happy 20th anniversary boeing 777

B-HNL-JER

Happy 20th anniversary to our “Honolulu Baby” B-HNL formerly known as WA001.  I am proud to say I was probably among the first Cathay pilot’s to ever lay hands on this aircraft. The Backstory: In 1994 when I was a struggling regional airline pilot in the U.S., I was fortunate to be invited by some of my Boeing Co. friends to the rollout ceremony of WA001, the very first Boeing 777 ever produced at the Renton, Washington plant north of Seattle. It was a spectacular laser-show gala produced by Dick Clark Productions and when the curtain was lifted and the 777 revealed, I had no idea I was witnessing the beginning of a new era in aviation. I was able to place my thumb print on the belly of WA001 along with hundreds of other Boeing family and friends. I still have my original obligatory Boeing 777 polo shirt (which amazingly still fits after 20 years!) and all who were in attendance also received a special “777 lunch bag” commemorating the occasion full of food and goodies celebrating Boeing’s new ground-breaking management-style labeled “Working Together.” I still keep it as a remembrance.  As awe inspired as I was, little did I realize or even dream that exactly 10 years later I would climb into WA001, now B-HNL at Cathay Pacific, and pass my “QL” line check in that very aircraft.  The only Boeing 777 to ever fly with two engine-types (when I first saw her she sported brand new Pratt & Whitney 4090 turbofans) and completely rebuilt for Cathay – if you are lucky to fly B-HNL she is as sporty and lively as ever and after 20 young years will not disappoint. Aloha baby!

_HIN7557

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