Friday, June 19, 2009

How much more real can it get!

This video created with Flight Simulator was posted on another forum. So I decided to post it here and dedicate it to the Emirates flight attendants, that blog regularly to tell us about their lives! This goes without saying the blogs of other flight attendants are just as interesting and a joy to read. However since this is a FS2004 video regarding an Emirates A330-200 this is to you guys out there, Sodwee (Ben), Melissa, Carine, Clauderic, Matt, Marlon and Toby. Oh what the heck this one is dedicated as well to Traytable, The flying Pinto, GirlonTour, The flying Camba (QR) and Nikita (EY) and many others out there living their dreams!!!!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Airports I've been through, and Airlines I've travelled with!!

I did this post for another website and I thought I'd share it here. As you know I never really could become an FA however, I have been fortunate enough to have travelled with quite a few airlines and transited through many different airports. Here is my travel history so far :). I have been flying progressively every year on one long haul flight since 1994! From flights over the Atlantic, to over the Pacific, to over the South China sea, to over the Alps, to over the Arabian Sea I've been there. Never been though to South America or Africa but would be great to fly between the two with my favourite carrier, Malaysia Airlines between Buenos Aires and Cape Town and also get to travel over the South Atlantic! Ah, one can dream can they not! LOL

I nearly booked a flight on KLM for December to Dubai (onward to Karachi with either Malaysia Airlines or Emirates), but with a Credit card nearly maxed out and the recession looming, I did not go ahead with it. Or else by December KLM would have been added to the list below. If I don't land up flying this year (I have some FF points to use), it will be the second time since 1994 that I have not flown, the first time since then was in 2004 the year my parents came for a visit to Canada.

Click on the underlined links to go to the airport or airline websites!! (Remember to right click on the link and select "Open link in new tab" or you may not return to my page LOL!!

(Tch) = Technical stop
(Tr) = Transit stop
(Dis) = Disembarked

Karachi - Where it all began :)
Travelled from/to Karachi up to 1996
Travelled from/to Toronto since 1996

Mumbai (Dis)-1981 - IC & PK
Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA)

Singapore (Tr)-1988 SQ, (Dis)-1988 SQ, (Dis)-2000 SQ, (Tr)-2000 SQ
Welcome to Changi Airport

Sydney - (Dis)-1988 SQ, (Dis)-1994 BA , Dis-(2001) NZ, Dis-(2008) QF
Sydney Airport

Bangkok - (Tr)-1994 TG, (Dis)-1994
Don Muang Airport (DMK) Details - Thailand

Colombo - (Dis)-1995 UL
Welcome to Airport & Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) Ltd.

Dubai - (Tch)-1996 SR , (Tch)-1998 SR*, (Tch)-1999 EK, (Tch)-2002 MH, (Dis)-2006 EK, (Dis)-2007 LH
Dubai International Airport

Zurich - (Tr)-1996 SR* , (Tr)-1998 SR*
Zurich Airport

Toronto - (Dis)-1996 (Moved to Canada)
Greater Toronto Airports Authority - Home

New York - (Dis)-1996 KU, (Tr)-2003(EWR)MH, (Tr)-2006 EK
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey - Kennedy Airport

London - (Tch)-1996 KU, (Tr)-1999 EK,
BAA Heathrow: Welcome to Heathrow Airport | Parking | Terminal 5

Kuwait - (Tr)-1996 KU, (Tr)- 1997 KU,
Kuwait International Airport

Chicago - (Tr)-1997 AA/KU,
Chicago Airport System ®

Amsterdam - (Tch)-KU,
Homepage - Schiphol

- (Tr)-1998 AC/SR*
Welcome to Montréal-Trudeau

- (Tr)-2000 NW
Minneapolis - St. Paul International Airport - home

Los Angeles - (Dis)-2000 NW, (Tr)-2000 AC/SQ,(Tr)-2001 AC/NZ, (Tr)-2002 AC/MH, (Tr)-2008 AC/QF
LAX - Los Angeles International Airport. Flights, Parking, Airlines

Tokyo - (Tch)-2000 SQ

Vancouver - (Tr)-2000 SQ/AC
YVR - Vancouver International Airport

Taipei - (Tch)-2002 MH
Taipei SongShan Airport-Home

Kuala Lumpur
- (Dis)-2001 MH, (Dis)-2002 MH,
Welcome to KL International Airport

- (Tch)-2005 EY
The Brussels Airport Website

Abu Dhabi - (Tr)-2005 EY
Welcome To Abu Dhabi International Airport

Frankfurt - (Tr)-2007 LH
Frankfurt Airport City | Homepage

*SR indicates Swissair

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The joys of summer :)

Saturday June 6th, 2009

The spotting continues as Sat was another incredible warm sunny day, and with arrivals on Rwy 24R who could resist. I got a bit fed up with the parade of the Air Canada A320s, A319 and Embraers and the West Jet Boeing 737s of every imaginable kind, I just hoped to get some good aircraft which I did. The Etihad is a really gorgeous colour scheme and beats the Emirates colours any day! I was lucky to get that Air Jamaica as the new colour scheme is pretty bland.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Chasing the Airbus A380!

Was able to get off early on a Friday and head to Pearson. Rwy 24 was the active one for landings so I got off there. And they decide to send the EK A380 to Rwy 23

So I headed to Rwy 23 and had some decent arrivals

No idea what this green bug is?

A delivery truck stopped right in front of me and blocked me!! I was lucky to at least get this as it passed

It's funny there was this guy who was right by the fence, who security came up to and began to question him. I had the camera in my hand but she didn't see it. She then asked the guy to follow her, and when they passed me and had their backs to me I clicked this one. It turned out she just didn't want him to be right up close to the fence. I later spoke to him after the security guard had left and he told me he was new, first time today so I warned him to stand where I do which causes no problems..yet!!

Took a break and then decided to go to the other side, to get the light from the setting sun on the jets. Was quite happy with this one.

This pic was taken at 9:05pm. It was still dusk. Taken from the usual location which I headed back to.

I waited for the A380 to depart at 2140, which she did from Rwy 23. However my camera does not take good photos in the day to begin with, so at night it was a challenge. There were tons of people lined up against the fence around 40. (Ms.Security should have turned up at that time. She would have freaked out) There were lots of ooh and aahs when it finally taxied close by before performing a rolling take off. And then when it lifted off, there was this gush of wind that shook the fence and made all of us blink when the dust kicked into our eyes. It was the jet blast from the A380. Everyone said it was from the A380. Have stood many times there but never experienced even a mild jet blast with the other jets. And oh it was so quiet!!

Here are crappy pics but to give you an idea

Head on with the beast as it made it's way to Rwy 23.

Passing by the fence!! It just taxied by so quickly!

Beginning the take off roll

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

A time to laugh, A time to cry!

June 1st was the day the Emirates A380 arrived into Toronto. So the day before which was bright and sunny turned to grey and gloomy on the day itself. It also set the mood for the news that was awaiting me when I got to work. My co-worker knowing how much I love planes told me that an Air France jet had simply disappeared over the Atlantic! What!! No distress signals, no Maydays, just disappeared?? Within seconds I discovered it was an A330-200 and had originated from Rio De Janeiro to Paris. My excitement of hopefully seeing the A380 later than night just vanished. Such mixed emotions in my head that getting any work done was starting to be a challenge, with June 1st also being the start of all the month end processing, with figures which needed calculating to meet Management deadlines. I was an absolute mess, and by the evening I had a severe headache.

I went to the hotel the Emirates crew stay at to visit my friend who worked for the airline. He had worked on the last Boeing 777-300ER flight into Toronto on Friday that week, and now he was dead heading back to Dubai on the inaugural flight. While there I mentioned to him I was going to be heading to the airport to try and see if I could watch the very first take off of an Airbus A380 from Toronto. He said he'd ask if I could get a ride on the crew bus. I was quite excited if that should happen. So here was I in the lobby of the hotel, with a sea of red caps, white scarves (are they called that), biege coats and skirts, some guys in brown suits others in beige pants and navy blue jackets, along with captains and First Officers. The A380 crew were sporting their new colours while the Boeing 777-300ER crew sported the old. They all looked very smart and I let my mind race imaging myself in the uniform!! I like the new Emirates colours more than the old, only with the ladies, they look very chique!! The little design on the right side of the hat, and the pin stripes that run down the length of the coat and skirt, along with the pleats in the skirt give it some Oomph! The guys I am not too sure, they looked like bars of chocolates that had escaped from their wrappers! Just too much brown in there but I guess it will take some getting used to.

Well the Airbus A380 crew took off first and then I boarded the bus with the rest of the non-operating 773ER crew. I pinched myself to believe it was happening. I had seen them board the bus before while rushing to get the trains from the nearby train station after work, and now here was I in the bus with them. We got to Pearson fairly quickly and despite the grey skies, seeing the towering tail of the Airbus A380 sent a bit of excitement inside me. I then stepped aside and allowed my friend and the crew to go about with their duties. They were not rushed as they were dead heading but despite this I was quickly hugging my friend goodbye, having spent just ten minutes or more with him and wishing him a safe trip on the beast home.

I decided to wait within the terminal from where you could see the Emirates Airbus A380-800 tail, and it was quite a wait. I could have gone to my regular spotting place but the chance of rain hung in the air. At exactly 2140 the appointed hour of departure the mammoth beast pushed back and faced South, while what seemed like spotlights at a red carpet ceremony flashed on various areas of the double decker structure. And then I saw it move slowly forward and disappear. I was thankful I waited where I was as I would now see it take off from Rwy 24R. Then I was kicking myself as I saw it now moving in the opposite direction heading to Rwy 23 where I normally spot planes!! I sprinted through the now deserted terminal and hoped there was a transit bus downstairs to take to this location. I got down there and the time for the next bus to this location was 20 minutes away. The sadness that had built up that day with the Air France news started to set in again. I was not going to see it take off after all. Fortunately the bus I was to take home turned up and since it was close to 10:00pm I got on and headed home.

We criss-crossed the airport area and before long were on the main roads leading out of the terminal. I knew which direction the jet was going to take off from and I pinned my face to the reflective windows of the moderately lit bus, while peering the dark skies outside to see if I could still see her depart....And then in the distance I saw her just a glimpse of the lights flashing as it took to the air, and then disappeared behind the low cloud cover. The taxing time from where I saw it turn to the point of departure was a long one, so I had actually managed to get out of the airport area to see it climb in the sky. It was all not a lost effort for me after all!

Until that point the wreckage of the Air France Airbus A330-200 had not yet been recovered, so no sooner I got home my mind changed from the wonders of the evening to the sombre feeling of the details of the flight. Indeed it felt like a time to laugh and a time to cry! May the families of those that have lost their near and dear ones find strength to know they will meet again some day!

I've always joked that turbulence puts me to sleep, I mean it actually does with all that rocking to and fro. However to think that turbulence coupled with other factors brought down this jet (details and factual information is yet to be finalised) will definitely keep me sitting up a bit more alert next time, and then not have to have the FA gently touch my shoulder to wake me up and asking me to put up my reclined seat, and set down my tray table for the meal service which was rudely disrupted when the turbulence began!