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Vacation 2004, Day 1.
Wednesday, October 27th
Departure Day

Departure time from home in Brantford was approximately 3:30PM. Arrival time at Pearson Airport in Toronto was approximately 5:00 for the required 3 hours before British Airways flight 98 which was scheduled to depart at 7:55PM. All the check in and security procedures were completed within an hour of the arrival time which left 2 hours to wait. The plane, a Boeing 777, arrived from London a bit late but was turned around with great haste and was ready for boarding only slightly later than the appointed time of 7:30. Due to reflections in the glass at Gate C27 in Terminal 3, it wasn't possible to get a reasonable picture of the plane. Boarding was completed and the plane was pushed away from the gate about 10 minutes late. The Captain announced that it was expected that the slightly late departure time would be made up because of "favourable tailwinds". We taxied to the east/west runway at the farthest north site of the airport (away from highway 401 near Dairy Road). The taxiing seemed to take forever. The almost, completely full plane took off in an easterly direction and then turned north.

The images in the group below were taken from the British Airways Moving Map system. In the Boeing 777, there is a video screen in the back of every seat so each person can watch whatever they want. There are many choices. There are movies, TV shows, and audio programs. I don't think there were any video games but I'm sure it's coming. One of the choices (channel 12 as I remember) is this Moving Map display showing where the plane has been and an approximate course to your destination. The projected course is not exact but it is close as you'll see later. The orange blotches on these pictures were caused by reflections of the cabin lights off the LCD screen. The later pictures (on tomorrows page) will not show these as much as the cabin lights were off for most of those.

The next couple of somewhat blurry images show the somewhat unusual route Flight 98 took as it left Toronto heading for London. Taken 8:47PM. It was a clear enough night that those passengers on the right side of the plane were able to see Lake Simcoe, Barrie, Orilia, and Lake Cuchiching as we headed north then ENE out over eastern Ontario.
Taken 8:48PM.
This one shows a bit more detail for reference. Taken 8:48PM This one, taken at 9:11PM, shows how far the flight had progressed in the 23 minutes since the previous image was taken.

At this point in the flight I remembered that there was an full eclipse of the moon taking place this night. Since we were at 37,000 feet, and traveling at approximately 900 KPH in the opposite direction to the way the eclipse was moving, I looked up and here is what I saw...

Taken at 9:21PM EDT.
Taken at 9:43PM EDT.
Taken at 9:45PM EDT.
Taken at 9:54PM EDT.

All of the above pictures were taken out of the window of the plane as we flew over the Province of Quebec north of Montreal. If you look at the last picture in the group of Moving Map pictures above the eclipse pictures, these were taken following the dotted line heading northeast. The moon was over my right shoulder at a very steep angle and I was twisting and squirming in all sorts of ways to get these. I'm sure some of the people in the seats around me wondered what the heck I was trying to do. One good thing was that one of the few empty seats in the plane was beside me. This helped a lot. Dinner was in progress at the time as well, which added an additional layer of difficulty. There were 17 pictures taken. These are the best ones. The 9:54PM picture above was the last one taken as the planes position changed in such a way that I could still see the moon (with a fair bit of difficulty) but it was impossible to get any further pictures.

This image shows the general route we were expecting to follow for the rest of the flight.

Nothing more occurs for the next 4 or 5 hours so this is a good spot to change to tomorrow as the flight leaves one day and arrives the next.

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Created: March 21, 2005
Last Updated: May 9, 2005