Tag Archives: King county airport

Two C-37s With One Being a Bit Shy

The US military operates a bunch of Gulfstream jets for transportation of key individuals.  One afternoon, I was at BFI and there was a C-37 from the USAF sitting on the ramp.  It had the powder blue livery common across the USAF VIP fleet.  I was hoping to see it takeoff, but it was not moving while I was there.  A little while later, it was joined by a second example.  This one was a lot less conspicuous.  It had no livery and no obvious markings at all.  The USAF has been toning down its planes recently and this was definitely in that style.  The lack of a registration might have told you that it wasn’t a civilian Gulfstream but the bigger giveaway would be the array of antennae that were on the fuselage.  This clearly could communicate with more than the average bizjet.

Avelo Visits BFI – Can They Last Too?

A while back I posted some shots of New Pacific and commented on whether they would survive.  They are not alone in starting up an airline and operating tenuous routes.  Avelo is another airline that has been created and runs between secondary destinations.  I guess all of these new starts undertake charter work as well to keep utilization up and cash coming in.  Avelo did a run to Boeing Field, and I figured that, unless I get to one of their destinations at any point soon, this might be my only chance to photograph one of their planes.

The arrival was not in the best of light, but conditions weren’t too bad, and I was happy to get some reasonable shots.  When it came to departure, they were due out later in the day and the one thing you know about charter flights is that they won’t go even close to he planned time unless you are running late.  Then they will be off early!  Sure enough, they were dragging it out.  I was wondering whether there would even be any light left when they went but, having spent a bunch of time waiting, I was not giving up.

One of my friends had been waiting too but finally decided enough was enough and headed home.  I was not so sensible and stuck around.  Finally, they closed up the jet and got the engines going.  They taxied across the runway in a location that was quite convenient for me, so I got a bunch of shots.  Then they got to the hold point and waited.  I was thinking that they were toying with me, but it wasn’t too long and then they rolled.  Overall, I was quite happy with the results.  If I don’t end up seeing them again, these will have been worth it.  If they become a major success and are all over the country, this will have seemed a touch futile!!

Tight on a Departing Falcon 7X

When shooting departing jets at BFI, I often have a conundrum about the lens to use.  For some of the higher performing aircraft, they get off the ground quickly, so the longest lens is probably going to be best.  However, other types use a lot more of the runway and can rotate a lot closer to some of the places I like to shoot from.  The long prime can be best a lot of the time but, if they run long, I might be too close for the shot.  A Falcon 7X can run a bit longer if it is heavy as a result of the three-engine configuration versus the twins like the Gulfstreams and Globals.  This one did that but, it rotated quite close to me.  I was actually really pleased with how things turned out and then I spun around to get the climb out from a tight angle as well.

GlobalX Has Interesting Passengers

GlobalX charter flights are pretty common in our area these days.  The company is expanding aggressively, and any charter work seems to be on the cards.  This one flight was a bit unusual – at least compared to what else I have seen then do.  The buses pulled up with the “passengers”.  However, instead of all walking up the steps, they went one at a time.  A closer look showed that their hands were in front of them – presumably in cuffs.  I’m not sure whether this was a criminal transfer or a deportation flight, but I suspect the latter.  I have seen plenty of DOJ flights into BFI but this was a first for me to see.

A Black Challenger 850

What do you do if you have built a large fleet of 50-seat regional jets and now no one really wants a 50-seat regional jet?  You take that jet and refit it into a corporate configuration and change the name to match your other bizjets.  That is the way a CRJ200 suddenly transforms into a Challenger 850.  It’s a bit ironic because the CRJ was developed from the original Challenger jet anyway so maybe the reverse process is not a big deal.  Anyway, it finds a second life for some jets.

I wouldn’t have gone out specifically just to get a Challenger 850 (you might ask why that is when I go out for any number of other aircraft of niche interest), but this one was painted all black and I am partial to any jet that doesn’t look like all of the others.  A glossy black finish is definitely worthy of some attention and, if the light is going to play ball, it should look pretty good.  In the event, it did come out rather nicely.  I don’t know whether the operator will be back here on a regular basis, or this will be counted as a limited time offer but good to have had the chance!

The Buzz-saw That is the Skymaster

When I was first flying, I remember looking in Pooley’s guide to see various places I might want to fly to.  In one I recall it saying that piston singles and twins were allowed but no Cessna Skymasters.  The noise they made resulted in them being banned from this airport.  I can’t remember which it was but that’s not the point.  They are a bit of a noisy beast (and this from a guy that loves Avantis).  There is one that lives at Paine Field, and I have been lucky enough to catch it relatively recently.  You don’t see a ton of them around anymore, so it’s good to get shots of one when the chance presents itself.  This one is painted in an interesting green finish which I think looks pretty good.

The Return of the F-35As on Veterans’ Day

Quite some time ago, I posted a piece about the take off of some F-35As that were doing a flyover for Veteran’s Day.  What I didn’t cover in that post was that they had to come back!  They actually spent a fair bit of time out around the area as well as doing the flyover so there was some time between departure and arrival.  Originally, I had intended to get some pretty standard side on shots of their return.  However, earlier in the year, I had done the same thing for some other F-35s, and, at the last minute, I had a change of heart.

I rapidly grabbed my stuff and drove around to the approach end of the airfield near Ruby Chow Park.  I decided a head on shot followed by an underside shot would be a better bet.  Conveniently, they decided to do a run in and break rather than a straight in approach, so I was able to get some shot of them in formation as they passed overhead.  Then the approach shots worked out pretty much as I had hoped.  I was glad that I had done something different to my usual.  If there had been more opportunities, I hope I would have tried other ideas too.

Golden Global

Most bizjets have pretty uninteresting paint finishes but occasionally you get one that is a bit different.  This Global showed up one afternoon in this gold finish which looked rather special.  It had a logo on the fin which I didn’t recognize but, a little bit of searching showed the plane as belonging to Enrique Iglesias.  He was in town for a show and, with Drake having brought his 767 in previously, we got another performer and their jet.  I hope everyone had a good time at the show.  I didn’t see him depart.

Falcon 50 With Winglets

If a Falcon 50 is coming and I have the time to be there, there is a good chance I will.  What could make a Falcon 50 even more appealing?  Having winglets fitted.  I didn’t know that when I went to catch it, but you can guess that I was rather pleased when that turned out to be the case.  It feels as if there have been lots of Falcon 50s in the area in recent months.  Maybe I am just noticing them more or maybe they have been more common.  Either way, I’ll take it.  Add some more with winglets and that will be even better please!

Retirement for a Falcon 900EX Pilot

I was chatting with one of the Sheriff’s team at Boeing Field one weekend and he asked me if I was there to get the retirement flight.  I told him I didn’t know about it, and he said a Falcon 900EX pilot was coming in shortly on his final flight.  They were planning a water cannon salute for him.  The location of the hangar meant it wasn’t ideal to get shots of so I decided to go and get the touchdown of the flight and then do the best I could for the salute.

While I was waiting for the Falcon to return, I could see the fire trucks positioning themselves for the salute.  They were a good distance off so I knew that I wouldn’t get really compelling shots.  Nevertheless, I would be able to get something.  They had a couple of quick tests to make sure the water was flowing and then waited.  Soon enough the Falcon touched down.  A helicopter came into land just beforehand and blocked part of my planned shot but there was no time to change so I just adapted to what I had.  They rolled out to the north end of the field and then taxied in for the celebrations.  The fire trucks started spraying their water and the Falcon taxied through the water arch.  Then it was all over from my perspective.  I imagine that they celebrated a little longer.

As an aside, I went to the hangar the following week and asked if they wanted any shots.  They couldn’t have been less friendly if they had tried.  If they didn’t want anything, that’s fine but try not to be so miserable to someone just trying to do something nice.