Thursday, November 6, 2008

LAX to Narita Flight on Oct. 28

10/28 11:37AM LAX

I seem to be on the last 747 to not be upgraded. No individual screens behind each chair/seat. Luckily I am very prepared in the AV department. I have my new iPhone with many episodes of Monty Python and Good Eats. I have an audio only iPod which should last a very long time. Plus I have Shi's new iPod Nano with a lot of episodes of the Black Adder on it. I don't need United's help with my entertainment. I am self contained.

We should be leaving a little after 12PM. I am curious how much darkness we will have on the flight. It is 4AM in Tokyo when we depart L.A. and almost 4PM when we arrive. I'm trying to picture it in my head, where the darkness, the absence of sunlight will be. And for how long. But I can't picture it.

So far no one in the middle seat. The 747 is outfitted to hold around 335 people and I saw in the waiting area that there are over 100 empty seats. In a few more minutes I will find out how lucky I am.

A mix of people on the flight. Some Japanese, some obvious business people, some Thai going on to Bangkok, and some Americans. I can hear the people behind me talking about going on to Bangkok. Same flight number but different plane in Narita.

11:59AM Pushback (3:59AM Tokyo)

A mix of Japanese and American flight attendants.

We sat around at the gate for a bit after the pushback, but now we are headed to the runway.


Very smooth takeoff. We are in no rush to gain altitude. We took off headed in the right direction over the water and are slowly gaining altitude.


We were just told that the flight will be just under 11 hours, which is almost 45 minutes shorter than expected. We just turned to head a lot more north (I'm guessing that runway sends us out heading southwest and we start to adjust).

All I see is clear skies and blue water.

I forgot to see if the United audio channels sill have a cockpit channel. It's been a few years since I've flown United and I always enjoy listening to the cockpit.


The movies today are #1 (I forgot) #2 Speed Racer #3 Kit Kittridge #4 (I forgot)


We are back over California. I can't tell if it is Oxnard or Santa Barbara below us. Also, coastal clouds have appeared.


It looks like United is using XM branded programming for it's audio channels now.

Channel 9 has From The Flight Deck, Yeah!

I wish my brain was on and I had thought to listen earlier. I missed most of the activity since I missed takeoff. Better late than never.

I'm trying some Trader Joe's Espresso Pillows. A chocolate espresso candy. A little soft and then a little hard. I like it.


Nothing but coastal clouds out the window.

The movie Then She Found Me is now playing. It is #1 of 4.

I hadn't eaten since last night and I just had the United pretzels. Before i wasn't hungry. Now that my body remembers that I haven't eaten in 15 hours it is hungry. I should have waited for the meal.


We just got handed off to Oakland Center. (Nothing but clouds.)

1PM (5AM Tokyo)

Just given clearance to go to 33,000 feet (330).


Getting out the iPod Nano. Not much going on from the flight deck.

Lunch is about to be served. I couldn't hear what the choices are.

TWIT is first on the Nano.


A break in the clouds, water (hopefully the Pacific Ocean) is underneath.


Chicken noodle or beef. It like the beef has mashed potatoes instead of noodles. Both have a nice looking green salad, roll, and brownie.

An excellent point from TWIT:
We haven't hit bottom yet because Google hasn't had layoffs yet. If Google has layoffs (then we are all doomed) and that will be bottom.

2:06PM (6AM Tokyo)

They just turned out the lights inside the plane. Easier to see the movie on the crappy screens. Still sunny outside.


End of movie #1


Heavy Chop!

I plugged back in to the From The Flight Deck Channel.

I don't think the second movie has started yet.


It is starting now.

All low clouds and still sunny.

Occasional turbulance.


The heavy chop has returned. Still very sunny.


Still quite sunny out. Movie #3 is playing. I've eaten almost all of the Trader Joe's Espresso Pillows. Not advisable.

6:09PM (10AM Tokyo)

6 hours into the flight, 5 hours to go.

Still sunny out. I think we may not see night until sunset in Tokyo.

We were just served snacks, one of which is Harvest Cheddar Sun Chips (along with a Kit Kat and a cookie). The cabin has now taken on the distinctive odor of harvest cheddar. Lovely.


Movie #3 has finished. The sun persists. 4 more hours to go.

8:46PM (12:46PM Tokyo)

The chop has returned. Very sunny and low scattered clouds over the ocean.

9PM (1PM Tokyo)

2 hours to go. The second lunch meal should be coming up soon. Maybe the same choices. So far:

4529 miles travelled
38000 altitude
85 MPH head wind
501 MPH (don't know if this is ground speed)

10:08PM (2:08PM Tokyo)

Lunch time... again. Possibly chicken or beef again? I'm wrong, turkey sandwich or pasta. I chose pasta (possibly the wrong choice from the looks of things). With the pasta is yogurt and rasberry shortbread. Always open yogurt away from you if on a plane. Pressure baby!

10:45PM (2:45PM Tokyo)

45 minutes to landing.

3:10PM (Tokyo)

Some high clouds above us now, water below us.

3:19PM Down to 6000 feet. Over water. (listening to From The Flight Deck)

3:23PM Maintaining 6000 feet. Cargo ships below us.

3:24PM Slowing to 190 knots

3:25PM Down to 4000 feet

3:27PM Heading 280

3:28PM Heading 310; Coastline finally!

3:30PM Clear to land on runway 34 Left

3:35PM Smoooooth landing, 20 minutes early

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