Tag Archives: KBFI

Wolfhound On A Dull Morning

I had to go into the city for a meeting but the time before it was filled with calls.  The only time I could realistically make the drive without clashing with anything was early in the morning.  Consequently, I parked myself up at Boeing Field to sit in a car in the rain and talk to various colleagues.  In a break between calls, the rain had let up and I was treated to the departure of a C-146 Wolfhound.  A Dornier 328 would be a nice surprise at any time, but a Wolfhound was definitely a bonus.

It taxied past me when heading for the departure end and I was able to get a quick couple of shots.  I then had another call and figured that the departure itself was not going to work out.  For some reason, though, the departures were really slow.  Everything was sitting at the hold for ages.  I wonder whether the conditions combined with the departing traffic from SEA meant that they were restricting the releases.  Whatever the reason, they held for over half an hour and my next call ended just before they took the runway.  A lucky bonus as reward for sitting in a parking lot in the rain taking calls for a couple of hours!

Doc Weekend Rides

I have posted some photos of the arrival of Doc previously on the blog.  However, at the weekend, it did a series of flights and I went down one morning to get some shots of it before heading off to Skagit for the fly day up there.  Shooting at BFI in the morning is not ideal so I decided to head up the hill to look down on the airport.  I headed up there and met my friend Mark.  We went in to the clearing to get ready and realized we had timed it well.  It wasn’t long before several other people had arrived and things were getting rather crowded.  Early arrival meant the choice of spots.

You are shooting from quite a distance at that location but you are elevated so the heat haze is not such a problem.  Even so, not the simplest of shots to get.  The crew kept Doc really low on departure, much as they had done on the first flight I saw.  They were flying right by the Boeing ramp so you had a combination of modern Boeing planes and 1940s products!

Once they had headed out, we moved down to the approach end.  Originally, I set myself up next to the fence.  However, a Beech came in to land and I realized that the proximity to the fence, even with ladders, was not ideal.  I relocated to the other side of the road and awaited the return of Doc.  They made a pretty sporty turn from downwind.  I got shots of it but none that were a combination of sharp and as dramatic as I would have liked.  Then they were rapidly on to short final and swooping across the threshold.

It was all pretty good fun.  I was okay with the results I got, even if they weren’t amazing.  I could have hung around for more but had another place to be.  It would have been good to go back over the weekend but timing wasn’t good with the other things I had on.  I didn’t get the visit the plane itself which was a disappointment.  I do hope they come back at some time and I can have a tour of the aircraft.

G-Force One Returns

G-Force One is a cool 727 that is operated providing zero g experience to people who are willing to pay.  It shows up at Seattle periodically, presumably because one of the tech companies is giving rides to some employees (but maybe it is just a rich person chartering it themselves).  Zero G is the company although the plane is operated on their behalf by Kalitta Charters.  I have had mixed luck shooting this plane but I did okay on this visit.  I got it arriving and heading out on a flight.  I missed the return and was actually driving along I-5 south alongside Boeing Field as it departed back to Long Beach.  Not the perfect combination but at least I got a few good shots of it this time.

Arrival Of Doc

I have only seen one flying B-29 prior to this year.  That is Fifi from the Commemorative Air Force which I got to see in DuPage IL many years back and also saw overflying Oshkosh.  A second B-29 was returned to flight about four years ago – Doc.  It is based in Wichita KS and has been on a tour which included a visit to the Pacific Northwest.  Its previous stop was in Spokane and then it came to Boeing Field for a week.

I saw when it was due in to BFI and got down there in time for the planned arrival from the other side of the state.  It was a little later than I expected but that was fine.  It was easy to track as it came across the mountains and then across the city and on to the approach for Boeing Field.  The light was pretty good on it as it came down final approach although the reflective nature of the polished aluminum fuselage meant it took on a greenish hue as it flew over the grass inside the perimeter fence.

Shortly after arrival, they crewed up to make a press trip.  Sadly, I was not part of this but it did give me a chance to get some more shots.  The winds meant they were doing a southerly departure and I didn’t anticipate them climbing too fast when babying these old engines.  They certainly didn’t climb aggressively!  They kept it nice and low while cleaning up the gear and were still very low when they came past me.  It was ideal.  They then put in a surprisingly aggressive turn downwind where they kept it low enough that they were behind the trees.

I decided to try for something different for the next return.  I headed to the end of the runway to try for some shots directly underneath the plane.  It is a tricky place to shoot with buildings in the way for a while and more power lines than is ideal.  Still, it provides a cool perspective and something a little different.  I was very pleased with the success rate of the shots because, while you are shooting at a wide angle, there is a lot of relative motion.

Once on the ground, the plane was going nowhere for a few days until the paid flights started at the end of the week.  There would be another encounter.  I got to see it one day as it flew over the city but I did make a more deliberate effort to shoot it again.  More to come…

Basler BT-67

Making a cross country flight from Wisconsin to Washington is a long enough trip but it is even longer if you are in something that isn’t too speedy.  A DC-3 is not something that is going to cover the ground that fast.  It will be a bit quicker if it has been re-engined with a turboprop but, even then, it is going to be a long trip.  I think it was the best part of eight hours to make the journey and then overnight at Seattle before continuing on to Alaska the next day.

The arrival of the BT-67 certainly got the attention of a few local photographers.  Sadly, things got a bit cloudy just as it arrived so the conditions were not ideal.  It was still cool to get a shot, of course.  Fortunately, they had parked near the Museum of Flight so I was able to get a few shots of them parked up.  The crew were just closing up so the gate to the ramp was open for them and a kind security guard allowed me to shoot past him without having to deal with the fence.

Flying With Flair

Canada has had a surge in low cost airlines.  One of them is Flair.  They too delivery of a few new jets but I never happened to be around when any of them was on test so, I never got a shot of their pretty bright colors.  Another delivery was due recently and I happened to be at BFI when the jet was being ferried in from another location – presumably where it had been painted.  Not the greatest light I’m afraid but still enough to be worthwhile and the colors are a bit more interesting that the usual.  I’ve no idea how their operations are going but, with so many new players in the market, they will have their work cut out for them.

C-17 Patterns At Boeing Field

Boeing Field has a lot of civilian traffic, but it is also a popular stop off point for military traffic.  What I hadn’t anticipated was a McChord C-17 wanting to use it for some pattern work.  I was sitting in the car working on a spreadsheet updating my forecasts for a project that we are working on.  I guess I had heard something call up but was busy with the work and had not realized what was coming.  However, the rumbling of four engines got quite loud and I looked up to see the C-17 on short final.

I did grab a couple of quick shots, but luck was on my side.  They wanted to fly a few patterns so I was going to get another go at it.  The left-hand patterns meant you could see them heading downwind and turning back on to final.  I could get on with my spreadsheet and be ready when they came back again.  The light was really nice and they seemed to fly a little higher on the approach than is normal so getting shots was not tricky.

At one point, while flying downwind, I could see another C-17 flying directly across the field.  They were actually setting up for an approach to McChord and were not going to come our way but it was cool to see both in shot at once.  After they completed their pattern work, they headed back north again so I am not sure what their next plans was but I was pleased to have seen them and had the chance to try and few different shots.

Aleutian Airways SAAB 2000

A SAAB 2000 in passenger configuration was transiting through Seattle.  It was registered to PenAir in Alaska and had apparently been repainted since it was now showing up in the colors of Aleutian Airways.  I had not heard of Aleutian Airways but it isn’t hard to work out where it serves.  The plane arrived with a PenAir registration still showing but it looked like it was applied temporarily so, presumably, it is going to have a new registration before too long.

They didn’t spend too long on the ground before departing for Alaska.  They were heavy for the longer flight but still off the ground quite quickly compared to the full length of BFI’s runway.  Then they looped off around the south end of the area before climbing overhead and en route to their next stop.  The livery is a bit retro but I did like the look of it.

Embargoed Jets Finding New Homes

The sanctions that have been imposed on Russia and Belarus have meant that any jets that were destined for them can no longer be delivered.  Consequently, Boeing has been looking to find new homes for them with other airlines.  After the downturn in the industry that resulted from the pandemic, there has been a surge in short haul traffic which means that narrow body jets are in demand.  Boeing apparently hasn’t had a problem placing the jets since there are airlines that are desperate for new aircraft.

Turkish Airlines is taking some jets that were destined for S7.  They are currently still painted in the lime green colors of S7 but the name of the airline and the logo on the fin (excluding the rudder which is harder to paint given the need to balance it) have been painted over and the new registration is applied for testing.  I don’t know whether a full repaint will happen before delivery or if the airline will take care of that.  I also don’t know about the interior.

Belavia was also due to take a jet and, while there is nothing apparent on the outside to say where it is going, the tracking websites are already showing it as heading to Correndon.  Same story in that I don’t know what it will look like when it is handed over but they should be in service soon.

Icelandair 757 For Abercrombie & Kent

I got a notification of an Icelandair 757 coming to Boeing Field.  It was not one of the regular airline jets but one of their charter fleet.  It has winglets but not the scimitars that their mainline jets have.  Indeed, it isn’t even painted in their colors.  Still, as something unusual and having the time to go to get it, I figured why not?  When it came down the approach, I could see that it was carrying some markings.  It was labeled Abercrombie & Kent.  That is a travel company that focuses on higher end trips.  I guess it is being used to provide transportation for some of these premium vacations.  I hope it is a bit more interesting on the inside than it is outside!