Our seat on the ride of a lifetime – Photo: Manu Venkat | AirlineReporter

Groundbreaking. Iconic. Gigantic. Gorgeous. There’s a lot of words you could use to describe the 747-400, but as of 2017 there’s a new word that gets added to the list: disappearing. Most airlines are rushing to retire the aging beauty. A few airlines, like British Airways, plan to keep the Queen of the Skies around for a while longer. But in general, if you want to make sure you get one more flight on the aircraft that — for many of us — is the ultimate AvGeek icon, you should make it happen soon.

A ride on a 747 is special, no matter where you’re sitting. However, it’s extra awesome if you’re in the first few rows of the main deck, which give you a one-of-a-kind partially forward facing view. You can actually see the runway ahead of you as you take off and land! We made sure to include a ride on a United 747 in seat 1A as part of a recent around-the-world Star Alliance tour, and from an AvGeek perspective, it was the flight of a lifetime. We took plenty of photos and videos for your viewing pleasure — read on to re-live the magic with us.

A view that should be on every AvGeek’s bucket list – Photo: Manu Venkat | AirlineReporter

A bunch of awesome dorks watching airplanes land at LAX

One of the best parts of this gig, is being able to hang out with like-minded people. Those who can go on and on about airplanes and airliners and no one rolls their eyes and everyone smiles. The group that cuts a conversation half way through to watch a plane land and no one minds. If this sounds familiar, you probably should come to Dorkfest and hang out in September.

See that park below? And the IN-N-OUT? That could be you. Well, you wouldn’t be the park and restaurant, but you could be there, which is even cooler! Photo – Bernie Leighton

Brett Snyder, the guy behind Cranky Flier, has put together this event/non-event for quite a few years now. It is quite simple. 1) Show up at the IN-N-OUT by LAX anytime between 11a-1p on September 23rd. 2) Watch airplanes. Talk airplanes. Eat food at food place. No tickets, no reservations, no scheduled activities — simple. Plus, if you want to go super legit, you can also participate in the 4th Annual PHXSpotters- NYCAviation Spotters Event at LAX.

No matter what, it is going to be a grand time. A few of us from AR will be there (including myself), so hope to see you there!

Raptor biologist Bud Anderson, left, holds a red-tailed hawk chick after it was retrieved from a nest 80 feet above the ground in woods adjacent to the airport.

Raptor biologist Bud Anderson, left, holds a red-tailed hawk chick after it was retrieved from a nest 80 feet above the ground in woods adjacent to the airport.

Bird strikes are a problem for aviation, especially large birds. Damage can be expensive, and bird strikes have caused damage to aircraft that results in flight-control issues, a la US Airways Flight 1549.

One of the parents of the raptor chicks being relocated reacts angrily to the intrusion.

One of the parents of the raptor chicks being relocated reacts angrily to the intrusion.

According to an FAA report, “The annual cost of wildlife strikes to the USA civil aviation industry in 2015 was projected to be a minimum of 69,497 hours of aircraft downtime and $229 million in direct and other monetary losses. Actual losses are likely much higher.”

This could be yours. Checkout those Evergreens in the background.

We are getting close to hitting 100,000 Twitter followers, and we should celebrate! The big question I pose to you: when will it happen? Why does the “when” matter? Well, if you guess the correct date when we hit 100,000 followers, you could win a sweet airline model!

Although I wasn’t super familiar with Bad Batz-Maru before this story, I totally respect the popularity of EVA Air’s special liveries. I get the power and draw of airlines having special liveries, and so far these designs have provided real results. Not only are passenger loads higher on these special EVA aircraft, they also make a great marketing tool (we are talking about it now right?). EVA has even created a special website for people to immerse themselves in this world and also to track the special Sanrio aircraft.

This is the real plane, but you are winning a 1:100 replica - Photo: 湯小沅 | FlickrDomain

This is the real plane (B-17001), but you are winning a 1:100 replica – Photo: 湯小沅 | FlickrDomain

WHAT YOU WIN

You could win a super sweet EVA Air (UNI Air) ATR 72-600, 1:100 scale model with Bad Badz-Maru livery. It was new in box, but I opened it and put it together to take a photo of it, but I did not play with it. Check below on how to win.