Au revoir VH-OJM QF73 – B747-438

My family thinks I am a bit strange – so I say I need to be home to watch a bit of aviation history fly overhead, my eldest daughter, looks at me with a strange tilt to her head like I have 3 green horns coming outta my head ! Tickles is like.. "what are you talking about dad.."?! then they are back to like making up some story with a toosi or something….. but you know what, little E understands completely, she dutifully listened to my ramblings about how this aircraft has 120,000 hours and is 26 years old…and its on its last flight to SF before going to the mojave graveyard, she even gave the appropriate gurgle and splutter as she sucked on my arm 🙂

anyways.. here ya'all have it, VH-OJM, last flight from Sydney to San Francisco departing YSSY.

As a interesting point, this aircraft also had quite an interesting event during a flight to Bangkok where the forward galley leaked water which spilled over into a decompression vent (a vent between the main deck and subfloor cargo or equipment bay – basically in the case of a decompression they allow the various decks to equalize rather than explode spectacularly 🙂 ) whilst a leaking galley is not new, being the forward galley this one is located close to the E/E (electrical equipment) rack below the floor which has a whole bunch of kinda important boxes and wires so you can imagine what water and electronics does 🙂 apparently they lost 3 of the 4 generator control units (yeah they are prolly fairly important) multiple nav and comm systems….I reckon the pilots on that day earnt their beer for the day

In Album 31/07/2017

Gerard Blacklock

Just now ·
The Mardi gras plane

You would not think that this aircraft is the better side of 15 years old, its amazing what a coat of new paint, some spanky new logos and a brand name on the bottom can do (yep they ripped that off emirates).
Note the placement of the logo on the engine nacelle inboard and outboard sides, there is clearly alot more thought about pax seeing these when in the aircraft too, oddly tho, the winglet logos are only in the inside…

The push back

After a pretty stunning landing where the Captain dropped this aircraft on the centreline, literally a nosewheel either side of the centreline, (thats pretty good btw 🙂 ) It was a wait of several minutes to make sure the brakes were not gonna go up in a puff of smoke 😉 – they had used pretty heavy braking to avoid the use of thrust reversers. Finally it was then time for the push back into the temporary resting spot, I guess they will drop the good engines out of it and then put in some time X ones and then push it into its final resting place.

3 Landscape orientation images stitched together

Exif love:
D750 coupled with Sigma 50-500mm f4.5-6.3 @ 290mm Aperture: f/7.1 and Shutter Speed: 1/800s
ISO 640
out front – 747-400

Retirement Roll

the retirement home for planes… including VH-OJA
view large and check out all those people up there!

So I thought, how a little sunday drive down to see some little plane get parked at Wollongong Airport, can't be that bad surely 😉 Well it ain't little I suppose, prolly one of the largest aircraft to drop into Illawarra Airport (also referred to as Wollongong Airport ).

So i ditched the sneaky sunday sunrise session in favour of seeing VH-OJA plonk down at Wollongong, on that note the sunrise was of course damn fine with some sweet pinks etc…Cruising down the M1 at some stupid hour it took me awhile to realise that there was a crapload of traffic.. maybe it's all those Mardi gras revelers heading home back to Wollongong I thought, surely its not people heading down to see this 747-400 take its final flight..

But, I should not be surprised.. driving past the airfield in the dark it was very apparent there were thousands of peeps out to watch this plane land – I almost kept driving down to Bombo after seeing all those people on the Northern side of the airfield, but I did have a plan to hit the southern side for that shot of the jumbo thundering down the runway on its final touchdown, so i battled on and parked around near the sports centre on the southern side, its was packed already and it was only 6:15am! and wow it only got more packed from then on.. and you know what that means.. traffic jam on the way out, thankfully I spied the coffee van and made note to hit that whilst everyone made their exodus.

I tracked down a spot on the fence line, which actually was pretty good and prepared, like many others for the wait, some had been here since 5 am when the gates opened, others from 3am up on the other side…crazy stuff..

+Flightradar24 still functioned with the 14 billion people all searching for QF7474 (VH-OJA) and we (me and the 14 billion other people with cameras to watch it) tracked its takeoff from YSSY and its very very short flight…like 17 minutes short to the northern approach of runway 16 (16/34). It was all over in the space of a few minutes and the sound of camera shutters drowned out any sound of the +Qantas 747-400 coming to a halt on the runway 😉 It did look pretty good on the runway though, the dust it kicked up and runway overhang really made for a great sight, not to mention all those people up there on the northern side… they were on buildings, trucks, hanging off the fence… everywhere man!

On an aside, the Sigma 50-500mm f4.5-6.3 is a surprisingly nice lens, very sharp for the range and nice contrast, it takes a bit to get used to the fact that the zoom ring rotates in the opposite way to most nikkors… but 🙂

Exif love:
D750 coupled with Sigma 50-500mm f4.5-6.3 @ 500mm (courtesy of +Rodney Campbell) Aperture: f/7.1 and Shutter Speed: 1/1000s
ISO 800
out front – 747-400, lots of people and one dinky, dirty little runway

The Flying Moustache

Its great to see more public awareness of this cancer that affects a large portion of the male population, whilst I have enjoyed all the Breast Cancer awareness campaigns , ie the pink Dash-8 and pink water bottles etc its good to see this type of cancer awareness get some airplay… get it, aircraft.. airplay ..ok that was a bad 🙂

I do reckon they could have done a better job on that Moustache tho..c'mon +Qantas I wanna see a real set of handle bars on it 🙂

Exif/setup love:
8 Landscape orientation images manually stitched
D750 coupled with 70-200mm f2.8 @ 280mm Aperture: f/5 and Shutter Speed: 1/2000s
ISO 200
EV -0.3
Also had the 1.7 TC attached too.

Welcome Home

Even if it is hours late :-/ I am damn tired of late planes, I expect that from deathstar not qantasre.

Exif/setup data:
D7000 coupled with Nikkor 300mm f/4 @ surprise surprise, 300mm, oh wait, I lie, it was with a 1.4 TC that makes it 420mm 🙂 Aperture: f/6.7 and Shutter Speed: 1/1500s and ISO 800
out front: nothing but glass 🙂