Heathrow & Seattle-Tacoma – Friday 26th November 2021 (Grant Robinson)

Hi all,

A much delayed trip report from last year, but when you see it all, you will understand why it has taken so time to sort all the pictures and do the hard miles with regards to the logging. It also takes some time to put it all into a format that translates well across email and social media postings, so I hope that you enjoy!

Once Mr Biden had announced that USA travel was opening up from early November 2021, I was always going to take advantage and visit the USA as soon as possibly. I had so much holiday to use up and there was a nice symmetry to it, with my last trip before UK lock-down being in March 2020. In fact, we arrived back in the UK on the day of that memorable Boris Johnson announcement, that normal life was to change for what we thought then, was a short time….

Early plans to do the Planes of Fame air show at Chino and the open day at Davis-Monthan were quickly scrubbed when it came to light that early November meant 8th November. As it was, the Planes of Fame show was subsequently cancelled anyhow.

Hastily cobbled together plans were instead put into place to do a comprehensive storage yards tour and today would see our small group travel to Seattle.

As travelling in Covid times has changed the game somewhat, all pre-flight requirements were comprehensively discussed and covered by the group before arriving at Heathrow’s Terminal 5, and we all breezed through the required checks with ease as a result of this. Mask wearing compliance in the terminal was very good and of course, compulsory on the flight.

Now our British Airways flight to Seattle was due to go at 14:30 but around 14:00 it was apparent we were going nowhere. BA49 was being operated by Boeing 787-9 G-ZBKR and our stead had arrived on the stand from elsewhere on the airfield after a few days inactivity (maintenance area I think). We showed initial amusement, when we see one of the nose wheel tyres being changed on the stand, but this quickly turned to horror, when we see a lady plastering yellow/black tape all over the front fuselage. No idea at this stage what was going on, but it didn’t look good.

The pilot came up to the gate and told us that the aircraft had suffered lightning damage and would need to be swapped. When I went back to look for damage, there was also a small bit to the top of the tail fin. The replacement aircraft (G-ZBKI) was also not fit to fly, as it had no drinking water onboard. This was only discovered as the pilot did his checks whilst we boarded. Incredible in my view that two aircraft that are not fit to fly can actually be put on stand, ready for customers to fly on…….I think we left over 5 hours late in the end, but to be honest, we were just glad to get away……..



9K-CBE, Airbus A320 251NSL, Jazeera Airways (9528)
9V-SML, Airbus A350 941, Singapore Airlines (96)
A4O-SG, Boeing 787 9, Oman Air (38795)
A6-BMC, Boeing 787 10, Etihad Airways (60757)
A6-EVK, Airbus A380 842, Emirates Airline (260)
A6-EVN, Airbus A380 842, Emirates Airline (267)
A6-EVQ, Airbus A380 842, Emirates Airline (270)
A7-ACS, Airbus A330 202, Qatar Airways (760)
A7-MED, Airbus ACJ319 133LR, Qatar Amiri Flight (4114)
B-LID, Boeing 747 467ERF, Cathay Pacific Airways (36869)
B-20C6, Boeing 787 9, China Southern Airlines (63985)
B-2035, Boeing 777 39LER, Air China (38674)
B-5978, Airbus A330 343E, Air China (1673)
B-7367, Boeing 777 300ER, China Eastern Airlines (43281)
B-7836, Boeing 787 9, XiamenAir (63042)
B-8579, Airbus A330 343E, Air China (1765)
C-GYAJ, Boeing 767 35EERBCF, Cargojet Airways (26064)
CS-TVK, Airbus A320 251NSL, TAP Air Portugal (10506)
CS-TXC, Airbus A321 251NXSL, TAP Air Portugal (8773)
CS-TXH, Airbus A321 251NXSL, TAP Air Portugal (10311)
EC-NGT, Airbus A350 941, Iberia (366)
ER-BAM, Boeing 747 409BDSF, Aerotranscargo (24312)
G-DHLE, Boeing 767 3JHF/W, DHL Air (37805)
G-ZBKI, Boeing 787 9, British Airways (38625)
HB-JPA, Airbus A321 271NXSL, Swiss International Air Lines (9417)
HL8359, Airbus A350 941, Asiana Airlines (224)
HL8010, Boeing 777 3B5ER, Korean Air (42120)
OE-LZE, Airbus A320 214SL, Austrian Airlines (5754)
PK-GIF, Boeing 777 3U3ER, Garuda Indonesia (29148)
SP-LVC, Boeing 737MAX 8, LOT Polish Airlines (43347)
TC-LGA, Airbus A350 941, Turkish Airlines (403)
TC-LGB, Airbus A350 941, Turkish Airlines (421)
TC-LST, Airbus A321 271NXSL, Turkish Airlines (9326)
TC-LSY, Airbus A321 271NXSL, Turkish Airlines (9415)
TF-ICU, Boeing 737MAX 8, Icelandair (44355)
VQ-BFY, Airbus A350 941, Aeroflot Russian Airlines (383)




Our delay at Heathrow meant we landed in Seattle, very late in the day. Fortunately our hotel was close by and so after picking up the hire wheels, it was time to retire. A couple of items on loan from the Seattle Museum of Flight were noted on display in the landside area of the terminal……



N927VA, Airbus A321 253NSL, Alaska Airlines (8126)
N625AS, Boeing 737NG 790BDSF/W, Alaska Airlines (30792)
N538AS, Boeing 737NG 890/W, Alaska Airlines (41188)
N214AK, Boeing 737NG 900ER/W, Alaska Airlines (60579)
N287AK, Boeing 737NG 900ER/W, Alaska Airlines (36359)
N294AK, Boeing 737NG 900ER/W, Alaska Airlines (64303)
N431AS, Boeing 737NG 990ER/W, Alaska Airlines (43255)
N468AS, Boeing 737NG 990ER/W, Alaska Airlines (41735)
N142AN, Airbus A321 231SL, American Airlines (6711)
N721TW, Boeing 757 231/W, Delta Air Lines (29954)
B-17805, Boeing 787 10, EVA Air (63512)
N832SY, Boeing 737NG 8KN/W, Sun Country Airlines (40243)
N14230, Boeing 737NG 824/W, United Airlines (28794)
N69839, Boeing 737NG 924ER/W, United Airlines (60316)
NC4648, Alexander Eaglerock 3-POLB, Museum of Flight (469)
N743WJ, Raytheon Aircraft Company 125 800XPi,  (258743)
N269VA, Rutan Voyager Replica, Museum of Flight (unknown)