Tag Archives: seattle

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.

A Rare Beast – Shame It Is 34k’ Above Me!

My buddy, Mark, sent me a message about a plane that he had spotted coming inbound from the Pacific which he had hoped would stop in Vancouver.  It was a Royal Thai Air Force Airbus A340-500.  Instead it was coming further south but it was still at cruising altitude so there was no way it was coming my way either.  However, it did end up flying directly overhead, albeit at 34,000’. It was a lovely clear day and the four contrails from the jet showed up nicely as they ran back and then rolled up together.  I grabbed the camera from the trunk and got a few shots as it passed overhead.  It was heading for DC so we didn’t have a chance that day or for the return journey.

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.

Windermere Cup at UW

The University of Washington has a long history of competitive rowing.  A few years ago, we accidentally came across a regatta underway when visiting the campus.  The racing was just concluding when we got there and the crews were getting ready to head out.  I had paid a little attention to the schedule for the rowing earlier in the year but almost forgot about it until recently when I took another look at the schedule.  The last big event of the year was coming up – the Windermere Cup.  I decided to head along.

The racing takes place along Montlake Cut.  The starting point is out in Lake Washington beyond Foster Point. I decided to park up at the arboretum and walk out to Foster Point to see some of the racing from there and then follow the trail along the south side of the cut to end up at the Montlake Bridge.  This is a popular viewing location and is closed to traffic during the races.  It is still a bit short of the finish line but I didn’t think going any further would be worthwhile.  Besides, I had to backtrack to the car at the end of all of this.

The weather forecast was not favorable.  I decided to prepare for anything and took full waterproofs with me.  When I left home, it was raining very heavily and I was skeptical about how things would turn out but the rain was very localized and it was significantly better near the city.  However, it did start raining again so I put the waterproofs on when I got out of the car.  This proved to be a mistake.  It did think about raining a few times but it was quite warm and sunny near the end of the racing and I was rather overdressed.

The other thing I hadn’t accounted for was the condition of the trail.  It is a combination of boardwalk, trails and some metal planking.  However, the lake water level is quite high and sections were under water while parts of the trail were very soggy.  I had worn my hiking boots and I was glad that I had as I was able to walk through the watery sections without too much trouble.  I was constantly wondering whether it would get worse and how far I was prepared to go before turning back.  As it turned out, I made it through without a problem but I did walk back via the roads to make things simpler.

There were loads of large boats out along the course.  They were all moored with the sterns towards the course to give the rear decks the view of the racing.  Lots of people with plenty of cash judging by the size of some of them.  The parties looked like they were in full swing on a Saturday morning.  There were two smaller boats on the south side of the course that could not master mooring up and were drifting on to the course which resulted in much shouting from the officials.

There were good spots to watch from all along the cut.  I made my way progressively along the course shooting both stills and video as I went.  Plenty of students were out to cheer on the home team.  They seemed to be winning a lot of the races.  However, UW does take its rowing very seriously unlike some of the other schools in the area so not a great surprise.  The final events were the men’s and women’s Windermere Cup races and these had attracted some international competition.  In the women’s race, the GB national team won while the men’s race was won by the Netherlands national team.  The racing was still tight but the UW team does include a number of the US national team so not such an unbalanced race.

The Montlake Cut is a narrow waterway and the races happen in quick succession.  With the length of the course, the next race has started before the previous one has finished.  This means there is no space for crews to row back out from Portage Bay after their race is over.  They have to wait in the Bay until all racing is complete.  Then there is a mass exodus of crews back through the Cut.  It makes for a neat spectacle to round off the racing.  Then it is time to get off the bridge because they open it up for a few hours and you don’t want to be on the wrong side!

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!

Falcon 50 From Isle Of Man

They may not count as rare yet, but Falcon 50s are far from common at this point.  They have been long out of production and the owners have progressively traded up to something newer.  Consequently, when one shows up, it is a nice thing to try and catch and, if it shows up at a good time, on a reasonable day and with a non-US registration, that is even better.  This example has an Isle of Man registration.  The Isle of Man is part of the UK but is a tax haven and decided to set up its own aircraft registration system.  I guess it has been quite popular.  This jet came in to Boeing Field following is transatlantic crossing.  I don’t know where it headed next.

Just Missed My First Skycourier

Cessna recently received certification for their new twin turboprop, the Cessna 408 Skycourier.  The aircraft can be either a passenger or a freighter configured type with the initial orders being for FedEx to replace their Cessna Caravan fleet.  It won’t be too long before there are tons of them around but, right now, FedEx has only just taken delivery of their first.  I was driving to Boeing Field to catch another arrival and, as I came down the hill towards the field, I saw an unusual shape fly down the approach.  I thought it looked like a Skycourier and it turns out it was.

I was super annoyed that I could have got a shot of it on approach if I had been about two minutes earlier than I was.  It had arrived from Alaska and I hoped it was going to continue on but, unfortunately, it was parking for the night.  I could just about get a shot of it across the field but the heat haze was not good.  I did see that it filed a flight plan for the following morning which, since it was the weekend, meant I could get out to see it.

The following morning was dull and rainy – of course!  The departure time had slipped 20 minutes but I wasn’t trusting anything so headed out early.  I got to the terminal area and discovered that it had already taxied and was at the hold short.  Having missed the taxi shot, I was pretty annoyed but at least I was able to get the departure.  It rotated level with me and climbed away heading for Casper as its next stop – presumably with Wichita being the final destination.