Sorry for the corny pun but I just
couldn’t resist. One of my favorite
airliners to shoot has been the Air Tahiti Nui A340-300. I have seen them at LAX on a number of
visits. Shooting them taking off on the
south complex has been possible on a few occasions and I was super lucky to get
one of them landing on the north complex when I was overhead in the
helicopter. The A340s are getting a bit
old at this point, though, so their replacement has been ordered and it is
going to be the Boeing 787-9.
One of the jets was in flight test at
Everett so, with nice weather on a weekend and flying underway, I couldn’t
resist a trip up to get the return. I
was too late for a takeoff shot. The
conditions were great. A cold snap meant
that the air was clear and the sun, while it disappeared for a while shortly
after I arrived, was back in plenty of time for the return. Consequently, as the plane came across the
Cascades, I could see it easily prior to it turning north to come in on the
approach. Mt Baker was clear in the
background as they made the turn to final approach.
The dark colors of the livery make it
necessary to use a bit of shadow slider when processing the shots. It was just after midday so the light was a
bit on the nose of the jet but you could still get something good for the
fuselage sides. The touchdown was a bit
firm providing a smoky cloud of tire rubber.
I wonder how much tread the airline expects to have at delivery? Often the jets will come back for a rejected
takeoff run but this time they went straight back to the ramp.
We were heading towards SeaTac to drop
a friend off at the airport. We were
coming in through Renton on a back road and had some time to spare so I made a
quick diversion to a local cemetery.
This is the final resting place of Jimi Hendrix. I had been meaning to check this out for a
while and this was the first good opportunity.
It is a nicely laid out shrine to Jimi. Some graphics of him are engraved in the stone of the structure and there is a guitar sculpture at its center. A bunch of different picks are inserted in the sculpture by visiting fans. Flowers are growing around the base of the shrine. I imagine that there are plenty of visitors throughout the year although we were the only ones on this Friday afternoon.
My last time shooting at SFO, I got
shots of a Virgin Atlantic 787 arriving.
Crossing shots are not unusual at SFO as the jets on approach will often
have departing jets in the background.
The Virgin jet had this. It also
had a second crossing shot a little earlier on the approach. A jet heading over the bay to pick up the
approach further down was directly behind the 787 just after it passed Coyote
On our day trip to Fir Island, one of
the first birds we came across was a heron that was standing in the water near
the parking lot catching lunch. I am
guessing that the fish in these waters were pretty small because he seemed to
catch a lot but always was after another.
Must have been bite sized portions!
With the water so calm, his reflection was very clear giving a nice
emphasis to the shape of the body.
The Boeing T-38 chase jets are
something I have not had much success in hunting down. I have got some shots but they were not in
great conditions. I did have another
chance recently when at Boeing Field but, guess what, the clouds rolled in at
just the wrong time. The T-38 flew nicely
down the approach and provided a great opportunity but the light was not really
playing ball. Still, at least I got some
shots, even if the colors are hardly popping.
There is a direct ferry from Port
Angeles to downtown Victoria operated by Black Ball Line. Their boat is an old ship called the
Coho. We have taken this route on a
previous visit but didn’t use it this time.
However, the regular arrival and departure of the Coho meant we saw it
frequently during our stay. The ship has
loading apertures on each side of the hull through which the cars can be
loaded. Otherwise it looks like a pretty
It wasn’t hard to know when they were
leaving as there would be a blast on the ship’s horn. This was followed by swinging the boat around
in the main harbor in order to be able to head out through the narrow passage
to the open sea. The Coho first entered
service in 1959 so is clearly not a new vessel.
I have no idea whether there is any plan to replace her or whether, with
regular refits, she will continue in service for years to come.
The current generation of wide body
jets are being built at rates that would have been hard to imagine a few years
ago. Fourteen jets a month is so much
more than would have been contemplated before.
That is the sort of build rate that the 787 and the A350 are
achieving. The result is a lot of jets
being in service not that long after the fleet first appeared. Boeing recently built the 787th
787. It was a jet for China Southern and
I got a shot of it returning to Everett.
I’m glad it was an Everett jet rather than a Charleston one. I wonder who got to make that decision!
To get to Victoria for our visit, we took the BC Ferries route from Tsawwassen. This route crosses some open water but then it weaves its way through the Gulf Islands. This makes for a really picturesque journey. On the day we crossed, it was a cloudy day but the beauty of the islands and the waterways between them was more than enough to compensate for the gloomy skies. Some of the passages are really narrow so you find yourself very close to the shore and looking at the houses and woodland areas along the water’s edge.
If you don’t mind being blown about a bit, standing out on the deck rewards you with great views. The only problem is you can only see to one side at a time. You need to nip through the boat to the other side periodically to see what is passing on that side. Not such a relaxing way to sightsee!
My first encounter with this Cirrus SF50 Vision was in this post. It was scheduled for departure while I was on some calls and I hoped it would time its departure conveniently for me. I was lucky and it headed out just after I finished a call and before I headed back to the eastside. The skies were not friendly for getting a shot but it was still nice to see it in action and the flat light avoided any harsh shadows and deep contrast.
I used to make regular trips to
Oklahoma City for a streetcar project I was working on. I ended up having to pick up another project
which meant I dropped the streetcar project when the vehicle contract had been
approved and signed and my colleague took on the delivery phase. However, I promised I would be back for the
grand opening. Mid December was the time
when the system was opened up.
Fortunately, I was already within
three hours of OKC for another project so I drove up for the celebrations. The project team had a dinner the night
before which was a great chance to get back together with some old faces. The opening was on the following
morning. We had an early photo session
with project team members at 7:30 on a chilly Friday. The main opening ceremony started at
10:00. It was still pretty cold but
plenty of people had shown up for the evening.
Speeches from those involved and then it was time for the first rides.
I skipped the initial runs and instead
went to have a look at the maintenance facility that had been constructed as
part of the project. It was a nice job
that had been put together by all involved.
After checking it all out, I parted ways with my old colleagues. Before heading home, it was time to ride the
full route. That will be another post.