New year 1980-BY Capt Gihan A Fernando


New year 1980-BY Capt Gihan A Fernando Source:Island RCyAF, Air Ceylon, Air Lanka, SIA and SriLankan Airlines It was 31st December 1979.  Air Lanka was established on the 1st of September that year. It was my second ever trip to Europe. We were scheduled to fly Dubai to Orly airport, Paris, France via Zurich, Switzerland. Our Captain was an ex-Colonel from the Portuguese Air Force and had also flown Boeing 707 aircraft, for the TAP Air Portugal. We were flying a four engine, Boeing 707 312B registration 4R-ALB which was one of the two that had been leased from Singapore Airlines. Although I was still ‘wet behind the ears’, with regards to intercontinental flying, our Flight Engineer was an Air Ceylon Douglas DC8 veteran used to operating in that part of the world. Our route took us to over Doha (Qatar), the Island of Bahrain, across the Persian Gulf to Kuwait, Iraq, Syria, Cyprus, Turkey, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Austria and then on to Switzerland. Our old Boeing 707 didn’t have Global Positioning Systems…

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