Northwest Airlines Flight 17
On July 8th, We (my family) begin our journey to Hong Kong by waking up at 6am. I was very exciting that morning. After having breakfast, I checked with NWA about our flight this afternoon. At 10am, we throw our luggage into the car and headed toward JFK. The ride takes about 10 mins, which is quite fast (I’m living around 3 miles from LGA). The check-in took place at Terminal 4. This is the “new” Terminal 4. It had been completely renovated. The old terminal 4(which divided into 2 section, 4W & 4E) had been demolished, leaving debris on the ground.
At 1430, we board our beautiful 747-400, N668US (6308), the sky was still cloudy and JFK is still using rwy 22R for arrival and departure. We are parking next to other international arrivals and departures such as EL AL 747-400 going to Tel Aviv, a BWIA 737-800, Swissair A330-200 and Sabena A340-300 and North American 737-800. Once I step into the aircraft, I request a cockpit visit, the FAs were glad to let me in! There are 2 jumpseat, 2 pilots & 2 FO. They told me they are going to switch position after 7 hours of flight. They are talkative, funny and always making jokes with us (there is another visitor in the cockpit). The 747-400 had a digitalized cockpit, which give pilots a clear display on what happening on our aircraft.
After the doors shut, we taxi slowly toward runway 13R(just opened! Approach in use is VOR/DME 13L/R) through taxiway L, A, N, P, PE. A TWA MD-83 was in front of us. After a Delta 767-300 landed, we used just about 8,000 feet on a 14,572 feet runway and we are airborne! The climb was smooth and fast and we reached about FL390 (39,000feet) in Canada (told by the captain during cockpit visit). During the flight over New York State, there were many CB which makes our ride a little bumpy. About 45mins leaving JFK, the FAs start serving us with water and crackers. At about 1730EST, we have our dinner. It’s either beef in green curry sauce and chicken in sweet & sour sauce, with smoked fish appetizer, tossed green salad, soft roll with butter, mixed fruit, after dinner chocolate and spring water.
In this 13 hour flight, it was all daylight outside, but FAs require us to close the shade, 4 movies were played during the flight (sorry, I forgot to take the inflight magazine, so I don’t remember their names, except “Antitrust” and “Emperor’s new Groove”!) many passengers try to stay awake and watch the movies. Each time the movie ended, the lavatory must be packed with dozen of people. At about 0200EST, FAs start serving us with breakfast, again, you can choose Swiss Cheese and Tomato pesto omelet or fried rice with teriyaki pork with “fresh” fruit, pound cake and orange juice. Just a while after meal trays had been collected, we start our Tokyo descent was fast but little bumpy, we have a smooth landing on runway 16 and taxi though A8, R, T-N, O, D to gate 43.
Northwest Airlines Flight 17
At 1815 Tokyo time, we realize our flight had been delayed 1 hour late due to late arrivals from Detroit. At the terminal, NWA agents keep announcing “Due to flight overbooked, any passengers who would like to arrive one day late would recieve free roundtrip ticket from anywhere in the US, and a free night stay at Tokyo”.
Until we board our flight, I heard only a few people accept the offer. This time we have a older 747-200 (N638US/6638). I asked the FA again for a cockpit visit, she was also glad to let me in. The cockpit was bigger that a 747-400 with only one jumpseat, but added a engineer seat. The flight crew were even more talkative compare to the previous flight. They were also funny and entertaining. The FO even let me sit in his seat for a photograph. Although 747-200 is a old plane, however, there were digitalized engine display and new equipment such as WX radar, INS & GPS.
We departed from Tokyo at runway 16 and use Sekiyado 1 departure. We have some light turbulence over the skies of Japan, we level off at FL350just about 30 mins after departure. While dinner is distributing, we fly over Tokyo suburbs, Osaka, west of Taiwan and we have clear skies all the way. The moon was hanging in the sky like a ball, under the reflection of the Pacific Ocean, the moon was spectacular.
Our flight used DOTMI transition and directed to MAGOG, ASTRA, MELON and Tung Lung VOR, the we used the ILS/DME 07L approach, which take us from Tung Lung VOR at 8,000 feet, GUAVA at 7,000, SOKOE at 3,000, LIMES, NLG21 (it’s a fix!) at 2,000 and intercept the glideslope at 1,700. We almost use the whole runway to stop our plane. Our plane use A8 to exit the runway, then we taxi from A9 to A, W, H, J8, H7 and to gate S35. There were some CX-leased plane such as a China Southwest A340. At 1120 local (HKT), the airport was dead silence, not even one flashing light from those service vehicle.
In conclusion, I enjoy the flight very much, even it’s a 19 hour trip from JFK-NRT-HKG. The food was quite delicious this time. I remember two years ago I said NWA food was the worst I ever tasted. However, the Economy Class are too small, almost no legroom. No PTV!
For those who don’t know:
FL = Flight level (FL370 =37,000 feet)
Rwy = Runway
PTV = Private TV
WX = Weather
Please Give me some suggestions!
Return trip report will be posted 24 hours later!