Cockpit Tour 747

About 4 hours into the flight - just as we left the coast of Western Australia and I prepared to watch Sandra Bullock in "Miss Congeniality" again! - I went up to the cockpit. Up the spiral staircase and into a world of flashing lights and more MFD's than a Eurofighter Typhoon!

Eurofighter Typhoon - Cockpit

I was fortunate enough to see the captain and co-pilot perform a climb from 37K to 39K. None of the passengers would have noticed the climb which was performed with a combination of autopilot and a feather touch on the throttle quadrants. Very smooth!

I asked the co-pilot the reason for the climb - "Well Air Traffic Control wanted to de-conflict us with another flight coming South at Flight Level 37." That sounded like a good idea. The captain turned the cabin lights off and we peered into the void but there was no sign of the oncoming flight. Just as well anyway, with a closing velocity of over 1,000 knots it would have been a short glimpse!
"Check out the moon!" said the captain, and we did.

Awesome...... poetic. How can I describe it? The brilliant white globe hung glowing off the port bow amidst a sea of sparkling diamonds. Below, a fairytale carpet of milky white clouds. Cotton wool, surely, and looking more like a Hollywood set than reality.

For a moment we hung motionless.

Time stopped.

No one said a word.

Then it was lights on and back to business. I floated back to my seat and watched Michael Caine try and teach Sandra Bullock how to walk like a lady.

NOTE: My cockpit visitations were organised well in advance and through official channels. I feel it is particularly important to make this point in light of the tragic events of September 11th 2001.

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