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!

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captain aloha

a bit of shameless self promotion – on monday, september 24, 2012, i was awarded my 4-bars which signifies the rank of Captain, the highest flight officer position available at my company, Cathay Pacific Airways. our director of flight operations, Captain Richard Hall, presented the 4-bars to me in Cathay City (pictured above) and i must say it’s a great relief to finally have finished my “Command Course” on the Boeing 777.  a true ‘rite of passage’ at my company, the Cathay Pacific Command Course is one of the most intense and comprehensive command training programs in the airline industry.  after several months of nonstop training, it is truly a relief to have it all relegated to history.  thanks to all my friends and family members who supported me throughout this monumental point in my career. a salute to my trainers who also guided me through the ropes and made several training flights with me to get me polished and up to the level required of Boeing 777 commander.

i hope to fly all of you someday aboard a Cathay Pacific flight – and to my colleagues who are currently undergoing their command courses, and to those who are about to start – i wish you all the best. blue skies always and aloha! – jeremy

joe sutter…father of the 747

 there are some benefits from growing up in boeing country. i lived in seattle, washington (home of the boeing company) for much of my life and in a previous blog i wrote about conducting a recent delivery flight of a brand new boeing 777-300ER earlier this year from the boeing factory in everett, washington. while i was there, i was able to meet some incredible people. among them were friends of JOE SUTTER – the lead designer and chief engineer of the original queen of the skies, the mighty BOEING 747!  before i transferred to the 777, i flew the boeing 747-400 here at cathay pacific.  unfortunately, Joe was on vacation at the time but i was still able to get him to personally autograph my copy of his book, “747.”  i purposely brought my book from hong kong to seattle for this express reason and wrote him a note which he kindly replied with a personal note of his own inside! – thanks Joe! although i now fly the 777, your 747 is still the prettiest thing in the sky! … and yes, LONG LIVE THE JUMBO!

much credit and thanks go to my friends at boeing, especially Lisa (Elizabeth) Moody with customer relations at Boeing Commercial Airplanes for helping me track Joe down! thanx Lisa, i owe you a Starbucks!

boeing 777-300ER delivery flight

on january 17, 2009, i was selected, along with 3 other pilots at my company, to fly to my hometown of seattle, washington in the u.s.a. to take delivery of cathay pacific’s newest addition to its boeing 777-300ER fleet, aircraft registration B-KPJ. it was a momentous event – boeing rolled out the red carpet for us, treated us to tours around seattle, free dinners, including an exclusive at the museum of flight where they closed the entire museum in the evening to our group, a VIP factory tour and much more. overall, they treated us to a great customer experience. i guess you would expect that with a $276 million USD aircraft purchase! we were handed ‘the keys’ on 17 january and flew nonstop back to hong kong from boeing’s delivery center in paine field, everett, washington…where i first learned how to fly! what a fantastic, nostalgic occasion, a great company, and a beautiful machine. welcome B-KPJ, our newest boeing 777-300ER! (click the small thumbnail pics below to view the larger size).