I took this a long time ago but just came across it again. I was under the approach path for SeaTac and one of the many Q400s that come in and out every day was setting up on final approach. Since it was nothing special, I figured a low shutter speed was in order. With the light on the front of the plane, this should show up the prop disc nicely. It worked out pretty well.
Another new airline for me with this post. Belavia is not an airline I am familiar with but I understand that they are from Belarus. One of their Max jets was on test while I was at Boeing Field and it came in late in the day. I was glad to add another unusual carrier to my library of shots. Nothing special about it otherwise but nice to get something new.
Having seen the increasing number of 777s and 787s parked up at Everett (777X won’t be certificated for another year or two and the 787s have stopped delivery since October due to fuselage issues and are only now starting to be accepted again), it reminded me of the number of 787s that were stored in the early days due to the extended test program given how many issues there were with the jet. (Does this all sound rather familiar?)
I didn’t live in the Pacific Northwest in those days but came up to Seattle for an ISAP symposium. The field trip included time with the Heritage Flight Museum n Paine Field. We were checking out the collection and also getting to see a few of the aircraft in action. A few of the attendees had also paid to get flights in the planes as well. We got to hang out on the ramp as well as on the berm which I understand was a popular spot in days gone by but is now out of bounds.
There were plenty of 787s parked around the field in those days. To be honest, I can’t recall whether deliveries were underway and the numbers had thinned a bit but the earliest airframes were the most trouble and they might have been the ones still sitting around awaiting a long list of rectification issues and the potential that the original customer wouldn’t even take them. These are some of the jets that I got shots of that day.
The Department of Justice has a fleet of planes for doing whatever they need to do with them. I think they move detainees around but presumably their staff also can travel on them for business purposes. Anyway, I might not know what the details are but I do know they are inconspcuous looking planes (unless you count a plane white airframe as looking more out of place than one with some color on it). Two came in to Boeing Field while I was there a while back. One was a 757 and the other was an ATR. I was in place for the 757 as it was on final approach although the sun did annoyingly go behind a cloud as it came by. It did depart alter but I was actually driving when that happened so no shots. The ATR caught me out completely. I had just pulled up after being away for a bit and was still sitting in the car switching the engine off as a white turboprop sailed by. No chance to even get out of the vehicle let alone grab a shot. That was actually the one I would have preferred but it was not to be.
Having shot the 777X test aircraft a bunch of times, I was looking for something a little different. I figured I could head out to the north end of Boeing Field and be under the jet as it was on short final. I shot something similar at LAX a number of years ago and liked the results so decided to have a go. This was not as simple as I had hoped for. First, the plane is out of sight for most of the approach with buildings and power lines in the way.
Second, I didn’t have lots of big jets to pay with. It was my first opportunity so I didn’t have time to get the hang of it. As it was, I didn’t do as good a job as I would have liked. I was shooting with a wide lens and tracking the airframe to fill the frame was trickier than expected. In the early shots, it was too far to one side of the frame and I ended up with the nose closer to the middle than ideal with the result that many shots lack a back end of the airframe. I will try it again with these issues in mind and I shall skip the long lens shots first. Making a quick switch meant I was not as well prepared as I could have been. I did grab a shot through the fence of the jet heading for touchdown with Mt Rainier in the background too.
First up, a disclaimer. This is one of the few (only?) photos on the blog that I didn’t take. When you look at it, that should be pretty clear. I have been working through a scanning job of old negatives and slides that my parents took. A few shots I took too with their cameras but that is off topic. In the process of scanning these shots, I came across a few aviation shots. (Thanks Mum for taking some shots of RAF Hawks at Chivenor in the camo days while she was traveling passed there!). My parent made a trip to the Netherlands long before I was born and they flew there on a KLM Vickers Viscount. My Dad kindly thought to take a picture of the plane knowing that, decades later, I would be delighted to find it. Nice job!
I had not heard of Blue Air prior to seeing this Max on test. It is a nice thing about living near Boeing’s production facilities that you see jets that will be heading somewhere you don’t go. In this case, I read not long afterwards that this jet was the first delivery of a Max to Blue Air and that they are a low cost carrier in Romania. I guess I now know about another airline that I previously was unaware of. Looked quite nice in these colors (when you consider how bland airline colors can be there days).
I have posted a fair few things from an evening spent at Paine Field after work. Ironically, the reason for actually being there is the last topic to get a post from that visit. Boeing continues to build 777s ahead of the introduction to service (eventually) of the 777X. Almost all deliveries are of the 777-300ER. Its sister ship was the 777-200LR, a lower capacity plane with longer range to meet the need of extreme range operations.
None of these have been built for a while but one more was on order. (The 777F is a variant of the 200LR and it continues to sell well.). This final 200LR was order by Turkmenistan. Getting the last of the type was of some interest but an aircraft from Turkmenistan was more unusual so I wanted to see it. Turned out it was on a test flight in the afternoon when the weather was nice and it was due back at the end of the day.
I thought it was going to mess with me. When it showed up approaching the field, instead of lining up on approach, it flew across the approach path to the west. However, this was just a feint and it then came back and flew an approach. Not the most exciting of colors for an aircraft but the last of the line and an unusual country made it worth going – besides, it was a lovely evening so being out was worth it anyway!
In the run up to Christmas, I got to photograph the Asia Pacific Airlines Boeing 757 freighter while it was being used to supplement capacity for UPS. Prior to that, I had noticed it was operating a circular route from Seattle to LAX to Honolulu and back to Seattle. This seems to have started again. With a nice forecast for a Saturday morning and it due in early in the morning, I figured I would head out and get some shots in the nice morning light.
The jet was projected to be in to SeaTac at around 7:25 so I left a little before 7 to try and be there. The forecasts on the sites are often a bit optimistic but I still took my breakfast with me rather than risk missing out. I got to my intended location just coming up on 7:25 and, as I pulled in to the lot, I saw a Korean Air Cargo 747-8F on final approach to the inner runway. I grabbed the camera and, while it would be backlit, figured I would get a bonus. I took the shots and then looked on the iPad to see where my jet was.
An ad ran on the app for about 30 seconds which was annoying but I finally managed to search on the jet. Apparently, it was right there. It was almost directly behind me. I had intended to walk up the hill to get past the tree line. Instead, I just turned and shot as it passed through the one gap in the trees I had. Crap! If I hadn’t looked at the 747, I would have been fine. I went all that way and only got a side on shot. The light was really nice too! What a dope. Maybe there will be another opportunity – we shall see.
A nice bonus during my evening photographing at Paine Field was the visit of a 777X test airframe from Boeing Field. They often file to go to Paine for a low approach and maybe some pattern work before returning to Boeing Field but don’t always follow through – sometimes just heading back to BFI. This time, they did show up. A nice evening with smooth conditions and they flew down the approach before powering up and going around as they cross the airfield boundary. A few shots in nice light are always welcome.