2008 - Boeing 777 - Cancer Research Uk
Sydney-Apia-Kona-San Francisco-Tucson-Monterrey-Acapulco-San Salvador-Panama City-Quito-Lima-Santa Cruz-Asuncion-Rio De Janeiro-Salvador-Georgetown-Luanda-Windhoek-Cape Town-Bulawayo-Zanzibar-Kampala-Bangui-N'Djamena-Ouagadougou-Bissau-Las Palmas-Casablanca-Porto-Dublin-Innsbruk-Istanbul-Tbilisi-Ashgabat-Tashkent-Lahore-Kathmandu-Mandalay-Hanoi-HoChiMinh City-Brunai-Manado-Darwin-Cairns-Brisbane-Sydney
Sun 9th November - Thats All Folks!- 1054z
We have just shutdown at Sydney and are all off to bed! More to follow
Sun 9th November - On The Ground in Brisbane- 0621z
We are on the ground in Brisbane after a very busy flight, yet again just on finals the simboards cacked out again (Iocards next year did someone say?) and we had to give the plane back to the autopilot to complete an excellent landing on RWY19 at Brisbane.
One more to go!
Sun 9th November - 2nd To Last Leg - 0415z
We are now on our 2nd to last leg to Brisbane. Dan and Thomas got us into Cairns through some amazing scenery.
Mick and Thomas are now flying to Brisbane where Gary and Mark will take over for the final flight into Sydney.
Sat 8th November - We have Arrived in Australia - 2359z
We have a special guest onboard for our arrival into Australia
Sat 8th November - 4 More Flights Left - 2105z
We have just 4 more flights to go. We are on the ground in Manado for the last sunrise of the event...... its almost all over....
We did have a great approach in to Manado though, 9000ft from 100 miles out skimming the clouds and watching the scenery go by.
Sat 8th November - Last 18 Hours Pictures - 1415z
In the Cruise
Simfest ATC Centre
Gone For Pasties
Gary Shows off the computer Rack
We then decided as the Aussies have a motion platform we would make our own out of a car jack, an Axle Stand, a garden broom and a fan
Last nights approach into Kathmandu was looking to get interesting, we decided some top gear Bill Oddie (or Aussie) masks were needed incase things go wrong.
Sat 8th November - Big Problems on the last Day - 1321z
We have had some major issues on the ground in Hanoi, for some reason the projector wouldn't come back on after a reboot. Everything is working now and we hope to have some updates on the site this afternoon with some pictures of the last 12 hours.
Sat 8th November -On the Ground in Lahore - 0147z
We are now on the ground in Lahore. We have had alot of cockpit visitors including a BA 737 First Officer, at one point we had 7 people crammed in the cockpit for a landing.
Its been a good fun day and we are now making the final push towards Australia.
Mick, Gary and Matt (who joined us after offering to buy the crew cake) are now preparing to depart.
Fri 7th November -Climbing Out of Innsbruck - 1238z
We are now in the climb out of Innsbruck. Here are a few pictures.
Fri 7th November - On Ground in Innsbruck - 1226z
We are now in Innsbruck waiting to depart, we are all being held on the ground due to arriving traffic. We hope to be out shortly though.
Fri 7th November - Close Call - 0035z
Welll... no other way to describe it but we were about 30 seconds from ditching into the Sea on the climbout from Las Palma's.....
Just in the climb with Tom hand flying the flight controls locked up again, the autopilot was then engaged but was unable to apply enough pitch down trim and before we knew it we were stalling. Some quick thinking from the captain who by this time was straddled over the pedistal about to jump out to fix the problem was needed to save us from death......
Gary Leaped across and disanged the Autopilot, Rammed the Throttles so far forward they almost went through the EICAS and frantically clicked the Trim Down Lever.
At about 1500ft we pulled out of the stall and continued departure using Pitch trim, then about 30 seconds later all the controls came back.... still no idea what caused the problem.
One this is for sure, we are going to be migrating over to IOcards for everything, as these have not failed us yet!
Thu 6th November - On Ground in Las Palmas
We are now on the ground in Las Palmas on a 2 hour turn around. We have uploaded some pictures and videos of the past 2 days....
The Best Landing By Far
Tom Addresses the Passengers
Qantas 25 Overtaking
Simfest ATC Centre
High Speed Takeoff
Thu 6th November - Limping into Bissau - 2013z
Unfortunately our problems reoccured during the cruise, so a quick change around of the crew put Gary in the flight engineer position rebooting various components of the aircraft all the way down into Bissau so we could get on the ground and reboot the entire simulator.
We were cleared for the Dilpo (except there was a definate slip of the tounge by Centre) arrival when we lost radio communication so switched to datalink ATC....
This was really cool until...... we lost that too....
With some Quick thinking we got the satphone out and phoned ahead and were receiving our ATC insturctions via telephone. Ralph then bought us in for a brilliant manual landing (well it was until the right wheel left the runway)...
We then shut the plane down for about 30 minutes getting out the fans to cool everything down.
Everything was then rebooted and thankfully came back.
Gary and Andy are now flying towards Las Palma's (Or Juduth Charmers as Andy called it when asking for clearence)
Thu 6th November - The Cause of All Our Problems - 1406z
Following more major problems on departure, like all the screens going blank, the plane getting stuck going round and round in circles and other bizare issues the cause of the problem has been found.
It turns out Garys brother was remoting into his PC from work in order to download 'something' (porn) which caused the router to go crazy and drop packets on the sim network. Since rebooting the PC everything else is back up and running. (Fingers Crossed)
Thu 6th November - Good Morning
What an eventful night!
We had alot of traffic and some really awful weather through Africa. We are currently in Chad preparing for departure to Burkina Faso.
Gary (engineering) was woken at 0930z with an urgent request for assistance. Somehow during the arrival into Bangui the speedbrake lever had completely disappeared, no one knew where it was!
Gary sprung out of bed, fearing the worst, was it a ghost? Had someone got hungry and eaten it for breakfast, had Mick been in the cockpit again, or had it been transported to another time or place!!!?! On arrival in the cockpit the speedbrake was wedged into the down position by carefully positioning a pen down the hole and wiggling about until the Speedbrake Armed message disappeared.
Due to arriving extremely late it was decided that Gary and Mark would turn the plane around as quickly as possible to try and catch up the almost 1 hour delay. Once airbourne, trouble struck again, this time with the Autopilot and flight controls stopping working. A few resets of the relevant computer later everything was back in order.
Gary was then handed a screwdriver and had half the throttle quandrant apart to fix the speedbrake lever. Once the lever was reattached it was time to decend into Chad.
Just after requesting decent it was discovered that the autopilot had yet again hung. After about 30 miles it was decided that whilst engineering fixed the problems Gary and Mark would try and decend. The question was how...
We evaluated that we had full use of the throttles, the overhead, the alternate pitch trim and the rudders. So there we had it flying the approach into Chad using rudders and alternate pitch trim.
By the time full control was regained we were about to intercept at about 3000ft too high and just coming round, luckily everything panned out to be established and stable by 10nm out. A perfect manual landing was performed by Mark.
Thu 6th November - Overnight to Zanzibar 0100z
We are in the cruise having departed a few minutes early. Mick and Gary rolled out Simfest Radar again to guide 40 aircraft into Zanzibar. I think they enjoy the ATC more than the flying at the moment!
Wed 5th November -Off to Zimbabwe- 2203z
With the First Officer being South African it seemed only right for Thomas Shields to fly out of Cape Town, we are now enroute to arrive in Zimbabwe 30 minutes early.
Again all is going well, somethings bound to go wrong soon, this is all going to well!
Wed 5th November - On the Way to Capetown - 1812z
The new crew turned up to take the aircraft on an uneventful flight to Luanda.
Mike Bannister and Mark arrived to take us to Windhoek, Mike asked if we had more thrust and could we go any fast. A simfest speed record was then reattempted but no one could beat Andy's 601knots Ground speed. Mike handflew the departure and approach to execute a nice landing in Windhoek.
Mick , Tom and Tom are now enroute to Capetown for an on time arrival. The plane is behaving really well, Gary is currently working out how to repair an autopilot switch without having to take the whole panel out. Its a bit like the NASA how to fix Apollo 11 from scrap.... no hang on its nothing like that at all!
Wed 5th November -Arrived in Georgetown, Ascencion Islands- 0700z
Having flown through the night we arrived in Georgetown just as the sun came up. During the flight we were overtaken by Qantas 25 which meant some vectoring on the approach to get out of their way.
During the cruise the crew took advantage of the new flat bed crew seats and took a quick nap, one at a time! The Flight engineer also had a kip, this time unplanned, he fell asleep holding his coffee and woke up to boiling hot coffee all over him.
Here are some pictures from the last few flights.
Relaxing in the cruise.
Traffic on the way out of somewhere
Ground Speed 601 Knots!
Asleep in the cruise
Woken up for Breakfast
Approach into Georgetown
Tue 3rd November -The race is on! - 2125z
We are now screaming through South America on our way to Rio at a ground speed of 603knots, following Daryl and his 767. We are estimating an arrival almost an hour early. This should give us time on the ground to resolve the following defects:-
Autopilot ALT Hold Light - Ripped off by Mick
Speedbrake Lever - Loosened By Mick
Parking Brake Switch - Broken by Mick
Replace Landing Gear - Bent by Mick
Fit Jumpseat Drink Holder - Not broken by Mick
Tue 3rd November - Latest Update-1903z
We have just left Santa Cruz, Boliza on our way to Asuncon is Paraquay the flight is going rather uneventfully.
In order to allow our Friends in Australia who are doing the ATC to sleep we have been covering ATC over South America at one point with Mick, Simon and Gary all covering sectors. The traffic levels have been extremely high but we have been doing our best to get everyone on our way.
Overnight we head out over the South Atlantic towards the Ascencion Islands and over to Africa.
More updates later.
Tue 3rd November - The Quito Incident-1218z
As we mentioned in the last entry there were a few issues on approach.
Here is a video just as the flight controls came back, we should have probably executed a go around but hey... this is world-flight we dont go around!
Pictures of the last flight
Tue 3rd November - Overnight Through South America - 1147z
Nigel, Ron & Simon flew through South America overnight visiting Acapulco, San Salvador and Panama (we even saw a Canoe rowing up the Panama Canal!) The crew encountered a few problems with the FMC (which provides navigation) so the were rebooted this morning. We also made some changes to the software which runs our communications (Squawkbox) and hopefully this will resolve that problem.
Gary and Mick arrived (extremely tired) for the flight to Quito which from the start was eventful as both crew were VERY VERY tired.
They got the aircraft airbourne a few minutes late and were served a lovely cooked breakfast by the cabin crew.
During Decent it all went slightly to pot, the world-flight controllers were replaced by local controllers who were on text only and were not used to handling so many flights. 30 Minutes of flying around later we finally lined up for the approach, all was going well until just as Mick disengaged the autopilot the computer which runs the flight controls made a very loud beep and turned itself off.
Mark quickly rebooted the computer in time for Mick to take over again at 800ft. Unfortunately the trim was out (-thats his excuse anyway!) and we hit the runway very hard, causing 6 tyres to burst and the landing gear to bend slightly.
Engineering are working on repairing the aircraft (have nipped to the scrappy up the road) in order to repair the landing gear and tyres.
We are hoping to push back for Lima, Peru in a few minutes.
Thanks for watching.
Mon 3rd November - Last few hours- 2305z
We departed SFO on time, and arrived a few minutes early, Tom Cooksey executed a good landing at Tucsun where it was warm and sunny. A quick turnaround and we were out right on time again.
Gary flew the departure manually until 37,000ft when Mark arrived with a curry for the first officer, unfortunately this was sent back as it was a little cold. It returned 10 minutes later hotter than the surface of the sun.
Approach into Monterry was very interesting, 11,000ft at 15 miles out, flying a slightly illegal decent with speedbrake out, flaps coming down and the gear coming down the flight controls froze. Gary managed to get the autopilot engaged enough in order to level the aircraft out whilst Mark resolved the flight controls issue.
A slightly firm landing a few minutes later and we are now onstand turning it around to head to Alcapulco.
Nigel in his usual position
Mon 3rd November - Simfest ATC Centre is Active - 1807z
Gary jumped on SFO Approach to help out the lack of local controllers (well it is really early there!) for the first time controlling in 2 years anywhere other than Heathrow. It was fun! We are now operating SFO_DEP. We have also just pushed back only 2 minutes late.
Mon 3rd November - Its finally Dawn- 1529z
Mon 3rd November - Still in the Cruise - 1454z
We have reactivated the Inflight Instruments. We may have to turn these off depending on if we flood the link. These Satellite links are very slow :-).
Mon 3rd November - In the Cruise to SFO
Its almost daylight, the crew are tucking into lunch/breakfast/dinner.... (what time is it again!) We have also turned on the audio on the webcams.
Mon 3rd November - Climbing Out From Hawaii - 1226z
Tom decided he makes a good presenter :-)
A couple of pictures from our chase plane of the take off and climbout.
Mon 3rd November - On The Ground in Hawaii - 1158z
After an amazing flight in with lots of traffic Capt Gary Oliver performed a manual landing on Runway 17, slamming the brakes on to vacate halfway down the runway (hes now found the brake pedals after the last mishap).
We landed 37 minutes late so Simon and Tom and preparing the aircraft for departure in quick time and have loaded on extra fuel in order to fly a little faster than usual to catch up the time.
Mon 3rd November - Apia to Hawaii - 0828z
Thanks to everyone viewing the webcams, and the 4700 views of the website since 2300z yesterday!
Mon 3rd November - Apia to Hawaii - 0724z
Hello from the flightdeck. We are in cruise to Hawaii estimating arrival at 1120z.
You can tell the crew are tired, during the taxi to the runway the First Officer almost crashed into the Back of an Australian 737, luckily the Captain hit the brakes just in time. Then in the climbout the Captain started trying to transmit to ATC using the Parking Brake Switch... the landing should be interesting.
We are expecting a nice clear nighttime arrival into Hawaii where the temperature is 25C. There are a lots of Thunder clouds enroute so we have the weather radar on just incase.
In the Cruise
Our Flightplan ties up with the CDU for once!
Mon 3rd November - 0656z
We pushed back 3 minutes late but due to the huge amounts of traffic it took us over 50 minutes to taxi out and take off. Thanks to the ATC we had a no speed and did 320kts right up to cruise overtaking about 3 or 4 aircraft to bring our current ETA to 1128z. 30 minutes late but still plenty of time to get out on time for the next leg to San Francisco.
The map appears to be working now.
Mon 3rd November - 0425z
Unfortunately there is an issue with the Map, it appears to be stuck showing our position earlier this evening.
Mon 3rd November - 0150z
Just 1000 miles to go on the first leg !
Mon 3rd November - 0015z
Operations in full swing.
We have ourselves a convoy!
Here we go again.....
Sun 2nd November - 2340z
We are now heading out over the pacific in the brilliant morning sunshine, with a 60knot Tailwind. We estimate arrival around 0400z at this time although we are expecting the tailwind to turn into a crosswind about 100 miles from Nadi.
Sun 2nd November - 2235z
The crew are now preparing departure, webcams are back online. During the preflight briefing the crew decided to take 15 tonnes extra fuel... we dont want to run out of fuel over the pacific at night.
A video of the fuel planning discussions.
Oh here are some pictures from 1.5 hours before departure!
Sun 2nd November - 2130z
We successfully taxied to the passenger terminal and are now loading up the plane. Oh and making a last few minute repairs. The Webcams are temporarily offline to fix a problem with the network.
Sun 2nd November - 2102z
The webcams are now live. We are just preparing to taxi the aircraft over the passenger terminal. Here is the cockpit
Sun 2nd November - 1920z
Well its a nice morning in Sydney, here we are sitting on the ramp ready to move to the Passenger Terminal.
Sat 1st November 2008 - 1845z
We are ready to rock and roll! G-VIIN is sitting in the layover parking at Sydney.
Tomorrow we will be taxiing the aircraft into the Passenger Terminal around 1900z and preparing for departure.
Catering are currently organising the food, operations are preparing the flightplans for the first flight, and the rest of the crew are having one last night of relaxing before the big event.
The webcams were tested today and will be operational, you will be able to see inside the cockpit as well as the dispatch area.
For those of you interested here is the planned taxi route for tomorrow.
Mon 28th October 2008 - 2359z
So much for a hardware freeze on the sim last weekend! Yet again we have been improving the simulator with new Glarewings to enable our DataLink ATC to work as well as the master/caution switches (finally!). We also fitted a new gear lever thanks to Flight Deck Solutions.
All of this was done during a test flight from Hawaii to San Fransisco which worked perfectly, except for having to fly the last 200nm at 280kts due to the landing gear deploying due to the lack of a gear lever.
Check back for more pictures and reports as we continue the test flights this week.
Sat 25th October 2008 - 1952z
Well we are almost ready!
We flew the plane to Paris and back this afternoon, and everythings working really well. We just need to fix the speedbrake lever after someone (or the auto speedbrake motor) snapped it.
The webcams will be working tomorrow along with the live instruments.
Mon 20th October 2008 - 2321z
More work has taken place today. Good news is that the new throttles are working really well. We have also just added in a PA Speaker, how could we have gone so many years without being able to talk to the passengers :-)
We are also installing a CCTV Camera to record all the event, should provide some amusing footage.
All of our food is currently being prepared by our Catering team. Thanks to Emily and Jill for their help, they did a wonderful job last year, we are looking forward to the cottage pie and pasta bake again!
Sun 19th October 2008 - 1321z
The event is drawing even closer! The sim is still in bits, we have been replacing the throttle quadrant which should be complete by the end of the day.
The new seats are in and really comfy and have seatbelts.. well we dont want to be flying out of them in turbulance do we ?!!
11th October 2008 - 1130z
Preperations are now in full swing for this years event. Our plane is currently in the hanger having some work carried out on it. We are fitting new seats (well we need some comfort!), a new throttle quadrant as years of wear and tear on the old one have taken its toll. We are also setting up our operations centre in order to co-ordinate this years event.