one I would pick. After a quick phone call to our travel people my flight was changed. During lunch I had informed my colleague who I had traveled form Perth that I had switched to her flight back home. She asked if I had checked in yet? I asked her as to what she meant and that is when I was shown something which ahs since changed the way I travel. That is On-Line Checkin. I checked in picked my seat which was 25A and judging by the seat map tonight’s flight looked rather light. I then emailed my boarding pass to a Melbourne colleague’s computer and she printed my boarding pass.
Work finished just after 4pm as promised and my interstate colleagues as well as my manager gathered our things and headed to Melbourne Tullamarine Airport. Since my manger had to go to Sydney that night I scored a lift with him. We fought our way through the heavy Melbourne traffic and arrived at Tullamarine about 50mins later. My Manager parked his car in the multistory car park and it was a short walk via the footbridge to the Qantas terminal. Perth Airport needs to take a leaf out of Melbourne Airport’s book. Domestic terminals located next to the international terminal and they have multistory parking.
Since I had already got my boarding pass I just needed to drop my bags off at the “Quick Bag Drop off” That all happened rather smoothly, then it was through security and upstairs into the Qantas Club. The Qantas club was very spacious and busy but because of its size it did not feel cramped. We had a great view over the Qantas Domestic terminal centre apron. We found my other colleagues and I dumped my stuff with them. I was starving and knew it would be some time before we would eat so I headed over to the buffet. There was not much to choose from and as always all the hot food was gone with a swarm of business men waiting for the next batch. I got a plate and got some fruit, cold cuts, cheese and some sun dried tomatoes. Qantas Club should think about bigger plates. But I guess bigger plates equate to bigger serves which means more food which means more money.
My aircraft was already at the gate and was surrounded by a many service vehicles. Today I would be flying on VH-EBV “City of Geraldton” who is the only West Australian christened 747-338. There was not much action happening at the Qantas terminal but I did manage to catch VH-VXP “Logan” with her 75th Anniversary Trans Pacific Crossing commemorative decal. My interstate colleagues left as flights to Sydney and Adelaide were called for boarding. It was now dark out side and as usual only us Perth people were left. We decided to head to the gate as it was long walk to gate 11 and we just wanted to get home.
As we arrived at gate 11 we were surprised to find that we were boarding already. And it was 25mins before departure. Having a 747 at gate 11 is a very tight fit indeed. The nose of the aircraft was right near the glass window. The fact that the departure gate is at a level of a 767 meant that having to look up at the huge beast at such a close distance made VH-EBV look enormous. There was no line to board the aircraft due to our light load tonight. I had my boarding pass which I printed out at work earlier scanned and I boarded through door1L. I was met at the door by a lovely stewardess who directed me to my seat. I thought I would be lucky to have the whole row to myself but as the boarding process went on a gentlemen later took seat C. at least there was a blocked seat between us. In fact this is the furtherest at the front I have been seated on the 747.
Door 1L was the first to be closed and it’s servicing jetway was retracted. A ground engineer came down the stairs and stood by door 2L and was filling out some paper work. Eventually he left and the door was closed. We were then very slowly and carefully pushed back from our tight gate and faced west. Our engines were started one by one and as that was happening our personal video screens switched from screen saver mode (with screenshots from the Qantas commercial) to the safety demonstration. I love the deep groans of those old Rolls Royce engines as they started up. I could see the ground crew walk away from us after disconnecting the tug and holding the pin in the air.
We began our long taxi to runway 34. We slowly passed the international terminal where an Emirates A340-500 and 777-31H could be seen. It is quite amazing how much Emirates’ presence has grown in Australia in that last 10 years. As we taxied out to the runway the cabin lights were dimmed and we were immersed in darkness for the takeoff. As we passed the Cargo ramp we could see two 747-400 freighters. One was an Atlas Air aircraft the other was a Singapore Airlines Cargo Mega Ark with her red beacon brightly flashing as she was slowly being pushed back from her stand. We turned towards the runaway and held short before turning onto it. Form what I could see we would not be using the entire length of the runway as we had turned onto it just after the Cargo ramp and I could see many lights of the runway which would be behind us. This was probably due our light load today. I could see two set of landing lights lined up with runway 34. I thought we would wait till these aircraft would land before our takeoff roll.
That would not be the case and our landing lights and strobes were switched on and we then began our taxi again and swung onto the runway and began our takeoff roll almost immediately. Because I was in front of the wing the landing lights illuminated my window and the inside of my cabin. Our takeoff roll was not very long and we gracefully rotated and were airborne. Soon after leaving the ground we made a sharp left hand turn to face to the East and head towards Mount Gambier and climbed to our assigned flight level which was FL380. It was not too long before the CSM made announcement about tonight’s flight to Perth and informed us about tonight’s meal service.
I settled down and flicked through the PTV menu to see what was on offer. Now the 747-338 is not equipped with AVOD and has less of a selection of movies (I think only eight) that the 747-400 and A330-303. I decided to watch Nacho Lebre. It was not too long before the meal service began. Since we were at the front we received the meal service very quickly. Tonight’s choice was between Fish Curry or Pasta with Tomatoes. I opted for the fish was delicious and this came with accompanied by the usual bread roll, Twix chocolate bar, cheese and crackers. Complementary beer and wine was available for this City Flyer service. The crew also came past to offer the usual tea or coffee.
Once the meal service was eventually cleared away and my movie (which was not very good) had ended I decided to do a walk through the cabin and found many spare seats. Some rows were completely vacant. Not everyday you get to travel on a near empty 747. I estimate about 100 people. The once I returned to my seat the crew came past and offered ice cream. I enjoyed that and decided to watch some documentaries as I love nature ones. I watched Richard Attenbourgh’s Planet earth which is fantastic but was feeling sleepy and actually nodded off.
I had about a 40 min nap and when I awoke I switch my PTV to map view and saw we were still at FL380 and we were nearing the Town of Esperence in Western Australia. Our flight path was near identical to the flight to Melbourne. I had taken 2 days earlier. We would make our descent in under an hour from now. Before the descent the captain informed us of the weather in Perth which was fine and thanked us for flying on Qantas. The engines were throttled back and we began our descent. We banked to the right and began to track north-northwest. I guess we would be using runway 21 tonight.
The cabin lights were switched back on and the cabin crew did their walk through the cabin to collect any left over service items and to ensure seat belts were fasten and seats and tray tables were up right. There was not much to see outside as we were flying over the country side but as we were getting closer to Perth we could see more and more lights from houses and roads and the odd car. The cabin lights were dimmed again for landing and the seat belt sign came on and the crew took their seats. We were flying very slowly now and it felt the engines were at idle. We banked to the left for our base leg for runway 21. The flaps were lowered slowly and the landing lights were switched back on. Again my window and seat in front of me was fully illuminated due to the light.
As we turned onto final for the runway the landing gear was lowered and the flaps were lowered into their final position. The engines revved up a bit to maintain airspeed. By now we were well and truly over the suburbs of Perth and I could make out streets and cars very easily. It actually felt like we were really low. Because I was seated in front of the wing the pitch of the nose felt very high. The houses soon disappeared then black then all of a sudden runway and taxi lights. Touchdown was in smooth 747 style and heavy reverse thrust was used to slow us down.
The international terminal looked quiet except for a Garuda 737 and a MASKargo 747-200F. We exited on a taxiway to our right and then turned on to another taxiway to turn parallel to runway 21. On this taxiway we continue traveling south taking us away from the terminal before we turned left onto another taxi way then back onto the runway and back tracked on runway 21. As we back tracked the engines were spooled up to give us maximum taxi speed. We slowed right down when we reached the taxiway that would lead us to the Qantas Domestic Terminal.,
The landing lights were switched off as we turned onto this taxiway and the flaps were retracted. It was then a very shot taxi to gate 3. As we taxied past gate 2 we could se a Qantas A330-303 “Cairns” parked there. She had just come from Sydney as QF571 and was unloading her passengers. She looked mighty fine all light up like a Christmas tree and it was very cool to see all the people through the window move down the aisles to disembark. We too pulled slowly into the gate and came to a halt. The engines were cut and the seatbelt signs were turned off. Since we were only using door 1L we had to wait for all the business class passengers to disembark before we left the aircraft.
Baggage claim was a nightmare with both an A330 and a 747 arriving at the same time. At least our flight was fairly empty. The Sydney flight looked very full. My bag did not take to long to arrive. One I had collect it I was to trek to my car that was parked miles away in the long term car park
GROUND HANDLING: 5/10
The Melbourne Qantas Terminal whilst still modern could use a little bit of a spruce up, particularly the check in area. Qantas Club there was fine. Good views over the central apron. It was fairly busy but it did not feel crowded. Perth again let down Qantas. Having the two largest types currently in the Qantas fleet arrive 5mins within each other did put pressure on Perth’s arrival hall. Thank god Qantas is investing $50 in the expanding the terminal but like everyone else has said this can only been seen as a Band-Aid solution. But I hate to think what disruption the building work will cause.
Like I have said about my previous Qantas 747-338 flight, to an untrained eye you could be mistaken to think that VH-EBV was one of the newest aircraft in the Qantas fleet and not one of the oldest. She would be the oldest now since the retirement of VH-EBT & EBU. Clean comfortable cabin. Those PTVs really have brought EBV into the 21st century and having her half full was fantastic.
Cheerful crew this evening. Always had a smile on their face.
Meal was delicious. Sometimes I wish they would have bigger servings
Selection was ok. No AVOD is really annoying. I am sure that pax on the 747-338 flights across the pacific will notice that the limited amount of entertainment on offer on the non AVOD PTVs.
X FACTOR: 4/5:
Great flight, I really enjoyed the 747 across from Melbourne I can see why Qantas is doing very well with these aircraft on trans continental runs.
PerthGloryFan From Australia, joined Oct 2000, 751 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (7 years 8 months 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 8318 times:
Quoting 9MMPD (Thread starter): We exited on a taxiway to our right and then turned on to another taxiway to turn parallel to runway 21. On this taxiway we continue traveling south taking us away from the terminal before we turned left onto another taxi way then back onto the runway and back tracked on runway 21. As we back tracked the engines were spooled up to give us maximum taxi speed. We slowed right down when we reached the taxiway that would lead us to the Qantas Domestic Terminal.,
Doncha love that!!! That's Perth for you - taxiways Juliet and Hotel are a bit tight for a B747, either that or they were used as a pakring lot for the overnighting masses of B717s, B737s and BAe146s, so you had to go back up 21 to taxiway Delta.
9MMPD From Australia, joined Oct 2005, 291 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 8075 times:
Quoting PerthGloryFan (Reply 1): Doncha love that!!! That's Perth for you - taxiways Juliet and Hotel are a bit tight for a B747, either that or they were used as a pakring lot for the overnighting masses of B717s, B737s and BAe146s, so you had to go back up 21 to taxiway Delta.
I believe the reason why we had to back track was due to the tight fit past the Virgin terminal and the old control tower. There were a heap of Fokkers as well as 717s, a couple of 737s, 727s and other aircraft on the domestic side. They really showed that fly in fly out ops are booming.
9MMPD From Australia, joined Oct 2005, 291 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 7925 times:
Quoting QantasAirways (Reply 3): Another awesome report! Gotta love these Perth reports
How often are you flying PER-SYD?
Hi QantasAirways I am not sure how many times each year I get to go to Sydney which is a pitty because I love that city. My divison's head office is in Sydney and my head office is Melbourne but I report to Brisbane because believe it or not they call that my regional office. At least I don't have to report to our big head office which is in New Jersey. I have since done two more trips to Sydney since this report.
So my interstate trips each year are supposed to be
1 x Darwin (But I am trying to get that up to two)
2 x Brisbane (I have only been there once this year and they canceled my August trip due to me being so busy)
2 x Interstate confrences. ( The Summer confrence was held at the Gold Coast which I missed out on because was sick and our winter one was in Sydney this year. Our next confrence is in Melbourne in Feburary.
1 x training or unexpected meeting. (Last year I had to fly to Melbourne and this year I had to go to Sydeny with minimal notice.
1 x trip with Friends or family. (Last year was Sydney with friends, this year was Kuala Lumpur with family, next year is supposed to be Vietnam with friends but we are reconsidering France, Germnay and Spain) Hopfully Vietnam as I am supposed to be saving for a house.
9MMPD From Australia, joined Oct 2005, 291 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 7526 times:
Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 5): I've booked my first 747-300 flight on QF next month, pretty exciting!!
Have a great flight. These aircraft are amazing and form the inside you can't really tell the difference between the 300 and the 400. Speaking of which QF have been doing the odd sub of the 747-338 flight with a 747-400. It does not happen often but it does happen. If you selected this flight because it was operated by a 743 then that would suck if it was asub. If you are travelling J then the sub would be good as you would gett he skybeds.
Here's a warning just brace yourself for baggage claim at Perth especially if your 747 flight is full and there is another interstate flight arriving at the same time.
Thanks B747forever. I can't take credit for most of the pictures as they were taken by some amazing photograhers. But I can take credit for having a good eye and selecting them as part of my Trip report.
Quoting InbarD (Reply 8): Nice trip report. These QF PER flights are quite popular in the trip report section. Thanks for sharing.
Yep and it looks like I'm the main offender. There will be a couple of MH TRs coming though. But again PER will be the feature airport.
Quoting Pilotdude09 (Reply 9): Perth is an absolute joke! I mean seriously how the hell QF and Westralia Aiports get away with running an airport they way they are is beyond me.
FIFO is only going to get bigger/worse as housing shortages are starting to effect the towns and companys who its cheaper to fly workers up. Also apparntley Network is getting some F100's.
Good TR as usual! always enjoy reading well written reports!
Look forward to your next one!
I know and it looks like the situation is getting worse each week. They are doing something to the international terminal though as I was there last week and they had closed off half the observation deck (have no idea what they were doing) and have made room for more parking but it still looks like it won't be enough. Come on Westralia quit stalling and just amalgimate the terminals already!
Next three Trip reports are all ready and raring to go but there seems to be a large back log of photos for myavaiation.net. As soon as they are available to view my next report will be posted.
Zkpilot From New Zealand, joined Mar 2006, 4942 posts, RR: 9
Reply 12, posted (7 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 6307 times:
Quoting 9MMPD (Thread starter): Form what I could see we would not be using the entire length of the runway as we had turned onto it just after the Cargo ramp and I could see many lights of the runway which would be behind us. This was probably due our light load today.
It is pretty rare for those trans-oz flights to use full runway as they have only a small fuel load and often not a huge amount of freight. I remember being on one recently where it was a power on brakes t/o (rather than the more usual rolling takeoff) and with a light load... once the brakes were released we were airbourne literally in about 6 seconds!
Quoting 9MMPD (Thread starter): Now the 747-338 is not equipped with AVOD and has less of a selection of movies (I think only eight) that the 747-400 and A330-303.
yeah usually 8 movies/shows plus 1 news channel and 1 airshow map.
Quoting 9MMPD (Thread starter): Once the meal service was eventually cleared away and my movie (which was not very good) had ended I decided to do a walk through the cabin and found many spare seats. Some rows were completely vacant. Not everyday you get to travel on a near empty 747. I estimate about 100 people.
Not very often is it that empty either! The 743 is very popular with pax rather than 737s (no surprises there!). Of course the 743s are configured in high-capacity layout 398 Y 52 J (450 total) vs 412 (2 class 744) and under 400 for the 3 class models (soon to be 32 less seats with the new Y+).
Quoting 9MMPD (Thread starter): Perth again let down Qantas. Having the two largest types currently in the Qantas fleet arrive 5mins within each other did put pressure on Perth’s arrival hall. Thank god Qantas is investing $50 in the expanding the terminal but like everyone else has said this can only been seen as a Band-Aid solution. But I hate to think what disruption the building work will cause.
Quoting 9MMPD (Thread starter): Baggage claim was a nightmare with both an A330 and a 747 arriving at the same time. At least our flight was fairly empty.
PER is terrible even for just one 747 flight arriving...that carousel is too small. The actual terminal upstairs is actually quite a nice terminal in most aspects.
Quoting 9MMPD (Thread starter): Like I have said about my previous Qantas 747-338 flight, to an untrained eye you could be mistaken to think that VH-EBV was one of the newest aircraft in the Qantas fleet and not one of the oldest.
Well the fwd economy toilets have been refurbished with a modern interior although they still have the blue flush toilet lol. The small overhead lockers are an instant giveaway also but otherwise a 747 is a 747 is a 747 to most pax.
9MMPD From Australia, joined Oct 2005, 291 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (7 years 6 months 1 week 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 6203 times:
Quoting NZ107 (Reply 11): Quoting 9MMPD (Thread starter):
No AVOD is really annoying
I wonder how this would have rated against the 734 haha I can just imagine the trip report if you had went on the 734..
I know you have just illustrated how spoilt I am now. Next time I think no AVOD is annoying I will remember that at least I have a PTV.
Quoting Zkpilot (Reply 12): Not very often is it that empty either! The 743 is very popular with pax rather than 737s (no surprises there!). Of course the 743s are configured in high-capacity layout 398 Y 52 J (450 total) vs 412 (2 class 744) and under 400 for the 3 class models (soon to be 32 less seats with the new Y+).
Yes I am realising how lucky I was. The following 3 Qantas 747-338 flights I have done since this trip report have been full to the brim. The next report I will be posting will be about my nightmare experience on one.