Showing posts from 2013

Surfing the Skies

If you are in a bookstore or aviation shop between now and the next few weeks, look for the December 2013 issue of Airways magazine for an article co-written by yours truly about Surf Air.

Surf Air is a new start-up airline based in Southern California flying a fleet of three (soon to be four) six-passenger PC-12s between Northern and Southern California.  What makes Surf Air unique is it is a monthly membership based all-you-can-fly airline.

Back in August, my co-writer Bill Hough and I had an unique opportunity to experience Surf Air first hand.

I will make you buy (or at least read) the magazine for my trip report and to read up about the airline and our interview with its CEO, Wade Eyerly.  :)  As space in the magazine was limited, I would like to share with you some additional photos from our trip.

Surf Air Slideshow

Surprise Meet-up On Board the World’s Longest Flight

When Singapore Airlines discontinues their ultra long-haul (ULH) flights between Singapore (SIN) and Newark (EWR) and Los Angeles (LAX), it will mark the end of an era of ULH flights flown with the Airbus A340-500 (A345).

DC-4 - The Unexpected Flight

I took a most unexpected flight while in South Africa. I got to fly in a Douglas DC-4 Skymaster - the last one ever built - and one of only two remaining in the world carrying passengers. It was an exciting highlight in my aviation enthusiast career!

RTW – The Final Rundown

Here is a final rundown of my Round the World trip.

African Safari

My African Safari took place at Balule Nature Reserve, a private game reserve about 270 miles northeast of Johannesburg (a six-hour shuttle van ride away).  Balule’s border with Kruger National Park is unfenced, which allows animals to move freely in between the lands.  The advantage of taking a safari at a private reserve is they have the ability to take vehicles off road straight to the animals, whereas at Kruger, everyone must stay on the road.

Montreal Rainout

This is my last update on the road as I will be flying back home tomorrow morning.  Spending six-weeks on the road overseas is tiring; I am ready to sleep in my own bed and go back to work to resume normalcy in my life.

Incredible Iguazu

With only one country and one week remaining,  my trip around the world is almost complete.  I am only four time zones away from home!

The Big Five

Whenever one goes on a safari, the goal is to see the "big five", named for the five most difficult and dangerous games to hunt in Africa.

Bobbing Down the Bosphorus

If you are a geography buff, then you will find the Bosphorus Strait fascinating as did I.

Steamed Out in Turkey

My trip is now more than half way over and the first countries are a distant memory (I was in Australia?).

Impressions of Phuket

If there was a place (so far on this trip, anyway) where I wished I could have shared it with someone, Phuket, Thailand would have been it.

My First "Super" Flight

I logged my first Airbus A380 double-decker super-jumbo a few days ago. It was only a short three-hour flight, across the ditch (as they say), from Auckland (AKL) to Sydney (SYD) on board Emirates. Since I paid for this segment of the trip - I flew in Economy Class on the lower level. I will get a proper introduction to the Super Bus later this trip when I fly on Thai's A380 in Business Class (on the upper level of course) on a long overnight flight from Bangkok to Paris.

My Travels to Middle Earth

I arrived at the Middle of Middle Earth Airport.

Down Under for Some Tight-Assed Fish

The first leg of my trip around the world is complete. As planned, Australia was a spotting plus visits with friends and relative stop.

Watchout World – Here I Come!

In less than one week, I will embark on my vacation/spotting trip/adventure around the world.  As you may recall from my previous post, I redeemed 260,000 United Mileage Plus miles for a Star Alliance “Round the World” (RTW) Business Class ticket.  The ticket only cost me $450 (just the taxes and fees) – not too shabby!

Dreamliner Gallery Tour

I had the pleasure of touring Boeing’s Dreamliner Gallery during Airline Reporter’s Aviation Geek Fest 2013.  Located in Everett, Washington (near the Boeing Factory at Paine Field), the Dreamliner Gallery is described as an “exercise of the right brain” - designed to enable creativity for airlines’ cabin designers.

Quickie Trip Report - A Dream Dashed

United (ex-Continental) 777-200, Tokyo-Narita (NRT) to Los Angeles (LAX) in BusinessFirst.

Most of my readers probably know by now that my All Nippon Airways (ANA) Boeing 787 Dreamliner trip was not exactly a complete success.  While I got to partake in ANA’s inaugural flight from San Jose to Tokyo on the Dreamliner, four days before I was scheduled to return home, the 787 fleet got grounded.  This came after an ANA 787 made an emergency landing at Takamatsu after experiencing smoke in the cockpit and cabin due to a battery fire.  Nine days prior, battery on board a Japan Airlines (JAL) 787 caught on fire while parked at the gate in Boston.

Trip Report: Dream Came True for San Jose!

Flying on ANA’s inaugural flight from San Jose to Tokyo on board the Dreamliner