Tag Archives: aerial

Looking Down on SF Bay

As we left San Francisco after our brief visit in January, I was on the side of the plane looking down on the Bay as climbed out and headed north.  The usual departures of the 01s take you straight out over the bay and then you turn north as you head towards Oakland.  The lighting was a bit harsh on this day but it was a good view of the city as we made our way home.

Lake Washington Waterfront Houses

My previous trip with Kenmore including some low flight over Lake Washington which gives a good view of some of the local houses.  Lakefront property is likely to be nice and these certainly looked like they were okay!  Here are some of the shots I got.  I was hoping to do this again soon but Kenmore has just canceled flights (as of the time of writing rather than posting) so I guess I will have to wait.

Rebuilding the Taxiways at LAX

In recent years, LAX underwent a reconfiguration of the norther runways.  I understand this was partly to accommodate the A380 operations which, when initially introduced, created some restrictions on other operations as a result of the runway spacing.  They respaced the runways.  I wondered whether any of the aerial photos I had taken at LAX showed the differences that had been made.

My first flight was during the reconfiguration process.  The change to one of the runways had already been made and could be seen in the spare surface were the original northerly edge had been.  Other work was underway around the thresholds and in the underrun.  The photos from later show the finished configuration.  The threshold of the inner runway has been moved from its original location and the underrun work is now complete.  Things like runways feel like they should be so permanent but, as with any man made construction, they can be taken apart and rebuilt if that is what is needed.

Ribblehead Viaduct

The Victorians built railways across the UK in a serious way.  Geography was not a barrier and tunnels would get you through hills and viaducts would address valleys.  They also liked them to look pretty cool.  There are numerous viaducts across the UK – some of which are well known and others of which are rather anonymous.  One of the more famous viaducts is the Ribblehead.  It is part of the Settle to Carlisle line which was once lined up for closure but now seems to be secure.

The main shot here was taken from my friend, Mark’s, Ercoupe as we had a flight from Blackpool and up over Yorkshire and Cumbria.  We were flying after work so the evening light was setting in and the shadows of the viaduct were very nice.  Since this was the days of film, there aren’t lots of shots to choose from.  However, this one worked out well enough.  Nancy and I visited the area from the ground when we lived up that way and here are a couple of additional shots of the viaduct from the ground.

Mt Rainier Just Before Sunrise

I was heading east for a work trip that needed an early start.  We got airborne from SeaTac before the sun came up and turned to the east after departure.  We were heading towards what I thought should be Mt Rainier.  However, I couldn’t see the mountain.  I could see a cloud that was above the majority of the cloud bank which I assumed was the mountain but I couldn’t be sure.

As we came around the south side I was able to see that the cloud was indeed once that was forming over the windward side of Mt Rainier.  The east side of the mountain was uncovered and, even though the sun had not yet come up, the early light was enough to give a view of the mountain.  I was using the M6 which is not so great in low light but, even so, I was able to get some shots of the mountain as the plane headed on its way.

Lake Union Seaplane Base is Busy – But Not With Us!

We flew across Lake Union on our way back to Kenmore so went over the top of Kenmore Air’s base there.  It turned out to be a busy time for the base.  There were a bunch of planes on the water heading in and out of the base with others tied up awaiting their next flight.  Having watched ops at the base on a number of occasions, the view from above provided a very different perspective to what I have seen before.  At some point I hope to fly in there to experience it for myself.

Space Needle is Ready for Its Close Up Mr de Mille

On our floatplane trip to the San Juans, our return leg was supposed to include a landing on Lake Union to pick up another passenger.  However, they had already got their ride so we didn’t need to stop.  However, our pilot thought a trip downtown would be a good way to end our trip so we did a quick run through.  The approach to the lake involves a close pass of the Space Needle.  We did the same thing and were really close to the visitors checking out the view.  It was quite something to see so close up.  Looking at the detail of the photos, I can see all of the people staring back at us!

Chicago Suburbs From Above

Dropping in to O’Hare you get to overfly lots of neighborhoods.  The lower you get, the more you see each individual house.  I find myself wondering about each of the house and who lives there.  Since they clearly have a lot of planes flying over them every day, do they get annoyed by my passage or are they oblivious to each passing jet given the frequency with which they appear?

Above Half Dome

I was staring idly out of the window as I was flying across California when a shape on the ground below caught my eye.  I grabbed the camera as I realized we were coming across Yosemite.  From above, the most conspicuous shape is that of Half Dome.  However, it looks very different when looking down on it than it does when you are on a level with it.  It almost seems distorted.  I grabbed a few shots as we zipped overhead and then it disappeared behind the wing.

Mount Rainier Aerial Tour

Another trip and another flight out of SeaTac.  I was sitting on the left side of the plane without having given any thought to what I might see en route.  As it happened, we departed to the south and then, after a short time in the climb, we turned on course for our destination.  It just so happened that our turn brought us around the south side of Mount Rainier.  I was sitting on the side that happened to have a great view of the mountain as we turned.

I was sitting down the back of the plane so, for a while, the wing was in the shot.  I wasn’t sure whether to be annoyed by this or to have something to give some perspective to what I was shooting.  Aerial photos of large landscapes usually lack a sense of scale and I doubt the wing altered that, but it was worth a try.  The cloud banks that lay on the surrounding foothills are probably rather large, but they seem almost insignificant against the scale of the mountain.  A lucky day to be heading the right way, sitting on the right side of the plane, turning where we did and then not having the whole thing shrouded in cloud!