Out of Practice

A weekend day crops up with some good light, a relatively clear schedule and a feeling that it has been a while since I was shooting some aircraft.  If it flies, I am interesting in taking its picture.  If pressed, military and rotary are the favorites for me but I am not a snob and I am more than happy to take pictures of airliners if the opportunity presents itself.

O’Hare is not far away and Midway is even closer.  Both are busy fields but they are not a source of much diversity when it comes to traffic.  Midway is Southwest heaven but not a lot else (although there are a fair few business jets every once in a while).  O’Hare is fine if you want a lot of United Express and American Eagle regional jets.  However, there is a period in the middle of the afternoon when a lot of the European traffic comes in and that is what tempted me to venture up that way.

It was also an opportunity to make use of some technology.  I have had times in the past when I finally gave up after a steady stream on the same old stuff, only to head down the road as something very interesting shows up.  Now, with Flightaware on my phone and LiveATC’s app streaming, it is a lot easier to be aware of what is due in and when.  Makes for a more relaxing time!

The afternoon arrivals also coincide with the sun coming round to the right location so all looked good, as long as the weather was prepared to hold.  No tension being built here – the weather stayed great!

I showed up ahead of the main arrival times although I was just a little too late to catch and AeroUnion A300.  It left while I was there but the perimeter fence means nothing useful to show of that.  However, we did have a great selection of stuff to get my first big afternoon of shooting in.  There is also the normal stream of the local stuff and I didn’t ignore that completely but usually only to try something I wouldn’t go for on a one off arrival.

We had KLM, British Airways, Aer Lingus, Turkish Airlines and Royal Jordanian amongst others.  The Turkish jet had a large Manchester United logo on the side but I didn’t hold that against them.  Royal Jordanian really do have a very attractive livery.  Only Iberia let us down by arriving on the center runway rather than the southern where we were.  Ho hum!

All in all a great day out and a nice way to spend some time in the sun – outdoors after the generally dull winter we have had so far.  As if to round that point out, that evening it snowed a bit again!  What is going on?

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