Omni provides a lot of charter work in the Seattle area, presumably military work for JBLM. The planes usually operate from SeaTac but then will reposition to Boeing Field. There is often an Omni 767 parked up at the south end of the field but I have not ever seemed to have been there when they are moving. More recently, I happened across one coming in to land after a short trip from SeaTac (I could probably have driven it faster given the routing that they had to take). It was nice to see one up and about so it prompted this post with a few Omni 767s.
Another airline retiring another type. This used to be an occasional topic on the blog but the massive reductions in airline service means I could probably almost pick one a day. In this case it is American Airlines and the Boeing 767. The 757s have also been grounded but they are not definitely retired yet so we’ll wait for a while. Of course, by the time this post hits the page, that might have changed!
The 767-200 fleet went away a while back but I am going to include them here. The 767-300s have been around until now. I didn’t travel in them very much but have made the occasional trip. I think I took one from Chicago to Manchester in the UK and definitely had a ride from SFO to JFK once. There have probably been other times that I don’t now recall. It has been quite a while since I was a regular with American.
All that aside, the fleet is now done. Some may find a second life – possibly as freighters – but probably the majority will end up being parted out. We might suddenly find 767 parts are not as in need as they were until recently but there is still a sizable fleet of freighters and there are still in production so maybe there is some value.
The collapse of Thomas Cook meant that the German subsidiary, Condor, has gone it alone. The fleet had a tail marking that reflected the parent company but, with their demise, they are now adopting a tail design that is back to their own branding. I saw one of the new tails on this 767 arriving at SeaTac shortly before a BA 777 that I was waiting for because I was picking up the skipper. Below is what it used to look like (albeit in nicer light).
I was out one evening awaiting the arrival of something that currently escapes my memory. In the meantime, I was in position to get the arrival of a few widebodies. Since SeaTac tends to put the widebodies on the inner runway, they are the ones you can get from this park location while almost everything else (plus the occasional wide body!) goes to the outer runway behind you and through the trees.
On this evening, we had four widebodies come in. Condor brought their regular 767 flight. This were joined by an Air China Cargo Boeing 747-400F, a FedEx 777F and last but by no means least, a British Airways 747-400. The evening light was very favorable and this location is both easily accessible and pretty good for this approach.
I had a long layover at Salt Lake City when connecting on a Delta flight. The sun was out and the mountains in the background were covered in snow so it made for a rather pretty backdrop for the airport operations. It was a bit Delta-centric given that they hub at the airport and we were in one of their terminals but it did make for some nice light and scenery for aviation shots.
The only civilian 767s being built at the moment are for FedEx. I posted one of them on test at Paine Field in this post. I caught another one recently. I got the departure early on as it disappeared into the clouds that were pretty low. The return later had slightly better light. The approach was terminated with a go-around resulting in some vortices streaming from the wing as they climbed out. Dark skies make for an interesting background!
I was picking up someone from SeaTac just before Christmas. The flight was due in just before sunset so I took the camera along just in case. I was out by the outer runway approach path but the heavies were coming in to the inner runway. This meant they passed nicely in front of Mt Rainer – assuming you can ignore the 60 odd miles distance to the mountain. First in was a Condor 767 which still had plenty of evening light on it as it landed.
Next up was a British Airways 777. It arrived as the light was fading fast. It still had a bit of illumination but you knew anything following it would be in the gloom. Being winter, there was virtually no distortion in the atmosphere, which, given the distance was a potential problem. Things looked pretty sharp in the final images.
Hawaiian Airlines had a reasonably large fleet of 767s for its long haul services. They introduced A330s to expand the fleet and more recently have added A321neos to serve destinations on the west coast of the US. The arrival of these planes has meant the 767s are no longer needed. Consequently the fleet has been run down and the final flights have taken place. It won’t be an Airbus only fleet for the longer flights for long though. 787-9s are on order so Boeing will return to the long haul fleet before too long.
Aside from the USAF, FedEx is the main recipient of aircraft coming off the 767 line these days. They have just placed another order too so they will continue to take new 767 freighters for years to come. One of the jets was planning to have a first flight at Paine Field. Prior to first flight, Boeing tends to run a high speed taxi and braking profile. If this goes well, they will then take off for the first flight. Judging by the radio traffic this time, things were not going well. They did one run, braked and vacated. They taxied down to my end and repeated in the opposite direction. Then they called the tower to confirm that they were heading back to the ramp. I imagine they fixed the issue before too long but no first flight on this occasion.