"South China Shuffle"
March 2004

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"The long way home"

Last day of the trip, and one that was going to be a rather long one, waking up at 2330 UK time on Tuesday night, with the prospect of our next bed being in our respective homes, almost 48 hours away. Same routine as the previous morning, on arrival at the airport however, we 'got rid' of our suitcases at left luggage which is located centrally in the arrivals hall. Runway in use was still 07, so we left for the S1 bus to Tung Chung and onwards again to HAECO. We were to get an idea today however of how frustrating the airport can be with regard to runway changes. Nevertheless our first 30 minutes at our usual spot just north of the 07R approach gave us the added bonus of photographable passenger arrivals on 07R, while, yes you guessed it, CAAC Citation 650 B-7022 performed some calibration work on the 07L runway !. The airport island and the surrounding terrain appears to present a very complex and variable wind situation - for most of the previous day windchecks being given to departures on 07R were around direction 230deg at the threshold and around 080deg at the departures end - where we were sitting the wind appeared to be coming from behind us, from around 340degrees !.

We were expecting the inevitable 'change of ends' at some point during the day, and this came about as what looked like a shower approached from the south-west. Occurring just after noon our concern was for a few 'tasty' arrivals at this time of day which were now out of sight on 25R - notably the Royal Brunei Airbus - so we set off more or less immediately 'on the buses' again, to the spot by the 25R approach where we had spent the previous Friday. On arrival back at the airport, we walked to a point just to the south of the main airport bus station, where we could identify the said machine parked on the south apron as the same aircraft we had seen twice already on the trip. A nice hour and a half was spent shooting 25R arrivals in the sunshine, until at about 3 o'clock, they 'switched ends' again. Much discussion ensued as to our next move, and as this progressed most of what we were looking for from the early afternoon arrivals we had missed after the previous runway change, departed on 07R, easily identifiable from where we were. The concern was still that we couldn't see arrivals on 07L unless we went back to HAECO, so we took a taxi, a blue Lantau cab, back around there, which cost the hefty 40HKD !. On our arrival however we noticed that while the eastern end of the airport had been clear, a sort of mist/haze hung over the western end, meaning 07L arrivals were a little more difficult to identify. Little of note was missed however during the afternoon 'lull', and we had begun to notice a substantial amount of 'repeats' after a few days here, so I took a little nap on the rocks, only to be awoken later by departures off 25L - another runway change !. We were now way past caring and so just remained there, shooting departures off this runway, of which, at least the 'heavies', you get impressive views of. Indeed our remaining time here subsequently provided me with a major milestone for the trip, achieved just at it was coming to a close, my last Cathay Pacific aeroplane, a 'freighter' 747-400, departing off 07L, a movement we wouldn't have seen if we hadn't got the taxi back to HAECO earlier in the afternoon.

We returned to the terminal at the same time as the previous day, and after collecting our luggage, and a wash and a change - it had been the hottest and most humid day of the trip so far - we sunk the last Guinness' of the trip in the Irish Bar - it was St.Patrick's Day after all - and then checked-in and spent a very pleasant couple of hours in what must be one of the nicest departure lounges/pier areas in the world. A340-600 G-VATL lifted us off 07R - another change ! - just before midnight, for the 12hrs 53mins sector back to Heathrow, equalling my fourth longest flight sector ever.

Another 16 'western-builts' were new to me during the day, 4 of which were Chinese mainland airliners.

Thu 17/3/04 Hong Kong-Chek Lap Kok HKG/VHHH

9M-MMM 737-4H6 27166 2410 Malaysian Airlines System
9V-SQD 777-212ER 28510 90 Singapore Airlines
9V-SQG 777-212ER 28518 226 Singapore Airlines
9V-SYG 777-312 28528 364 Singapore Airlines
A4O-LC A.340-312 0040 Gulf Air
A6-EAN A.330-243 0494 Emirates Airlines
B-16101 MD-11F 48542 570 EVA Airways
B-16302 A.330-203 0535 EVA Airways
B-16403 747-45E SCD 27141 976 EVA Airways
B-16408 747-45E SCD 28092 1076 EVA Airways
B-18208 747-409 29031 1186 China Airlines
B-18251 747-409 27965 1063 China Airlines
B-18272 747-409 24310 778 China Airlines
B-18273 747-409 24311 869 China Airlines
B-18502 A.300B4-622R 0775 China Airlines
B-18502 A.300B4-622R 0775 China Airlines
B-18503 A.300B4-622R 0788 China Airlines
B-18572 A.300B4-622R 0533 China Airlines
B-18578 A.300B4-622R 0625 China Airlines
B-18581 A.300B4-220 0193 (China Airlines)
B-18608 737-809 28406 141 China Airlines
B-18803 A.340-313X 0411 China Airlines
B-2065 777-2J6 29744 280 Air China
B-2207 A.320-214 1028 China Eastern Airlines
B-2216 A.319-112 1551 China Eastern Airlines
B-2221 A.320-214 1639 China Eastern Airlines
B-2226 A.319-112 1786 China Eastern Airlines
B-2227 A.319-112 1778 China Eastern Airlines
B-2227 A.319-112 1778 China Eastern Airlines
B-2228 A.320-214 1906 China Eastern Airlines
B-2258 MD-90-30 53584 2203 China Eastern Airlines
B-2307 A.300B4-605R 0525 China Eastern Airlines
B-2320 A.300B4-605R 0709 China Eastern Airlines
B-2320 A.300B4-605R 0709 China Eastern Airlines
B-2337 A.320-214 1357 China Eastern Airlines
B-2338 A.320-214 1361 China Eastern Airlines
B-2346 A.320-232 0704 China Southern Airlines
B-2352 A.320-232 0720 China Southern Airlines
B-2381 A.340-313X 0131 China Eastern Airlines
B-2536 737-3J6 25079 2016 Air China

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B-2545 737-5Y0 24900 2095 China Southern Airlines
B-2657 737-89L 30517 1224 Air China
B-2685 737-79P 33040 1244 China Eastern Airlines
B-2824 757-21B 25889 583 China Southern Airlines
B-2838 757-2Z0 27260 613 China Southern Airlines
B-2869 757-25C 32942 1009 Xiamen Airlines
B-2905 737-33A 25506 2360 Air China
B-2911 737-3Y0 26084 2460 China Southern Airlines
B-2921 737-3Q8 27286 2528 China Southern Airlines
B-2952 737-31B 27519 2678 China Southern Airlines
B-2985 737-3W0 29068 2945 China Eastern Airlines
B-5031 737-79P 28255 1284 China Eastern Airlines
B-5068 737-71B 32933 1430 China Southern Airlines
B-6005 A.320-214 2036 China Eastern Airlines
B-6006 A.320-214 2068 China Eastern Airlines
B-7022 Citation 650 0220 CAAC
B-HLT A.330-343X 0439 Cathay Pacific Airways
B-HUO 747-467F SCD 32571 1271 Cathay Pacific Airways
B-HXK A.340-313X 0228 Cathay Pacific Airways
D-ABVU 747-430 29492 1191 Lufthansa
F-GSPY 777-228ER 32305 395 Air France
F-OHZM A.330-301 0183 Philippine Airlines
HB-JME A.340-313X 0559 Swiss International Air Lines
HL7403 747-4B5F SCD 26408 1163 Korean Air Lines
HL7413 747-48E SCD 25405 880 Asiana Airlines
HL7526 777-2B5ER 27947 148 Korean Air Lines
HS-TAH A.300B4-605R 0518 Thai Airways International
HS-TEA A.330-321 0050 Thai Airways International
HS-TGN 747-4D7 26615 950 Thai Airways International
HS-TJF 777-2D7 27731 95 Thai Airways International
HS-TKD 777-3D7 29212 260 Thai Airways International
HS-UTI 747-246B 21031 255 Orient Thai Airlines
HS-UTP 747-246B 20530 196 Orient Thai Airlines
JA605J 767-346ER 33494 911 Japan Air Lines
JA607J 767-346ER 33496 917 Japan Air Lines
JA608A 767-381ER 32977 886 All Nippon Airways
JA705A 777-281 29029 137 All Nippon Airways
JA8089 747-446 26342 905 Japan Air Lines
JA811J 747-246F SCD 22989 571 Japan Air Lines
JA8189 747-346 24156 716 Japan Asia Airways
JA8190 747-281B SF 24399 750 Nippon Cargo Airlines
JA8358 767-381ER 25616 432 All Nippon Airways
N177UA 747-422 24384 819 (United Air Lines)
N253UP MD-11F 48439 554 United Parcel Service
N25GV GV 674
N27015 777-224ER 28678 273 Continental Air Lines
N288Z Global Express 9024
N454FE A.310-222F 0278 Federal Express
N751SA 747-228F SCD 22678 535 Southern Air
N79011 777-224ER 29859 227 Continental Air Lines
PH-BFH 747-406 SCD 24518 783 KLM
RA-96005 Il-96 Aeroflot (new c/s)
RP-C2716 B.757-236 25597 441 Cebu Pacific Air
S7-RGJ A.321-131 0604 Pacific Airlines
V8-RBT A.320-232 2139 Royal Brunei Airlines
VN-A342 A.321-131 0591 Vietnam Airlines
YU-ANP 737-2K3 23912 1401 President Airlines
ZS-SNB A.340-642 0417 South African Airways

Another marvellous 'quick trip' then, proving as satsifying as previous independant excursions to Japan and Brasil. I finished up 'making' 222 western-built airliners, 102 of which were Chinese mainland B-#s, while 43 B-H.. registered aircraft were new, as well as 18 Taiwanese airliners. Logged totals were .... B-# 279 / B-T.. 43 / B-M.. 9. I copped 52 737s and 55 'single-aisle' Airbus'. Thoroughly enjoyable .....

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