Approaching Edmonds from the Water

While on the ferry, you are free to walk around the car deck if you wish although a mask is required.  Since it is open and the wind is blowing through from the open ends, there is good circulation.  I walked to the front to see the Edmonds skyline appear as we got closer.  We have been to Edmonds on a few occasions and it is a nice town.  This was my first view of it from the water, though.  Here are some shots of the town from the waters of Puget Sound.

Diamond SF50

I have a soft spot for Diamond SF50 jets.  They are not the most elegant of aircraft but they are quite effective and seem to be selling well.  There are quite a few based on the PNW and more seem to visit on a regular basis.  This example was coming in to Paine Field on a sunny Sunday afternoon.  Since it is a small jet, I can stick with the prime when shooting it there which can make for some nice sharp shots.  I would be interested to know what they are like to operate and whether they provide a good performance boost to their owners.

Cormorant Posing for Me

We went out for lunch at Ray’s Boathouse one Saturday afternoon.  It was not a great day, weather wise, with fog covering Puget Sound.  I didn’t take the big camera with me but I did take the M6 along just in case there was something to see.  In front of our table on their deck was a piling which had a gull sitting on it when we got there.  The gull soon flew off and then it was replaced by a cormorant!  It must have been especially for me!  It was drying its wings after its swim and I got a few shots of it while sitting at the table.  I could have run to the car to grab the big lens but that would have interrupted our lunch a little too much!

Noisy Buzz that is the Super Skymaster

The 777X wasn’t the only thing I got to see on my Sunday at Paine Field.  A buzzing from a distant plane was the announcement of the impending arrival of a Cessna 3337 Super Skymaster.  This is an unusual aircraft with two engines in a push-pull configuration.  It is a noisy thing and is often banned at airports that otherwise allow piston twins.  I understand it is a bit of a pain to maintain too!  I haven’t seen one for ages so was glad to get it on approach.

Even better, it didn’t stay too long so we. Got it taxiing out and taking off too.  Quite a novelty to get to photograph one these days.

Sailboats, a City and a Mountain

As we made the crossing of Puget Sound on the ferry, I stood by one of the side openings to watch what went by.  I was looking down the sound towards the city of Seattle.  The silhouette of the city was obvious with buildings like the Space Needle showing up.  Mt Rainier was in the background but a lot less clear given the haze in the air.  With some sailboats in the water between us and the city, I figured I had to take a shot.

Lucky C-17 Overflight

This goes back quite a while to a day when I was at Paine Field for some 777X activities.  After all that I had been there for was done, I was getting ready to pack up and go when I saw something off to the east approaching the field.  It was large but seemed rather slow.  It turned out to be a C-17.  It made a pass straight across the field and I was hoping that they would break into the pattern but I was to be disappointed.  They turned to the south and headed off towards McChord.  Still, it was a nice addition to a sunny day of aviation photography.

Smoke In the Air

The wildfires that spread throughout the west in September resulted in some really bad air quality in our area.  It was hard to see too far on some occasions and you definitely weren’t supposed to exercise if you could avoid it.  At one point, I had thought a short bike ride might be okay but I didn’t do it and, when I went out to take some photos, I realized that even walking around the park was resulting in me feeling quite bad.  Serious exertion would have been a bad idea.

I wanted to get some photos that demonstrated how bad the air quality was.  However, I discovered that it was quite hard to compose a shot that showed how bad things are.  You can take pictures that show distant objects as obscured by the smoke particles (although post processing techniques can reduce or increase the obscuration if you wish) but the difficulty with that is that a photo doesn’t give a good idea for the viewer of how far away things really are.

A wide lens makes even things that are close look distant and a telephoto lens brings distant things in close so you struggle to make the viewer perceive things the way you actually saw them at the time.  I tried with these shots to have enough in the foreground to give some concept of how quickly the visibility fell off but I don’t think it really tells the story in the way that being there did.  However, this is a record of what it was like and maybe I will come back to these pictures to remember.

A Day of Biz Jets

Sunday afternoon at Boeing Field awaiting the arrival of a 777X meant plenty of time to catch some incoming biz jets.  Sadly, rarely are they painted interesting colors.  XOJet has no colors, NetJets very little and FlexJet shouldn’t have been given access to the color chart given what they chose.  David and I were chatting during all of this and completely missed the G650ER that came in that was a nicer scheme but so be it.  There was a nice-looking Citation X in the mix, so some color included.  Here are a few of the arrivals we got.

Waiting for the Ferry at Kingston

On our way home from Port Townsend, we took the ferry from Kingston to Edmonds.  We got there just as one ferry was leaving so we were safely guaranteed a space on the next one.  Rather than sit in the car, I walked down to the overlook of the water so I could see what was moving out on the water.  In the end, it was mainly watching the ferry that had just left as it headed away and then looking out for our ferry as it made the crossing and approached.  I was quite surprised how few people came to have a look given that it was a lovely day and there were loads of cars waiting to board!

T-33 Pattern Work

After such a long time of struggling to get shots of the Boeing T-33 chase planes, I seem to have had a lot more luck recently.  One showed up at Paine Field and, rather than just shooting an approach and departing straight to Boeing Field, it made a full stop landing, taxied back, took off, entered the pattern and came around again.  This was a welcome addition to a sunny afternoon.  There was only one crew onboard so I guess with was some continuation training.

As the plane taxied back to the threshold, I got a good look at the upper side of the front fuselage.  There appear to be quite a variety of antennae mounted on there.  I didn’t know whether they were GPS location antennae or other types but there are plenty there.  Whether they are used for different functions or are needed for validating test data and cross referencing, I have no idea.  Some of them may even be redundant but no one has seen the need to remove them.  Whatever the reasons, there are lots there!