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The “Tokyo Out -N- Back”!

I just completed a few ‘firsts’ this week.  Considering I’ve been doing this for more than 13 years, this is somewhat remarkable.  I left the house at 0545 Wednesday morning, and walked back in about 5:15 pm Friday evening.  That’s a total of just under 60 hours.  In that time I flew from BOS to MEM and started my official pre-trip crew rest.  At 0315 Thu morning we launched for NRT (New Tokyo International Airport – Narita)

The route is displayed here: This is roughly the path and the speed we flew.  While on a map, it appears to be that we ‘curved’ north – perhaps to follow a route close to land, the fact is, this is a ‘great circle route.  If you were to take a piece of string and lay it on a globe from MEM to NRT, this is the path the string would show as the shortest distance between two points.

It was about 13:49 air time, (average 80 knots headwind) and 14:30 block time. As we landed in NRT on Friday morning (local time) the visibility and ceiling were unrestricted, thus allowing for a fabulous view of snow-capped Mount-Fuji shortly after sunrise.  This is the longest flight I can recall doing since I’ve been flying.  The other long flights I’ve operated are Paris to Manila, and Osaka to Memphis.  I then waited in NRT about 4.5 hours, and took the next flight home… NWA 12 from NRT to DTW then BOS.

Mount Fuji
Mount Fuji

From the time I left MEM at 0320 and arrived in BOS at 1520 was about 36 hours. In that time, I spent about 28:45 on moving airplanes. OUCH!  The big trick to surviving this is 1. Hydration. Lots and lots of water. 2. Good rest. While I can’t and DON’T take anything as an operating crew member, as a passenger on NWA, I did take a ‘simply sleep’ and managed to get about 7.5 hours straight sleep on the flight from NRT to DTW.

While this type of flying is ‘once in a lifetime’ for many people, it’s just part of what I do. I frequently ride passenger carriers to Hong Kong, Tokyo, Paris, Frankfurt, Delhi, etc and get paid to do it. I try to always remain conscious of how special it is, and how lucky I am to get to do something that many people would love to do, but will never or only rarely have the opportunity.

Semper Fly!


November 21st, 2008 Posted by | Aviation Photography, General Information, Travel | no comments

SwissAir A-340

SwissAir A-340

Originally uploaded by boxav8r

We passed this jet just south of Moscow on Sep. 12, 2008. Beautiful viz and a relatively smooth ride!

September 12th, 2008 Posted by | Aviation Photography, Travel | no comments

Russian Airplane Video

Shot some stills and even managed a little video of an Antonov AN-22 Antheus today.  Put the Russian Nat’l Anthem to it because I could… don’t read anything into it. :) It held the distinction as the largest airplane in the world from 1965 to 1969 when the Lockheed C-5 Galaxy came into service. It was a very big airplane, and it seemed to take as long as any I’ve ever seen to get off that runway. Once it did, it certainly didn’t ‘leap’ into the air. A very lumbering, cumbersome, lazy climb. From the start of the takeoff roll until it rotated was more than 40 seconds. I edited down for time, and because it took so long I was unable to maintain focus over the 3 miles or so distance as the aircraft climbed away. The final ‘still’ is pulled from the video on departure.

Some of the other stills you’ll see are of the MMi-8 “Hip” helicopter, IL-76, and the TU-154 “727-ski”… a very close cousin of the Boeing 727!

Thanks for watching! I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments.

September 12th, 2008 Posted by | Photos, Travel | no comments

Yangtze River Express

, originally uploaded by boxav8r.

This was on the ground next to us in Shanghai. It’s actually 3 photos stitched together!

Boeing 747-400

September 12th, 2008 Posted by | General Information, Photos, Travel | no comments

Great Wall

, originally uploaded by boxav8r.

And a few minutes later we saw part of the Great Wall!

This is from about 33000 feet.

September 12th, 2008 Posted by | General Information, Photos, Travel | no comments

Warning to travellers…

Remembering this video some time back, I held my hotel room drinking glass up to the light at the Anchoarge Hilton last night. Three of the four glasses in my room had lip prints or other ‘unknown’ spots, smears & smudges. I decided not to chance the fourth one. Fortunately there was a paper ‘travel’ cup for the coffee. I used that instead.

Be sure to look carefully before using a hotel room drinking glass. Although, after seeing this video – I generally just avoid using them altogether!

May 18th, 2008 Posted by | Travel | no comments