Pilot on flying Air India’s Boeing 747 ‘Queen of the Skies’: ‘Godspeed, my beloved jumbo’ | Trending - Hindustan Times

Pilot on flying Air India’s Boeing 747 ‘Queen of the Skies’: ‘Godspeed, my beloved jumbo’

Apr 23, 2024 08:26 PM IST

The pilot expressed that the “privilege” and “joy” of flying the Air India’s Boeing 747 ‘Queen of the Skies’ was “unmatched”.

Air India bid farewell to its last Boeing 747 on April 22, marking the end of an era as the jumbo jet departed from Mumbai after being sold to a foreign company. Before taking off, the aircraft performed the traditional ‘wing wave’ manoeuvre. As the aircraft named Agra departed for the US, many people took to social media to share posts related to it, including a pilot who had flown the Boeing 747. The pilot even shared a picture of himself from inside the aircraft.

Pilot who flew Air India's Boeing 747. (X/@aero_sapien)
Pilot who flew Air India's Boeing 747. (X/@aero_sapien)

Read| Air India’s ‘queen of the sky’ takes off from Mumbai for the last time

“The privilege and joy of flying the Queen was unmatched. Hope she continues to soar with her new owners,” wrote pilot who goes by Ultra Long Ranger on X.

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He added, “Godspeed, my beloved Jumbo.”

Take a look at the picture shared by the pilot below:

The picture, since being shared a few hours ago, has accumulated over 20,000 views. It has also received a few comments from Internet users.

Check out how people reacted to this picture here:

“Sir, can you shed some light on the manoeuvre (kind of dancing on the sky) during the final takeoff? Was it pre-panned, or is it customary? TIA,” posted an individual.

“It’s called a wing wave, sort of a bye-bye. It is done occasionally on farewells and aircraft/pilot retirements, though never without planning or with passengers on board,” replied the pilot.

Another added, “Captain, you were the chosen one.” To this, the pilot replied and said, “15 years of pure joy. Observers seat, right seat, left seat! Graceful handling, an absolute beauty to hand fly.”

“Wonderful,” expressed a third.

A fourth joined, “Sir, how did you know that she was perfectly airworthy as she has spent many months exposed to the weather dust and other elements?”

The pilot said, “Engineering certification after all required checks, tests, and inspections obviously had to be done. Just like any other aeroplane coming out of maintenance or mothballing.”

Air India has announced that it is retiring its four remaining Boeing 747 aircraft due to their high operating costs and the industry’s shift towards more fuel-efficient planes. The airline has sold all four of its Boeing 747-400s to AerSale, a US-based aircraft broker.

On April 22, the first of the four planes, named Agra, departed from Mumbai airport, which had served as its base. According to industry sources, another plane is expected to depart soon, while the remaining two planes are not in a condition to fly and will be dismantled for parts. Air India had appointed Skytech AIC, a UK-based remarketing firm, to dispose of the panes deregistered in 2022. All four planes were acquired between 1993 and 1996, according to the aviation portal AeroTime.

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    Arfa Javaid is a journalist working with the Hindustan Times' Delhi team. She covers trending topics, human interest stories, and viral content online.

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