Tag Archives: airplane

Arlington Evening Flying Display

After my afternoon out up in Skagit for the fly day there, I migrated with the guys down to Arlington.  They were having an evening flying display that would include the Ryan I previously posted about.  An overcast evening did not make for great light for photographing the aircraft.  There were only a few displays to see so it wasn’t too much of an event but it was still nice to be out shooting planes again.  Rene Price put on a good display in his Sukhoi and the Yak-18 display was a great example of what the plane can do.  Interestingly, there was the occasional hint of sunlight from the horizon while it flew which would glint off the white airframe since it was high enough to see the light we weren’t getting.

Grumpy, the B-25, flew a bunch of passes having come across from Skagit.  I guess with not much else flying, they were allowed to fly as many passes as they wanted.  Other than that, it was a pretty low key affair.

Sneak a Turbo Beaver While I Can

While walking along the main runway at BFI, the shorter runway remained in use.  Since I was at the north end, that meant walking parallel to some of the movements.  A Turbo Beaver was one of the planes to use the runway while I walked alongside so it would have been rude not to grab a few shots as it went by.  I was using the M6 which is not my usual camera for action work but you go with what you have!

End of Lufthansa’s MD-11F Ops

October brings the end of MD-11 operations for Lufthansa.  When the MD-11 rapidly fell out of favor with the passenger operations, it became a bit of a favorite for freight operations.  New build MD-11Fs were joined by conversions of displaced passenger jets.  Lufthansa had bought some new jets and added more to their fleet.  In recent years, the introduction of Boeing 777Fs had gradually displaced the MD-11s from operations.  Now the last one is being retired.  FedEx is still using a ton of them so no likelihood of the type going away soon.  I only saw them a few times in Lufthansa colors and won’t any more!

Evening at Paine Field As A Consolation

I saw a notification that an Avanti was heading to Paine Field and due to arrive later in the evening and not long before sunset.  This seemed like an ideal opportunity.  I waited to see it depart from Mather Field in Sacramento and then got stuff ready to head up after dinner.  I made good time getting up there and the light was looking great.  Everything was on a northerly flow which was not what I had hoped for but never mind.  However, a quick check on my phone showed no sign of the Avanti.

Eventually I discovered that it had diverted back to Mather.  I don’t know the reasoning but it was on the ground down there and not close to arriving near me.  I was rather annoyed I hadn’t checked this out just before leaving because it would already have been back on the ground by then.  However, I was there and the light was nice so why not make the best of things.  A variety of planes were making the most of the conditions including a nice Stinson, some bizjets and a Horizon jet so it wasn’t a totally wasted trip.

Gulfstream’s GIII Is A Nice Surprise

Vintage business jets are a nice thing to come across and, while the modern generation of Gulfstreams are a common sight around the US, the G-III is now something of a rare beast.  Seeing one at Boeing Field parked on the Modern ramp was a nice surprise so I was just hoping for it to depart while I was there.  Fortunately, I was in luck.  It eventually powered up and taxied for departure.  The hush kits on the old Spey engines are a bit of a giveaway but they aren’t that effective.  The noise on takeoff was definitely a sign of something from a previous generation.

Kalitta Charter Falcon 20

A Falcon 20 making an arrival on a Saturday morning when the sun is out is not something to be missed if possible.  We were heading out that day but I just had time to make the run over to BFI to get the Kalitta Charter Falcon 20 as it arrived.  The timing could hardly have been worse with the sun directly down the runway so right on the nose.  (I suppose it could have been right on the tail if the winds were the other way around so maybe not the worst situation possible.) I was able to get a couple of previous arrivals to make sure I had a good angle since I rarely shoot from that location.  Then it was get the Falcon and back in the car to do what we had planned for the day.  Not a bad result.

Another Encounter with Sue

I was sitting at Boeing Field having had a relaxing time getting some shots on a sunny afternoon when I got a notification that the A-26, Sexy Sue, was up again from Renton.  It is just over 10 minutes to get over there so I figured I would have plenty of time to get across once my next arrival was in.  The trip across to Renton was not an issue and I was there in plenty of time for their return from the San Juans.

They took some really long winded route to the south of the field before doubling back on themselves, all specifically to avoid the best of the light at the field.  Things had clouded over a little by the time they arrived but I still was okay with the shots.  I then headed down to the parking area at the entrance to the airport to be in position for them to taxi in.  I got there just in time and they taxied in towards me and shut down.

I waited for them to put the plane away.  I am not sure why they spent such a long time thinking about it.  Part of me wondered whether they were waiting for me to get lost but finally they started to move her back in to the hangar.  Having a look at some of the shots afterwards, I saw the BOAC Speedbird logo on one side of the fuselage along with a lot of names of individuals.  If you know the story behind this, please let me know.

A Pair of P-8s Testing Together

P-8 production is really moving along at the moment.  Aside from the US Navy aircraft, there are planes destined for the Royal Air Force, the Indian Navy and the Royal Norwegian Air Force in production and on test.  One afternoon I got both an Indian and an RAF jet arriving in close succession.  The nice thing about arrivals from the south when they are military jets is that they then taxi back past you as they head to the military ramp.

Heritage Flight Museum Fly Day

Thanks to my friends, Bob and David, I became aware one Saturday morning that a fly day was underway that day up in Skagit County.  The Heritage Flight Museum was going to have a few planes flying so I made a quick change of plans and headed up there.  The conditions were a bit overcast so not ideal but it was still worth a look.  There were a few of the regulars up there too so it was a chance to see some people I hadn’t seen for a while.

Of the various warbirds that they had flying that day, the A-1 Skyraider was the one that was of most interest for me.  It was the only one I hadn’t seen at previous events so I was keen to get a chance to photograph it.  On takeoff, it seemed to be trailing a fair bit of smoke.  Since it was recently off overhaul, this concerned me a bit but it seemed to clean up as they flew for a while so everything seemed to be fine.

There were straight passes across the field from various formations followed by some arcing turns over the museum ramp individually.  I backed up the road a bit to try and get a bit more of an angle on the planes as they ran across.  It would certainly have been nicer to have a bit more light on them but it was still good fun to be shooting something different.  I’m very grateful to the guys for giving me the heads up.

UPS But Not The Best One

The shot you didn’t get.  How many of those do we have.  It’s easy to get blasé about something and decide not to bother.  Of course, many times, this will be just fine, otherwise we wouldn’t be blasé in the first place.  A couple of UPS jets had arrived.  One was an MD-11 and one was a 767.  A second 767 was on approach and I figured why bother.  As it touched down abreast my location, something looked decidedly odd about the radome.

I talked to Nick, who had been next to me and had photographed it and asked him to take a look at his shots.  Sure enough, the radome was a complete mess.  Presumably a bird strike had smashed it during the flight although whether it was early on or during the approach we couldn’t know.  It was quite the scene of destruction and I didn’t get a photo of it.  99 times out of a 100, it wouldn’t have been anything but this time…  Oh well.