Author Archives: Rob

Japan Transocean Air

Haneda is a busy hub for Japan Air Lines (JAL).  While you visit, there will be a steady stream of JAL 737s coming and going so, another one arriving is no cause for interest.  However, I realized that this particular jet did not actually say Japan Air Lines on the fuselage.  Instead, it was marked Japan Transoceanic Air.  I had never heard of this airline before.  A little research shows that it is part owned by JAL – hence the use of the common livery – but there are other shareholders. Occasionally they will lend aircraft to JAL but they do operate to Haneda so I don’t know whether this was a JAL flight or one of their own.  A new airline for me, though.

Snoqualmie Falls in Full Flow

November and December in Washington were pretty dry.  For a state known for damp winters, we were rather lacking in rain.  January and February decided to make up for that and we had days of rain and not just showers but really heavy rainfall.  Local rivers are in flood all over the region.  Snoqualmie Falls were on TV as the flow over the falls was raging.  We have seen a variety of flow levels in our different visits based on river levels and the power generation requirements.  This looked more than we had seen before and a visit seemed worthwhile.

We weren’t the only ones with this idea.  Plenty of people were there and, talking to others after our visit, they all seemed to have visited too.  The full width of the falls was covered and the roar of the crashing water was impressive.  What was also dramatic was the impact on the viewing areas.  The spray from the falls was being driven up the side of the rocks by the wind and so, while the surrounding area was dry, in the immediate vicinity of the falls, it was raining pretty heavily.  One guy I talked to had his camera stop working it got so wet.

This made getting photos quite tricky.  While the cameras I had were up to the task, keeping the front of the lens dry was a difficult task.  The sun angle also meant any water on the lens was more conspicuous than normal.  At first I tried to keep it clear but I soon gave up and just went with whatever I could get.  We then went to the river in order to walk up towards the bottom of the falls.  However, this had been closed off, presumably because of the river levels, so I couldn’t get the other shots I was hoping for.

Dreamliner Glider

Around the world you can find plenty of parked Boeing 787s at the moment.  Problems with the Rolls Royce Trent engines for this type mean that airlines have been pulling engines from various airframes in order to keep others flying.  ANA uses Rolls engines on their fleet and I saw this aircraft being pulled around a taxiway at Haneda.  Both engines were off making it look quite odd.  It will certainly be a lot lighter than before but, somehow, I think that isn’t going to make it more efficient!

Twist and Break the Trunk

This one is quick.  A tree has broken and the trunk – not a very thick one – had not only broken but twisted as it fell.  I was fascinated by the shape it took and the way in which the fibers of the wood had distorted as it fell over.  It showed the inner structure of the tree in a vulnerable way which is obscured when the tree is intact.

Another Japanese Coast Guard Surprise

On a previous visit to Haneda I ended up getting a photo of a Japanese Coast Guard Gulfstream.  This time, the weather was not great so I ended up staying on the side which should be backlit but wasn’t since there wasn’t much light!  A turboprop showed up on approach which I hadn’t noticed online and initially wasn’t bothered about.  However, I shot it and it turned out to be a Japanese Coast Guard Dash 8.  I was pretty pleased!

Amphitrite Lighthouse

Drive south from Tofino and you come to the wonderfully named town of Ucluelet.  There are some great trails near the town that take you around the coastline and one of them goes past a lighthouse.  The Amphitrite Lighthouse is a great looking lighthouse.  In the days of modern navigation techniques, the concept of lighthouses seems a little out of date but they still serve a purpose and they do provide a nice focal point to a view of a rocky coastline.  The lighthouse was one of the first things to see on the trail we took and I should probably post some of the other views in another post at some point.  In the meantime, here is the light to keep you going.

Sketchy A350 Paint Job?

I shot this Singapore A350 landing at Haneda in January of 2020.  When I was reviewing the shots, I saw something odd on the roof.  At first I thought it was markings for rescue areas but it really didn’t look that good.  I am wondering whether the original paint job was pretty shoddy and the paint is peeling off.  It doesn’t look good to me.

Cable Car After Dark

The cable cars are a staple of the San Francisco tourist scene.  I still grab the occasional shot of them, even having seen them more times than I can recall.  As we were walking back one evening after a fun night out with friends, we crossed the street at Union Square as one was heading up Powell.  I figured an evening shot was worth the effort.

Douglas World Cruiser

I first saw the Douglas World Cruiser when Hayman and I were were skulking around Boeing Field prior to an ISAP symposium.  The aircraft was being worked on by a restoration team  and we chatted to them for a while.  When I moved it up, it had moved too and now it lives at Renton.  I have seen it plenty of times as it sits in its open ended hangar at Renton.  However, it clearly is moved as, on a recent visit, the nose was pointing out of the hangar rather than in.  It is not in a great place to shoot but a bit of live view and holding the camera above the wall and you can get a shot.

IPMS At Museum of Flight

The IPMS has a gathering of their members for a display of their models each year at the Museum of Flight.  I went along to say hello to my friend Jim and to see what creations were on display.  While it is held at the Museum of Flight, it is not restricted to planes although there are plenty of those.  I was interested to see quite a number of rocket models including a great Atlas/Mercury launch pad diorama.

Everything was laid out on the main museum floor around the M-12 which is certainly not a bad background to have for an event.