The departure of the Q400s from Horizon’s fleet means that they are now fully equipped with Embraer E175-E1s. I know some people didn’t like the Q400 but I actually found it to be perfectly fine when I flew in them. Not a ton of space but not the longest flights. Certainly nothing as long as I have done in the Embraers! However, before the Q400s, there were other aircraft in their fleet. I was scanning through some shots for some other reason and came across shots of Dash 8-100s and CRJs. I figured I would remind people of some of the older times that Horizon operated when I was shooting stuff. Of course, there are far older types that they would have had but they are before my time.
We saw a variety of planes in Kenya and Tanzania. This one I didn’t get too close to but I was really happy to have caught either way. Dash 7s are pretty few and far between these days. There are some up in Canada that I would love to get up to see but the last ones I saw were in Toronto and looked stored. This one flew overhead and I grabbed a few quick shots. Oh to have seen it touching down on one of the rough strips.
My buddy, Mark, was heading through the region on his way south but he had a little time to kill. We agreed to meet up late in the afternoon to see what the traffic was like at Kenmore. He comes from Vancouver, so floatplanes are not a novelty for him, but a different operator is some variety I guess. I am always happy to watch floatplanes. I got there a little before him and got a couple of extra movements but there was still enough happening once he showed up. Log Boom Park provides a good spot to watch the planes from, but the summer can be trickier as it becomes a popular spot for the local kids to hang out and swim. Fortunately, the day was cooler, so we weren’t surrounded by kids.
Most of the planes approached from down the lake and came straight in but there was one Cessna that decided the southerly wind necessitated the approach over Kenmore. I would like more of those to be honest as they provide some interesting angles, but it was just the one this time.
Alaska Air is going through a re-fleeting process in the near future. They are consolidating types in service with some aircraft disappearing. The Airbus fleet is on the way out which is no great surprise to anyone. The Horizon fleet is also getting some changes with a focus on the Embraers and the Q400 turboprops also going away. The Q400s have been ubiquitous in the Pacific Northwest for so long that I didn’t always pay them much attention. Now I need to think about them a bit more.
One of the fleet has been painted in a retro paint scheme for Horizon’s days gone by. Despite it being a plane that should appear at Seattle multiple times a day, I had never seen it before. Therefore, I was very pleasantly surprised to see it at Portland when we were down there. Our photo location was directly above the ramp that the Horizon planes were operating from and the south runway, which was their runway of choice, was convenient too so I was able to get a bunch of shots of it in action. How long before this plane and all of its sisters are gone from the area.
We took the ferry to Friday Harbor for a day out on San Juan Island while mum was visiting. As the ferry approached the harbor, we were standing up at the front of the car deck watching what was going on. Of course, I had the camera with me – fortunately with the longer lens fitted. A buzz came from our right as a DHC-2 Beaver came into sight on final approach for the harbor. I didn’t have everything set up exactly as would have been ideal but sometimes you just have to get the shot.
The plane touched down and taxied to the jetty to drop off and pick up its passengers. I didn’t recognize the colors but a look at the shots back at home shows the name Friday Harbor Seaplanes. I have seen a few of their planes show up on tracking since so I guess they have a good operation running. They operate to Kenmore so I should really check back to see whether I have shot them in the past and didn’t realize it.
It has taken a while for this post from the 75th anniversary celebrations at Kenmore Air. They operated one of the planes from the slough that runs alongside the base. They had back taxied one of the Otters to start its takeoff run from earlier to mean it was taking off close to the spectators. Then, when landing, they brought it down in the slough again. It made for a great view of the plane compared to the normal departures and arrivals way out in Lake Washington.
I may have complained a little about the weather being damp and windy during our trip to Victoria but there was one upside to this. Unfortunately, it took one missed opportunity before I realized. The wind was strong and from the west. The normal approach for Harbour Air is to come in through the opening to the harbor and then touch down in the outer area before taxiing into the Inner Harbour. With the wind coming from the opposite direction, they reversed the flow.
I had seen this once before on a previous visit to Victoria many years ago and had forgotten it could happen. Our hotel was located right on the corner of the shoreline around which the planes would approach and we had a view out of our (not huge) window as they came around to touch down. The first time I realized I could get the shot, I had to make so with shooting through the window. This does not do much for image quality but it was still okay and I got an Otter coming in.
The next time something was due, I planned ahead. The window of our room did open but it only opened a very small amount. Not enough to get a camera out of except when looking off to one side. However, the restriction on opening was the result of a small screw that was in the track for the window and it was not very securely fastened. With my fingertip, I was able to remove the screw and with that out of the way, the window could fully open. A Twin Otter was on the way so this time I was ready to get a clearer shot. There is plenty of warning of their arrival because the sound of the props reaches you long before the plane does. Besides, they are on final approach so hardly going too fast. The only downside to this shot is that the touchdown location is further around and out of sight of where we were. Bad weather can have its benefits.
I had a bit of time one morning during our Victoria stay to walk along the shoreline. The hotel that we were staying in was right on the shore so I only had to step outside and then I could walk around to the more open are of the harbor. This also meant I could get some shots of the Harbour Air operations. Their floatplane base is in the Inner Harbour area but the planes taxi out to the outer areas for departure.
I was able to get some shots of arrivals and departures as well as taxiing planes. Some of those I could shoot from our hotel window when I wanted to stay dry! I was happy to shoot the Otter movements but I was more interested in the Twin Otters. We have plenty of Otters around here with Kenmore but Twin Otters are not common down here so some variety was welcome. Besides, it is a bigger plane so a little easier to shoot at a distance!
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!
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.