Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Jumbo Anniversary

It’s 10 years ago today, a whole decade since I made my first flight on a Jumbo, a British Airways Boeing 747-400 from London Gatwick to Orlando, Florida!

It was also the first plane I had been on since I was a child aged 7 and came just a few days before my 21st Birthday.

There’s not doubt looking back this would prove to be a monumental occasion as without doubt started my enthusiasm for both planes & traveling and over the next decade I would make 168 commercial aircraft flights (sectors) travel around the world twice, fly supersonically on Concorde, and fly over Antarctica on the new biggest plane the Superjumbo, Airbus A380 on new years eve 2009.

Heres my review of that first Jumbo flight that I wrote for my old website as a 21 year old along with a load of pics.

After an extremely good journey we arrived at Gatwick airport parking by 6:30AM. And were soon at the check in desks before they had even opened.

We were right amongst the first people to check in which was great as I was so eager to make sure I got a window seat out the way of the wing which I did!

We then had 3 hours to stroll around the airport, getting some breakfast, Dad buying duty free and watching planes take off & Land.We eventually correctly guessed which jumbo plane was ours and at about 10:45 entered the plane called the city of Gloucester.

We took off slightly late at 11:35AM and were soon rapidly moving over Southern England. Looking at Map display on the seatback TV we flew over Southampton, and very close to Glastonbury before heading down to Exeter and over Dartmoor! For the first time the clouds below cleared and I could see Dartmoor extremely clearly even reservoirs and tors bringing back childhood memories of family trips to the moors when we lived in Devon, I enthusiastically pointed out to Dad where we were flying over but he was fast asleep!!

We left England flying over Newquay and headed out over the Atlantic Ocean.
For a while it was extremely cloudy again but once they cleared all you could see was the blue sky above and the blue sea below with the odd white clouds and waves.

Finally after 5-6 hours of crossing the Atlantic I could see land, Newfoundland. I was amazed that it was made up of about 50% Land and 50% Water due to all the inlets and lakes, with hundreds of bridges linking the land together. I could see the odd few small towns, but overall it was very desolate.

Heading now South West we eventually reached Mainland USA entering over the very Northeast of the country. we soon saw many cities, very square fields and Highways.

I then noticed that according to the in flight display map we were getting near New York and I was looking out for it, I then saw a massive city in the distance which I thought must be it, when the pilot came on the radio mentioning that it was indeed New York.

A little while later we flew over Atlantic City a narrow but long city and with a golden sandy beach stretching for miles and miles.

At last after around 9 hours flying we approached Florida and we gradually started to descend. We flew along the East Florida coast before reaching Orlando and circled for a while around the city, giving us a good view of it and then we finally touched down at around 3:30 EST (8:30pm BST)

Despite it taking 9 hours I really enjoyed this flight my first in 13 years, some of the views from my window seat were spectacular and it’s just a shame most of the flight home was in darkness.

Tomorrow the decade anniversary’s continues with it being 10 years since the launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis, STS 106 the first and only Space Shuttle launch that I've seen at Cape canaveral which launched right on time just 18 hours after we landed in Florida! Check back then for a review and pics of that launch!

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