I haven’t shot at BFI for quite a while now. I do look forward to getting back there before too long. Since BFI is closer to downtown, it gets a lot of biz jet traffic. There are some high net worth individuals and big businesses in the area so some of these jets are at the higher end of the range. Here is a selection of the more recent corporate jets I shot prior to the curtailment of my excursions!
Boeing Field gets the occasional military visitors and you never know what might show up. I glanced up and saw a pair of T-38s downwind for arrival. They came in with about a minute of spacing between them. The tail codes showed them to be Beale jets. They headed to the FBO at Modern and were soon being refueled. The canopies stayed up so they may have been heading out again a while later but I had to move on so I didn’t get to see them depart.
The Collings Foundation made its annual visit to the Seattle area recently including flights from Boeing Field. The weather had been rather uninspiring but I figured I would head along and hope for some gaps in the clouds. The Mustang and the P-40 didn’t fly while I was there. The B-24 and the B-17 did though. Sadly, the B-24 only flew once. The discussion was whether Seattle being a Boeing town meant that everyone wanted to fly on the B-17, despite the rarity of the B-24. The clouds had a habit of parting at just the wrong time and place with good light up the approach and down the runway but not where I wanted it to be. Even so, it was still nice to see these vintage planes again.
A Beale AFB T-38 was parked over at the FBO when I was at Boeing Field. The canopies were up which gave me optimism but you never know whether they are just doing something to the jet or maybe haven’t long arrived. When the crew walked out to the jet, I realized it was good news. They taxied to the other end of the field and I waited. A nice low departure kept them below the skyline of the hill beyond the field and I was happy with a slightly unusual visitor being photographed.
The grounding of the 737 Max fleet has resulted in plenty of parked jets. I have shown them at Paine Field but Boeing Field seems to be a big storage location. The employee parking lot has been turned into a 737 parking lot. I have seen jets over there before either awaiting engines or from customers that can’t pay but nothing on this scale.
I took a trip to South Park so I could walk across the bridge and get a good view down into the storage area. I made a rough count and think there were probably over fifty jets stored there. While Boeing cut the production rate after the grounding, they only took it down to 42 a month so jets are still coming out at a prodigious rate. This area is full so, aside from Paine Field and Renton, I believe they are flying them to other storage locations.
I was walking around the new Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Tukwila after the opening ceremonies had concluded. A few things took off while I was there but nothing caught my eye. Then I heard another jet get airborne. I looked around and saw a CRJ climbing out. However, this was no normal CRJ. It was one of the Northrop Grumman radar test beds. These have replaced the BAC1-11 jets that are now all retired. I got the camera up late (settings weren’t ideal either) and shot it as it disappeared into the distance. I had no idea it was on the ground (and would have gone looking for it had I known). Oh well, win some lose some!
Corporate jets are rarely painted in interesting schemes so, when they are, you notice them. This one showed at at Boeing Field with a puma on the tail. A bit of research when back home suggests it is a project between Jay Z and the sport gear manufacturer Puma. I think it is to help out athletes that are sponsored by them. The registration is apparently a reference to Jay Z himself. I have no idea who was on it on this occasion. Maybe Sean was onboard?
Until recently I had never heard of Miami Air International. Then I photographed this rather unpleasant yellow 737-800 that landed at Boeing Field. Only FlightAware (and a squint at the text on the fuselage) let me know who operated the jet. The Scimitar winglets hint at the previous owner since they clearly didn’t get repainted! A couple of days after this, another of their jets went off a runway in Florida and ended up in a river. Now I know who they are!
Boeing Field does occasionally get military transient traffic at weekend but recently it has had some heavies show up. I saw that a C-5 had been passing through which would have been really cool to see. I was heading down that way not long ago when I saw a KC-46 depart towards me as I drove shortly followed by a C-17. I was a bit disappointed to have missed both of them. I did not anticipate that the C-17 would return.
However, a while later, I heard something call up on final but it wasn’t showing up on FlightRadar24. I took a guess it might be military and moved to the arrival end and, sure enough, the C-17 was coming down the approach at a leisurely pace. It was a Travis jet. I was told that McChord is being resurfaced so that might explain why this jet ended up at Boeing Field rather than down there.
My inability to see a Boeing T-33 jet in nice conditions continues. I was at Boeing Field when one of the T-33s was taking off in support of a Pegasus test mission. The weather was crappy with rain and a heavy overcast. I thought that this was not going to work well but sometimes bad weather provides good opportunities so I gave it a go. Besides, I don’t see them enough to pass it by. As it turned out, the flat conditions and the dampness made the jet show up nicely against the background when it was still low on climb out. Once it was against the sky, things weren’t so great but it turned out a lot better than I expected.