Brisbane (BNE)-Sydney (SYD)
Date: 6 September, 2004
Aircraft: 747-438 VH-OJI
Photo © Matthew Johnston
Photo © Peter Unmuth - VAP
After waking up early to get to the airport on time, we checked in at the Brisbane international terminal. I hadn't been in the BNE international terminal before and I found it much nicer than the domestic terminal. Since QF26 is an international flight, (LAX-AKL-BNE-SYD) we got special 'domestic' stickers put on our boarding passes when we checked in. This was so that customs would know that we were only travelling on the domestic leg of the flight.
We made our way to the gate where OJI was waiting for us. The windows at the gate lounge were nice and big so we had a good view of the aircraft as well as the active runway behind it.
Photo © Troy Cameron
Unfortunately, there wasn't too much interesting traffic to watch, the best being a JAL 744 taking off.
When called, we boarded the aircraft and found our seats. I find the Qantas 744 economy interiors very nice:
Photo © Sam Chui
Photo © Norbert Genci
We waited for quite a while before pushing back. Eventually we got rolling though. I snapped this photo during pushback. In it you can see an Air Niugini 767, Eva Air A332, and two other QF 744s. We taxiied a short way to the threshold of runway 1 and waited for a QF 737 to depart ahead of us.
Then we turned onto the runway as the four RR engines spooled up. Since we obviously didn't have full fuel, acceleration was quick and the takeoff roll was relatively short. We soared off the runway at 1025, and I got this shot a few seconds after takeoff:
Photo © Q. Savit
We made a big right turn and headed south towards Sydney. As we climbed to our cruising altitude, breakfast was served. The meal included muesli, (with milk to go on it) a small pastry, and a banana. The aircraft was equipped with PTVs and Qantas' 'Q' IFE, but the usual choice of video/audio channels, games, etc. wasn't available on this short flight. Instead, an information video about Sydney was shown.
We began our descent into Sydney, and this time continued past FL280. As we were tracking south along the coast, the city would have been visible out the right side of the plane but I was seated on the left. Instead, I had a view of the sea and some fluffy clouds. At one point another aircraft passed way below us, heading out over the Pacific.
When we were south of the city and harbour, we made a series of right turns to line up for finals. We touched down very softly on runway 34L at 1135 and taxiied in to the international terminal.
Overall, it was a pretty routine flight, especially compared to the night before. The thing that made it a bit of a treat was the aircraft. Much better than the usual 767 or 737!
But most importantly, we actually made it to SYD this time.
Hope you liked the report!