Tag Archives: turboprop

Experimental Grand Caravan That Was Lost

I was down at Renton and drove around the back of the ramp.  There was a Cessna Grand Caravan parked up and I was tempted to get a shot.  They have made that area a lot harder to see recently and I didn’t bother.  However, I was up on the other side of the field at the overlook when it taxied out for departure.  I heard the call sign was experimental which caught my interest and I grabbed some shots as it took off.

A few days later I heard of a plane crash up near Snohomish.  I had seen this plane flying patterns up there when I was looking earlier in the day and, when I saw pictures on the news sites of the crash, I could see the registration was the same plane.  I understand they were trialing something new – perhaps a baggage pod – but I have no idea what happened.  It looked as if the wing had separated in flight since it was a long way away.  The test pilot was one of the Kenmore Air staff.  He died along with one other person on board.  A very sad story.

FedEx Skycourier Arrival in the PNW

Late in 2022, an interesting arrival came to SEA in the form of a Textron Cessna 408 Skycourier.  I had seen my first example of this plane at Boeing Field as it transited from Alaska back to Wichita.  That had been a crappy weather day and this was no improvement.  This was the first example to show up in the region in the colors of FedEx.  I am not sure whether it was delivered or just coming for familiarization with the local operations but it was using an Empire call sign and Empire is the local operator of FedEx feeder services.

It was due in later in the day and the weather was already looking bad with low cloud and the possibility of snow.  It was also a little behind schedule which didn’t help.  The light disappears early in December and it is a lot worse when the weather is bad.  I was waiting watching the ISO levels creeping upwards.  Meanwhile the cloud was creeping down.  A couple of planes came in and then a few jets started making missed approaches including the British Airways Heathrow arrival.  I then saw the Skycourier change course.  I thought it was heading to the inner runway instead.  I made a quick move down the street to that location and checked again and now it had switched back left.  I had a frantic return to where I had been and it transpired that they were actually going for the middle runway.  I hadn’t even considered that.  This meant they were a bit far away but not as bad as it could have been.  Light was terrible so ISO was cranked up high.  Was it worth it?  They will be very common here before too long but that’s not the way my brain works apparently.

The Support Kodiak Comes In

I posted some shots of the K-Max that came to Snohomish to support the firefighting operations on the Bolt Creek fire.  They flew in from another location and needed some material to support their planned stay.  They made a call to their base and arranged for some parts to come up on a support aircraft.  This turned out to be a Daher Kodiak 100.  I was actually getting ready to leave when the Kodiak showed up making a tight pattern to land.  I was out of position so just watched it but, they were a bit high and fast on the approach so made a go-around.  This gave me time to get somewhere better for the second approach.

Argosy Still Hanging On

I bumped into a guy I had met before while at Fox Field outside Lancaster CA.  He had just arranged a ride out on to the ramp with one of the airport staff and invited me to come along.  One of the old airframes stored at Fox Field, near the air tanker ramp, is an old Armstrong Whitworth Argosy.  I have no idea of the history of this airframe and how it ended up here but here it is.  We were free to wander around and get some shots of it.

I understand it has been at Fox Field for a long time.  It isn’t going anywhere in a hurry but, courtesy of the dry climate, it is only decaying slowly.  I have no idea how long it will be before it becomes unsafe to have around any longer but I imagine it will be a while.  Definitely an unusual aircraft to get to shoot these days.

MC-12W (Possibly?)

The C-12 Huron is the military version of the King Air.  While it has been successful as a transport, it has also been the basis for a ton of derivatives.  I am not an expert on this type and all of its subtypes so, when I see one, I can’t say for sure what it is.  The most recent versions have been the MC-12W but I am not sure that they all look alike.  When I saw this plane taxiing out at Boeing Field, I wondered if it was an MC-12W and asked a couple of friends that know more than me.  They weren’t sure either.  It might be or it could be something else.  Whatever it is, it was an unusual visitor.

Fat Albert Arrives First

Seafair means a lot of aircraft coming to Boeing Field.  The Blue Angels are always the feature part of the show and this was going to be my first chance to see their new aircraft.  Yes, they have replaced the Hornets with Super Hornets and I shall cover that separately but they have also replaced Fat Albert since last I saw them.  The C-130T has been replaced with a C-130J that was sold to them by the Royal Air Force.  It has a new paint scheme to complement this change of era.

I was at Boeing Field for the arrival of the Blues and the jets were preceded by the arrival of Albert.  The good thing is that it is tractable on ADSB so I knew it was going to arrive and when.  Of course, a Herc coming down the approach is not as dramatic as a bunch of Super Bugs blasting over in formation but it is still good.  I did manage to catch it again in the coming days as part of the display so had more than one chance to get some shots.

Preserved Defender

My visit to the Army Flying Museum made reference to some of the exhibits having their own posts and this is one such post.  As part of the recent refurbishment, they added a Britten Norman Defender to the collection.  This was recently retired from service and was refurbished for display.  Having grown up on the Isle of Wight, the Britten Norman Islander is a plane that I have a soft spot for.  The Defender is the militarized version of the Islander and it has served in numerous roles around the world from the basic transport role to surveillance of those that don’t want to be seen.

This one is mounted in a dynamic pose which rather dominates the first display hangar.  Things are rather tight in the space and definitely dark so trying to get some shots of it that I wanted was a little challenging.  I did shot some panos to try and get more of it in than my lens would normally allow.  There is a balcony around the upper level of the hangar and that provides a good vantage point on the Defender too.  I was happy to get as much as I could of the airframe since I have had very few encounters with them while they were in service.

Cirrus and Grand Caravan Getting In Each Other’s Way

Boeing Field is constantly operating from both runways at the same time.  The light aircraft traffic on the short runway can co-exist with whatever is underway on the main, long runway.  However, despite the clear ATC instructions, there are occasional when things don’t quite go to plan.  We had a Cirrus and a Grand caravan on approach to the parallel runways.  I am not certain who was at fault, but from my angle, it appeared that the Cirrus was drifting off towards the wrong runway.  It corrected its path but not before the pilot of the Grand Caravan decided that things were not looking good and went around.  It didn’t take them long to get back around the pattern and the second approach was incident free.  I don’t know whether the controllers ended up talking to either crew or not.

C-12 With A Hint of Lumps And Bumps

We had a lot of time to shoot the arriving aircraft at Klamath Falls in the day before the show.  One aircraft that showed up was a C-12.  I don’t recall seeing it when I was in the show so it either went somewhere else on base or it departed again.  However, when I looked at the shots of it, there seem to be a lot of modifications on the airframe that look like there are designed for mounting other items.  The C-12 family has received any number of different modifications over the years and there are tons of different configurations.  Whether this is one that was de-modified for regular transport use or has the ability to be reconfigured as needed, I don’t know.

One More Go With The Blue Avanti

You know the score with me and Avantis.  One of the new additions to Paine Field for Lynk Air was due back in.  I was off work as mum was visiting.  Surely she would want to go and see an Avanti land?  How could I refuse that.  If I got a few shots of it in the process, we both win.