Tag Archives: seattle

Falcon 50 With Winglets

If a Falcon 50 is coming and I have the time to be there, there is a good chance I will.  What could make a Falcon 50 even more appealing?  Having winglets fitted.  I didn’t know that when I went to catch it, but you can guess that I was rather pleased when that turned out to be the case.  It feels as if there have been lots of Falcon 50s in the area in recent months.  Maybe I am just noticing them more or maybe they have been more common.  Either way, I’ll take it.  Add some more with winglets and that will be even better please!

Retirement for a Falcon 900EX Pilot

I was chatting with one of the Sheriff’s team at Boeing Field one weekend and he asked me if I was there to get the retirement flight.  I told him I didn’t know about it, and he said a Falcon 900EX pilot was coming in shortly on his final flight.  They were planning a water cannon salute for him.  The location of the hangar meant it wasn’t ideal to get shots of so I decided to go and get the touchdown of the flight and then do the best I could for the salute.

While I was waiting for the Falcon to return, I could see the fire trucks positioning themselves for the salute.  They were a good distance off so I knew that I wouldn’t get really compelling shots.  Nevertheless, I would be able to get something.  They had a couple of quick tests to make sure the water was flowing and then waited.  Soon enough the Falcon touched down.  A helicopter came into land just beforehand and blocked part of my planned shot but there was no time to change so I just adapted to what I had.  They rolled out to the north end of the field and then taxied in for the celebrations.  The fire trucks started spraying their water and the Falcon taxied through the water arch.  Then it was all over from my perspective.  I imagine that they celebrated a little longer.

As an aside, I went to the hangar the following week and asked if they wanted any shots.  They couldn’t have been less friendly if they had tried.  If they didn’t want anything, that’s fine but try not to be so miserable to someone just trying to do something nice.

Falcon 10s Aren’t Too Common These Days

The Dassault bizjets line continues to flourish but it all goes back to an earlier generation.  Interestingly, The Falcon 10 came after the Falcon 20 despite the numbering and is not related in anything other than name to the Falcon 10X which is the latest development from Dassault.  It is still a popular jet but there just aren’t that many of them around anymore.  However, they aren’t extinct and catching one is a nice result.

I have actually caught two of them in recent(ish) times.  The first came into Boeing Field and I have to say the weather was playing ball for a change.  Lovely winter light as it showed up and I was quite happy with the results.  Indeed, I thought this might be my last encounter with one for some time, but I was pleasantly surprised to discover that one was coming into Phoenix Sky Harbor the day I flew down there.  Just before sunset it showed up.  It is a small plane so was a bit distant on the northern runway but still a result!

They Continue to Fly the Max10 But it Is Going to Be a While

The 737 Max program continues to be a total bear for Boeing.  As I write this, they are just recovering from the Max9 door plug incident.  Prior to that, it was issues with rudder components not rigged properly and then it was rear bulkhead production issues.  All of these follow on from the disaster that was MCAS.  The Max7 and Max10 have both been flying for ages but still haven’t achieved certification.  The Max7 was thought to be close, but it needed an exemption for inlet heating which Boeing had applied for.  In the aftermath of the door plug incident, that exemption application has been withdrawn and now the Max 7 might be a year away from approval.

The Max10 is behind the Max7 so it is possible that it might get approval by 2025 but, at this point, who knows when it will actually be.  Meanwhile, there is still testing underway.  The first Max 10 jet is active at the moment undertaking testing work.  It was due out from Boeing Field on another test heading off to Texas.  I figured it would run a little longer given that it would be heavier so chose my spot for the shots.  However, I did still use a longer lens to get a tighter shot for rotation.  The light came out nicely as they rolled and the rotation was ideal for where I was.  It is going to be a while before I see these in service but at least I get to see them on test periodically.

The Marines Show Up

I could easily have missed this, but my friend messaged me that a Herc was coming in.  I was working on some other stuff and would have been unaware until too late.  It was not where I was, and I wasn’t moving but the roll out and taxiing back was in lovely light so I wasn’t missing out.  They taxied to the terminal and kept the engines running so I wondered if they were going straight back out but it wasn’t to be.  They then taxied to a parking spot and shut down.  Maybe they were clearing customs?  Apparently they stayed for the night but were gone when I came by the following day.

Did These Geese Get Cleared Through the Zone?

This big flock of geese flew right by Boeing Field one afternoon.  There were tons of them, and their route brought them right across the approach path before skirting to one side of the airfield.  I didn’t hear them talking to air traffic and I don’t believe they had a clearance.  Maybe they will get a visit from the FAA at some point!

How Long Can a Falcon 50 Remain in Reverse?

The Falcon 50 only has a single thrust reverser, and it is fitted to the centerline engine.  The nacelles on each side are not fitted with reversers.  I was quite a way down the runway from this Falcon when it landed, and I could hear the reverser kick in.  I was not expecting it to stay in reverse for very long, but they kept it in all the way through the roll out and even as they exited to the taxiway.  Is that normal procedure?

A Rapid Turnaround for a G700

I managed to get some shots of one of the Gulfstream G700 test aircraft earlier in the test program.  Certification (at time of writing – not sure when this post goes live) is still not complete but they have built a lot of jets.  One of the test fleet (I think, based on the registration and the Experimental markings) filed to fly in and out of Boeing Field.  It was coming up from Monterey in California and then turning around quickly to go to Portland.  It was a quiet Saturday so I headed out. I had also seen some shots of this jet and it looked like it had a nice livery compared to the average bizjet.

The conditions were not great with a lack of light and some washed out skies, but I still managed to get some okay shots of it landing.  I then headed down the field to be ready for the departure.  Normally, I see a scheduled time and figure it will be a bit later.  Not this time.  By the time I got there, someone was already doing the walk around checks.  It was not long before they fired up and taxied.  Unfortunately, I had chosen a location quite a way down the runway.  The performance of these jets is good, and Portland is a short hop, so the jet was light.  They rotated very early compared to where I was.  I still got okay shots but a little less dramatic than I was hoping for.  Certification can’t be too far off so we might start seeing a lot more of these jets soon.

Kingfisher Fishing Successfully

When we visited Seattle not long after moving back to the US, I got a shot of a kingfisher as it sat on a cable at the locks in Ballard.  I guess this must be a good spot for kingfishers because, when we went down to see the boats, I found another kingfisher hanging out near where we parked.  The sound that they make is pretty distinctive and I heard it before I saw it.  It was sitting on a branch for quite a while before it dived down, grabbed something out of the water and landed on one of the wooden guides along the water to enjoy its snack.  I will have to spend more time down there and see if I can get some better shots of these speedy little critters.

The Avanti Just Fails to Catch the Light

I was having a really lucky day.  I had caught a few really cool photo subjects and the lighting had been really good.  I was about to pack up and go when my friend reminded me of something I had forgotten.  An Avanti was scheduled in at the end of the afternoon and I had figured I would have been gone so had let it slip to the back of my mind.  Since a couple of other movements had got delayed, I was there later than expected and now the Avanti was on the approach.

The light was looking amazing, but it was still some distance out.  The Avanti is pretty fast, but I was watching the hillside beyond the field start to lose the sun and I knew that it wasn’t going to last long enough for my Avanti.  Sure enough, as it came into sight, the light was gone.  We had a gloomy look to things as it buzzed past.  Not as it could have been just three minutes earlier, but its an Avanti and it rounded out an excellent day nicely.