I never thought that I would make the Macarena at 2:00 am at 35,000 feet, but when researchers from the University of Sydney suggested that this was the best way to keep the jet lag in check, I participated in it ,
NBC NEWS was the only US-based broadcast crew aboard a record-breaking Qantas Airways research flight that flew nonstop from New York's JFK airport to Sydney.
The flight had a total journey time of 19 hours and 16 minutes and was at 7:30 am Sunday we were all glad to pull ourselves off our seats and lay our feet on the ground in Australia.
Qantas called the flight "Project Sunrise," a research flight to test the effects of a 19-20-hour flight on passengers and pilots. Qantas plans to start non-stop service on regular service, but CEO Alan Joyce said the airline must convince the Australian regulators that it's safe 24 hours "to make it work, he said.
The airline is planning one second test flight from JFK to Sydney and a third from London to Sydney.
On our flight, four pilots slept alternately in the crew quarter – two twin-size beds directly above the bug kitchen.
During 20 days before, during and after the flight, each pilot kept a record of his sleep and activity patterns, and at the start of the flight, everyone carried an EEG scanner to measure brain activity, a melatonin level light meter, and an activity watch to record their movements entire trip also collected urine samples for future analysis.
Leave our messages in your butt starbank arrive. The news and stories that mattered were to be read on weekday mornings.
Six Qantas frequent flyers who have agreed to the study also maintain activity / sleep diaries. As the flying hours passed, the university team tested each passenger's reaction time with an iPad.
Flight 7879 left JFK at 21:30. Friday night, after the air traffic controllers put the flight at the top of the taxi line and sent it over the air: "We would like to congratulate you on your take-off flight to Sydney."
The airline expects passengers to pay a premium for direct flights New York to Sydney without stopping in Los Angeles. However, it is also recognized that it must help passengers avoid jet lag, especially those traveling by bus. Sydney is 15 hours ahead of New York, so it was lunch time. The cabin lighting was kept at full brightness for almost eight hours. No falling asleep on this flight!