Trip Report: QF/JQ/VA BNE-SYD-MEL-SYD-BNE + AIRSHOW (Photos)

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Trip Report: QF/JQ/VA BNE-SYD-MEL-SYD-BNE + AIRSHOW (Photos)

Postby Brandon Giacomin » Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:43 am

Introduction:

From February 28 to March 4, I went down to Melbourne to attend the Avalon Airshow. As soon as the dates of the show were announced I looked at flights. I thought, rather than go direct to Melbourne, why not go via Sydney to go on more flights ;) I decided to fly down on Thursday February 28, I would fly on QF8 from BNE-SYD on a Boeing 747-400ER, and then I would have about five hours in Sydney before flying on JQ35 from SYD-MEL operated by an Airbus A330-200. On Monday March 4 I would fly on VA813 from MEL-SYD operated by an Airbus A330-200 and I would have most of the day in Sydney before flying on QF538 from SYD-BNE operated by a Boeing 767-300ER. It worked out great!

However, about a month or so after booking I looked on the Virgin Australia website and noticed that my flight from MEL-SYD had been changed from a A332 to a B738 :( I asked around, and I found out that Virgin had stopped using A332’s on the SYD-MEL-SYD route. Bugger! I wanted to give the VA A330s a go!

Things then got worse, about a month after finding out one of my flights had been changed, two more had been changed! QF8 BNE-SYD had been cancelled for Thursday 28 February! And so had JQ35 SYD-MEL!!! I had been switched to QF509 BNE-SYD operated by a Boeing 737-800 and JQ589 SYD-MEL operated by an Airbus A320!!!

And then of course a few weeks after those two, I found out that my fourth and final flight had also been changed! QF538 SYD-BNE was cancelled and I was put on QF536 SYD-BNE operated by a Boeing 737-800! So I had been switched from flying on all wide bodies to all narrow bodies! How unlucky!

I booked the hotel, bought the train tickets to Avalon and the Airshow tickets closer to the trip, so I was all set. The plan was to look around Melbourne on Friday 1 March, and then attend the Airshow on Saturday 2 March and Sunday 3 March. Even though all my flights were changed I was still very much looking forward to going to the Airshow.

Thursday 28 February

Woke up at 5am, I had packed all my stuff the night before so I just did a quick check in the morning. Left the house at 5:45am, traffic was much worse than expected! But surprisingly we made it to the airport at 6:30am. Said goodbye to Dad and I made my way to the Qantas terminal. I had already done the online check in so all I had to do was drop-off my bag which was quick and easy.

Brisbane Airport

Made my way through security and then up to the boarding gates. I was feeling a bit unwell in the morning so I just went straight to my gate and sat down.

Qantas line-up
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VH-VXK would be taking me down to Sydney this morning. She seen here arriving from Sydney as QF500. New rego for me.
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VH-VXG in the new “Bring it on” livery was parked at the gate next to VXK. Wish I was on her! She was heading up to Cairns.
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At 0725 boarding commenced.

February 28, 2013
Qantas
QF509
BNE-SYD
VH-VXK B738
Seat 21F


Seat 21F, strange to see the Air Vanuatu B738 parked at the domestic!
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We taxied out to RWY01, no aircraft to wait for so we were taking off right away!

Climbing out of Brisbane
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Brisbane Airport
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Nice right turn
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We cruised at 30000 feet. We received breakfast on the flight which was cereal, orange juice and a muffin.

On descent
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What a view!
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Sydney!
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Got some spectacular views on downwind for RWY34R
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Bondi Beach
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Sydney Airport
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Turning base for RWY34R
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We landed on RWY34R and began the taxi to T3.

Passing an awesome Air New Zealand Boeing 767!
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We parked at Gate 13. Disembarking the aircraft took a while as Qantas don’t use back stairs so everyone has to get out though the one aerobridge.

Sydney Airport

After a great flight I went down to the bag pick up and got my bag and then walked over to T2. I had already checked in for the flight down to Melbourne, so I just had to drop my bag off. There was a pretty long line but it moved fairly quickly. Pretty soon I had dropped it off and I was going through security and to the boarding gates.

Spotting in Sydney

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My flight was due to leave at 12:15 but due to the late arrival of the aircraft this time was pushed back to 12:45. Once I saw VH-VGI arrive I went down to my gate as I assumed I would be flying on her down to MEL, and I was right. Another new rego for me.

VH-VGI at my gate
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Boarding commenced at about 12:30.

February 28, 2013
Jetstar
JQ589
SYD-MEL
VH-VGI A320
Seat 07F


Seat 7F
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We taxied to RWY16R, and held for a while. The captain said that ATC were expected a strong wind change shortly so they would be switching from RWY34R/L ops to RWY16L/R ops. We were first in line so once the wind hit we would be off to Melbourne. After about a 10 minute wait we were on our way!

Holding short of RWY16R, with an Air China 777 and a BA 747 close by. Soon Air China will change back to A330s and BA will start to send B77Ws! We took off close to an hour late.
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Cruising at 36000 feet
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The flight passed pretty quickly. We landed on RWY16 and taxied to T1.

Sichuan Airlines Airbus A330-200 B-6518, the inaugural Sichuan service to MEL!
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Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 9V-SKK
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On our way to T1
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We made up a little time in the air and ended up arriving at 1420. Only 30 minutes late. I picked up my bag and caught the sky bus into the city which takes 20 minutes. From Southern Cross Station it was about a 10 minute walk to my hotel.

Friday 1 March

On the Friday I went looking around Melbourne. I went to Docklands, Federation Square, up Eureka Tower and to the MCG, Melbourne Park and AAMI Park. Photos from the day can be found here.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/brandon301 ... 923051541/

Saturday 2 March and Sunday 3 March

On the Saturday and Sunday I spent all day at the Air show. Photos from the Airshow can be found here.

Saturday 2 March
http://www.flickr.com/photos/brandon301 ... 920660646/

Sunday 3 March
http://www.flickr.com/photos/brandon301 ... 917079079/

Monday 4 March

Well after a fantastic time in Melbourne and at the Airshow it was time to head back to Brisbane. Got up at 4am, made sure I had everything packed and then walked to Southern Cross station. Got there a little earlier than planned, caught the 4:45am shuttle to the airport. Got to the airport just after 5am for the 7:15am flight, printed my boarding pass out and dropped my bag off before going through security to my gate. The flight would be departing through Gate 8, and VH-YFC was parked there. The first Virgin plane that received the new livery! And a new rego for me.

Melbourne Airport

Bondi Beach at Gate 8
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I started to hear over the P/A that most flights to Sydney were delayed. So I checked the board at my gate and saw that my flight was due to leave around an hour late, all the delays were due to Sydney ATC. Since my flight was delayed I sat down at Gate 11 and got some photos.

VH-VBU waits for an available gate
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VH-ZPR looking awesome in the morning light, she was off to Adelaide.
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VH-OQI arrives from London via Singapore
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A6-EDA arrives from Dubai
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ZK-OJK ready to depart for Auckland
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VH-VUT looking awesome
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VH-YFC is finally nearly ready to fly to Sydney
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Boarding commenced just before 8am.

March 4, 2013
Virgin Australia
VA813
MEL-SYD
VH-YFC B738
Seat 29A


On-board in Seat 29A
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Takeoff on RWY16
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On our way to Sydney
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Passing Albury
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Cruising at 37000 feet
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On downwind for RWY16R passing Bankstown Airport
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On finals for RWY16R passing the Sydney CBD
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Landing on RWY16R
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Taxiing to T2, we arrived at 0930, about 50 minutes late.
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A6-EDB departs for Auckland
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VH-FVX taxies out for a departure to Port Macquarie
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Interior of VH-YFC
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Spotting in Sydney

Disembarked the aircraft, then went to the food court and picked up some breakfast before going down to get my bag. Walked to “The Stairs” to do some spotting, there were some good movements. VH-VXB “Yananyi Dreaming” departed for BNE and Cathay Pacific Cargo Boeing 747-8F B-LJB arrived from Hong Kong. The first 747-8 I’ve seen! Just before 12pm I walked over to T3 to check in for my flight to BNE and to drop my bag off. I then caught the train to the international terminal to go up to the observation deck.

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At about 2pm I caught the train back to the domestic terminal.

VH-OGN getting ready to go to Melbourne
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VH-VXB “Yananyi Dreaming” departs for Brisbane. Wish I was put on this flight!
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VH-VXP arrives from Brisbane. She would be my plane to Brisbane. Another new rego for me.
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I went upstairs to the Qantas Heritage Collection to have a look around. You get a pretty good view from up there.
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VXP getting ready to take me to BNE
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VXU arrives from the Gold Coast
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VH-OQG getting towed over to the international terminal
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Boarding commenced at 3:45pm.

March 4, 2013
Qantas
QF536
SYD-BNE
VH-VXP B738
Seat 21F


On-board in Seat 21F next to VH-QOI and VH-QOJ
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Taxiing out to RWY16L
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Lining up on RWY16L
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Takeoff on RWY16L
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Nice big left turn
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On our way to Brisbane
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Passing Newcastle I think
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Cruising at 37000 feet, the refreshment for today was a cookie or orange slice as well drinks
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Commencing our descent
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A nice rainbow as we descend
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On finals for RWY19
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VH-EBV can be seen taxiing out for a departure to Perth
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Landing on RWY19, we arrived right on time
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Parked at Gate 21
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Interior on VH-VXP
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VH-VXB prepares to head back to Sydney
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Went down and got my bag, and then went to the pick-up area where my Dad picked me up.

Conclusion:

What a great trip! All the flights were good, and of course the Airshow was fantastic. I will definitely try to go to the 2015 show.

Next trip for me is a big one and I am really looking forward to it. In May/June I will be going to the USA and the Caribbean with my friend Josh. I will fly with Virgin Australia to LAX, stay in LA for 6 nights where we will of course spend a few days spotting, fly with Virgin America to Seattle and stay there for 2 nights and do the Boeing factory tours, then fly American Airlines to Sint Maarten via Miami and stay in Sint Maarten for 6 nights. We will spend of the time in Sint Maarten on Maho Beach of course! :D We also have daytrips to St Barths and Saba on Winair. Can’t wait!!!
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Brandon Giacomin
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Re: Trip Report: QF/JQ/VA BNE-SYD-MEL-SYD-BNE + AIRSHOW (Pho

Postby Paul S. » Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:00 pm

great job, always enjoyable to read.
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Re: Trip Report: QF/JQ/VA BNE-SYD-MEL-SYD-BNE + AIRSHOW (Pho

Postby M Hayli » Fri Apr 26, 2013 9:46 pm

Great report and pics. Departure from YMML looks from the photo to be off 34 not 16. :wink:
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Re: Trip Report: QF/JQ/VA BNE-SYD-MEL-SYD-BNE + AIRSHOW (Pho

Postby Evan Yananyi » Wed Jul 24, 2013 9:59 pm

Hey Brandon,
Good pictures of VH-VXB :wink: !
Next Flights
JQ633 ADL-AVV 3MAR17
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