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Take-off facing backwards – an unusual way to fly (with video) Comment on this post ↓
August 10th, 2013 by Warren Swil

Sensation similar 

to riding in the train

facing the rear

Here I am in Seat 8A aboard UAL 934 to London with my London Pride ale. Click image to enlarge. © SGE, Inc. All rights reserved.

WHAT AN USUAL EXPERIENCE: Never before have I sat facing the tail on a flight. I didn’t know it was even allowed until my trip to London in May.
As I boarded the Boeing 777-200 of UAL 934 from LAX to LHR, I was surprised to find my seat back up against the forward bulk head facing almost all the other passengers as they took their seats.
This is being written as I am settled into seat 8A high above America – facing backwards!

WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW THE FOLD

OF COURSE, I’ve done this on train before, but never on a plane. I didn’t even know the FAA would allow it!
My seatmate in Seat 8B Michael Nance from Mt Washington, near downtown Los Angeles is on a business trip to London. He represents a recording label, and is working with artists abroad.
We quickly became acquainted and I formulated my plan.
My first video ever published, was “Final Approach.” It was shot April 23 as my flight from Guadalajara, Mex., was touching down at LAX.
It’s one of the most viewed on my you Tube channel, but I’ve learned so much since then.

Here is the route map from the seatback video screen. Click image to enlarge. © SGE, Inc.

This time, it is “Take-off facing backwards.”
We pushed back from the gate at almost exactly the scheduled time of 5:45 p.m. PDT.
It was a short taxi, virtually no other traffic in front of us, and a takeoff roll of less than a minute.
At about 10,000 feet, the pilot began a steep bank to port, and at about 15,000 feet we were back over LAX.
I kept shooting, doing cutaways between the two portholes… the one with the wing in it clearly gives the sense of “facing backwards.” The other, at about 120 degrees, is more like facing forwards.
The sensation is entirely the same!

WE ARE SO FAR FORWARD in the aircraft as I write this, there is hardly any engine noise at all, and the ride is smooth as silk.
It is 6:58 p.m. PDT, I have the London Pride (terrific English Ale, so aptly named) sitting on the little tray table between Michael and I.
Dinner is on the way.
Entrees include Tenderloin of Beef (my selection, of course; I love a good filet!), Cajun style breast of chicken and Newburg-style seafood.
Yummy.

An aerial view of London as we circled for our landing at LHR airport. Click image to enlarge. © SGE, Inc. All rights reserved.

To top it all off, there is ice cream for desert.
“Take-off facing backwards” makes a perfect bookend for “Final Approach.” But, compare the two and see if they are not worlds apart in terms of production values.
This is evidence of how much I have learned about both shooting raw and editing in the past month.
We are level at 33,000 feet and it is time to relax. We should be in London before noon.
We were. Check out the aerial photo snapped as we circled for landing.

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