I remember quite clearly the first Qantas 747 flew directly over my school in 1971, back in the days before double glazing, so the classroom fell into silence as it roared overhead.Ewen Cameron
For Ewen Cameron, it was "surreal ... chilling in some ways."
It was the moment the veteran pilot shut down the last remaining Qantas 747 plane in the Mojave desert 'graveyard' for the very last time.
"After a flight we normally shut down the engines, that's standard, but you never shut down a plane altogether," he said. "You don't just switch everything off.
"And to do it in the desert, in this plane boneyard, where it was eerily quiet ... it was very strange. It just seemed to exaggerate the whole thing."
Mr Cameron joined Qantas in 1980 - his father was a Qantas pilot too - nine years after the 747 came on the scene, so for the vast majority of his career the flight deck of the 747 has been his office.
It was this long connection with the Qantas workhorse that led to the Pokolbin man's selection as pilot for the final flight.
"I saw it as an honour, for sure," the "nearly 64" year-old said.
"I've flown 747s for longer than any other Qantas pilot, so seniority had a lot to do with it. I started flying in 1972 and I've logged about 27,000 hours and most of those have been on 747s."
Right from the start the plane has had an impact on Mr Cameron.
"I remember quite clearly the first Qantas 747 flew directly over my school in 1971, back in the days before double glazing, so the classroom fell into silence as it roared overhead."
The feature of the farewell flight was undoubtedly the Qantas kangaroo the plane drew in the sky off the coast of Newcastle before heading across the Pacific Ocean to Los Angeles.
"We were told about a month before the flight to prepare, so we were able to practise a few times on a flight simulator," Mr Cameron explained.
"The course was programmed into the navigational system, but it still took some doing.
"It meant we had to slow the plane quite a bit, descend and climb, a few doglegs, extending the flaps at high altitude which you don't normally do ... it took some careful planning."
In fact the precision required meant the whole kangaroo flight path was going to be scrapped if the wind hit 35 knots - which fortunately it didn't.
Mr Cameron hasn't flown the new 787s, but says they are much more efficient on fuel and obviously more advanced.
"But the 747 is a fast plane. These aircraft opened up the world to millions of Australians by making international travel more affordable, and they've been part of some of our most important missions, like rescuing Australians abroad in times of trouble.
'But efficiencies in technology are constantly advancing and there's no doubt the 747 has been, to an extent, left behind by these newer, more efficient aircraft.
"That said, I don't think any present or future aircraft is likely to capture hearts and imaginations quite like the 747 has."
And if you think on arrival in California it would trigger a bit of a celebration, you're wrong.
The plane graveyard is not far from Los Angeles, so it was straight into a taxi and into town.
"The car trip back to Los Angeles from the desert was very quiet and reflective. Then we went into isolation, so it was no party.
"Then back to Australia for two more weeks of isolation."