Tag Archives: oakland

The Raiders’ New Home

Across from McCarran airport is a construction site.  While plenty remains to be done, it is easy to see that this is the new home of the Oakland Raiders (not Oakland for much longer).  We drove right by it on the interstate but I had no way of photographing it then.  However, I did get a shot of the structure from the airport parking lot.  I wonder what it will look like when it is finished?  Can it be as impressive as the new stadium in LA?

Sailing Ship in Oakland

A pair of sailing ships had been in Oakland earlier in the year but I didn’t get around to seeing them while they were there.  However, I had lunch with some colleagues in Jack London Square a little while later and saw that one of the ships (or another similar ship) was tied up on the dock.  Unfortunately, the sun was behind the boat so it wasn’t an ideal time to photograph it but, with something that unusual, I figured I shouldn’t waste the opportunity.

Welcome Back from Hawaii

B11I1611.jpgHawaiian Airlines are a regular feature of the Northern California aviation scene.  Whether it is SFO or OAK, their jets are a regular feature.  I was awaiting a movement coming in to Oakland when a Hawaiian A330 came over the top.  Initially I wondered where it was going but it turns out that it was making a wide turn back in to Oakland.  A short while later it showed up again on the approach.  Annoyingly, it had passed the moon as it went over the top but I was too slow to catch it.


The Unusual Oakland Approach

Over the last few years I have flown in and out of Oakland more times than I can recall.  It has been my transit point for the majority of my travels.  A recent return brought me a new experience there though.  The airport is in two halves.  There is a main runway alongside the bay which is used by the airliners and is often the departure runway for the bizjets.  Then there are two further runways that are over near the old airport infrastructure.  These are used by light aircraft and for the arrival of bizjets.  (There is another intersecting runway but that doesn’t factor in this story.)

The normal approach brings you across the shoreline and over the water on the approach.  The other runways are on a different alignment and the approach comes over the local towns. I was looking out of the window and filming a hyperlapse.  I was a bit confused as I was seeing bits of San Leandro that I don’t normally see and we didn’t pass Hayward Airport.  We continued to descend over land and it was pretty clear we were not heading for the normal runway.  Sure enough we touched down on the old part of the airport prior to taxiing back and all the way across through the freight area back to the terminal.  I watched jets depart from the runway we had just landed on as well as from the normal runway so I have no idea what was going on.  I doubt I will experience this again anytime soon.

Why Am I Excited By a White Jet?

B11I1813.jpgI have mentioned A340s and their gradual demise a few times in the blog.  Sometimes it has been that I have got ahead of myself.  However, I recently was genuinely surprised.  Apparently, during the summer, an A340 makes a single flight a week into Oakland from the Azores.  I had no idea about this until I read something about it online.  A direct flight from Oakland to an island in the middle of the Atlantic?  Who would have thought it?

B11I1777.jpgI managed to be in place for the arrival one time.  The airline is HyFly.  I am guessing you have never heard of them.  The jet is chartered from another operator but the whole operation is Portuguese controlled.  (The Azores are Portuguese if you didn’t know.). The aircraft is totally unbranded.  An all white A340-300 sounds really dull.  I guess it really is.  However, the novelty certainly caught my attention and I am both pleased and annoyed that I had no idea it was a regular visitor so close to home.

A Surprise Private 757

B11I1571.jpgIf you spend a day somewhere, you can get absolutely nothing out of the ordinary.  Alternatively, you can be somewhere for a short time and get a really lucky break.  I was down in Hayward awaiting an unusual Airbus movement as I headed to something else and, in the short space of time I was there, someone else showed up.  This was a Boeing 757 that has been converted for private charter use.  I have actually come across this aircraft before but, when it showed up heading in to Oakland, I was rather pleased with my good fortune.


Norwegian East Bay Arrivals

B11I1542.jpgNorwegian Airlines have been flying in to Oakland for quite a long time now.  They started out with flights from Oslo but they now also have flights from London Gatwick.  Despite them having been coming in for a long time, I have never got good shots of them.  I have often seen the jets while standing on the BART platform at Bayfair but that is not a time to get a shot.  I have also seen them across the bay from the SFO side. Finally I got to see one coming in from the right side of the bay and on the side of the jet that had light.

AE7I7919.jpgNorwegian has famous people from that country on the fins of the jets.  This one was Edvard Munch.  I don’t know how many different people they have on the jets but, with this being the first one I have shot, I don’t have what you would call a collection.  It was nice to catch it later in the day as the sun was getting lower.  Maybe I shall catch more in due course.  However, there won’t be a lot because Oakland is a bit quiet unless you are after Southwest or FedEx jets so I won’t be there often.

Oakland Has a Thin Building Too

B11I1835.jpgNew York has many iconic buildings.  One of the more famous buildings is the Flatiron Building.  At the narrow intersection of two streets, it makes use of the space available.  New York is not alone in having such intersections so it is not alone with buildings to fill the (limited) available space.  Oakland has a similar spot where Telegraph splits off from Broadway.  The building that sits there is so thin it is actually quite hard to show that it is a building rather than just a tower!

B11I1837.jpgThe city has just gone through a rebuild program to create a public space in front of the building and the area is now more accessible than it used to be.  From the statue in front the sides of the building can disappear, so thin it is.  At the moment the first floor of the building is vacant and available for lease.  I did find myself wondering what I could do with such a space but it does look pretty impractical.  I imagine that is why it is still empty.

Upstairs in the Rotunda

B11I1826.jpgI have been working in the Rotunda building for a couple of years near.  Previously we were based in the bottom of the building and I posted some shots of the atrium taken with a fisheye.  We recently moved offices to the upper floors and being up near the top of the space gave me the opportunity to explore the views from higher up.  For some reason, I hadn’t previously been upstairs to look around.

B11I1829.jpgThe top levels are restricted to the tenants of the respective space.  However, lower down you can access the space.  I figured it was still a good place for the fisheye and it was quite interesting to see what effects you could create.  The fun with the fish is choosing where to put the distortion.  You can even turn curves into reflex lines by getting them aligned appropriately.  It is amazing how much being out of center shows itself when you are using such a wide angle.  Something that looks symmetric to the eye results in a clear asymmetry with a fisheye.  At least with digital you see the result quickly if you chimp a little.

Southwest Evasive Maneuvers

AE7I7673.jpgThis was not an aircraft photography trip.  I was taking a walk along the shore at Hayward Regional Park.  It is a place with lots of wildlife and views across the bay.  It is also near the approach to Oakland so I did have the chance to take aircraft pictures if I wanted.  That wasn’t the goal though.  It didn’t stay that way though.  The approach to Oakland involves flying right by Hayward Airport.  Hayward has a lot of general aviation traffic.  The spam cans are intermixed with some corporate jets.

AE7I7672.jpgWhat caught my eye was the incoming Southwest 737 and a departing Cessna CJ M2.  The CJ took off and entered a climbing left turn.  This put it into the path of the Southwest 737.  I don’t know who was at fault in this.  Was the Southwest jet too close, did the CJ pilot break his cleared departure profile or should Hayward tower never let him go?  I don’t know.  Whatever the reason, they were heading towards each other.

AE7I7715.jpgI also don’t know whether the Southwest crew saw the CJ first or if the TCAS gave them a resolution notice.  Whatever happened, they took some pretty dramatic avoiding action.  I imagine it felt pretty interesting from inside the cabin.  They gained good separation and everything was fine.  At first I thought they were going to try and get reestablished on the approach but cooler heads prevailed and they cleaned up the jet and went around.  After some time to let the heart rate fall, they appeared back on the approach for a more conventional approach.  All ended well.  I wonder how the conversations went after landing.