CPA 3272 Leg 5 (Final) – HKG to ANC

It’s done! We have circled the world aboard our Boeing 747-400F on Cathay Pacific Cargo flight number 3272. 12 days ago we started in Anchorage and after 5 legs, today we returned to the icy freight hub.
During this tour we have touched down in 4 different countries – the United States, Netherlands, United Arab Emirates and Hong Kong.

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Here are some other statistics of this tour, for those interested:

  • Total Blocktime: 35h 17m
  • Total Flighttime: 33h 28m
  • Total Fuel Burned (Block): 393,386 kilograms
  • Total Cargo: 469,776 kilograms
  • Total Distance: 16,605 nautical miles

Now let’s talk about today’s flight. It was time to say Good Bye to Hong Kong and fly back to Anchorage. ETD was 16:10 Hong Kong Time and ETA was 07:59 Alaska Standard Time. Most of the flight was at night, but most importantly Take-Off and Landing were at Dawn/Dusk. The first time during this World Tour that we actually departed and arrived during daylight.
Weather in Hong Kong was nice, few clouds and good visibility with 17° Celsius OAT.

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After Take-Off from runway 07R we will follow SID BEKO3A. This will offer us some breathtaking views onto downtown Hong Kong and the old airport Chek Lap Kok.
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After departure our routing will take us along the Chinese coast on a Northern track. After overflying Shanghai we will head out into the East China Sea and reach the Korean island of Cheja a little while later. Following our North-Eastern heading we then pass Busan in Korea, the Sea of Japan and pass over the Russian island Sakhalin. Then we fly out into the Sea of Okhotsk, pass the Russian Kamchatka peninsula and leave the Asian continent when flying out into the Gulf of Anadyr over the city of Anadyr. From there we will reach the Bering Sea and our initial contact with the American continent will be close to Unalakleet, Alaska. Before beginning our descend into Anchorage, we will overfly the city and airport of McGrath. It is kind of ironic that we will also pass a city named “Farewell” on our final heading. A nice way to end this really interesting and entertaining Around the World tour. Cruise Altitude today will be 33,000 feet, with a Step Climb to 35,000 feet some 2,500 nm into the flight. Fuelburn will be a total of 109,407 kilograms today and in Anchorage we get clearance to land on runway 07L, with a great view onto the Chugach Mountains in the background.
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It’s time to work again. B-HUO is sitting on the freight ramp in Hong Kong, aligned with all the other company ’47s.
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Hong Kong is the world’s largest freight hub, with almost 4,2 million tons of cargo. That’s some 250,000 tons more than number 2 Memphis. Therefore it’s not really surprising to see the ramp this busy.
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While we are still doing our Preflight items and the IRS is not even aligned, you can enjoy the view onto the mountains not far from us.
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The last time that we do the walkaround around our 747. At least for now, the next legs will all be on MD-11F.
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Ready to go! We’re being pushbacked and say Good Bye to Hong Kong.
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The Pushback-truck driver Mr. Lee was kind enough to take a picture out of his truck. I will keep this in my logbook as a memory of this great tour.
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Engine Start. Number 4 and 3 are already running, 1 and 2 are spooling up right now.
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We didn’t have to taxi very far, and after waiting for some other departures at the Holding Point we are cleared to take-off on 07R.
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Rotate!
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And off we go! A very nice atmosphere with the sun slowly going down.
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ATC cleared us for SID BEKO3A. It doesn’t get any better than this! We might not be able to land in Kai Tak anymore, but this departure route right over the bay and downtown Hong Kong is a very nice substitute.
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Simply breathtaking
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On our left is the old airport Kai Tak, covered in some low clouds.
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Climbing with Hong Kong behind us
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Turning to the left, in line with our SiD
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After the beautiful view onto the city, we soon see another side of China – nothing but wilderness and mountains.
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Don’t ask me how this picture originated. I can just tell you, neither me nor the First Officer climbed out of the Flight Deck hatch to take it…
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The sun is slowly setting, as we race along the Chinese coast.
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A last view out of the window, soon there will be nothing but dark night.
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On our ND we can see that we are just overflying Shanghai and its two airports Pudong and Hongqiao.
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There’s not a lot you can do during a Nightflight.
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But eventually, some hours later the sun comes up again as we are just reaching the coast of Alaska.
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Wow, the landscape is just beautiful
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Known for its unpredictable weather, we encounter thick cloud layers. But apart from that the skies are friendly and the weather on approach will be good.
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This is what nature looks like
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Our last approach onboard B-HUO! On Finals for 07L in Anchorage
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This is every spotter’s paradise. So many 747s and MD-11s here
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Looking good! Love the view with the mountains in the background.
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It definitely looks cold here
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The last seconds in the air
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Short Final
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And this was shot miliseconds before the wheels touched the runway
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Taxiing back to the ramp
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Now that’s what I call an action shot! Another Cathay just landed, this FedEX MD-11F is about to take-off from runway 14 and an Atlas Air 747 just took off.
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Is this a sign? Long before we encountered this MD-11 from FedEX I already planned my next tour. Initial leg will be with a FedEX MD-11 from Anchorage to Osaka.
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The last few yards of CPA3272, before the engines are shut down.
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I was expecting a water cannon salute. All I got was a man in a yellow jacket, guiding me into the final parking position…
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I’m gonna miss that bird.
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Are we back in Hong Kong? No, this is actually the ramp in Anchorage. And by coincidence there happen to be 2 other bare metal-paint company 747.
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This is it! The final curtain. Next time I’m gonna board a plane it will be less steps. No upper deck on the MD-11.
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Thank you for flying around the world with me! I hope you enjoyed this multi-leg tour and had as much fun reading about it, as I had flying it.
If you want to read more, just stay tuned! My combined FedEX/Lufthansa Cargo Around-the-World tour will start soon. This time we head westbound, starting in Anchorage and going back via Osaka, Krasnoyarsk, Frankfurt and Toronto.
So see you soon, back in the sky!

2 thoughts on “CPA 3272 Leg 5 (Final) – HKG to ANC

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