Just flew an all nighter from San Francisco to Chicago. Weather conditions at takeoff from San Fran were light rain showers and calm winds. We departed to the east over Oakland and climb to 37,000 feet.
I just flew a recent trip to Sydney, Australia. Many people call Australia the land down under. Some of you may know why, but for those who don't, the reason is because Australia is the only continent with it's entire permanent population beneath the equator.... thus the land down under.
Being that Australia is in the southern hemisphere, their seasons are opposite those countries that are in the northern hemisphere. So, they are currently nearing the end of their summer. The weather upon my arrival was beautiful. It was clear skies, and the temp was around 80 degrees. But, by the time I to0k off the following afternoon the temp was a balmy 107 degrees!
Some details about our flight. We took off weighing 865,000 lbs. The max take off weight for the Boeing 747 is 875,000 lbs, so one can see that we were very heavy. A bit of trivia... we weighed approx 433 tons, as 1 ton equals 2,000 lbs. Our flight time was 14 hours and 10 mins. We had 340 passengers on board and 20 crewmembers. We departed San Francisco around 11 pm on a Wednesday night and arrive in Sydney on Friday morning at 8 am Australia time (Thurs afternoon around 2pm PST in the States) .
10 January 2010.
I took off from San Francisco, California headed to Hong Kong in a Boeing 747-400. With about 400 people, full of food and fuel, our total weight at lift off was about 870,000 pounds (lbs), (about 394.6 kilograms (kilos)).
As I pulled back on the control-wheel of this jumbo jet, I remember thinking to myself how this small self contained city will suspend itself in the air for approximately 15 hours non-stop to another city, another culture, another country.