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BA025 HKG-LHR. With a Russian twist.

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  • BA025 HKG-LHR. With a Russian twist.

    Hey guys

    Ok, first thing is first. I don't normally do trip reports, however due to the fact that this was fairly odd, I felt obliged to do so!

    Apologies if it isn't great, like I said, I don't normally do trip reports.



    Date: Thursday 18th October 2007
    Flight Number: BA025
    Airline: British Airways
    Aircraft: B747-400 (G-BYGF)
    Class: Economy
    Seat: 54F


    I woke up Thursday morning thinking that today's flight would be totally normal, how mistaken I could be!

    In the afternoon, I packed my bags, set my room and jumped in a taxi heading for Heathrow. Once at Heathrow's Terminal 1 I walked up to the self check in machines... spending a few minutes trying to figure out how to work it, I finally wacked in my flight reference number and I was set!

    Printed out my bording pass and then I checked my bag in, it weighed just under 20kg.

    After I got through security I didn't have much to do until the gate opened at 17:20. I slept a little in the lounge and also had a look at the new iPod nano 8gigs... it looks so nice!!
    17:20 came and I saw my gate: 56... Typical... oh well!

    Walked to the gate, waited... blah blah. They finally started boarding the passengers.

    The long walk down the back meant I caught a glimpse of the new club world!! It looks really stylish and comfortable.









    After settling into my seat I had a chance to get a few snaps around the aircraft.





    We were served dinner which included: Rice with sweet and sour Prawns, a mini kit kat, salad, strawberry cheesecake, bread and butter, and a coke.

    After the meal, which wasnít actually that bad, I realised that this aircraft was fitted with the new On Demand IFE! Great stuff! I watched Knocked Up and Surfs Up. Both quality films! I looked at the air show and as we were flying over Russia the time left before arrival in Hong Kong was becoming less and less. 5 hours to go. ZzZzZzz Z zZ zzZzzZZzz

    Yeah, I fell asleep.

    Then it started to go wrong... I woke up to the sound of this PA.

    Captain: Ladies and Gentlemen I regret to inform you that due to the health of a passenger we will be diverting to Irkutsk, Russia. Once we land we will try and get him medical treatment before disembarking again onwards to Hong Kong."



    Considering I just woke up my reactions were pretty mellow-dramatic, turned to the passenger next to me and said, "yay, I always wanted to go to Russia."



    We neared our new unscheduled destination and prepared for landing.


    Pointless fact: That lake on the right of Irkutsk is called Lake Baikal and at 1,637 meters (5,371 ft), Lake Baikal is the deepest lake in the world and is the largest freshwater lake by volume (23,000 km≥), containing approximately twenty percent of the world's total surface fresh water.


    After we finally touched down on Russian Soil!

    The runway was cracked and narrow, the taxi-way even more so. One hell of an experience, a 747 bouncing around like a jumping jack! Boy it was fun.

    We parked on a taxiway and were allowed to walk around the aircraft.





    We then saw the stairs move up to door L5. The Russians were coming.

    Believe it or not, one of the stewards spoke fluent Russian, if thatís not luck I don't know what is!

    >>

    From left to right: Steward who spoke Russian, Big green hat = Russian, Captain, another Steward.

    After about 10 minutes, a lot of Russian staff came onto the plane and headed to the front, we still did not know exactly what was wrong with the bloke.

    We waited for about an hour. The Captain made a PA again.

    Captain: "Ladies and Gentlemen, I understand that it is getting a little restless and that you want to be informed on what is happening, however at this time we have told you everything that we know. The passenger is now off the aircraft in Russian medical care. We are awaiting a fuel truck before we can refuel and make plans for our journey back to Hong Kong. However I am saying, that there could be a possibility that we will not be able to continue to Hong Kong today. This is because the CAA imposes a strict rule that we must have 12 hours rest minimum. Depending on how long this takes, and judging by the way things have happened so far, Iím sure it will take some time, we may or may not be able to continue to Hong Kong today."


    The news did not impress a lot of the cabin.

    The refueling truck arrived, along with multiple Russian news crews. We were famous!




  • #2








    Along time passed and we waited for quite a long time, at least an hour. We were then spoken to again.

    Captain: "It is now apparent that we will not be continuing to Hong Kong today. Our maximum time working has expired and to operate the flight now would be a breach of a strict CAA regulation and the Law. It is for your safety. We have spoken to the Russian authorities and they have managed to get us into 3 hotels between us. In the mean time, we will be serving breakfast now so you can get some food down you in preparation for us leaving the aircraft."

    We were served breakfast and I had the following: Scrambled egg with sausages, bacon, mushrooms, tomatoes, yoghurt, cereal bar, and orange juice.

    I watched some of Ocean's thirteen although I nodded off quite often throughout it.

    We were then notified again.

    Chief Steward: "To add to what the Captain has already said we will be exiting the aircraft onto some coaches which we will take to the terminal. According to Russian procedures there we must surrender our passports until tomorrow morning. Thank you."

    We disembarked the aircraft and headed to the terminal in a rather old bus.

    I saw some rather old and rare aircraft as one might expect!









    The terminal was huge!! Definitely a direct competitor to Heathrowís T3!!



    Hmmm.... I swear it was bigger in real life... Honest

    Haha, that aside, it was interesting and was definitely a bit of a change!

    We waited for a good hour before surrendering our passports, after that we headed to the coaches... all seven of them to be exact.

    I just happened to choose the one that looked like it belonged on a treacherous mountain road with Mongolians riding inside singing and dancing, yaks walking along the side...



    Unfortunately for my Mongol friends and their yaks, the radio brought us back down to reality; Russian techno filled each speaker of the bus.

    Comment


    • #3
      Because this was such an event we had our own police escort. Sweet!









      We finally got to the hotel which was simply called, 'The Irkutsk Hotel'. No points for imagination.

      We got out of the bus and stepped walked into the hotel, there were a couple of News crews with camera-men filming us. Iím sure they got a great view of us getting our room keys...

      Long story short we got our rooms and that was it.

      At one stage my friend and I tried to leave the hotel, just to get a breath of fresh air, however a large Russian man in a suit stood up and blocked the door. Give him some dark tinted sun glasses and a gun, and that is a body guard right there!

      My room:



      The service was pretty poor and it took ages to get some dinner. The night went on and eventually I got some kip.

      This was the view from my window.

      Day:



      Night:




      Date: Friday 20th October 2007 Russian date (19th in the UK still)

      At 0530 my alarm went off. I got showered, dressed, and headed down to breakfast for a 0600 departure from the hotel.

      I was a bit confused. The day before, it got dark at about 2100, however, at 0630 it was still pitch black.

      We got to the airport and collected out passports, surprisingly without any trouble.

      We got on another bus and drove to our aircraft, parked on the taxiway with emergency vehicles all around it, it was 0800 and it was still pitch black.





      After we boarded and sat down we were informed by the chief steward on the PA.

      Chief Steward: "Good morning ladies and gentlemen and welcome back, we have news from the Russian medical centre that the passenger is in a life-stable condition once more. This man is still alive due to the actions of the crew, and the Russian authorities. [Russian speaking steward] has proved extremely valuable, we don't know where we would be without him."

      At that the cabin started to applaud.

      It turned out the passenger was actually dead for 6 minutes before the crew managed to revive him. Reason was a heart attack I think.

      As we rotated the cabin started to applaud again. It started to turn light and we carried onto HK.

      The flight time was around 4:55 hours.





      I fell asleep and didn't wake up until we had started our descent into Hong Kong.

      Upon arrival on a hazy 07L the cabin cheered once more. We were home.

      Thanks to the actions of both the crew of BA025 and the Russian authorities of Irkutsk, minus one passenger, not minus one life.

      And thatís it folks. My journey onboard BA025 LHR-HKG...

      Cheers
      Neil.

      Information on Irkutsk: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irkutsk

      Comment


      • #4
        What an adventure. Glad to hear the man was able to recover.

        Comment


        • #5
          Interesting indeed, but what the hell is up with all the -emoticons in your posts?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by DAL767-400ER
            Interesting indeed, but what the hell is up with all the -emoticons in your posts?
            Hmmm, not quite sure what your on about?
            I see only 3 emoticons, and only 1 is <- that...

            Comment


            • #7
              What an adventure. If I may ask, a question or two
              1. Was there a Relief Crew already aboard that could have flown the plane on to the Destination or was that Cockpit Crew? Please note with this question, I am not sure what the regulations are when you have an extra "Relief" Pilot, I know in the US need one after 8 Hours and a 2nd Crew after 12 Hours.
              2. Did they have to recater the Aircraft?
              John Poshepny

              If the Wright brother were alive today Wilbur would have to fire Orville to reduce costs.ó Herb Kelleher, Southwest Airlines, 'USA Today,' 1994

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by AASuper80Fan
                What an adventure. If I may ask, a question or two
                1. Was there a Relief Crew already aboard that could have flown the plane on to the Destination or was that Cockpit Crew? Please note with this question, I am not sure what the regulations are when you have an extra "Relief" Pilot, I know in the US need one after 8 Hours and a 2nd Crew after 12 Hours.
                2. Did they have to recater the Aircraft?
                To answer the first question, there was no relief crew other wise Im sure they would have operated the flight?? I am not 100% sure about this type of regulation, they kept saying they needed the rest which implies that they are the only ones...

                Yes they did. On the day of the departure from Irkutsk, we managed to get a snack each, nothing much. We already had drinks onboard the aircraft.

                Hope that clarified it a bit!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by NeilA330
                  Hmmm, not quite sure what your on about?
                  I see only 3 emoticons, and only 1 is <- that...
                  This:

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                  • #10
                    What??? I don't see that, do you reckon it is a script error? I copied it into Word and back to check spelling...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      That emoction thing happens for somereason when you type your post in word, then paste it here. Either way, sounds like you had interesting flight!

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                      • #12
                        I thought you had to have a 12 hour clear block between working on flights with BA?

                        ps - I flew G-BYGA from Tokyo- London in the new Club world and it is indeed very nice. A large improvement on the older style Club seats.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by BA747-436
                          I thought you had to have a 12 hour clear block between working on flights with BA?

                          ps - I flew G-BYGA from Tokyo- London in the new Club world and it is indeed very nice. A large improvement on the older style Club seats.
                          Well the captain kept on saying the minimum amount of rest they required was 12 hours, and thats why we had to stay there, for about 13 hours overnight.

                          Lucky you traveling in club world!!! It looks very nice.

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                          • #14
                            What an interesting and rare flight review! thank you.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Very very interesting trip report.
                              Thank you for sharing. I was in Irkutsk late July, not much to do there but quiet interesting anyway. Flew from Moscow on SU Tu-154. Came back by train, 78 hours ride. In 3 days there we met about 2 other tourists. Spent 2 hours walking to find a half decent restaurant... well it was a nice experience, the landing at Irkutsk was really scary as we needed the whole (very bad shape) runway to finally break enough... The appartement where I was sleeping is exactly located next to the Lenin statue.

                              just 2-3 other pics.









                              Cheers
                              Alex

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