Hello everyone, I have been an aviation enthusiast for most of my life, ever since I was little I always wanted to be a Pilot. Anyway I currently am a Sophomore in High School. During my Freshmen year(2007) there was a trip to France and Spain, I missed the trip, I really wanted to be on it but I couldn't since I wasn't in a High Enough Spanish, anyway I found out there was a trip to Italy during my Sophomore year, so I decided that I would find out if I could get on that trip, well I was not able to since I did not take Latin. During this time I was a bit pissed, but then I found out that there might be a trip to China, and in fact, there was! This got my happy because too me, China beats the s*** out of France, Spain, and Italy(no offence, I like them but not as much as China) so I decided to Sign up. In order to Sign up I had to write an essay explaining why I wanted to go, I took my time on this but it ended up going to no use since only 7 kids from my school signed up. I was IN!
Pathways to China program
Pathways to China started at Burlington High School, its first trip was in 2006, they visit Beijing, Xi'an and Shanghai on two different trips, one in April, and one in June, I would be attending the more favorable one, the April trip in 2007 during my Sophomore year. Schools around the Boston area participated in this trip, the schools include Burlington, Weston, Lynn, Watertown, Winchester, Reading, Malden, and my school Bedford. In order to go on the trip you had to take two classes over the summer. I took a class on How to Rule China, which was really boring. I had to do a project on it, like how I would solve their problems. My Second class was about digital editing, I made a movie about the Olympic Buildings. I really liked that class, it was quite interesting. Once both classes ended in early August we were informed about a trip to China Town New York City, I went on it, and I have to say it was really not that interesting. Anyway after this, I started to count down the days till China.
The days till China went by slowly, I passed the time by watching videos on youtube about China, but within time, it was time to pack.
DAY OF DEPATURE The day finally came, I woke up around 4:00AM and did some last minute packing, checked my email, checked the weather and the flight status, and soon enough it was time to go. I was out of my house around 5:30AM and stopped at Mcdonalds for a quick breakfast, I got one of those cinamelts thing, it was quite good. The drive to Boston went smoothly, I arrived at Terminal C at 6:07 and I went inside to meet with my group. We were suppose to meet at 6:30, most of the group was there early so I went to go check in. The check in agent was quite friendly, I went up to him and asked if it was possible to get a window seat, he kindly said yes. He gave me seat 11F for the flight to Dulles and 46A for the flight to Beijing, BOTH WERE EXIT ROWS! I was excited about this since I finally could take an exit row since I was over 15, and I was also happy because it would defiantly help on a long 13 hour and 40 minute flight. At 6:13AM I was checked-in and all ready to go, I went and said good bye to my mom and I headed through Security with my group. Security also went smoothly, and soon I was in Terminal C and headed to my gate C16. My flight was due to depart at 9:40AM, I was on UAL897 to Dulles on a Airbus A319, I was 3 hours early so I started to walk around. I went to Dunkin Donuts and got an Orange Juice. To pass the time I just took pictures of planes(duh).
Jetblue ERJ-190. This is a really nice looking plane.
Around 8:10 my tour instructors called us over, they told us that we were being moved to the earlier flight to Dulles, UAL 427 due to depart at 8:58AM. My seat was changed to 28C, when I saw this I was pissed so I went around and tried to switch with someone for a window, I was successful. I found the person in 28A and he was happy to switch because he wanted an aisle so it worked for both of us. We boarded around 8:30AM, the flight attendants were friendly so far and they gave there welcome message at 8:34AM.
April 16th, 2008
Seat: (Y) 28A
Depature gate - C16.
The captian soon came on, he stated that we would be at FL300 and have a estimated flight time of 1 hour and 4 minutes.
Cabin before take-off.
At the gate.
Pushback commenced at 8:42AM and our taxi started at 8:47AM. We taxied to the 4L hold as we waited for a Colgan Air Saab 340 to depart off of 4L, we then crossed 4L and taxied to runway 9.
Jetblue ERJ-190 Holding short.
This was my first flight on United so I was new to Channel 9, let me just tell you I loved it, lol. The problem though was that on the ground in Boston I could barley even hear anything, so I never heard our departure clearance or anything.
At 8:51AM we crossed onto runway niner and the Pilots lined up on the runway and soon gave Take-off thrust, this was a nice and powerfull take-off. We had a roll of about 37 seconds.
Shortly after Take-off the flight attendants came on and announced the services that would be available on board today's flight. There was to be a complimentary beverage and they would show a episode of The Office.
Does anyone know what airport this is?
I'm guessing this is Providence airport.
Soon at about 9:05 I would say they started the episode of The Office.
It was the episode when Michael and Dwight tricked Jim in going with them to pull a prank on Utica, I love how throughout the episode Dwight wanted to do something with the eyes and as he says "The eyes are the groin of the head."
Soon enough I went back to Chanel 9 to see if the volume was turned up, I was relieved that it was so I spent the rest of the flight listening to Chanel 9 as we shot across the east coast.
Soon after The Office started the flight attendants started to serve drinks, they got to me in row 28 at 9:27AM, I just got a water because I would get soda on my next flight.
Climbing to our cruise.
Does anyone know what river this is?
At cruising altitude.
At 9:29 ATC instructed us to descend from FL300 to FL280 to cross the Broadway VOR.
Descending from FL300 to 280.
At 9:33 we started to descended from FL280.
We made contact with New York center at 9:37AM, at 9:39AM we identified ourselves at FL180 and then again at 9:41AM at FL170. The flight attendants came on at this time and instructed us to fasten our seat belts for the arrival into Dulles. They were estimating we would arrive at 10:10AM. At 9:47AM we contacted Dulles approach, at that time we were at 10,000. Soon enough we got our arrival information, we would descend via the Hyper 2 arrival via MULRR and would do the Visual 1R approach.
Small airport near Dulles.
This is a big gulf course.
At 9:57AM we decended from 4000 down to 3000 and were told the airport was at our 2 O clock 5 miles.
We turned onto course for the runway and reported the feild in site at 9:59AM.
Approach instructed us to contact Dulles Tower at 10:02 AM, we were given clearance to land at 10:03 and our gear were lowered at this time. The winds were reported as 033/03. The Approach for runway 1R bought us pass only one place I knew and that was the Air and Space museum that I visited back in 8th grade and reminded me about how I wasn't able to go to the tower because it closed.
We had a smooth landing on 1R, we touched down at 10:05AM a little over 1000 feet past the markers but other then that it was a nice landing. We started our taxi and passed by the 747-400 that I would be flying on to Beijing and a United 777.
Isn't she pretty?
I will see you soon!!! Bye bye!
At 10:10AM just as estimated we were parked at our gate C11.
Parked at Gate C11.
The Aircraft I just flew on.
Here is are taxi into the gate
Overall the flight was smooth, we had little to no turbulence throughout the flight. The flight attendents were nice for the most part, only one seemed in a bad mood but the rest seemed happy to be doing what they do. Based on this flight alone I would defiatly fly United again.
My flight to Beijing was due for departure at 12:45PM and seeing that it was only 10:15 when I de-boarded I had about 2 hours untill Boarding so I just walked around the airport for a bit. Before I could leave though I just had to check with my group so they can make sure I didn't fall out of the plane our something but after that some kids from my group and I went on a quest to find some food. At first we took a left, this just led to more gates and a dead end with some super awsomefull bathrooms so we just turned around and found a Wendys which was conveniently right next to my gate...It was just only to the right instead of the left, lol. Anyway once at the hot juicy redhed's(The Office fans will understand this) I ordered a Hamburger with Onions, Lettuce, and tomato with some fries and I got a sprite to drink. This was going to be my last American meal for a while(Its sad that fast food classifies as American food).
From the Hot Juicy Redhed's I had a view of this SAA A340-600.
Once I was finished at Wendy's I wanted to go look at my plane for my flight to Beijing, it was going to depart out of Gate 3 and it was the same plane that we passed by earlier so the one other aviation freak and I went to go look at it. Sadly at Dulles you cant really see the planes well from the terminal so I couldn't get any good pics except for one.
I actually like this picture.
For the next hour I just walked around, I called my mom and dad telling them about my earlier flight, and I went to go buy some things for the flight. I bought 2 waters and a vault. Anyway my group moved to the gate about an hour before departure since we all had to go and get our passports checked, at that time I remembered that I should get a deck of cards so I can play with my friends on the flight so I went to go seek for one which is actually more difficult then you might think in a airport. The first store I went to I failed at this task, they had no cards but yet they had the most random things that you would never need at a airport. The next place I went to I succeeded, I found a deck it was a Presidents comedy one or something trying to by funny but I didn't care, I just wanted a deck of cards. Anyway I went to go pay and they wanted to charge me $19.99 for one deck of cards so I just decided I wouldn't buy them so I went to go find some at another store, I actually did. I found one for $6 and I started to head back to the gate. Once at the gate my instructor came up to me and said I needed to go up to the gate agent since there was a problem with my seat. It turns out for some reason I wasn't able to get a aisle row. They said I was too young. I'am 15 so I thought I was old enough and I even read the safety card and it said you must be 15 or older to sit in a exit row so I'm not quite sure what happened. Anyway I was moved to 51C which was a aisle seat, at this time I freaked because I would not know what to do without a window so I went up to people from my group to try and find one. I eventually did. I traded some kid my 51C for his 44A, he had a window in economy plus, this was good for me. Or so I thought. Boarding commenced at around 11:30, I didn't board till about 12:05.
Walking down the jetway I became so excited about the 747, I have been looking at pictures and videos of them forever and I had always wanted to fly on on and now I finally would. I boarded through 3L or 2L, it was the door in business, anyway I stopped inside of the gate to take the registration and take a pic of the wing, let me just say the wing is MASSIVE!
See what I mean?
Once on board I took a turn to the right and headed to me seat, we passed by Business class and the one small economy cabin, the business class seats actually didn't look that nice compared to others but then again it would be alot nicer then economy, but economy would be nicer then a toilet seat, lol. Anyway I didn't really care about my seat as long as a I had a nice window which I soon learned would not be granted to me by the United Gods. Once I reached row 44 I put my carry-on in the overhead bin and then I saw that I had a misaligned window, this was quite disappointing since I would have to lean forward during take-off and landing to look out, this was not that annoying but the bad part was during the flight when the person in front of me put her seat down I would not be able to look out. Anyway I decided to stop worrying about it and just got my camera, noat book, and archos out, and besides I would get my revenge on the person in front of me later. As the final people started to board I noticed that no one was sitting in the middle seat. I was hoping that this would remain the same which in fact it did! This was relieve because now me and the person in the aisle would have more space to put our stuff and this makes a big difference on a 13 hour and 40 minute flight.
Business class seats
View from my seat while leaning forward to look out, lol.
The flight attendants came on the PA and gave their welcome message at about 12:22AM, and we then started our pushback. Sadly Chanel 9 was not turned on for this flight so I would not be able to listen to ATC.
pushback tug returning to the gate. Can you imagine if you had this as your car?
As we were pushing back our engines begun to start and we were parked on the centerline. Once the pushback tug was removed the Pilot loward the flaps and HOLY CRAP! Once the trailing edge flaps were loward to 20 they just overtook the space around them, one quick question though. Does the 747 have fowler flaps our tripple slotted flaps. I looked it up on the internet and it says tripple slotted but the description for fowler flaps also fits into how the 747 flaps operated.
Taxing to the runway
Holding short of runway 30.
Soon my moment had come, the Pilot taxied onto the runway at 12:44PM and then applied Take-off thrust, the engines roared to life and we embarked on our ong take-off roll as the PW4000's worked to get this bird airborne. After around a minute we finally reached VR, we rotated off of the runway and slowly climbed into the sky.
NOTE! The video below of the take-off is not mine. This video was taken by someone else who was on the trip that was sitting 3 rows in front of me. The reason I do not have a video is because i accidental recorded it on 340 by 280 at 15 fps so my video was terrible, I apologize.
Once airborne we dipped our right wing and took a turn to the right to join our flightpath that would take us to Beijing. We slowly climbed out of Dulles, and soon the Flight attendants came over the PA and announced the services for the flight. The movies would be National Treasure: Book of Secrets, The Debaters, Enchanted, August Rush, and then one more final movie that I forgot about. The meal service on the flight would be complimentary beverages, a Lunch, a Snack, and a pre-arrival lunch.
Slowly Climbing out of the Dulles area.
The movie soon started and the flight attendants started the drink service, at this time the person in front of me put her seat down so I could no longer look out the window so I decided to watch the movie.
I received my drink at 1:23PM, I got a Sprite. About 20 minutes into the movie the flight attendants announced the Lunch service, the choice would either be Chicken or beef(how original), I opted to go with the Chicken. Before receiving my meal I was givin a hot towel which I really liked, I know it is pretty small thing but it does make a difference.
Once the flight attendants reached my row she seemed very friendly, she asked me what I would like and I chose the chicken. I was expecting the worst from this but I was wrong. The meal actually looked quite good and the chicken was actually pretty decent. My one complaint though is that the chicken was a bit tough to chew. Following the meal cart another service of drinks was served, I once again got a sprite.
Looks quite good.
National Treasure soon came to an end, the movie was decent, I didn't like how half the movie was about proving his great grandfathers innocence and the last half was actually finding the treasure. It seemed quite rushed in my opinion. I also dont get how finding the golden city proved his great grandfathers innocence.
After the movie finished the airshow was displayed, we were over the Hudson Bay.
Some more Ice.
The next movie that was being shown was The Debaters. I had no interest in this movie so I decided to go to sleep. I was actually able to get quite comfortable since the middle seat was open and I was able to put my feet in the space underneath since mine was blocked by my carry-on.
Still quite a distance left to go
I quickly feel asleep and slept for almost 2 hours. Once I woke up the air show was being displayed again, this ment that the movie had ended which was a good thing for me.
Over the Artic.
The next movie was going to be Enchanted, I originally had no interest in this movie but as you know when you nothing else to do some movies become interesting. Let me just say the movie was weird, it was really strange, I just dont know how to describe it. Halfway through the movie I went to the back to talk with some of the kids from my trip.
Some more ice.
Shortly after I got to the back the flight attendants started to serve the noodles, they first served the actually noddles, and then the hot water. I was kind of mad I would be missing it but I decided not to ask.
Airshow at the end of enchanted.
After the Flight attendants cleared the aisles I went back to my seat, I settled in for the rest of the flight. The next movie was August Rush. August Rush was a decent movie in parts, the beginning was kind of dull but it was a good movie to watch when your flying through the air in a enclosed metal tube flying across the Artic. lol. I did however like the last half of the movie, it was entertaining unlike the first half.
So far the flight had been very pleasant, the only problem was of course the person sitting in front of me. I was able to get pictures though which was a good thing, and as described before I got my revenge on the person in front of me by taking almost 400 pictures of the flight so she had to deal with the sound of my camera.
NOTE Due to a computer crash I was not able to finish the rest of the trip report untill now so the rest of the report will not be as detailed, I'm sorry. I also will only be able to give the details of this flight and not of china at all, I will give a short summary and some pictures of Beijing but that will be it.
After the movie ended the showed the airshow for abit and im not sure but I think they played the Duey Cox Story and I think it got cut off early due to our arrival into Beijing
Once again the flight attendants came around and started our pre-arrival service which was a choice of either a cold sandwich or lasagna, I chose the Lasagna which turned out decent, it was dry and had a bland taste, but hey, what else can you expect from a American Airline in econamy.
Starting our arrival into Beijing
Wings working to slow us down.
Wings working again for our arrival.
After over 13 hours enroute we have finally arrived in Beijing. My first impressions of the airport were that it was sort of ghostly and eerie, now I know this is completely off but when we were taxing I barley saw any aircraft moving except for us and also the smog helped with that.
The First Officer announced that we would taxi to the new Terminal 3 which I was looking forward to for awhile, we slowly pulled in and a couple of gates down from us was a Austrian Airlines 767 in a Star Alliance livery.
Look at the ramp worker next to the nose gear and how small he is compared to this beast.
About Terminal 3, I have no idea why I did not upload any of the pics at first but as I said before I had a computer crash so sadly I have no pictures of Terminal 3 to show you. But my impressions of this beautifully terminal was that it was really open and right when you walked out of the gate you were instant impressed by the amount of natural light and the high ceiling. I did however find two videos I took of it. I will post them here.
Excellent t/r! I was fortunate enough to take a trip to Beijing in the winter, also using the new IAD-PEK-IAD service, and this report rehashed so many cool memories of China! The smog, however, really is a problem as you noted, so I wish I would have been able to sample other cities as you did!
The opinions expressed here are mine and not necessarily those of Delta Air Lines.
Cool TR! I flew UA with People to People from IAD-AMS and then LHR-IAD. We flew the 767-400 and 777.
Quoting Navymmw (Thread starter): This was my first flight on United so I was new to Channel 9, let me just tell you I loved it, lol. The problem though was that on the ground in Boston I could barley even hear anything, so I never heard our departure clearance or anything.
I know its sooo cool lol. After I got back from the cockpit on our first flight, I immediately put it on 9. Its sad that the officers flying us from LHR-IAD didn't turn it on .
Quoting Navymmw (Thread starter): Once I was finished at Wendy's I wanted to go look at my plane for my flight to Beijing, it was going to depart out of Gate 3 and it was the same plane that we passed by earlier so the one other aviation freak and I went to go look at it. Sadly at Dulles you cant really see the planes well from the terminal so I couldn't get any good pics except for one.
I noticed that change from the nice open windows to those little slim windows too.
The flight from IAD-AMS was in the D Con. and it had some pretty open windows. They didn't check our passports until AMS. But, when we came back from LHR, we got put in the C Con. and there were those slim windows straight to Customs where they checked our passports. Hmm.....
Quoting B747forever (Reply 4): How do you know which way the a/cs taxied around in the airports. It is really cool. And how do you get it into google earth??
What I did was I printed out the aiport chart before I left and then as we were landing I figured out which runway we landed on and basicly just tried to figure out where I was and marked what taxiways we used by looking at the signs at the airport. I then went into Google Earth and im not sure but I think it is called "add path" and just basicly marked where we exited the runway and followed our taxi path. Hope that helps, I got the idea from another persons trip report from awhile ago.
Fantastic TR, man! I haven't had the opportunity to go to China yet, but hopefully this Spring I'll finally be going. It's nice to see a little bit of what I may experience in the future. Look forward to your BOS-SYR report, especially since SYR is my hometown airport!
Quoting Navymmw (Reply 6): What I did was I printed out the aiport chart before I left and then as we were landing I figured out which runway we landed on and basicly just tried to figure out where I was and marked what taxiways we used by looking at the signs at the airport. I then went into Google Earth and im not sure but I think it is called "add path" and just basicly marked where we exited the runway and followed our taxi path. Hope that helps, I got the idea from another persons trip report from awhile ago.
Wow, that is pretty cool idea. Will try out that one day.
Quoting Mason (Reply 17): What kind of a comment is that? If it were up to me, you would still be in the 3rd grade. Grow up.
I think he was referring to the fact that he found a trip to China to be more interesting than one to Spain, France, or Italy. He was simply stating his opinion, which he has every right to do. Maybe you should grow up.
Quoting Navymmw (Thread starter):
This got my happy because too me, China beats the s*** out of France, Spain, and Italy
Quoting Navymmw (Thread starter):
I currently am a Sophomore in High School
What kind of a comment is that? If it were up to me, you would still be in the 3rd grade. Grow up.
Normal Business, brilliant.
As EVA777SEA said I was stating my opinon and if you would of quoted even more of the sentence you woud of seen that I said I liked those three countries, I just liked CHina more. Its the same as having a favorite plane.
hey everyone. For some reason it says my photobucket account is being put on hold till the 9th so untill then my videos and pictures wont be avliable. I have the free photobucket account so does anyone know why it stopped working?
Nice report! Seems like you really enjoyed your trip to China! It's really an eye opener!
Quoting Navymmw (Reply 20): hey everyone. For some reason it says my photobucket account is being put on hold till the 9th so untill then my videos and pictures wont be avliable. I have the free photobucket account so does anyone know why it stopped working?
Perhaps you could have exceeded your allocated bandwidth on the account. I suggest hosting the videos on youtube instead.