Tag Archives: freighter

Another 727 Chance Before Sunset for Departure

The arrival just before sunset of a Kalitta 727 was the subject of a recent post.  It departed later that evening, but it was very dark by then and I didn’t hang around.  It wasn’t long before the jet was back again and this time it arrived a little earlier in the day.  That meant that there was a chance that they would depart before sunset.  That was something I was willing to take a chance on.  In the later evening, it is a quick jaunt to Paine Field from home.  Sure enough, they obliged by being prompt.  I had barely got there when the jet taxied.  The light was very nice, and they were flowing to the north so I was able to get a few shots, hop in the car and be home so fast that Nancy thought I must have blown off the idea altogether!

Antonov Design Bureau Back at Everett

Once Russia went to war with Ukraine, the ability of Russian cargo operators to continue their US business went away.  Volga Dnepr had been providing a bunch of service for Boeing operations at Everett bringing in outsize airframe parts.  With them out of the picture, Boeing had to find an alternative.  Antonov Design Bureau designed the AN-124 originally and it has an in house airline, Antonov Airlines.  They seem to have picked up a bunch of work that Volga Dnepr previously had.  Despite the enthusiasm for various people calling them Russians, they are definitely Ukrainian!

They have been in and out of Paine Field pretty frequently over the last few months.  I have got shots of them at different times with the aircraft carrying various messages about cities in Ukraine.  Having got shots at different times, I also started shooting some video.  Here are some of the shots along with a video of one of the departures.

Northern Air Cargo or StratAir

I was at SEA early one Sunday morning to try and catch a shot of Salmon Thirty Salmon before it was repainted.  Northern Air Cargo also departs at a similar time of day as part of its loop between Hawaii, Seattle, Los Angeles and back to Hawaii.  I assume one of the regular jets was in maintenance because they had chartered in some capacity from StratAir.  I was not familiar with this operator but I was happy to catch a 767 in new colors for me.

Western Global is Back With the MD-11F

I posted about the visit of Western Global and their 747-400F a little while back.  They did not wait long for their next return and, this time, they went for a rarer type by bringing in the MD-11F.  I know FedEx and UPS still have loads of these (although they are starting to retire them) but other operators are thin on the ground.  This was worth catching.  (I have since heard that Western Global is in liquidity difficulties so who knows if they will still be around soon.)

It arrived at Paine Field when I wasn’t able to be there, but it did depart in the morning when I was able to get to see it.  The weather was not ideal, and I would have appreciated a little sun on it but I’ll take it in any conditions given that I don’t know when I might get another opportunity.  What a cool looking jet the MD-11 is from the front quarters.  When they are gone, we shall have lost something special.

Air Tanzania Cargo 767F At Last

Air Tanzania Cargo placed an order for a 767-300F and it recently came off the line at Everett.  I saw various shots of it from local photographers, but it never flew when I was able to shoot it – i.e., when I wasn’t at work.  When I did get up to Paine Field, it had been parked off at the back of the ramp and didn’t look like it was going anywhere soon.  Then, I saw that it had become active again.  I figured that meant it would be delivered soon.  Fortunately, one of the flights was during an afternoon and it was due back late in the day – after work!  I was able to get up to Paine Field after leaving the office and be there for the return.  Just as well I did as it got delivered shortly afterwards.

Sun Behind a 747

I was flying home from the Midwest and, as we taxied off the active runway, I could see an Asiana 747-400F taxiing for departure.  We crossed the runway before it took off and, since I was on the side of the aircraft facing the runway, I got a good view of the sunlight punching through the clouds off to the west.  I got the phone out to get a shot having completely forgotten that the 747 would be on its way any time.  As it came into view, I grabbed a couple of phone shots as it passed the sunlight.  Phones are still not a true competitor to a decent camera, but they can really produce something useful.

Ameristar DC-9 But It Doesn’t Move

This plane was teasing me.  Ameristar has DC-9s in its fleet and they are clearly not young airframes, but it is nice when they get a fresh paint job.  One was at Boeing Field in a shiny new looking livery.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t going anywhere while I was near it.  I got shots of it on the ramp and near the terminal building.  I also got an overhead shot of it from up on the hill.  None of these involved it doing anything other than sitting there though.  Let’s hope I get lucky with it before too long.

Taking A Chance on Late Evening Light on the 727

I had been disappointed by a Kalitta 727 that had come into Boeing Field during the day when I was unable to see it.  I was heading home from meetings south of the city and stopped by to see if it was leaving that evening and they almost did and then had a technical issue.  I had to get home so missed it.  I was, therefore, rather pleased when I saw it was coming to Paine Field a little while later.  It was due to arrive early in the evening.

The 727s are rare beasts these days but Kalitta has been picking up more and more 737s so you have to wonder how long the 727s will be around.  My enthusiasm was tempered a bit when I saw that the previous leg had been a few hours late so the planned arrival time was not realistic.  Instead, once it got airborne, it was due in around 9pm.  Sunset was 9:12 so this would be tight for time and would require the weather to cooperate.

I had dinner with Nancy, and we hung out for a while at which point I had to make the call.  Would I go up to Everett or not.  The weather looked okay where we are, but you never know what it will be like further up towards the coast.  At that time of the evening, it is a quick run so I figured I would just see how things looked.  As it turned out, the weather was pretty clear, and they made good time and a pretty direct approach.  As the three-holed beast came down the approach, there was low sun illuminating it.

I then headed around to the terminal to see if I could get a shot of them unloading.  The sun was now setting so the sky was glowing behind the jet as the crew worked to offload the cargo.  The fuselage was in deep shadow, but I used some HDR bracketing to give me options to work with.  Overall, it couldn’t have gone better.  They were looking for a quick turnaround and return to Michigan, but I knew it would be dark by then so headed home.  I actually heard it climb out over us just after I had got into bed!

Skylease Cargo 747 Makes a Gloomy Weekend Appearance

Not long ago I posted about the variety of operators of 747s that I have photographed over the years.  The number of operators is gradually declining so, the likelihood of a new one showing up near me is reducing.  However, I did get a new opportunity one weekend.  Skylease Cargo had made a few trips to Paine Field for Boeing but these had all been when I was at work.  This time, one was due in on a weekend.

I headed up first thing in the morning to catch it coming in from Miami.  The weather was not good at home and it was worse at Everett.  There was a low cloud base.  Things were rather gloomy but you take the opportunities when they come along.  At least, since the weather was bad, I wasn’t going to have to worry about being backlit this early in the morning.

No doubt about it, the conditions did not result in shots that I am going to treasure.  A white jet on a cloudy day is never going to provide a competition winner.  Never mind.  It was a new operator of a favorite jet and what else was I doing on a dull weekend morning anyway?

Western Global Decides to Mess With Us

We had a brief phase a few months ago when Western Global was bringing in jets to Paine Field.  The first one I encountered was a 747 freighter.  It arrived in okay conditions but was flight planned for a departure that afternoon.  The weather was getting better and better and, when they missed their original slot, I wasn’t complaining since the light was only going to improve.  However, there was absolutely no sign of them moving.  The crew appeared at one point and then left again.  Eventually it became clear that they weren’t going.

The jet was parked in a position that meant the tail was slightly obscured.  That meant the shot was not quite what I would have liked but it was going to have to do.  They didn’t end up leaving until the next day but that was no longer the weekend, so I didn’t see it go.  A touch frustrating but such is life!