Bombardier recently completed their 100th Global 7500. It is an impressive machine with excellent capabilities. If I was minded to buy a bizjet, it would definitely be the one I got but I just don’t feel like it at the moment. I haven’t seen too many of them yet so catching one is a nice surprise. This one was departing Seattle. I’m not sure how far it was going but, given that it is registered in France, I assume they were actually making good use of its range unlike so many of the owners of such jets. It seemed to have a nice fade in the paint scheme too. Maybe I will put something like that on mine when I get it.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It must be a sign of aging how surprising it is to find something that was previously so common as to be boring suddenly is a rarity and has novelty value. Sierra Pacific is an odd operator anyway but they have some 737-500s. These were not the most popular of that generation of 737 but they sold reasonably well. United had a bunch of them that I have shot and Southwest had a fair few, some of which I have flown on. The follow up with the 737-600 and that was a poor seller.
Sierra Pacific was bringing their example in to BFI and I was able to get some time off to see it arrive. It was scheduled to be a brief stop so the chances were good of getting it arriving and departing. The -500 was a short jet – similar in length to the -200 and the last version to come of that generation that started with the -300 and then got stretched to the -400. They were both more popular with the airlines. It now looks like a toy compared to the current crop.
The skies had been a bit overcast but a bit of sunlight showed itself as the jet was on final approach. Not fantastic light but certainly an improvement on a little while before it appeared. It touched down and headed for Modern’s ramp. It wasn’t long before a bunch of people were around the plane and then a fuel truck showed up so it looked promising for a speedy departure. Sure enough, it was soon taxiing. Bigger jets have to cross to taxi to the threshold but you always worry that they will instead take an intersection departure. This day was a good day, though, and they crossed and taxied right by me. They were heading to Omaha so we’re pretty heavy so it wasn’t an early rotation but, since it was later in the day, the heat haze was not so bad.