Wednesday, October 28th, 2020.
Ottignies station ( Walloon Brabant, Belgium ), Track 9, train to Wavre and Louvain ( Leuven, Flemish Brabant ). I do not know yet, but two days later, I will learn about the passing of Joseph « Jeff » Moureau ( R.A.F.V.R., 1299855, No. 349 " Belgian " Squadron, Sobelair, Sabena ), the last Belgian aviator to have flown in operation, in the R.A.F., during the Second World War. The same day in the evening, I will begin my second lockdown as well.
However, that is not my concern by now. After a long day at the office, I just want two things : going back home and filling my stomach. Sitting in the last car of the train, my re – usable mask ( equipped with its filter ) covering the respiratory tract, I read the newspaper while waiting for the train departure, scheduled for 7 : 55 p.m. In my view, this is the first positive aspect about travel by train. That gives me both the time and the occasion to calmly read, without being monopolized by daily tasks, work... and the outstretched arms of Morpheus as well !!!
When I finish the reading of the Le Soir daily ( the Monday, October 26th, 2020 edition ), my gaze is fixed on the last article in the petite gazette section ( page 32 ) ! Here is the article in question :
A Boeing 747 once used by Sabena will finish her life – without wings – as a sushi restaurant in Arizona, according to the site AirlineGeek. This Boeing 747 – 329M, registration OO – SGC, during her career under the colours of the Belgian airline ( May 1986 – October 1999 ), is now parked along Interstate 10, near Tucson. She has been acquired by an American – Japanese ex – engineer who has worked in the armaments sector and re - use of decommissioned airliners.
... on Sabena
The huge four – engined airliner, which was withdrawn from service by Sabena in 1999, was subsequently purchased by the American company Finova Capital Corporation. During several years, she was stored in Pinal Airpark near Marana, in Arizona, where some 300 aeroplanes – withdrawn from service in the world – are stored pending dismantling, with recycling still usable parts. The owner intends to use this aircraft for meetings, weddings and other events.
Once I have finished reading, I raise my eyes to check the time on the display screen. It is 7 : 52 p.m. Three... Two... One... 7 : 53 ! Now, I’ve got it, my new topic for the blog !!!
On Friday, October 30th ( a fateful day, as mentioned above ), while chatting with my supervisor, I tell her about my discovery and my will to use this article as topic for my next publication ( in French ) :
• Un ancien Boeing 747 de la Sabena transformé en restaurant de sushi dans l'Arizona
Both says that she is excited with this, indeed ! If you would like to know more about this former Boeing 747 and her purchaser, Toshikazu « Ski » Tsukii, I invite you to read the article by Henry Brean, journalist at the Arizona Daily Star :
• Not quite a sky mall : Tucson inventor setting up shop in old airliner
If you are nostalgic for Sabena, I invite you to discover our section dedicated to the late Belgian airline company where, who knows, you can find what you are looking for among the books and the objects being offered for sale :
Despite the lockdown due to the second wave, and the threat of the British, South African and Brazilian variants, I wish you to stay the course and to keep your artificial horizon as well.
Above the clouds, the sun always shines.