Wednesday, March 19, 2014

ANA Boeing 747 flies Sayonara and Kumamoto charters.

On March 16th, All Nippon Airways (NH/ANA), which is retiring the Boeing 747-400D on March 31st, operated 'Sayonara Flight Charter' and 'Kumamoto Scenic Flight' (ANA releases Boeing 747 Kumamoto charter schedule.) with the type. It is part of the airline's 'Final 747: Thanks Jumbo!' series of events commemorating the retirement of Boeing's Jumbo Jet.
Boeing 747-481/D JA8961 at Narita before departure. (Photo: Aviation Wire)

B747-481/D JA8961, the last remaining 'Queen of the Skies' with ANA, flew the event, which started off with flight NH2001 'Sayonara Flight Charter' from Tokyo/Narita (NRT/RJAA) to Kumamoto (KMJ/RJFT). After photograph opportunities from the apron at Narita, 524 participants, 13 cabin crew, and two cockpit crew boarded the aircraft for a 0941 departure. It took off from Runway 16R at 1006. All passengers were served a B747-decorated 'bento box' (lunch box) along with memorabilia by flight attendants wearing classic ANA uniforms from the past. On passing Mount Fuji, the crew lowered the altitude to 26,000 feet (7,900 meters) to provide good photo opportunities, and on the screens during the flight were B747 flight simulator takeoffs and landings recorded by the crew. NH2001 touched down at Kumamoto's Runway 25 at 1138 and arrived at the parking spot at 1143.
Back to the past: ANA's flight attendants wearing classic uniforms from past eras. (Photo: Aviation Wire)

After arrival, passengers were offered a chance to photograph the aircraft and flight attendants, and the two pilots told memories and stories of the 'Jumbo Jet'. After that, JA8961 flew NH2014, dubbed 'Kumamoto Scenic Flight' above Kyushu, which returned to the same airport. Due to time constraints, participants could only choose one of either NH2001/2002 or NH2014. Again on the flight, passengers were handed out memorabilia along with ample photograph opportunities. After arriving back at Kumamoto and offloading its passengers, JA8961 took off again to perform a touch-and-go.
A photo on ANA's 'Final 747: Thanks Jumbo!' website. (Image: ANA)

NH2002, the return leg of 'Sayonara Flight Charter' departed Kumamoto at 1850 and took off from Runway 25 at 1858. After cruising at 39,000 feet (11,900 meters), the aircraft made an autopilot touchdown on Narita's Runway 34L at 2018, and reached the gate at 2025.

This finishes the domestic series of events paying tribute to Boeing's 'Queen of the Skies', and only leaves the last revenue flight on March 31st, planned to be NH126 from Okinawa/Naha (OKA/ROAH) to Haneda. It will also make one last visit to Fukuoka (FUK/RJFF) on flights NH243/250 and Sapporo/New Chitose (CTS/RJCC) on flights NH069/074 on March 30th (ANA loads final Boeing 747 revenue flights.). The final part of 'Final 747: Thanks Jumbo!' will be taking participants to Tupelo (TUP/KTUP) (ANA announes final Boeing 747 farewell tour.) to see JA8961 arrive at the aircraft's final resting place in Mississippi, U.S.A. on April 17th.

Source: Aviation Wire, March 16th. (in Japanese)

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