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Alan K | all galleries >> Galleries >> For A Few PESOs More; Occasional Shots 2017 to 2022 > 20200722_165648_7224013 Leavin', Is That Jet Plane, No It Ain't Comin' Back Again (Wed 22 Jul 20)
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22-Jul-2020 AKMC

20200722_165648_7224013 Leavin', Is That Jet Plane, No It Ain't Comin' Back Again (Wed 22 Jul 20)

Off the Illawarra Coast, NSW

The Boeing 747 had been the backbone of Qantas international flights pretty much since the model was released. It took delivery of its first 747 (a 747-238 model) on 16 August 1971. For a brief time Qantas was an all-747 fleet.

Qantas Boeing 747-400 VH OEJ is the last of the line, and here we see it making its final flight. With a special flight code of QF7474 (747-400, geddit?) it was taking its passengers on a one way trip to Los Angeles. Which... historic flight or not, why would you want to in COVID-world? (Clarification: There are conflicting reports about whether the flight carried actual fare paying passengers. Australians are currently prohibited from leaving Australia without a permit from the Department Of Home Affairs which will only be given in very limited circumstances.)

After that, VH-OEJ was slated to fly off to one of the infamous aircraft boneyards in the expansive American deserts. I suspect that's where it is now, as I write this over a week later.

OEJ originally took off to the south, circled around to make a pass over the city, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and a squadron of media helicopters before heading south to pass over the HARS (Historical Aircraft Restoration Society) Museum at Shellharbour where its sister ship VH-OJA ("City Of Canberra") now lives in retirement. (And probably always will. The ShellHarbour runway was long enough for it to land on, not long enough for it to take off again. I have a raft of photos of there that I need to get around to posting one day.)

Here we see OEJ about half way to HARS, a few km off the coast and at about 2500 feet. I would rate my 40-150 lens as the best I've ever used, but if it talked I suspect it would have looked at me and said "You want me to do WHAT???" Yes, it was a very, VERY optimistic shot given the range, but it turned out - well, passable, considerin'.

Farewell, OEJ, we shall not see your like again. Well, not in the air, anyway. On the ground HARS is only about half an hour away from me.

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Julie Oldfield02-Aug-2020 00:29
Great capture and a fine send off. It really is the end of an era. I don’t know why anyone would want to come to my country due to Covid and many other reasons. V
Jeff Real01-Aug-2020 13:49
Really great work here!
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