|Daily Times - Site Edition
||Friday, November 11, 2005|
PIA creates world commercial aviation history
KARACHI: Pakistan Inter-national Airlines (PIA) has created world commercial aviation history by flying newly-manufactured Boeing 777 LR (Long Range)-- the first airline in the world to fly it from Hong Kong to Heathrow -- the wrong way around the globe.
According to a press release on Thursday, flying from Hong Kong it went overhead Japan, then across the Pacific Ocean flying over Hawaii to overhead San Francisco, then onwards across North American continent to overhead New York, flying still farther across the Atlantic Ocean to land at Heathrow Airport, London, non-stop and in one giant leap lasting slightly less than 24 hours.
The trip which broke 18 minutes flight time record of Airbus 340 and also Boeing's 747-400's record from London to Sydney, flew 12,600 miles or more than half circumference of the globe.
Flying at 83 Mach or 17 Mach less than the speed of sound, the 35 persons onboard, including eight cockpit crew members, witnessed two sunrises and even had scheduled sleep timings in the bunkers onboard. Among five Boeing pilots were Capt Susana Darcy, Boeing 777 Test Pilot and Capt Frank Santoni, representing the Boeing Company.
Along with five Boeing pilots, Commander Asif Reza, senior vice president flight operations PIA, was in command and assisted by Captain Mohammed Ilyas Malik, designated as check pilot Boeing 777 in PIA, to fly the aircraft as Boeing's "Launch Customer", pending delivery of this very first plane to PIA, registered in Pakistan AP-BGY.
A Singapore Airline pilot was also on board, as the Singapore Airline is evaluating buying this airplane after PIA.
The event was reminiscent of another such record breaking flight by PIA nearly four decades earlier, when commander Abdullah Baig, the most famous pilot of PIA flying newly manufactured Boeing 720, eased into a jet stream during cruise with consummate skill to break the London-Karachi flight time record. staff report.
Source: Daily Times Newspaper