Back to Squawk list
  • 77

Video: Wild Boeing 747-8 Takeoff

It's not unusual for pilots to wave their wings after takeoff on special occasions, but a Boeing 747-8 freighter on a delivery flight from Paine Field recently took the maneuver to a new level when it performed the wave just after the wheels left the pavement. ( More...

Sort type: [Top] [Newest]

I fly into PAE about once a month for business. This may be the friendliest, best spotting location in the world for watching heavies. This was shot near the parking lot of the Future of Flight & Boeing Tour building which is right across 16R from the 747/777/787 factory. Unlike nearly every airport where power tripping security guards or police harass photographers and spotters, Boeing and Paine security actually encourage photographers to take pictures. The DreamLifter also parks and unloads 787 parts a few feet from this location. One time a security guard stopped and called me over to his car. I thought 'oh boy here we go', he's going to harass me or tell me to stay away from the fence. Instead he said 'ya know, you can go up stairs and stand on the roof deck of the Future of Flight building to get an unobstructed view of the runway and DreamLifter Ops Center'.
COoL...and very LUCKY !!
dee9bee 9
Tex Johnston would be proud :-)
sparkie624 10
Yup.... If that had been Tex Johnston, he would have Rolled it and not just waved his wings... :)
thegoodguy 0
Dee Lowry 1
Tex worked for Boeing and he was 'selling airplanes'. These pilots worked for the Cargolux and nobody and no planes were harmed in making this video.
SeanRoebuck 10
I wonder if the Captain told the FO: "Hold my beer, and watch this"
Ray Toews 14
Give me break, a lightly loaded 747 with four big engines turning. The risk is minimal.
You guys are all turning into a bunch of flying club sissy's. Your all so friggin scared of you lawyers and govt weinies you take all the fun out. You need to sit on the roof and take pictures and let the real men fly .
BaronG58 1
Lightly loaded or no load. Did you notice how short take-off roll was? Don't know for sure, but feel this was planned with front office ok. Why they wanted to do this...only they know..there was risk but I agree it was minimal.
BaronG58 3
Just read article on this. This aircraft was being delivered to Cargolux to it's destination airport. The wing wave is tradition on heavies delivered from Boeing Everett Factory but normally at 2000 ft.
Dee Lowry 2
Exactly, Baron. Cargolux was waving goodbye from her homeland. Light load. It was a delivery farewell wing wave to the company who created her. Not unusual at Paine Field. Seen many deliveries do the same.
You just don't get it, do you. It's all about safety and there is a time and a place for everything. This was not the time or place for such an exibition.
If it was planned, why would it not be the time or place??? It would be just like an airshow routine...
Cargolux have had this up on their videos for over a week
atlwatchdog 3
Mike Boote 3
I happened to be there that day and watched this. My first thought was something was seriously wrong, but it was exciting to watch!
Dee Lowry 2
Just shows what the "Big Bird" can do!!! Tex did, what most would think would be impossible but the guy pulled it off...almost got fired over it...but he proved what the airplane could do! What better "venue" than over Lake Washington, in Seattle at "Seafair"!!! Brilliant!! I would have rolled right with him! God speed Tex. Because of you...possibilities are endless!! Thank you, Tex Johnston.
JetMech24 1
Minor correction, Tex WAS fired the day after the Seafair roll, but Boeing hired him back the following day. LOL
steve rogers 2
tex was 3000 feet above , not 30 , this looked risky to me , but it makes for an awesome video for sure !
Ricky Scott 2
Yish, Settle down folks

A - More than likely a Planned Event and well briefed before takeoff.
B - Light loaded 747-8, going to Seatac a whole 50 miles or so south, so more than likely very minimum fuel in the tanks.

Ive flown the sim on light loads and I can tell you this plane accelerates in a hurry light loaded, I could be at departure alt before I hit the end of the runway. I bet he was well above 3 engine min control speed when he did this, and held it down before rotate.

Its normal for most to wave goodbye
preacher1 2
Sometimes you gotta make a Winnebago act like a 'vette. As the comment above says, distance to SeaTac was short. Remember Wichita and Branson; the book said those couldn't be done either.
tim mitchell 2
he/she dropped their phone
Any maneuver like this when low and slow is "unwise" in my view, and if Cargolux have it up on their website I am surprised that they condone the event.
mariofer 3
WTH? were they texting????
I love to see the capabilities of these beasts on display, but in this instance the aircraft was not the pilot's, he/she did not have permission to do this, and a lot of people on the ground may have been jeopardized had something gone wrong.
Matt Lacey 3
Do you know for a fact that the pilot did not have permission? I'm not being snarky; I'd really like to know. I interpret it the opposite if the video is on the Cargolux web site. If the pilot were open loop, posting it would be encouraging the behavior. If it were done with permission, I would expect it to be posted - though I would have put a videographer in a spot that could catch the Cargolux brand when banked toward the camera.
Sounds plausible. I do not condone however!
sparkie624 3
It looked impressive, but I must say that I am not impressed by pilot judgement...
Greg Huddle 1
Remember Independance Day. Maybe his bit of paper was upside down to and he just turned it back!!??
Good stuff. It certainly kept the snappers happy!

Dee Lowry 1 response is up here. Sorry everybody.
Dee Lowry 1
Don"t think that was on his resume Jet Mac but with that barrel-roll , he sold a lot of 707's for Boeing.
dbaker 1
mark tufts 1
tim mitchell 1
Tim Baker 1
Since there seemed to be a crowd of people with cameras this action appears to be planned.
Stupid and unsafe stunt. The pilot should be reprimanded for this stunt.
Terence Tracy 1
The next "maneuver" for Capt. Hoot will most likely
be a roll, followed by a 'tail' dragging in chains!
Jim Smirh 1
I believe most takeoffs, without any SID specifying other instructions, require a 'runway heading' at least to the field boundary. It's often part of the tower's takeoff verbiage..."XYZ123, cleared for takeoff, maintain runway heading, contact..."

I guess the corollary to a "safe landing" (any that you can walk away from) is a "safe takeoff" is any that you can land from? LOL!
Gene spanos -1
More cowboys at the stick that we don't need.
Yeah,my preference would've been cowgirls workin the stick!!!
Aaron OBrien -2
Looked very close to a stall to me.
Yeah, looked like the engines were going to stall. Glad the FO was able to complete the flight safely...
mrek370 0
Idiotic... don't try this at home...
Most people don't have a 74 at home...
zennermd 4
I would love to turn a 747 into a home!
S. K. -6
I live in the vicinity of Paine Field....... Commercial and private planes take off and land all the time with protocol in place that doesn't include 'clowning around'. It looks like a (dangerous) photo op for the pilot and company. Seems odd that "someone" was at that end of the runway to 'catch' a photo of a 747 lifting off -- which is usually a rather boring event. Do you know how many people would have been killed/injured had this bird crashed being in a major urban area? Really a stupid stunt......knuckle dragging on the part of the pilot and the company for posting it so proudly............
ilikerio 11
You lost me at the part where you used "747" and "boring" in the same sentence.
S. K. 0 don't live near Paine Field, do you?
Nothing unusual about somebody being there to shoot from the south end of the field. The area is known as The Windsock, and there are lot's of photographers that shoot there. Seeing as it was a delivery flight, if it had been a weekend day there would have been quite a few photos of this one.
Seems odd that you live by Paine Field and haven't noticed the dozens of tourists, enthusiasts and spotters who are standing in this spot all day, every day. This was shot near Rwy 16R at Kilo 1 near the DreamLifter Operations Center and the Future of Flight & Boeing Tour.
S. K. 1
see posts above yours
JetMech24 1
Let me guess, you live in Mukilteo and are against Paine Field going commercial also?
I am glad for you that you found something to complain about...
S. K. 1
I haven't seen as many folks there as you have--but it's nice people are watching from there so consistently. I've watched nearer the original Museum of Flight restoration hanger and the parade in the sky over me, my home, my community.

The picture/still photo I saw was taken looking at the front of the plane as it was correcting/waving. That was my comment in "someone had to be there" to take was not the video taken from the parking lot area with the plane heading away from spectators.
S. K. 1
Photo is at the bottom of this page taken by a FA person........perhaps they can say where they took it?
Joe Rod -5
They were about .2 Seconds away from a stall and a loss of $360 Million...Stupid
Nahh. A completely empty cargo 747 (with those powerful engines suitably set) would have about the slowest stall speed of any Boeing out there.

As the 30 odd heavies left CYVR after 11-Sep, they all left with no pax, virtually no fuel and were only flying a few hundred further miles to the final destination. They all departed with a little bit of 'jump' to their step, not unlike Mr. Cargolux.
that's just nuts
Jeffrey Bue 0
Pretty ballsy if you ask me.
pdixonj 0
Wasn't a Cathay Pacific pilot fired a few years ago for doing a similar low-flying stunt??
Edward Hopgood -1
would not wish to fly with that jocky.stuff that mate
Bernie20910 2
Seeing as it's a cargo carrier and not a passenger carrier the only way you would fly with them is as cargo, in a box, and I doubt you'd really care at that point.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]


Don't have an account? Register now (free) for customized features, flight alerts, and more!
Did you know that FlightAware flight tracking is supported by advertising?
You can help us keep FlightAware free by allowing ads from We work hard to keep our advertising relevant and unobtrusive to create a great experience. It's quick and easy to whitelist ads on FlightAware or please consider our premium accounts.