Sunday, December 05, 2010
On a flight to London
The time is 10.55am and MAS flight MH004 takes off. Immediately I saw the Kota Warisan giant signage on the ground below.
Next came the view of Putrajaya. A magnificent view, I must say, makes me feel really proud.
From the aircraft it looks as if a blanket of light clouds hang just above the ground down below. So surreal. After 5 minutes I'm now flying over Shah Alam. Managed to track down and view Man's condominium block in Bkt Jelutong very clearly.
I'm on a trip to London for a technical visit with a colleague. We're flying on a Boeing 747-400P. MAS has 10 of this beautiful jumbo jet. With a length of 231ft, it can seat 359 passengers. The B747 can fly 12,900km non-stop and has a max. cruising speed of Mach 0.86 (that's 916km/h).
It's now 2.15pm and we're just entering India sub continent. Calcutta is somewhere to my right and Delhi is up ahead. Its JUST another 9hrs and 10 min to London with ONLY about 7700km more to go - gonna be a long day ahead. The aircraft is hurtling towards London at the speed of 874 km/h. We are now 9762m above sea level and the air temperature outside the aircraft is -2celsius.
3.45pm Malaysian time. We have just entered Pakistani air space. And I have just performed my zohor and asar prayer. Performing my obligation towards my Creator 9km up in the air. Subhanallah.
On my way out of the lavatory after performing my wudhu' I bumped into the flight captain. He was waiting for wudhu' after me in pepreparation for solat too.
Alhamdulillah. Its nice and reassuring to know the our pilot performs his duty towards Allah too, doesn't it?
Another 7hrs and 41 min. to London, with about 6391km more to go. The aircraft is now flying at 874 km/h. The outside temperature is -12celsius! Altitude is 9734m above sea level.
Up ahead, Afghanistan.
5.07 Malaysian time. After more than 5 hours of flying we are well into Afghanistan and fast approaching the Turkmenistan border. London is now 5423km away. Travelling speed is at 817 km/h. At this speed we are destined to reach Heathrow in 6 hrs and 28 min. The outside air temp is now -18celsius!
7.00pm Malaysian time (8 hours after take off). We are now flying over the Caspian Sea.
We are 5423km away from London. Another 4 hrs and 28 min to Heathrow. The outside air temp is now down to -27celsius! The plane is at a much higher altitude too: 10,585m. Up ahead is Russia.
8.30pm. Well into Ukraine and just passed Russian territory. Suddenly, espionage and the thought of Russian Mig fighter planes storming at us comes to mind. Yeah, I know, I got a bit carried away there.
The outside temperature is now at a mind boggling -32celsius!! Coming up ahead of us is Kiev (Ukraine's capital city) and then on to Poland. Its another 3hrs and 20 min. more to London.
10.30pm. We have just entered Germany and in a few minutes we'll be flying over Berlin. From here we will fly over Netherlands and then start our descend to Heathrow in about 1hr and 20 minutes time insyaAllah.
Light meal was served. Oven baked lamb loin.
The scenery far down below is dominated by white patches of land. SNOW!?
Freezing England awaits me! Brrrrr!
11.24pm. The flight captain has just announced that we will be descending in 9 minutes time and we are scheduled to land at Heathrow at 4pm British time.
12.00 midnight Malaysian time. After 13 hours of flight, we finally landed at Heathrow. The captain announced that the temperature outside is 6celsius.
Looking forward to checking into the hotel.