Pan Am B747 London to Los Angeles 1986

By Paul Gibbs

My first trip across the Atlantic was a 10 hour flight on the “polar route” (still a newish thing to do in 1986) to Los Angeles. Unlike today, the pilots made en route announcements about landmarks such as Reykjavík, Iceland and Greenland. The altitude for most of the journey was 29,000 ft. As fuel was used up and the aircraft became lighter, the 747 climbed to 33,000ft over the Grand Canyon and into California. Inflight movies were projected onto large screens on cabin bulkheads. Headphones were basically hollow hoses plugged into small holes in the arm-rests and the entertainment system gave a choice of music channels as well as the movie. Top Gun was the main feature film shown on both legs of this trip. Before leaving I had read somewhere an airline had been giving a free glass of champagne. Alas when I walked up the aisle to see the spiral staircase to the upper deck, the cabin crew gave me the disappointing news it was not Pan Am… Technical Source Media: VHSC Video format: PAL 4:3 Audio: Mono Location: North Atlantic Recorded: 17 November 1986 Video Camera: JVC GZ-S3 and JVC HR – C3 VHS C Recorder

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