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Air travel should be more exciting

Kath and I arrived back in Sydney this morning after our bus ride from Singapore. Excellent, uneventful, but slightly boring Qantas flight as always. This particular 747 didn't even have the upgraded on-demand entertainment system.

I'm always hoping to get to use those inflateable slides one day but nothing ever happens on my flights.

Unlike last Friday's BA10 to London. I flew to London on BA a few weeks ago, but I didn't have the excitement of diverting to Uralsk, Kazakhstan. You can read the SMH article for yourself (A bumpy surprise halfway to London) but the highlight moments would have been landing a 747 on a runway "not suitable for 747s" and that one pilot called "probably one of the bumpiest in living memory".

The airport had no stairs tall enough, so to transfer to some smaller planes for their onward journey, "the passengers boarded by stepping onto the roof of an airport vehicle and then onto a stairway". That was, however, after enjoying some local cuisine - suggested to have been horse sausage.

It turned out there was no fault with the 747, just a false alert from afire warning light. I have had many flights delayed by faulty warning lights. Pesky things - they should just get rid of them. That would make things a bit more exciting ;)

Update:Here is the airport on Google Earth. I don't seem to be able to find any photos of the event itself :(

08:17 PM, 17 Apr 2006 by Mark Aufflick Permalink

And fun it was !

Had the dubious priviledge of being on board BA10/QF301 that day. I was travelling with my wife and three young children and really could have done without it. That said it was certainly an experience to remember! Runway was bumpy as reported and while the Captain made a very smooth landing the potholes undid all his good work. Locals were very security concious, its a long time since I've seen so many different types of uniform in one place. Its a surreal experience to watch guys in what could only be described as cold war era soviet uniforms ambling down the aisle of a British Airways 747. I have to say though that given what had landed on their doorstep (350 tired and cranky westerners) literally out of the blue, they were very accomodating especially to those of us with children. BA were excellent as well and the crew of the 747 were deserving of nothing but praise for how they coped. Oh and the Kazaks fed us with ham rolls not horse sausages!! Caoimhin

by Unregistered Visitor on 04/20/06


Thanks for your comment - it's always nice to hear a story from the horse's mouth, so to speak! Glad to hear you were well looked after. Flying with children can't be easy at the best of times. I guess they will have some interesting stories for show and tell :)

by Mark Aufflick on 04/20/06

Uralsk Pics

Have a look here. Took these before we were told that taking pics on the airfield was a "serious criminal offence" ! Caoimhin

by Unregistered Visitor on 04/21/06

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