Air India's Boeing 747 takes final flight from Mumbai with ‘wing wave’ manoeuvre | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Air India's Boeing 747 takes final flight from Mumbai with ‘wing wave’ manoeuvre

Reported by Yogesh Naik
Apr 22, 2024 01:32 PM IST

Air India bids farewell to its last Boeing 747, marking the end of an era for the iconic jumbo jet, as it departs from Mumbai.

Air India bid adieu to its last remaining Boeing 747 on Monday, marking the end of an era for the iconic jumbo jet. The aircraft, once registered as VT-EVA and christened "Agra," departed from Mumbai's airport for the final time after it was sold to a foreign company.

The pilots treated spectators to a rare "Wing Wave" manoeuvre,
The pilots treated spectators to a rare "Wing Wave" manoeuvre,

One of the two Boeing 747 aircraft which are in good condition flew off from Mumbai on Monday morning and the other is expected to fly off soon.

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Two other Boeing 747 planes will be broken down in Mumbai for parts.

Read: Air India set to fly Dubai with Airbus A350 planes

De-registered by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) last year following its retirement, the aircraft underwent a symbolic transformation as its Air India insignia and titles were removed, making way for a temporary American registration, N940AS, enabling its departure from its former home base.

“Today, one of the former Air India Boeing 747s left Mumbai for the last time. Once registered VT-EVA and named “Agra”, it was de-registered by the DGCA last year after retirement, and its “Air India” titles and logos were removed. Hence a temporary American registration, N940AS was applied to it last week, to permit it to fly out of its former home base, towards an uncertain future,” Debasish Chakraverty, an aviation historian said.

Read: Air India staff throws passenger’s musical instruments, luggage while loading. Watch shocking video

As the clock struck 10:47am, the pilots ferrying out the aircraft performed a “Wing Wave”, an aviation tradition reserved for retiring or concluding flights, over the skies of Santa Cruz.

“It was rather nostalgic for me to see this aircraft leave Bombay for the last time, from the terrace of my apartment building in Santa Cruz. My father was an Air India pilot and flew the early Air India Boeing 747s, in the ‘70s & ‘80s. As a child, I would stand at my window and see Air India Boeing 747s (including those flown by him) take off, bound for their destinations half a world away,” Chakraverty recounted.

“In those days, the sound of the 747’s four Pratt & Whitney JT9D engines was unmistakably unique, and I could identify them by sound before I could spot it. The “wing wave” reminded me of Dad - perhaps saying goodbye to the Air India 747s that he loved to fly.”

“Now, as an Aviation enthusiast and Air India historian, it was a bitter-sweet opportunity to see and photograph what just might have been one of the last occurrences of such an incredible sight, and say a final goodbye to the majestic Air India Boeing 747s,” he added.

Captain Rohit Bhasin, who once flew 747s said, “Boeing 747 -400 the queen in the sky stands as a remarkable achievement in aviation history combining longevity, versatility and enduring popularity, Had the pleasure of flying it for 10 years as a training captain, Air India 1 (VVIP fights).”

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