Heavy Departures Over the Beach

AU0E2563.jpgLAX is undergoing a multi-year program of rebuilding their runways. They have to make some federally mandated upgrades and they are taking the chance to relocate runway and taxiway alignments to accommodate the A380 more efficiently. This means that one of the four runways is going to be out of use for a long time. At the moment, it is one of the runways on the south side of the field which is the part most easily seen from Imperial Hill. Therefore, I decided to try something new for me which was shooting from the beach.

AU0E2666.jpgMost departures head out over the beach from LAS unless the winds are doing something unusual. For aircraft heading off the northerly runways, this is the only place to get a good view and, since those runways are located further west, the jets are lower as they come out. The hills along the shore used to be a series of streets which provided a perfect location for watching the jets. However, this whole area has now been closed off and is inaccessible. It is designated a nature reserve although I bet a few security issues helped with the process.

AU0E2747.jpgI hadn’t been down this way before so didn’t know exactly where to go. The combination of the hill and fencing makes the view a little restrictive. However, you can get some interesting angles on the jets as they take off. If the weather is nice, you also get some lovely evening light here although my visit coincided with a fair bit of cloud! I was also constantly guessing the flightpath to avoid the places with palm trees and fences – not always successfully. I include one shot through the fence to show you what you see, even if it isn’t good for getting a shot.

AU0E2551.jpgI saw a few of the big jets head out which was quite a bit of fun. If I find myself back, I will have a bit of further exploration down here to see what better spots (and weather hopefully) I can find.

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