Author Archives: Rob

Formation Arrivals

Not really a formation I’m afraid.  I was shooting this PC-12 as it came in to BFI in nice light and a light aircraft was on the approach for the parallel runway.  I almost got both of them in frame but not quite.  However, I liked the shot so here it is.

Driving Across The Hills In The Snow

Our trip to Cannon Beach got delayed a day by snow on the hills which you have to cross to get to the Oregon coastline.  When we did make the crossing, not only were we properly equipped (as shall be seen in another post) but the weather was transformed.  The sun was out, and it looked picturesque.  The snow was still heavy on the trees and the hillsides while the road was compacted snow.  Consequently, it was white everywhere.  We were on a major road that would normally be traversed at speed but, due to the traction devices fitted, we were limited to 25mph.  It made the crossing pretty protracted, but it did provide ample time to look around and see the scenery – and the occasional vehicle off the road!

Robbed Dreamliner

Dreamliner deliveries have been stalled for about a year now with a brief interlude of deliveries early last year.  They are stored all over the place including this American Airlines jet up at Paine Field.  I think it had a radome when it was built but, clearly someone needed one and the easiest one to hand was on this airframe. Now it sits awaiting a replacement and – hopefully – acceptance and delivery!


Fort Rodd Hill

As the gateway to the west coast of Canada, the area around Victoria has a military history.  One location that is now no longer in service is Fort Rodd Hill.  It sits overlooking the entrance to the harbor with the navy base sitting a short distance across the water.  It is like many of the forts you find on the west coast with gun emplacements, bunkers, accommodation and spotting locations for the gunners.  The biggest threat you now face is the large number of geese that seem intent in getting in your way and also contaminating where you are walking!

The location is well maintained and, since it was a weekday when we re there, not terribly busy.  With the sun shining, it was a nice stroll to explore the facilities.  The walls were pretty substantial, and it might have been fun to get a drone up to look down on everything but a) I don’t have one and b) that close to the navy base probably means they aren’t allowed anyway.

Who Will Get This 737?

Plenty of 737 Max jets are changing their colors at the moment.  The cancellation clauses of the purchase contracts have allowed a bunch of airlines to cancel their orders without penalty as a result of the extended delays in delivery – something that may have been welcome during the pandemic!  Boeing has seen an uptick in demand for airframes recently and has been mostly successful in reselling these finished airframes.

This one showed up recently at Boeing Field.  It is all white so may have been identified as problematic before it ever got painted in airline colors.  The people I was chatting too had no idea where it was due to go and whether it could even be a BBJ.  No doubt it will soon find a home if it hasn’t already.

Multiple Minis

Exotics@RTC has attracted a few Minis during the 2021 season.  Having learned to drive in a Mini and used one a lot in my teenage years, I am always happy to see the original versions.  Sure, the modern Minis are fun vehicles but the originals are more interesting, even if they would not provide much protection in the event of doing something silly.

The one I drove was powered by an 850cc engine.  The 1275 engines were far more exotic.  Coopers were something else.  Here the focus is mainly on the Coopers but that is fine.  Finding one turned in to a convertible was a bit of a surprise.  It is fun to see that plenty of people still find the Mini fun and keep them going and in great condition.

Lufthansa A330

I was out for something else, but I happened to be around when a Lufthansa A330 made approach to SeaTac.  The weather was nice, the light was good and an A330 was coming by.  I could hardly avoid shooting it, could I?  I am no fan of Lufthansa’s current low-key colors but on a good day, even they look alright.

Craigdarroch Castle

One of the places we saw mentioned in Victoria when we were staying there for Thanksgiving was Craigdarroch Castle.  It was described as being in the town itself so we decided to swing by as we were heading out of town towards some other locations.  The “castle” is a big house up on the hills.  It has a pretty good view across the town by the looks of it.  I am not usually terribly interested in the insides of buildings like this.  The outside is worth a look but the interiors are usually rather old and musty, so we skipped that and walked around outside in the sun.

The building is in the middle of a residential area so it is a little strange to be surrounded by houses but it was a sunny day and the building is interesting so we had a look around before heading off on our way.

Almost Perfect MH-60 Timing

As we started our drive home from Oregon, we were to pass through Astoria.  There is an airfield at Astoria and it is home to a Coast Guard helicopter unit that flies the MH-60T Jayhawk.  I think this is one of the better-looking variants of the Black Hawk family both because of the paint job but also the configuration of external fuel tanks.  I hoped we might see one there, but we had a long drive home and I wasn’t going to subject Nancy to a long delay.

Imagine my frustration as we pulled off US101 towards the airport when an MH-60 flies over our heads towards the airport a mile away.  The light was great, and it looked good but I was driving and it was going to land long before we could get there.  Had I blown it?  Two minutes earlier and we would have been fine.  I pulled up and it was taxiing towards me.  I grabbed the camera and got a few shots as it headed to the Coast Guard ramp.  Check out the logo of Astoria in the shape of the Jayhawk.

However, it didn’t shut down.  I thought they might just be running after landing checks but Nancy asked why they hadn’t stopped everything so we waited for a while.  Sure enough, another crew walked across the ramp and climbed on board.  A few minutes later, they taxied back our way and then lifted.  The departure route has the bridge across the Columbia River in the background and, with great winter light, it looked great.  They turned down to the south and were gone.  I got back in the car and we were back on the road barely ten minutes after leaving 101.  I got my helicopter and Nancy didn’t have a long delay!

Tokul Tunnel

My walk along the trail up near Snoqualmie started and ended at a road that went above the old railroad bed.  There was a small tunnel under the road.  I assume this was once a proper rail tunnel or a bridge but the tunnel that is there now looks like a more modern construction.  Even so, it is a little interesting so here are some shots of it.