A Trip North with the New Kangaroo-CBR-SYD-BNE-SYD-CBR

Started by Snorzac, February 06, 2011, 10:14:40 PM

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After contemplating which cricket game I wanted to go and see this year I eventually decided on going to a match in Brisbane on January 30. I booked flights with Qantas through Sydney and accommodation was organised with my friend and I staying at my aunts house. On this trip I would travel on my two favorite aircraft, the Boeing 767 and the Dash 8-Q400 as well as travelling on the one aircraft I hate, the Boeing 737-400.

For once I wasn't on an early flight so I had a decent (what you call decent on a 25 degree night) sleep. My grandpa drove us to the airport arriving just on 8am, with no line up for check in we checked our bags in and were off to security within a few minutes. Problems occurred at security when a random explosives test on myself gave a false reading stating that I had traces of explosives. after a few more attempts I was cleared and took a seat next to departure gate 13.

Aircraft: VH-QOM            Dash 8-Q400                Seat:19A
STD: 0955                      STA: 1045
Pushback: 0953            Wheels Up: 0956
Wheels Down: 1042     At Gate: 1047
Departure Gate: 13      Arrival Gate: 17

-First time on aircraft
-4th time on type
-54th Flight

Boarding Pass

The inbound flight was around ten minutes late but had more than enough time to be turned around without delaying the flight.

VH-QOM arrving at the gate.

Boarding was called early and I was th first onto the aircraft greeted by our CSM for today Denise who directed us to the very rear of the aircraft. After about 10 minutes it was announced that we were now fully boarded and were awaiting the final paperwork before we could get going. In the cockpit today we had John and John whose last name escape me.

Engines started at 0950 and pushback commenced shortly after. At about 0954 the flaps were set and we made the 10m taxi from the terminal to the runway entrance most Q400s use at Canberra. After holding short for a Virgin Blue 737 the spoilers were raised (no idea why this is done with the Q400s) and we taxied on to the runway before the captain powered up and lowered the spoilers, we rotated with about 1/3 of the runway left.

A bit of turbulence was experienced on takeoff but soon we were settled into quite a smooth climb to our cruise at 16000ft. The captain spoke for a bit briefing us on the flight and weather conditions and soon after crossing 10000ft the seatbelt sign was extinguished. The two cabin crew Denise (previously mentioned) and Luigi made quick work handing out cup cakes and drinks. Today we had a Orange and Caramel Cupcake as well as a choice of tea, coffee, juice or water. Today I opted for coffee to accompany my cupcake.

The Orange and Caramel Cupcake served, quite tasty although quite small.

After the quick run through the cabin with the refreshment the crew then got to work with rubish run as we commenced our decent into Sydney. Today we would be arriving on runway 16R.

My attempt at a legroom shot, plenty of legroom on the Q400s!

Approach was a little bumpy but nothing to bad, if my camera wasn't in the over head it would have been a great approach for pictures with an approach right next to the Sydney CBD, landing was certainly nothing special but compared to what I have experienced in the past it was nothing. We exited onto the cross runway and arrived  at the gate a few minutes later with the engines shut down we were cleared to get off.

VH-OGS is seen taxiing past as we make out was to the terminal, I  had been informed that this aircraft would be operating my next flight.

Sydney Airport:
With just over an hour and a half between flights I headed off to get some lunch before sitting at the gate to await the flight, my advice to anyone travelling through T3 at Sydney would be to avoid eating at Hungry Jacks, they are pretty bad there.


Aircraft: VH-OGS            Boeing 767-338            Name: Roma         Seat: 53A
STD: 1205                      STA: 1335 (1235 BNE time)
Pushback: 1204            Wheels Up: 1216
Wheels Down: 1322     At Gate: 1324
Departure Gate: 13      Arrival Gate: 22

-First time on aircraft
-3rd time on type
-55th Flight

Roma at the gate just prior to boarding.

VH-OGS is one of the internationally configured Boeing 767s in the Qantas fleet, featuring a rather aged interior, the interior in this aircraft seems to be in better condition seems to in a much better condition than that of VH-OGM (the other International config 767 I have been on).

Boarding was called on time and I took up my seat in row 53, the last row before the crew rest area so recline in this row is unlimited. Push back commenced a minute early after all the over sized bags were stuffed into the overhead lockers.

Another poor legroom shot, not as much as the Q400 but still enough....just.

Another 767 next to us.

This flight was the first time I had seen the new Qantas safety video which features John Travolta rather than the sleezy pilot. A nice change, the video is much more relaxed and engaged the passengers more than the old one. After the safety demo taxi commenced as we made our way out to runway 16L. after holding short for a Jetstar A320 we turned onto the runway and we were off with the power that is the reason I love the 763!

A pretty steep climb out as with most 767s with a sharp left hand turn to head north, a few bumps on the way up but it was pretty smooth on the way up.

Off to Brisbane, YSSY can be seen just under the wing.

Soon after takeoff the cabin filled with the smell of food and not long after the cabin crew were through offering lunch, today a spinach and cheese calazone. A full bar service soon followed, I chose to get a can of lemonade.

The Calazone, I was almost tempted to see if they had another, it was delicious.

Today's in flight entertainment commenced before takeoff, the news was shown followed by a documentary about art, neither of which I bothered with choosing to look out the window instead.

Decent today commenced over the Gold Coast as we made a Runway 01 approach so very few turns were made, a smooth approach with a little bit of turbulence as we came through the clouds. Landing was rather hard and seemed to shock everyone on board.

Over the Gold Coast.

Short Final over the airport.

A 727 with what appears to be an old Ansett Bae146, someone might know th story behind the 146, I believe the 727 is named Tania and is some sort of static training aid these days.

Qantas 747-438ER VH-OEH awaiting departure.


We stopped infront of the terminal so the taxi in was quite short.

There goes OEH.

after parking at the gate there was a short wait to disembark the aircraft but that comes with sitting at the rear. Once in the terminal we headed directly to baggage claim where out bags were two of the last out. After that it was on to the airtrain and off to the City.


Interesting report....very detailed....shame you didn't tell us when you shit as well and that would've covered everything :P


After typing the second half for almost an hour my browser crashed just before I finished...thankyou Google Chrome, the second half will now be tomorrow.

Mat-as for details that is nothing compared to some I have read, some go into descriptions on how the booking process went for them, etc. such as the ones written by this guy from NZ.

Sir Pompously


Getting to Brisbane Airport: 31/01/2011
After an interesting but enjoyable few days in Brisbane it was time for us to head home. Today we would be getting to the airport via train from Zilmere which is two train rides and a trip that takes about an hour. However today due to a late train this took a bit longer having missed the airport train at Eagle Junction by about 30 seconds, it left as the train from Zilmere was pulling in. We figured Eagle Junction was a place we didn't want to wait for 30 minutes so we continued to Fortitude Valley.

Fortitude Valley or China Town station is quite a modern station and appears quite new. After a short five minute wait the train to the airport arrived. From the City it is about 20 minute by train and there are very few stops, after Central only Fortitude Valley, Bowen Hills and Eagle Junction I believe.

Arriving at the airport I tagged off my GoCard for the very last time this trip, the ride from Zilmere costing me $17. I don't know why but I don't have a problem with paying this where as I do have a problem paying $11.80 to get the train to Sydney Airport. Maybe it is because QR actually provide a fully air conditioned service with Luggage space unlike the Airport Link offering where it is really luck of the draw, usually an old S or R set.

I would recommend this service to the airport to everyone who travels to Brisbane, it drops you in a really convenient spot and you never have to wait more than five minutes to get on a train as they cross over at the International stop, even though it may be 20 minutes later that you leave at least you can sit on it.

Brisbane Airport:
After the short walk from the train station to the Qantas check-in desks we found that there was no line for check in. With-in minutes we were on our way to security having scored an exit row seat on the 767 and row 13 on the 737, which in the 737-400 is directly behind the exit rows.

Security today was a breeze, I even managed to sneak past the random explosive people for once, since the incident I have been through security a few times and they haven't come near me, I have found that if you look them straight in the eye they tend to leave you alone more than if you try not to make eye contact with them.

Having not yet had lunch we decided to go for a walk through the terminal to see what there was to eat. As far as domestic terminals go I would have to say that Brisbane has th widest range of eateries that I have seen to date. There is a huge range of fast food outlets from Eagle Boys to Hungry Jacks as well as some small cafes and bars, today my eatery of choice was Eagle Boys Express which offers a $10.95 meal deal including a Pizza, Garlic Bread and a 600mL drink, well worth the money.

Once we both had out food we sat down to eat where we could watch the planes taking off, landing and taxiing.

Do I spot VH-QOM? Must have swapped between Sydney and Brisbane runs on Thursday after we got it, as the Brisbane to Canberra Q400 flight only runs a few days a week.

After lunch a quick look at the clock....darn, still 3 hours till the flight leaves! After walking around the terminal for a bit we finally found a spot where we could plug the laptop in and watch a few episodes of the BBC comedy "Come Fly With Me". After watching the entire 6 episode first season there was about 10 minutes till our aircraft was to arrive, time to head over to gate 24 to see what todays bird was going to be.

By the time we got to the gate there was a 767 turning off the runway, I could only assume it was ours, another new roo, only thing I could think was it was OGS again, there aren't many 767s with the revised livery (4 I think) and one was undergoing heavy maintenance at Sydney, knowing my luck it was going to be OGS, however as it got closer I found that it wasn't, todays aircraft was to be VH-OGQ, the display 767 from this years Canberra Airport Open Day. Having being on this aircraft before (not flown) I know that the interior is quite new and it certainly isn't as run down as OGS.

Arriving from Darwin

Yes, OGQ not OGS!

Jetstar's newest A320, VH-VGF


Aircraft: VH-OGQ            Boeing 767-338            Name: Birdsville         Seat: 34K
STD: 1845 (1745 BNE Time)                      STA: 2020
Pushback: 1840            Wheels Up: 1847
Wheels Down: 1958     At Gate: 2010
Departure Gate: 24      Arrival Gate: 2

-First time on aircraft
-4th time on type
-56th Flight

Boarding Pass for this flight, a nice touch for the check-in person to write the gate down for us (not that it's a problem for me) usually they don't even tell you the gate at Qantas.

The gate lounge was quite empty, a lot less than what I would have expected for a flight this time of the day, boarding was called at 1825 and we joined the back of the rather short line. Not long after we were on our way down the Jetway and onto the 767 having no troubles finding the seat we were warmly greeted at our seats by two cabin crew, a lot happier than the usual Qantas crew and a lot younger, funnily enough one of them turned out to be my former Japanese teacher's twin sister.

I need to work on getting the legroom shot right!

Being in an Exit row I had to put the camera in the over head locker, when I stood up I looked at the load, I said to one of the crew it looked like a light load and she responded by telling me there was 92 on board, 90 Y class and only two in J. This is a light load alright, I have heard about the performance of the 767 with a light load and I knew it was fun  ;D .

After a quick exit row briefing we were ready to push back, early. The safety demo was played and before long we were holding short of runway 01 with the in-flight news showing, waiting for two E190s to land, watching them they appeared to be in very smooth air, this could be a really smooth climb.

With the second one on the ground we lined up on the runway before the captain powered up, and we were off, in no time we were climbing out over Morton Bay with quite a rapid climb, soon after we made a sharp right and set course for Sydney, shortly after takeoff it was announced that dinner would soon be served, this surprised me, we were only supposed to get a snack, even better, it was a full hot dinner tray!

Climb out was very smooth and as soon as the seatbelt sign was off the meal cart was out, arriving at row 34 in no time, the drinks cart there before I could even look at the dinner. Today the tray featured Cheese, crackers, water, a small chocolate and our main which today was braised beef in tomato sauce with parsley tomatoes and beans, not a bad offering at all! To give it a rating out of 5 I would say a 4.

Friends dinner tray, was a bit hard to get one of my own as the tray table was in the armrest. I got lemonade with my meal. This is the last picture for the report due to poor lighting.

The main screen IFE was actually decent, unlike on the way to Brisbane. Today after the news was shown a cut down version of the Gruen Transfer was shown followed by an episode of Man vs Wild, I don't really watch Man vs Wild, so I tuned into "Rock on Q" and reclined the seat right back as there was no-one behind me, quite a relaxing position.

Before long we had commenced our decent over Newcastle and my seat had to be returned to the up right position before been locked into position by the Cabin crew, todays approach would take us directly over the Sydney CBD before making a sharp right hand turn to land on runway 34L.

Again there was not a spot of turbulence which I thought was very strange, a nice smooth landing followed as we made our way to gate two, after waiting for another aircraft to come out of the ally we made our way in before another short wait for an engineer to bring us in, not long after we were back in the terminal, thinking our next aircraft had not arrived I checked the gate, no departures from it till our, no arrivals so what was there would be ours, but on the way in I didn't see any 737-400s, only 738s and 767s.

Sydney Airport:
Not too much time here. Walked down to gate 8 to see what the bird to Canberra was to be, it was VH-VYL, a 737-800, not been a fan of night flights I went to the service desk to see if I could get an Exit row only to be told I was already in one. LOL, how embarrassing, in the 737-800 the exit rows are rows 13 and 14 as opposed to rows 11 and 12 in the old 400s. It now appeared that my move from row 15 to 13 wasn't stupid after all.

After this I sat down and browsed the web for a bit on the laptop and before long boarding was called for QF807.


Aircraft: VH-VYL            Boeing 737-838            Name: Wangaratta         Seat: 13F
STD: 2110                      STA: 2205
Pushback: 2100            Wheels Up: 2112
Wheels Down: 2150     At Gate: 2154
Departure Gate: 8       Arrival Gate: 11

-First time on aircraft
-7th time on 737-800, 22nd 737 flight
-57th Flight

Boarding for this flight was called a few minutes early and after my boarding pass rejected me the stub was ripped off and I was cleared to board. No mistakes with my seat again. Not long after the slow stream of people stopped, tonights flight wouldn't of had more that 60 people on. Fueling finished the final papers were handed to the CSM and the door was closed around 15 minutes before scheduled departure, push back soon followed.

Once we were all ready to go the long taxi all the way out to 34R began, the co-pilot gave us some flight details and by the time he had finished we were not far from the end of the runway. As we began making our turn on to the runway the engines powered up to the point where they let the engines stabilize and about halfway through the turn full power was applied the plane straightening quite quickly, not long after we were climbing out, again very smooth, as I said before very un-Sydney like. I of course expected turbulence in Canberra!

Seatbelt sign was off about three minutes after takeoff and the inflight service started. Today we were served French Vanilla Almonds (YUM!) with a choice of Juice, water or wine. Not being 18 I chose the juice as I already had water with me due to biting my lip on takeoff when the plane hit a bump on the runway.

Our decent started when the climb finish our timed cruise was a whopping total of 30 seconds  ::) . We made our approach for runway 35, pretty standard for Canberra except for one thing, the turbulence, there was none, quite strange really, it would have to be the first time I have ever flown into Canberra without experiencing a spot of turbulence. Landing was a good one and we made the taxi back to the new Qantas terminal where we docked at one of the new glass walkways. Soon enough I was off the flight and contrary to my last Brisbane trip my bag got to Canberra with me!!

All in all, for the money I payed I think I am going to find it very hard to book with Virgin again, the Qantas service on all four flights was superb, even the ground staff were great, except for that guy on Business Class check-in at Canberra  :P . I would be quite happy to say that the flight back from Brisbane to Sydney has been my best flying experience to date. My next trip will be with Qantas, I have no doubt!