Dreamlifter at the Other End

When planes are arriving at Paine Field from the north, I am usually up near Future of Flight.  However, I was down at the south end when a Dreamlifter came in.  They used the full length of the runway and turned on to the taxiway when they reached the end. This meant I got a good chance to shoot the plane from a place I had not down before.  The weather was overcast which actually helped to show some of the textures associated with the modifications that the base 747-400 had received.

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Stadium Construction Update

A previous post showed the start of construction of the new stadium in LA.  When I was on that trip, my arriving flight had passed right by the construction site but I didn’t have a camera to hand at the time.  I made another LA trip more recently and, this time, I had a camera at hand as we made our final approach.  Obviously the construction process has moved on a bit but there is still plenty to be done.  Maybe I will make some more trips and get further updates in the future.

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Don’t Float Too Long, I’m Using the Big Lens!

Mark had pointed me to a good spot at Vancouver for evening arrivals when the summer sun has come around more to the north.  I trudged to the top of the “hill” lugging my gear with me as I didn’t know exactly what to expect and what lenses would work.  Consequently, I brought a selection with me.  It turned out that the 500 was good for a lot of shots but, once the jets got closer to me, it was too much.  For a wide-body, it was definitely too much but a narrow-body was okay until after touchdown – usually!  An Air Canada A321 in the new colors came down the approach but he flared a little high and floated. He was getting closer and closer and the viewfinder was rapidly filling.  The touchdown of the wheels happened just before bits of the airframe were cut off.  This shot is exactly as it came out of the camera.  Good lesson for some of the later arrivals.

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Space Needle Rehabilitation

At some point last year I was driving downtown in Seattle and I realized that the Space Needle had changed.  A scaffolding arrangement had gone up around the saucer at the top of the needle and it seemed to be fully enclosed.  I figured that a rehab program was underway but I guess I don’t see enough of the local news to have found out how much they were updating.  With my mum coming to visit, I was hoping that they would have concluded the project before she came since a Space Needle visit was going to be on the cards.

Memorial Day must have been the target for getting things ready because, shortly before she arrived, things started getting opened up around the top.  Part of the scaffolding was still there but it was getting a lot more open.  I thought we would be in good shape.  It turns out we were but they are certainly not yet finished.  The wire fencing at the deck level has been replaced with glass screens.  These lean out so you can look straight down.  There are glass benches which means you can lean back on the glass – something that certainly seems to upset a few visitors.

Meanwhile, construction work continues.  The level inside the viewing deck is still undergoing a lot of work.  The restaurant downstairs is not yet open but I assume these will all get sorted out as summer progresses.  I was a little worried that the glass screens would impede photography.  The old wire fence provided clear access.  However, there are gaps between the panels that you can shoot through.  A big lens might not fit but my mirrorless did fine.  We shall have more visitors so I will get to see how the whole thing looks when it is finished I suspect.

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Finally, an Antonov Antonov

There have been quite a few appearances of Antonov AN124s on this blog.  They all have something in common.  They were operated by Volga Dnepr.  There is another operator that I have not had much success seeing.  That is Antonov Design Bureau.  They never seem to be operating near to me.  That was why I was so pleased when one was scheduled in to Everett.  I was taking a week off work anyway so no reason not to go.

The weather wasn’t great but how many chances would I get for an ADB AN124?  A genuine Antonov Antonov.  Time to go.  They were arriving from the north and it was morning so the only option was Future of Flight which wouldn’t normally be good for a morning flight.  However, with a grotty overcast, sun on the wrong side wasn’t going to be such a problem.

There was a bit of a breeze from our side of the runway so the early approach looked like they were coming straight for us.  They floated down the approach and touchdown of all of those wheels resulted in plenty of smoke.  Then they taxied back to the Boeing ramp (after some confusion with air traffic) and shut down.

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Tranquility By the Shore

The walk along the beach in Deception Pass State Park starts out in amongst a lot of people.  The West Beach near the parking lot had a lot of people enjoying themselves while we were there.  However, they didn’t want to go too far it seemed as, when we started walking along the shoreline towards the North Beach, we rapidly found ourselves a lot more isolated.  There was the occasional person passing the other way but we were, for the most part, on our own.  Standing on the shore and looking out across the water on a sunny afternoon was really relaxing.

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P-3s Coming Out of the Sun

When Ault Field is operating on 25, the aircraft taxi out to the departure end along a taxiway that gradually brings them into view from the crash gate.  The sound will usually precede them and, in the case of the P-3s, that is a pretty distinctive sound.  As the day wears on, they are coming at you out of the sun so a bit more silhouetted but that helps to make them look more interesting.  They pull around to the hold point, sometimes mixing in with the Growlers before departing off to the west.  This is a sight that will soon be gone as the P-8s take over.

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Turbulence in the Channel

When the bridge was built over Deception Pass, it provided a reliable method of crossing off Whidbey Island.  Prior to the bridge, a boat was needed.  I was there on a rough day – the weather was lovely – but the current running through the pass was pretty impressive.  Watching the boats fight it made the flow very apparent.  Closer to the shore, the current would churn up the water to create standing waves a short distance away from the beach.  It looked like the sort of thing that could easily overwhelm a smaller craft if you didn’t know exactly what you were doing.

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What Goes On These Pylons?

An older generation of Learjet was heading out from Boeing Field.  I almost ignored it but I got a few shots as it rotated and climbed out.  As it did so I noticed it had a pod on an underwing pylon.  A little further research shows it belongs to Phoenix Air.  Apparently, they have a few Learjets that have electronic gear fitted – sometimes on pylons and sometimes internally.  This pod appears to have dielectric elements front and rear so may well be an EW pod of some sort.  I wonder if anyone knows more about these guys and what they would be up to.

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That Sinking Feeling

I don’t go to airports to photograph boats.  That would seem to be a bit of a poor choice but, in Renton’s case, you are right by the water and there are some boats. Still, that wasn’t the goal until I saw this sad sight.  I am not sure of the story behind this but obviously something didn’t go right.  Did it sink here for some reason or had it developed a problem and made it back to the dock before it was overcome?  I don’t know.  All I do know is that it looks like an expensive fix is required.

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