Last Saturday I went to Sydney for the day to fly on QF8 again and also do some spotting in Sydney and go into the city
My friend Josh booked about a month before and at first I wasn’t going to go. The sale ended up being extended and I couldn’t resist another flight on QF8. So I booked it
We would be going down to Sydney on Saturday April 21. We would be flying down on QF8 leaving Brisbane at 0630 and arriving into Sydney at 0810, and returning in the late afternoon on QF540 operated by a Boeing 737-800 departing Sydney at 1705 and arriving into Brisbane at 1835.Brisbane Airport:
An early wakeup call is required for QF8. I got up at 0400 and left at 0430 to get to the airport at 0500, one and a half hours before the flight is due to leave. Josh was already there. I had already checked in online to secure my seat. I still needed to go to the check in counter to get a new boarding pass with a domestic sticker on it. About 2 weeks after booking I decided I would upgrade to Premium Economy seeing as I now had enough points for an upgrade, Josh upgraded to business
I originally had 38A, then I switched to 37A and then when checking in I saw 35A was available so I changed again. Josh had 8A in business.
After getting my new boarding pass we went through customs and security screening. We went to Gate 79 where QF8 would board from. I already knew that we would be getting VH-OEJ to Sydney
which I was happy about, last time I got VH-OEI. But it’s a shame OEJ is no longer painted in the Wunala Dreaming livery
At about 0520, QF8 arrived from Dallas.
OEJ at the gate after the long flight from Dallas
After getting photos of OEJ at the gate I went on balus on my phone to see if anything interesting was on its way in. And to my surprise UA839 LAX-SYD, QF12 LAX-SYD and JL771 NRT-SYD were heading to BNE. I looked it up and saw that Sydney was fogged in for the 2nd day in a row, the previous day wasn’t so bad, Brisbane received no diversions. I watched the three diversions arrive.
N171UA operating UA839 from LAX-SYD at Gate 80
JA707J in Oneworld livery operating JL771 from NRT-SYD
VH-OQC operating QF12 from LAX-SYD, good to see an A380 in BNE
After watching the three diversions arrive I went back on to balus to see another 5 diversions heading to BNE! SQ221, CA173, BA15, QF6 and QF568. An announcement was then made that due to fog in Sydney our flight to Sydney was delayed. So I went down to the northern end of the terminal to see the next 5 diversions arrive.
A380 Number 2 for the day! 9V-SKI operating SQ221 from SIN-SYD
After watching SQ221 arrive it was announced that we would be boarding after a short delay, so we made our way to Gate 79 to board OEJ!
Just before boarding
The front end of N171UAApril 21, 2012
Boarded OEJ and made my way down to 35A in Premium economy with Josh going to 8A in Business. Was very surprised with premium, it was fantastic! So much legroom and very comfortable seats. As soon as I sat down I was offered a pre-flight drink by one of the f/a’s, I took an orange juice. I had no one sitting next to me for the flight which was great. There were only about 20 people in premium for the flight.
Boarding was done quickly and we were pushed back just over half an hour late. The safety demo was done but we stayed for about 10 minutes. The captain then said that there was a technical issue and it was required an engineer come on-board to check it out. So we returned to the gate. We were at the gate for about 45 minutes and then we heard the good news that we would be pushing back shortly. Whilst waiting, N171UA had departed for SYD and gate 80 was taken by British Airways B744 G-BNLW.
There had been about 8 more diversions since I last checked. CX111, VA2, VA30, EK412 (A380 No. 3!), VS200, QF94 (A380 No.4!!), QF108 and UA863 had also diverted taking the total amout of international diversions to 15 and 1 domestic! 4 of these being A380s and 5 747s, as well as the 3 scheduled 747 flights to BNE that morning.
So finally, one and a half hours late we pushed back for the second time.
Pushback Number 1
Back to the gate
VH-VPE operating VA2 LAX-SYD
G-BNLW operating BA15 LHR-SIN-SYD and VH-VPF operating VA30 AUH-SYD
Great to see BA in Brisbane
A380 Number 4 – VH-OQB operating QF94 from LAX-MEL
Pushback Number 2! Nice line-up of tails at BNE
Taxiing to RWY19 we pass A380 Number 3 at Brisbane that morning – A6-EDP operating EK412 from DXB-SYD-AKL
3 A380s can be seen in this photo, from 3 different airlines!!
VH-OJF operating QF108 from LAX-SYD
Virgin Atlantic A340-600 G-VBUG operating VS200 LHR-HKG-SYD
N128UA in new United livery operating UA863 from SFO-SYD
Taxied out to RWY19, no aircraft to wait for so we lined up and took off straight away. Josh took a video of the take-off, it can be viewed here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-A4UL9jV ... AAAAAAABAA
Climbing out of Brisbane
Left turn to the south
We climbed up to 28 000ft for the flight down to Sydney, we got good views of the Gold Coast and Northern New South Wales. Once we reached our cruising altitude, breakfast was handed out. I had an option of hot banana bread or fruit and yoghurt. I had the fruit and yoghurt. While having breakfast I took out my IFE screen and watched an episode of Two and a half men, afterwards I just watched the flight map. So much to choose from on the system, would be great for long flights.
Breakfast and IFE
Right turn as we start our descent
And a left turn
Under the clouds with Sydney City in view
Josh took a video of the landing which can be viewed herehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ObEzlzLK ... QO90FiQcs=
Short finals for RWY16R
Passing the beach
Thai A346 HS-TNE at a remote bay
The captain then said that all gates had been taken by incoming flights and that we would be parking at a remote bay and disembarking using stairs
Coming into our remote bay
We hopped on a bus that took us to the international terminal. It was a fantastic flight! We managed to make up some time in the air and arrived about one hour behind schedule which I didn’t mind. I wanted to be on time to see the morning arrivals and departures from Sydney but most ended up going to Brisbane Sydney Airport:
After disembarking and going through customs, we went straight to the Observation deck.
Asiana Boeing 777-200ER HL7596
Qantas Boeing 747-400 VH-OJE (after diverting to BNE)
LAN Airbus A340-300 CC-CQG
Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 9V-SKI (after diverting to BNE)
China Southern Airbus A330-300 B-6087
Qantas Airbus A380 VH-OQC (after diverting to BNE)
Delta Boeing 777-200LR N708DN
Thai Airways Airbus A340-600 HS-TNF
Qantas Boeing 747-400 VH-OJH
Air China Airbus A330-200 B-6093 'Star Alliance' livery (diverting from MEL)
Jetstar Airbus A330-200 VH-EBS
Shanghai Airlines Boeing 767-300ER B-2566 (diverting from MEL)
Air China Airbus A330-200 B-6092
Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 9V-SKQ
China Southern Airbus A330-200 B-6058 (diverting from MEL)
Qantas Boeing 747-400ER VH-OEG
Qantas Boeing 747-400 VH-OJP
Aerolineas Argentinas Airbus A340-300 LV-CSE
Qantas Boeing 747-400 VH-OJF (after diverting to BNE)
Air China Airbus A330-200 B-6093 'Star Alliance' livery
China Eastern Airbus A330-300 B-6129 ''International Horticultural Exposition 2011 Xi`An''
JAL Boeing 777-200ER JA707J "Oneworld" livery
After watching JAL depart we went down to the Qantas transfer bus. We checked in for the return flight later in the day. I had 21F and Josh had 19A. We then went to the security screening and into the waiting area for the bus. Only had a 5 minute wait before a bus showed up.
Cathay Pacific Airbus A330-300 B-LAK
Qantas Boeing 747-400ER VH-OEJ
United Boeing 747-400 N171UA
Qantas Airbus A380 VH-OQH
Jetstar Airbus A330-200 VH-EBC
Qantas Boeing 747-400 VH-OJI
After the transfer bus we went in the Qantas terminal to get something to eat before we left to go into the city. At about 1130 we went to the domestic train station and caught a train to St James. Firstly we went up Centre point tower for about half an hour.Sydney:
The views from Centre point tower
We then walked down to Galeries Victoria monorail station just to do a loop. I had heard that there are plans to close down the monorail.
The loop takes about 15 minutes to do. Afterwards we walked back to St James train station to catch another train to Circular Quay to have a look around the harbour.
Centre point tower
Sydney Harbour Bridge
Sydney Opera House
After looking around we grabbed something to eat before returning to the airport. We arrived back at the airport at about 1530 and waited for our flight home.Sydney Airport:
Qantas Freight Boeing 767-300F VH-EFR
I was hoping to get Yananyi Dreaming to BNE but I saw her on finals from centre point tower at about 1pm and thought we wouldn’t get her, and I was right, she went to Hobart not long after meaning she wouldn’t be able to operate QF540. At about 1600 I saw VH-VZD arrive in ‘Optus’ livery so I hoped we would get her. And luckily she went into our gate
VH-VZD coming into Gate 8
At 1645 boarding commenced.April 21, 2012
On board in Seat 21F
Passing 4 Qantas 747s at the jet base
Taxiing to RWY16L
VH-VPF arrives from BNE operating VA30, over 10 hours late
Lining up on RWY16L
Josh took a video of the takeoff, it can be viewed herehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfKak4GF ... 5LwVhxF_o=
Passing a nice beach
We cruised at 39 000ft, the refreshment for this flight was crackers, with chicken slices and olives, and a drink.
Interior on VH-VZD
We landed on time and went to gate 21 and disembarked. Brisbane Airport:
Last photo for the trip, I finally get to see VH-QOI in her Tamworth Country Music Festival livery Conclusion:
Another great trip, had a fantastic time. QF8 was fantastic again, VH-OEJ looks very nice with the new interior and Premium Economy was great. Spotting in Sydney was great and looking around Sydney was good. And I had an enjoyable flight home.
Next trip is next weekend to Longreach to check out the museum
Thanks for reading!