Conference time again and this time we are flying to Sydney. As usual the conference began on Monday but because I have to travel from Perth I get to fly in the day before which gives me an extra night to explore Sydney. My trip began on a very wet Perth day. I left my house just after 9am and I was at the airport about 35minutes later. I had to drive for quite some time and follow the many road signs to the Overflow Carpark as the Long term Carpark was full.
I parked my car in a fenced off field Perth Airport calls a Long Term Carpark and made my way to the entrance of the field so I can catch the complimentary shuttle bus to the Qantas Domestic Terminal. There was no shelter and it was raining so with the five minute wait for my shuttle bus me and my hand luggage got quite wet. The bus pulled up and everybody piled in but with there was not enough room for everybody and their luggage so some people had to stay behind in the rain.
The scene when I arrived at the Qantas Domestic terminal was one of Chaos. It was the middle of the school holidays there where screaming kids everywhere. The security line was so long it went out of the terminal and the line for the bag drop was just as long and there where hordes of people around the self check in kiosks. As usual I had checked in 24 hours before online so at least I could bypass that line. I joined the Qantas club bag drop line which was not very long and after I dropped off my bag I joined the security line which to my surprise was much more manageable now and was about half the size.
After passing security I headed straight to Qantas club to escape the chaotic scene in the departure hall. Qantas club was quite quiet and there were some spare seats around. I bumped into my colleague and her husband who were also traveling to Sydney for the conference and I sat with them. There were a lot of guys wearing Brisbane Lions polo shirts and I assumed that they were AFL players as the Brisbane Lions played the previous night in Perth. They were called for boarding for the Brisbane bound flight which would be operated by Boeing 737-838 VH-VXB “Yananyai Dreaming”. That flight would end up being about 20mins late due to passengers failing to board the aircraft.
My aircraft was already docked at gate two and was Boeing 747-338 VH-EBX “City of Wodonga”. I had already flown on her the previous year from Sydney as QF583. Sistership VH-EBW City of Tamworth” arrived on runway 03 and taxied to gate 3. She would be operating the flight to Melbourne. At 11:05 we were invited to board QF580 to Sydney. The boarding process happened smoothly but I was surprised to find there were no more headsets inside the aerobridge like usual. I entered through door 1L and took my seat which was 25K.
It was quite dark in the cabin as the cabin lights were off and the only illumination was coming from light coming in from the windows. And with it being an overcast day not much light was coming in at all. Looking around the cabin to was a near full flight with my section of economy being full. A nice old lady was in the seat next to me and she pulled out some headphones which had been placed in her pocket. I searched my seat pocket but there were no headphones to be found.
The doors were closed and we pushed back from the gate on time. Light rain began to fall as our engines were started up. The old lady who was sitting next to me mistook my interest out of the window as concern and said, “don’t worry dear I fly all the time and not once have I had a problem”. I assured her that I was not concerned at all and that I am some what of an aviation buff. The safety demonstration video was played as we pushed back from the gate and the video picture was all scrambled and you could not make anything out. I was hoping the problem was only connected to the video and not the In-flight entertainment. It seemed like a long engine start up but as soon as all four engines were purring we started to taxi towards the international terminal.
We were taxing towards the International terminal as there is no room past the T3 on the Domestic side of the airport to fit a Boeing 747 through. We held briefly before runway 21 for a Skywest Fokker 50 to depart before we crossed the runway. It was a long taxi to runway 03. Every time we would make a turn we could feel the nose pitch down when the brakes where applied and the groan of the landing gear as we were turning.
We turned onto runway 03 and began our takeoff roll almost immediately after lining up. We rotated inline with the International Terminal and I could see a Cathay Pacific Airbus A330 parked at Gate 52 and an Antonov 154 (probably on a military charter) parked at Gate 50. We climbed out of the terminal area quite steeply and there was much rocking due to turbulence in the vicinity. We made a sharp right-hand turn and started to track back towards the south east for Esperance. Once we had climbed above the clouds the turbulence subsided and the seatbelt signs were extinguished.
One of the pilots came over the P.A to give us some flight information and weather information about Sydney. Today we would be cruising at FL360 and our flight would have us fly over Esperance then over the bite and then making landfall again near Adelaide. The weather in Sydney was expected to be the same as Perth meaning showers
The PTVs were turned on soon after and people began watching the programming provided. There must have been a bug in the system as the menu displaying the movie titles did not correspond with what was playing. I got up from my seat and went to the galley to ask the flight attendants who were preparing our lunch services if I could grab a spare headset as I have seemed to have missed out. They kindly obliged and now armed with audio I set down and watched the Robinsons
The lunch service started about an hour in to the flight. Today’s choice was between pasta and Southern Indian Chicken Curry. I selected the curry which was absolutely delicious. The meal service came with the usual bread roll, cheese and crackers and a Twix bar. After the meal service the cabin crew walked down the aisles with tea and coffee. Once the lunch service was cleared away the cabin crew came back down the aisles dispensing Peter’s peppermint Trumpet Ice-cream,
For the rest of the flight I gazed out the window and watched the sky slowly turn red orange and purple due to the setting sun. Just before our descent the captain came over the P.A and informed us we would be landing soon at Sydney and the there were showers forecasted. We began our descent soon after and we flew from a clear sky down to the clouds which caused some mild buffeting.
When we reached 11,000ft we were flying through thick cloud and the wing lights were switched on. Out the window I could see heavy rain being illuminated by the lights from the wings. The rain looked like vertical waterfalls due to it being so heavy. The PTVs were switched off soon after so I could not monitor our progress for landing. When we descended below the clouds we were flying over the suburbs of Sydney which were brightly illuminated. We flew for quite some time over Sydney tracking North I believe. I could see the airport out the window and we were parallel with it. We did a big loop and made finals for runway 16R. It was a little choppy on our final approach as the pilots made small corrections to keep us inline with the runway through the wind and the rain.
Touchdown was very solid as the pilots firmly planted us on terra firma. We decelerated very fast on a very wet runway. We vacated the runway and made our way slowly in the darkness to gate 10. I decided to let a lot of the passengers disembark before I left the aircraft. This way I could see out the window the busy night action Sydney Airport had to offer as well as seeing the luggage containers being taken out of the forward cargo bag as I was sitting directly above it.
When I did leave the aircraft I made my way to luggage carousel 2 where it was full of people. I ran into some colleagues who had just arrived from a Brisbane flight We decided to share some cabs and to meet up after we had collected our bags from our respective carousels. I had a very long wait for my bag which I was a little frustrated about as my bag had been tagged as priority which obviously meant nothing on the flight. After about 30mins my bag had finally emerged but my Brisbane colleagues had already caught a cab for our hotel. I joined a fairly long line which moved quite quickly and in about 10mins I was on my way to the Marriott.
GROUND HANDLING: 3/10
Both Perth and Sydney Airports were chaos. Perth was being strangled with two full 747 flights and Sydney was terrible in the sense I had to wait and extraordinary length of time for my bag.
EBX was in tip top condition. It would be hard to tell that she was over 20 years old.
Friendly cabin crew who where quite attentive.
Another great meal by Qantas. I definitely recommend the Indian Chicken Curry if you are offered the choice.
Its great to have a 747 Classic equipped with PTVs. The selection was rather dull and they did not match what was displayed on the menu.
X FACTOR: 4/5:
There are some great things about having the 747s ply transcon routes such as the feel of an international service. A PTV equipped aircraft and off course the joy of flying on a 747 classic. But there are also bad points such as sharing a checkin, security and baggage claim with over 400 other people.
Andrewtang From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2001, 466 posts, RR: 10
Reply 3, posted (7 years 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 8844 times:
That's a great trip report!
Quoting EK425 (Reply 2):
Quoting Thai744 (Reply 1):
Also, I didn't realise the 300's were fitted with PTV's. Are they AVOD as found on the 400's and A330's? Or just on a continuous loop?
The 743s unfortunately don't have AVOD, but at least they still have the PTV's Smile
That's right but I honestly think the best entertainment offered onboard a Qantas 747-338 is not about the PTV but the ability to view the metallic Rolls-Royce RB211-524D engines while cruising in the sky.
(As for AVOD, I wouldn't be sure if you'd regard the view of the engines as an entertainment cos not only can you hear the sound, you can also see the engines at your demand )
PerthGloryFan From Australia, joined Oct 2000, 751 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (7 years 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 8116 times:
Another cool report - a nice read and great photos too. Keep them coming. I really should pull my finger out put a couple together myself I s'pose but lack of time and my naturally slack disposition works against that.
Still the choice of pasta or chicken I see
Quoting EK425 (Reply 2):
Even when it isn't the school holidays, it is still packed. Qantas really needs to do something about it quickly.
They have, I understand that the arrival area and extra baggage reclaim belt is finished. But the whole area is limited in size and shape plus the longer term plan to move the domestic terminals over to the eastern/international side means that QF won't be investing too much in the old terminal.
BA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8717 posts, RR: 53
Reply 5, posted (7 years 1 week 21 hours ago) and read 7689 times:
Great stuff as always, thanks.
Quoting 9MMPD (Thread starter): The old lady who was sitting next to me mistook my interest out of the window as concern and said, “don’t worry dear I fly all the time and not once have I had a problem”.
- Don't you love these folks, worrying about us regular travellers
747m8te From Australia, joined Aug 2008, 533 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (7 years 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 7421 times:
Quoting 9MMPD (Thread starter): AIRCRAFT: 9/10
EBX was in tip top condition. It would be hard to tell that she was over 20 years old.
They are kept in pretty good shape (visually that is, with nice clean cabins and with PTVs installed)
I had the same impression of VH-EBT when I flew on her back at the end of 2006, the couple sitting next to me actually commented how NEW the aircraft was, I chuckled, little did they realize it was the oldest aircraft in QF's fleet.
9MMPD From Australia, joined Oct 2005, 299 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (7 years 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 7370 times:
Quoting Thai744 (Reply 1): I really must make a trip to PER and back on one of these great 300's "for old time's sake" before they get withdrawn. Anyone know a definite date for this happening?
Hi Thai744 you better hurry up as I beleive they will abe gone from the fleet by Janurary? The domestic configured A332s will take over these flights.
Quoting Thai744 (Reply 1): Also, I didn't realise the 300's were fitted with PTV's. Are they AVOD as found on the 400's and A330's? Or just on a continuous loop?
The PTVs are on a continuous loop, which was fine for the failry short dmoestic sectors.
Quoting EK425 (Reply 2): Ahh, the joys of a 747 classic on a domestic route. I agree with you that the 743s are great to fly on. The crew are better than the normal domestic crew, as the 743 crews are international crew.
I had no idea but it makes sense though. From my QF747 domestic flights I have observed that the crew would fly out to Perth and take the aircraft back to Sydney or Melbourne. Long day, especially with delays.
Quoting Andrewtang (Reply 3): That's right but I honestly think the best entertainment offered onboard a Qantas 747-338 is not about the PTV but the ability to view the metallic Rolls-Royce RB211-524D engines while cruising in the sky.
I would definately agree with that statement.
Quoting PerthGloryFan (Reply 4): I really should pull my finger out put a couple together myself I s'pose but lack of time and my naturally slack disposition works against that.
I can really understand hence why I am churning out reports nearly 18 months old. With work slowing down this time of year I am hoping to have one done a week for the next few weeks. Plus you can imagine the amount of photos still I have to upload and edit.
Quoting Kent350787 (Reply 6): A timely report as VH-EBX departed SYD on 22 Nov for Marana via HNL for storage......
That is so sad but knew this day was coming. I have enjoyed all my flights on her. Is EBV still in service as I have flown on her more than any aircraft?