Tag Archives: photo

T-45s at El Centro

My involvement with the T-45 program was back when the aircraft were just coming into service.  Now I am reading articles discussing the US Navy’s plan for the replacement of the Goshawk fleet.  Another type I have been involved with that is going to disappear from service before too long.  Since the jet was never exported, when the Navy gets rid of them, that will be it.  Consequently, while I have shot T-45s at various places and times before, getting some more shots while on our trip was worthwhile.

We made a detour from our Arizona locations to El Centro to catch the Harriers.  El Centro is a regular haunt of the T-45s with the training wings sending jets out to use the ranges just north of the base.  Since it is not too far to travel, you can watch them launch and know it won’t be too long before they return.  Getting the departing jets as they break towards the south with the last jet cutting the corner the most to catch up with the first ones is easy enough.  The returns give you an option at both ends with either the overhead break with speedbrakes out at one end or the final turn at the other.  Managed to catch both.  I am sure I will see more T-45s in the coming years but here are some shots from the recent visit.

Denver Union Station

I had to make a quick trip to Denver not long ago.  My flight left the morning after the meetings, and it wasn’t too early, so I decided to take the train to the airport rather than an Uber.  It was only about a ten-minute walk to Denver Union Station from the hotel and it was a sunny morning, so it felt good to stroll down through the city.  The station has been redeveloped with the introduction of the commuter rail services and the general updates to the LoDo area.  However, the original station building is still at the heart of the facility.  It is a nice-looking structure.

Once inside, the area of the platforms for the services has been modernized.  A nice, glazed roof has been added over the platform areas to provide shelter for the passengers waiting for their trains.  It has a good feel to it and doesn’t look like it is out of place with the older structures and the newer ones.  A pretty good job by the architects in my opinion.  It was a brief visit before my train came but a nice way to start the journey home.

Twotter Jump Ship

One of the sky diving airfields in Arizona is at Eloy.  A small field in a very small town, Eloy has a lot of customers for the jump ships and the vertical wind tunnel.  During our trip, I had seen some Skyvans operating as jump ships, and I was quite looking forward to the chance to shoot some Skyvan ops from close range.  When we got to Eloy, it turned out that things were different on the day.  The Skyvans were nowhere to be seen.  Instead, it was Twin Otters providing the lift and, once we were there, only one of them.  However, there were a couple of locations around the field that gave us options to photograph the Twotter with it taking off to the north and recovering in a southerly direction.  There was even one departure when it turned right over us but the reason for that will show up in a future post.

Nanaimo Bastion

The hotel we stayed in while in Nanaimo was called the Coast Bastion.  I didn’t think about why other than it was on Bastion Street, but Bastion Street was so named because it ends at Nanaimo Bastion.  Bastion is a word that I have heard at various times and know but that I had never really thought about.  This was a building erected when the settlers were building their outposts so they could protect themselves and their stuff.  A mini-fortress I suppose.  From our room we had a view down onto the bastion, but it was a short stroll across the road to look at it.  I understand that they open it up as a museum at some times, but it was sealed while we were there.

Doesn’t Everyone Have a Hornet by the Front Door?

When deciding on what garden furniture to have, there are many options.  You could have some garden gnomes, maybe a stone lion, all sorts of possibilities.  Most of these are because most people don’t have access to a fast jet.  If you do, and the California Science Center does, you’d stick a Hornet outside the front door.  It was in the shade from the building in the morning I was there, but I thought it provided just the right amount of gravitas.

Birds of All Varieties So Let’s Combine Them

I have put together posts for various animals that we saw during our trip to Kenya and Tanzania.  We also saw lots of birds.  Most of them I had no idea what they were, but our guides did a great job of telling us what we were seeing.  Whether I can remember them all now, is a different story.  Fortunately, I think I keyworded them shortly after we returned so I do have a chance.  Rather than talk about the various different bird, here is a compilation of images of some of the ones we saw during our time away.

Vistara Flying at Last

With so many stored 787s at Everett in recent years, I have seen a bunch of Vistara jets on the ground.  However, I hadn’t really done very well in catching them moving.  Not very well is generous – I hadn’t got anything worthwhile.  Then I was up at Paine Field earlier in the day for something else and a Vistara jet taxied out for a test flight.  Thankfully it ran reasonably long on its takeoff roll and I was able to get some good shots of it.

Otter Foraging

I have been meaning to post some more otter shots for ages, but various things came first, and I have postponed this one a number of times – when I say postponed, I mean postpone even writing something as opposed to postponing the actual posting.  This otter was busily moving around Juanita Bay as it searched for its next meal.  I initially saw it coming across the water towards me.  It swam around the inlet before heading to land so I could see it closer up in the water.

It then went back around the headland, and I thought it might be continuing off into the main bay, but it turned around and came out of the water onto the land near us.  A quick shake to dry off and then a bit more of searching the ground for any hint of a snack.  It didn’t last long.  Soon it was back in the water and out towards the open water hunting for something tasty.  I hope it found something good.

A-4 and F-8 Airframes Aren’t Going Anywhere

Arizona is packed with old airframes.  You can go to any number of airports and find some old military aircraft stacked up in spare locations.  Marana Regional Airport is a great example.  Wander along the fence of the airport by the road and you come across a bunch of A-4 Skyhawks and F-8 Crusaders tucked away.  The weather is ideal for preserving an airframe and they look like they are in great condition.  No idea what state they were in when they arrived and what bits are missing but they do look like they could be so close to being useful even if they are really never going to move again.  Oh to see a Crusader or two back in action.

Checking Out Seattle from the Air When Coming Home

A previous post included some aerial photos that I got when coming back into Seattle courtesy of an Alaska Airlines 737.  They were of some of the islands in Puget Sound.  As we got back to the city, we turned back towards the approach with a nice view of the locks at Ballard and the waterways into Lake Union.  A close-up view of the north end of Lake Union with Gasworks Park in the foreground and the university campus in the background came next and then a view of the south side of the city and off towards the east side of Lake Washington before we were back on the ground.