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TR: A Final Farewell: The Last British Airways 757 Flight (w/pics+vid)

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Old Oct 30, 10, 5:38 pm
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Arrow TR: A Final Farewell: The Last British Airways 757 Flight (w/pics+vid)

TR: A Final Farewell: The Last British Airways 757 Flight (w/pics+vid)

Please note that photos and videos are copyright via the Fotki and YouTube hosting services.

On the 30 October 2010, the last British Airways Boeing 757 flight was flown. G-CPET, painted in retro 1980s livery, operated BA1463 from EDI to LHR, having spent the day flying to Manchester and Glasgow. Its fellow two remaining 757s operated routes to continental European destinations, both arriving back into LHR well before the final flight from EDI. Along with many others, I booked myself on this flight for a bit of nostalgia and to take part in BA’s sendoff of an aircraft, which after Concorde, became known as the ‘rocket’.

The flight up to EDI from LHR was uneventful on a shiny A321 (G-EUXD) in seat 1A, with a great purser who made a fuss of announcing my name over the PA as I was first to board the aircraft! I headed straight to the Galleries lounge on arrival at EDI, and whiled away the next couple of hours on my iPad and glancing through the papers.

I briefly exited the lounge at about the time G-CPET was due to arrive from LHR, to find the aircraft already sitting at Gate 11. Quite a crowd had formed around the windows, with plenty taking photos, although unfortunately the reflection of the terminal lights rather degraded the quality. The aircraft does look great in the retro livery, it’s just a pity they didn’t paint the retro livery a bit sooner prior to retirement.


G-CPET


G-CPET


G-CPET

Back in the Galleries lounge, an announcement was made for boarding (with no special mention of the 757), and so I toddled over to the gate where boarding shortly commenced.


Gate 11 at EDI


Boarding G-CPET

At the entrance to the aircraft (Door 2L), a member of the cabin crew checked BPs whilst the First Officer welcomed passengers on board. I asked the First Officer if it would be OK to visit the cockpit, which was fine, and so I walked through the forward cabin to meet the Captain and 757/767 Chief Technician (I think that’s what his title was). They were both friendly, introducing themselves and shaking my hand, and were happy for me to take photos, ask questions and chat about the history of the 757. Before long a queue behind me had formed of others wanting to visit the cockpit, and so I walked back to my seat (8A) and settled in for the short flight.


Flight deck of G-CPET


Overhead panel (sorry about the blur)


Right hand side panel

Date: 30 October 2010
Route: Edinburgh [EDI] - London Heathrow [LHR] (T5)
Flight: BA1463
Type: B757-236
Registration: G-CPET
First Flight/Delivery: 1998/1998
Seat: 08A
Class: UK Domestic


Forward cabin overview, in UK Domestic 3-3 configuration


34" seat pitch in the forward cabin


Looking forward


Farewell EDI - note the waving agent


Ground agent takes photo of her friend in front of G-CPET

A manual safety demonstration was performed, with the BBC camera crew being turned down on their request to film the demo (not sure why!). Other journalists were present, including somebody from Flight International. On taxi out, the Captain announced the special nature of the flight, detailing the history of the 757, the fate of the aircraft (to be converted to a freighter for DHL), and explained what would happen on takeoff and during the flight. Our takeoff was to be at 100% thrust (normally at 80%), and due to the fairly lightly loaded aircraft, this would ensure maximum pitch climb-out, leaving the ground at around 150mph. In addition, the Captain announced that he would make ATC audible through the cabin for takeoff and landing.


Legroom at seat 8A

As the lights were dimmed and we heard our takeoff clearance from ATC, the engines spooled up to 100% and we rocketed down the runway, for a takeoff roll lasting no more than 15 seconds – yes, 15 seconds! The power of the 757 was very noticeable as we climbed away very rapidly.


Traditionally dodgy 757 lighting

After the seatbelt had been switched off, the Captain announced we would be cruising at just 9000ft for much of the flight, to allow a clear view of most of England, including the many fireworks that could be seen as we made our way down to London. The standard UK Domestic snack and drinks run was offered by the friendly cabin crew, with no champagne in sight, but refills of drinks and extra snacks were abundant!


UK Domestic service


Safety information

The BBC camera crew interviewed a member of the flight crew at the front of the aircraft (with the cabin crew hiding in the galley!), and during the flight, the flight crew passed through the cabin checking that everybody was enjoying their journey. One of the flight crew explained that they would have a future in flying the 767s, and eventually the 787s, with the BA 767s confirmed for an interior upgrade to 767-400 style in the next year.


Filming in the forward galley

As we turned onto our final approach to Runway 09L at LHR, the flight deck was made audible to the cabin once more – it was very interesting to hear the landing clearance from ATC, Captain saying ‘landing’ and the altitude readouts before touching down smoothly to a gentle ripple of applause. Taxiing to our gate (A5 at T5), the Captain welcomed us to LHR and explained the special water canon salute that was to greet us just prior to turning onto stand. This announcement was greeted with much enthusiastic whispering! Shortly, BAA fire engines on either side of the aircraft were visible, firing water across the fuselage of G-CPET. I have to say this was pretty cool! As we pulled up to the gate, a small group of ground staff waved from the tarmac and took photos. A final announcement from the flight deck encouraged everyone to visit the cockpit, and informed us that flight certificates would be presented to each passenger upon disembarkation at Door 1L.

Leaving the aircraft, I was assured it would be fine to take a 757 safety card as a souvenir (!), thanked the Captain, collecting my certificate along the way. A final touch, at the top of the airbridge, was a series of posters detailing the 757’s history with British Airways, and thanking us for flying on the aircraft on its final flight.


T5 arrival welcome for the final BA 757 flight


Legally obtained safety card, and commemorative certificate (pictured on the HEx)

BA1463 on 30 October 2010 was truly the end of an era for British Airways, and whilst I will be sad to see the 757’s speedy takeoffs disappear, I will not be sad to see their ageing interior gone for good! I would like to thank British Airways for a great experience and farewell for the 757, and look forward to many more enjoyable flights on their extensive fleet into the future.

Videos (please change quality to 480p before viewing)

Takeoff (inc ATC); http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uINUdy8M7ZQ
Flight Deck Landing Announcement; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLxK3RLSnRY
Landing (inc ATC); http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IITHQ8M9t84
Heathrow Taxi (inc Water Cannon Salute); http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihTJ4w74jEw

Apologies for the poor quality of some pictures and of the videos - my camera never truly recovered from overuse on my Australian holiday in the summer! Comments and questions, as usual for any of my trip reports, are welcomed!

Last edited by Genius1; Oct 30, 10 at 8:16 pm
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Old Oct 30, 10, 5:43 pm
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Thanks for posting so promptly!

Can we expect photos in the next 15 minutes???
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Old Oct 30, 10, 5:48 pm
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I am actually quite sad reading that...

I will miss the 757 a hell of a lot... As much as she smelled like and old lady with bladder issues and regularly went tech... I loved working on her.

I would have loved to have crewed the last flight, but unfortunately it was not meant to be.

Out of curiosity, was it the VIP Crew/Crew Idols on the flight? Ladies in hats?

Look forward to seeing the pictures and video.

BBB
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Old Oct 30, 10, 5:51 pm
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Originally Posted by andset1191 View Post
Can we expect photos in the next 15 minutes???
I'm working on it - very possibly

And BBB, the crew were in 'normal' uniform.
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Old Oct 30, 10, 5:51 pm
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Originally Posted by Genius1 View Post
at the top of the airbridge, was a series of posters detailing the 757ís history with British Airways, and thanking us for flying on the aircraft on its final flight.
which is slightly ironic since it's the first time a 757 has ever seen T5 or indeed an airbridge at heathrow for a couple of years!
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Old Oct 30, 10, 5:52 pm
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Today at LHR in the bmi Great British lounge, I saw G-CPES taxiing by, followed by a BAA fire truck.

Then on takeoff, I glanced down to see G-CPET parked at T5A...

I was quite sad then, seeing those planes go...

Last edited by BA6501; Oct 31, 10 at 6:15 am
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Old Oct 30, 10, 5:55 pm
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Originally Posted by Genius1 View Post
And BBB, the crew were in 'normal' uniform.
That is probably why they did not want to be filmed doing the safety demonstration. They are not "Media Lovies" who are used to being in front of the camera...
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Old Oct 30, 10, 5:58 pm
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Its really good to see that BA did something for the last flight.

Nice touches from the flight crew with the ATC comms.

Top marks to the BA marketing dept, job well done
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Old Oct 30, 10, 6:35 pm
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Photos are now uploaded. Videos (of takeoff, landing and water cannon salute/arrival on stand at T5) will be uploaded in the morning
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Old Oct 30, 10, 6:41 pm
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Originally Posted by Genius1 View Post

Filming in the forward galley
Unless they have re-designed the interior of the aircraft specifically for this flight... There ain't no galley up there chuck! Just a couple of wardrobes and toilets!
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Old Oct 30, 10, 7:02 pm
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Originally Posted by Genius1 View Post
[B] the Captain announced we would be cruising at just 9000ft for much of the flight, to allow a clear view of most of England, including the many fireworks that could be seen as we made our way down to London.
They set off fireworks along the way to mark the occasion? WOW!!!

Nice report Genius1 I liked the 757....flown it numerous times on the GLA-LHR and the odd European route. Like the 757 is it not about time you retired those shoes of yours?
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Old Oct 30, 10, 7:15 pm
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Originally Posted by HIDDY View Post
Like the 757 is it not about time you retired those shoes of yours?
ROFL...

You are funny HIDDY, you really are... No matter what any one says...
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Old Oct 30, 10, 7:28 pm
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Originally Posted by HIDDY
Like the 757 is it not about time you retired those shoes of yours?
Brilliant !!!!
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Old Oct 30, 10, 7:32 pm
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Thanks for the report, Genius1.

I remember flying her a fair amount to London when I was younger. Seeing her in the retro-livery kind of makes me sad as well, knowing that I probably won't be experiencing those nice take-offs anymore.


Originally Posted by BingBongBoy View Post
You are funny HIDDY, you really are... No matter what any one says...
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Old Oct 30, 10, 8:05 pm
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Videos are now uploaded (linked at the bottom of the first post), completing the trip report.

Originally Posted by BingBongBoy View Post
There ain't no galley up there chuck! Just a couple of wardrobes and toilets!
I knew that.

Originally Posted by HIDDY View Post
Like the 757 is it not about time you retired those shoes of yours?
Those shoes are actually not that old. I think they were purchased mid-2009. I do seem to wear them a lot on flights, though.

Last edited by Genius1; Oct 31, 10 at 6:47 am
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