I was at SEA early one Sunday morning to try and catch a shot of Salmon Thirty Salmon before it was repainted. Northern Air Cargo also departs at a similar time of day as part of its loop between Hawaii, Seattle, Los Angeles and back to Hawaii. I assume one of the regular jets was in maintenance because they had chartered in some capacity from StratAir. I was not familiar with this operator but I was happy to catch a 767 in new colors for me.
It’s been a while since I posted some images of Marine Corps Hornets having issues starting up to depart from Boeing Field after a weekend visiting for training. I didn’t include any images in there of them actually taking off. I got a reasonable spot to try and see them take offs even though the weather was not really great. I was surprised at just how quickly the jets got airborne. They were already quite high by the time that they came by me. I was still able to get some reasonable shots of them. Fast jets are always a nice change to the usual Boeing Field traffic.
I was down at Fort Casey on Whidbey Island one sunny afternoon. I had been to Ault Field first thing in the morning and some of the shots from then will make it on here at some point. I was down near Coupeville awaiting some FCLP training but, since I had time on my hands, I was wandering down near the shore. The wind must have changed because some planes from Ault Field were coming down our way as part of their patterns. One was a P-8 – the latest that the Navy has for maritime patrol – while the other was a P-3 – the type that the P-8 has almost completely replaced in service. It seemed quite appropriate to have both of them working overhead at the same time.
Widebody jets coming into SEA are hard to predict. If possible, all arriving traffic is sent to the outer runway to allow departures to proceed from the inner runway with little disruption. However, if there is a lot of arriving traffic, the wake turbulence requirements for spacing behind a heavy jet can slow the arrivals flow. In this case, sending the jets the inner runway is more efficient. You never know what it will be until the plane is lined up on approach and you can see whether it is offset from the normal paths or not.
I wasn’t terribly bothered by this American Airlines 777-200ER when it came in as it is a daily arrival from London, and I have shot it on previous occasions. However, since I was in a location almost on the centerline of its approach, I decided to go for more of a head on shot and then an underside shot. If this was something I hadn’t shot before, I would be aiming to get the side of the plane in shot to show whatever it was but, in this case, no harm in playing around with different angles.
I posted about the visit of Western Global and their 747-400F a little while back. They did not wait long for their next return and, this time, they went for a rarer type by bringing in the MD-11F. I know FedEx and UPS still have loads of these (although they are starting to retire them) but other operators are thin on the ground. This was worth catching. (I have since heard that Western Global is in liquidity difficulties so who knows if they will still be around soon.)
It arrived at Paine Field when I wasn’t able to be there, but it did depart in the morning when I was able to get to see it. The weather was not ideal, and I would have appreciated a little sun on it but I’ll take it in any conditions given that I don’t know when I might get another opportunity. What a cool looking jet the MD-11 is from the front quarters. When they are gone, we shall have lost something special.
The last 747 to be built was conducting test flights from Everett in advance of being delivered to Atlas. It was due to get back from a test flight one evening and the timing looked good for a landing just before sunset. Along with plenty of other photographers, I headed up to Paine Field to await its return. As we tracked the flight, it was looking more and more like they would not get back before sunset. A few people decided that this wasn’t worth the wait and headed off. I figured I had made the effort so I was going to get a shot, even if the conditions weren’t any good. I was there, after all.
Sure enough, the sun went down while we waited and a little while later, the familiar shape of the 747 appeared in the distance. However, luck was going to be on my side this time around. While the sun had now set, the higher-level clouds off to the west were now being illuminated from below turning them a warm red color. The light from these clouds was now what was landing where we were and, as the 747 came down the approach, it had a warm and soft glow to it from the remnants of the day’s light. Far from being a disappointment, this was actually really attractive. What a lucky break for me and those that remained.
The Janet 737s go to ATS on Paine Field for maintenance when required. I should, therefore, see them more often but I usually don’t know anything about it until they are gone. Consequently, when I caught one this time, it was purely by chance. Luck is to be embraced, of course. Another Janet might seem a little repetitive, but I don’t care.
Air Tanzania Cargo placed an order for a 767-300F and it recently came off the line at Everett. I saw various shots of it from local photographers, but it never flew when I was able to shoot it – i.e., when I wasn’t at work. When I did get up to Paine Field, it had been parked off at the back of the ramp and didn’t look like it was going anywhere soon. Then, I saw that it had become active again. I figured that meant it would be delivered soon. Fortunately, one of the flights was during an afternoon and it was due back late in the day – after work! I was able to get up to Paine Field after leaving the office and be there for the return. Just as well I did as it got delivered shortly afterwards.
Boeing has had a number of aircraft in its Eco-Demonstrator program. The most recent one is a 787-10 that they have been using to test air traffic control innovations including some trans-Pacific flights in coordination with control agencies in various Asian countries. When I shot the 777 demonstrator a while back, I thought it was the end of the line for that plane and it was heading to desert. Apparently not. It is back and flying and made a trip to the Paris Air Show. I got it on its return recently from Europe. Maybe we shall see more of it in the coming months. Now to try and find the 787!
I was flying home from the Midwest and, as we taxied off the active runway, I could see an Asiana 747-400F taxiing for departure. We crossed the runway before it took off and, since I was on the side of the aircraft facing the runway, I got a good view of the sunlight punching through the clouds off to the west. I got the phone out to get a shot having completely forgotten that the 747 would be on its way any time. As it came into view, I grabbed a couple of phone shots as it passed the sunlight. Phones are still not a true competitor to a decent camera, but they can really produce something useful.