CPA 3272 Leg 4 – DXB to HKG

Today I finally got to fly the next leg on our Round-the-World tour with Cathay Pacific Cargo (after 2 exams this week it was time to relax a little…). Since they have a gap in their 3272 flight between Dubai and Hong Kong, we had to fly under flightnumber CPA66, which is exactly the same operation and really just another number for that leg. But I don’t wanna bore you with technicalities, you’re here to see pictures and read about the flight, right?

Photobucket

It all starts on a sunny day in Dubai, as we board our beloved B-HUO that is sitting on the freight ramp and shining in the sun like the North Star on a clear night. The B747-400F is waiting for us to take it home to its base in Hong Kong Chek Lap Kok. Sadly there is no more flying into Kai Tak. The spectacular approach into this very challenging airport, descending over the rooftops in the streets of Hong Kong on Final will never be forgotten. But it’s not the 90’s anymore, and so we have to fly to the new airport a little outside of Hong Kong on a man-made island.

Our filed route today starts on runway 30R in DXB, from where we will depart via SID RIKET2D. After we cleaned the aircraft up, we will bank to the right on an almost 180° turn to enter our initial airway. First we will overfly the Northern tip of the UAE, before we head out into the Gulf of Oman. Flying aligned with the Iranian coast to our left, we will reach Pakistan a little later and pass just South of Karachi, before we enter Indian airspace. Crossing India from West to East will take us some time and after we will have overflown Kolkata, we say Hello to Bangladesh ATC, and immediately Good Bye again. Leaving the Bay of Bengal behind, our route takes us into Burma, also known as Myanmar. For a little while we can enjoy its beautiful mountains from FL350, before the sun sets and we finally fly into Chinese airspace. We will be passing Kunming and Guangzhou, before landing on runway 07L in Hong Kong. All in all this flight will be a little bumpy from time to time. It also will be quick with tailwinds maxing at 104 kts, and averaging at about 80kts.

Photobucket

But now let’s kick it off, for real!
Skies are blue today, winds are calm and our freight is 98 tons. After enjoying the city for a few days, lying on the beach and drinking Cocktails in the Hotel Bar, we have to get back to work now. Since we are in a great mood and it’s warm and nice outside, we decide to not torture our First Officer with the walk around, and do it ourselves for a change!
Photobucket

The RR Engines look good to me. I just hope my Co is a nice guy and leaves them off until I return to the Flight Deck…
Photobucket

Rudder and Ailerons – check
Photobucket

Our Co actually was a nice guy and we didn’t end as Salami. Back to the Flight Deck, going through preflight items and checklists and in no time we are ready to go home! Cathay six-six heavy is ready for pushback and engine start! And what a view with the skyline in the back.
Photobucket

Taxi clearance is received, clear on the left and all set to taxi to the active, 30R. Wait a second…is that…is that a mosquito or something? Ahhh, no, it’s just a Piper Archer with a pilot that obviously has made his peace with the world. You better have no unfinished business pal, once I push that Thrust Lever just a teeny weeny bit forward for taxiing, you’ll probably fly backwards for the first and last time in your life!
Photobucket

It’s not too often you can see AN-12s today. Here’s one approaching 30L as we are about to receive our Line-Up clearance.
Photobucket

Looking good! The obligatory runway shot. That moment where you just received Take-Off clearance and are about to push that Thrust Lever forward and just feel incredible power, listening to those powerful engines roaring up that enable you to lift this massive piece of metal off the ground.
Photobucket

A last quick look on our SID for today, before we go.
Photobucket

We are blowing off some dust, as we pull back the yoke to rotate and bring that baby where it belongs – into the skies!
Photobucket

Bye-Bye hot and dusty Dubai…so nice to have AC in my cockpit.
Photobucket

Behind us the airport, below us the beach and in front of us the Persian Gulf. But we will be changing course soon.
Photobucket

Climbing out and it seems there are some clouds coming in. Just the right time to leave, I don’t like lying at the beach with clouds in the sky!
Photobucket

That’s one big advantage of flying. Don’t like cloudy skies? Just break through them and look at them from above with the sun in your neck.
Photobucket

A last glimpse of some Dubai-ish outskirt.
Photobucket

YAY! Only 3301 nm to go. Thank god we have enough coffee, food and newspapers on board.
Photobucket

That was quick. After a few minutes we’ve already reached the “other” coast of the UAE, this time it’s the Gulf of Oman.
Photobucket

A day in the life of a Thrust Lever.
Photobucket

And this is what Pakistan looks like from above. I have to admit, I’ve seen more exciting landscapes.
Photobucket

After seeing that desert for some time and overflying India without a lot of exciting sights, we made it into Burma. This is what I’m talkin’ bout! Mountains, sunset and all in all just beautiful.
Photobucket

Burma, also called Myanmar, is an often forgotten country. It recently saw big changes and is now underway to become more and more democratic and free. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for the people there. Their land is really beautiful and these mountains are great.
Photobucket

Had to think of that song by Midnight Oil while passing this scenery…Mountains of Burma.
Photobucket

Photobucket

Slowly the sun goes down, setting for a nice mood.
Photobucket

Photobucket

All of the sudden we encountered some clouds on FL350. Let’s say it got a little bumpy…
Photobucket

Watch the stars come out
Photobucket

Somewhere over the province of Guangxi. Not a single airport around us on the ND, even though we set a radius of 160 nm.
Photobucket

After an uneventful descend into Hong Kong, we are now on Finals for runway 07L. NI HAO!
Photobucket

As always, we are well-prepared and take some time to explain the Approach Plate to our F/O. He was holding it upside down…Jeez!
Photobucket

Overflying the runway threshold. After we did the walkaround back in Dubai, I could convince my F/O to let me handle this landing, so he had some time to take pictures. Probably the better choice, I didn’t wanna end somewhere in the water short of runway 07L.
Photobucket

Fighting a little crosswind there.
Photobucket

Spoilers deployed, Reverse active
Photobucket

Turning off of 07L we catch a glimpse of the Terminal. Lots of traffic here and so nice to finally see some more Cathay tails
Photobucket

We have secured the aircraft at the cargo ramp and finished our Shutdown checklist. Time to call it a day and get some Chinese food and a nice cold bottle of Tsingtao.
Photobucket

Look at all those Cathays. That’s our turf!
Photobucket

I almost felt like a star walking down that illuminated stair
Photobucket

This guy is very careful. He’s shining like a christmas tree in his reflective west. He can be a positive example to us all!
Photobucket

Goodbye B-HUO. See you soon when we cross the Pacific together on our last leg back to Anchorage.
Photobucket

Clearly Cathay territory!
Photobucket

That’s it for now. I hope you enjoyed today’s flight. See you soon on our last leg, at least with Cathay Pacific Cargo. We’re going back to Anchorage! Can’t believe we circled the world already…
But this won’t be the end. We can’t retire just yet and so we are gonna do the westbound RTW on the MD-11F right after…stay tuned.

2 thoughts on “CPA 3272 Leg 4 – DXB to HKG

  1. Would love to have seen this baby going into Kai Takl! The “new” Hong Kong is so boring. Again, great series SB. I gotta MAKE some time and get my ass in the virtual cockpit again….your series is inspiring me.

    • Thanks! I totally agree on Kai Tak. Even though, I am on my way from HKG to ANC as we speak (only 4205 nm to go…) and the departure from 07R via SID BEKO3A was just breathtaking. It took me right through Hong Kong Bay over the city and Kai Tak. Got some wonderful pictures there, I’m gonna post later.
      I used to do almost only short flights before, but I recently really got into flying those lonely Cargo runs with the big birds. Really looking forward to reading something new in your blog!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: