There is a Rutan Long EZ that lives at Arlington and flies pretty regularly. The Long EZ is a fun plane just because it is so different from the average. The tandem cockpit is not unique – there are plenty of RVs that give you that – but combine it with the rear wing and the fore plane plus the wing tip fins and you have a far more interesting configuration. Consequently, I want to find some times to get good shots of it.
The one at Arlington has flown a few times while I was there, and I have got these shots. However, I haven’t really got something of it that I really like yet. Let’s hope for a combination of good weather and timing and maybe I shall get something I am more pleased with. In the meantime, I shall continue to get what I can.
I had never heard of a Vashon Ranger before I looked up the registration of one I saw flying up here in the Pacific Northwest. On this day, a couple of them were out flying and, while it isn’t the most sleek shape or the highest performer, it is a different little beast and therefore worthy of attention. I will have to do some research about the company behind them and how many there are but I imagine I shall see more of them around.
This Cessna 185 looked in great condition and any plane on floats is going to get my attention anyway. The buzz saw sound of a 185 as it takes off will definitely get your attention but it is not so intrusive when it returns. Having some nice winter light on it was a good thing and floats just make any place look better.
But of course it is! This Pitts lives at Arlington and I got to get some time watching its owner doing some pattern work. He ran it up near where I was prior to getting airborne and then proceeded to fly around the circuit for a while. Generally the approaches were a continuous turning descent which made for some top side views. Of course, the Pitts is not a large plane so, even with a long lens, it was still a bit small in the viewfinder but enough to get some reasonable shots.
Arlington had a couple of different visitors. They were both TwinStars and they arrived within a few minutes of each other. The first TwinStar showed up and I got some shots. When I saw a TwinStar on the approach, I assumed it was the same aircraft back around again. I figured I would drop the shuttle speed down a bit to vary things. Consequently, I was a bit annoyed when I realized the airframe in the viewfinder was a different one. I had to cross my fingers that I hadn’t blown it by going with the low shutter speed. Fortunately, a few of the shots were okay. Phew…
I went up to Arlington one Sunday to see if Eviation was up to anything. Their hangars were closed up but I did see a Piper Pawnee in an open hangar as I nosed around and I hoped it would be in action. It is used by the local gliding club and, sure enough, it was going to get some use. Ahead of any towing activities, the pilot took it up to get some circuits in. I took a few shots of it as it hit the pattern. The Pawnee is a really strange looking plane. Very functional but not too elegant.
I think this Gweduck lives locally. I posted about it before and, around that time, was also instructed on how to pronounce its name. One sunny afternoon, it was doing a lot of pattern work at Boeing Field which gave me a few chances to get some shots of it. I like the look of amphibians and the Gweduck, while not super graceful, still looks pretty good. They even did the decent thing and taxied by me to give me a chance for some closer shots!
I don’t think the single engined Diamond aircraft are particularly good looking but the twins are a lot more elegant looking. The DA62 is a particularly attractive aircraft. A friend of mine has one and he brought it in to BFI a while back. Sadly, he arrived in the middle of the day when the sun was high and the heat haze was harsh. I still got some shots but nothing too special. More recently, another 62 came into BFI but this time from the opposite direction when the light was a lot more favorable. Now I just need Steve to show up again on a clear winter day!
One dull Saturday morning I made a short run to BFI for a bizjet. Since I got there with a little time to spare, I shot a couple of the other arrivals. The light aircraft traffic was using the parallel runway to the one my arrival was due on which meant they were flying right over my head. I had a go at low shutter speed shots to get lots of prop blur since I wasn’t desperate to get keepers. A Civil Air Patrol Cessna 206 was one of the planes working the pattern so I got a few shots of it.
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.