Imperial Hill gets loads of visitors and plenty of them eat lunch while up there. Consequently, the sparrows are keen on the place too and they get pretty confident with the people around. While I was up there, I figured I should try and get a few sparrow shots as well as other flying things. If I wanted to focus on them, they are so close and fearless that it should be easy to do.
When I last went to LA, the racetrack in Inglewood had been flattened and construction was underway on the new football stadium. Since then it was completed and opened as SoFi stadium. I was keen to see it in person having seen it on TV a lot. I made sure to be sitting on the left of the plane thinking I could get some shots of it from the air. Having previously photographed the racetrack, I mistakenly thought it would be further south and had a longer lens on the camera. The stadium is closer to the approach path so I had way too much lens and only got shots of parts of it.
However, after my meetings wrapped up, as I headed back to the airport, I did drive by the stadium. There were tours available but I didn’t have too much time so instead parked up and walked around a bit of the outside. I mainly used my phone to take some shots – good for shooting through fences – and also stitched together some shots to make some panos.
The stadium is really impressive to see in person. There is plenty of development going on in the area around it and I imagine it is going to quite transform Inglewood over time. Whether that is for the better or not, we shall see. The landscaping certainly adds to the impressiveness and the overall structure is far larger than just the football stadium which seem to sit inside it and feel rather dwarfed. If you get a chance to go by, I would certainly recommend it. Spending billions on sports stadiums is a controversial topic but this one has certainly got something special about it which is what you would hope for when it cost as much as it did!
The approach to Los Angeles International from the north brings you in from the coast heading east almost directly over downtown before turning south and then west to make the approach to the north complex. This approach gives you a very good view of Dodger Stadium. I had the camera to hand as we came in so grabbed a few quick shots of the park. With the MLB dispute now solved, there should be crowds showing up here before too long (if they haven’t already depending on when I post this).
The Air France A380s have gone away. Their retirement had already been identified prior to the COVID-19 outbreak but it accelerated their departure. I had shot them on a few occasions with SFO and LAX being regular destinations. Since I won’t be seeing them again, here is a farewell tribute to the Air France A380. Hope one or two of the airframes find a second life.
In recent years, LAX underwent a reconfiguration of the norther runways. I understand this was partly to accommodate the A380 operations which, when initially introduced, created some restrictions on other operations as a result of the runway spacing. They respaced the runways. I wondered whether any of the aerial photos I had taken at LAX showed the differences that had been made.
My first flight was during the reconfiguration process. The change to one of the runways had already been made and could be seen in the spare surface were the original northerly edge had been. Other work was underway around the thresholds and in the underrun. The photos from later show the finished configuration. The threshold of the inner runway has been moved from its original location and the underrun work is now complete. Things like runways feel like they should be so permanent but, as with any man made construction, they can be taken apart and rebuilt if that is what is needed.
A previous post showed the start of construction of the new stadium in LA. When I was on that trip, my arriving flight had passed right by the construction site but I didn’t have a camera to hand at the time. I made another LA trip more recently and, this time, I had a camera at hand as we made our final approach. Obviously the construction process has moved on a bit but there is still plenty to be done. Maybe I will make some more trips and get further updates in the future.
When you first think of Los Angeles, you think of sun and warm weather. It is true that a lot of the time, this will be what you get in Southern California, but it is not always the case. On the first day of my trip down to LA, I had intended to get some flying in. The weather had other ideas. The cloud base was low and waves of rain were coming through the area. Just when the sun came out and you thought it was okay, another bunch of clouds would roll in and, if you didn’t get under cover quickly, you would get drenched by some torrential rain. This does, of course, provide for a shot of LAX that you don’t normally get!
When Boeing developed its updates to the base versions of the 777, it came up with the higher capacity long range 300ER and a lower capacity but ultra long range version, the 200LR. The 300ER sold very well but the 200LR was more of a niche product and, while it sold, it never went in the same numbers as its larger sibling. Etihad was one of the customers but they have now decided they have no further use for the type and it is being retired. I was glad to catch one at LAX in the days running up to their retirement.
An Aeroflot Airbus A330 landed at LAX while I was shooting there. On plenty of occasions, I have seen ice on the underside of the wings of landing aircraft where the cold fuel remaining in the tanks has caused condensation and freezing in the warmer damp air lower down. However, I haven’t ever noticed it on the fuselage structure. On this jet, though, I could see ice on the surface and the patterns of ice reflected the underlying fuselage structure. Maybe this is there more often and it was just the paint finish that made it show up this time.
Touchdown of an airliner almost always results in a big cloud of smoke as the rubber burns off the tires when they spin up to speed after first contacting the runway. Lots of tires can mean even more smoke and the 20 main tires on an A380 should mean a lot of smoke. Less often noticed is that the same thing happens when the nose gear touches down. As I shot this A380 landing at LAX, I happened to catch the smoke from the nose gear as it hit the ground.