Tag Archives: turboprop

One of Two MU-2s

One of the rarer small turboprops is the Mitsubishi MU-2.  It is a high performance aircraft that developed a bit of a reputation for crashing.  What really was the issue was that it was an higher performance plane than many pilots were used to and, once a specific training program was implemented, it was back in the same level of safety as other turboprops.  My late friend, Mike, took part in a round the world trip in an MU-2 which he blogged about and is well worth searching out.

While the MU-2 is a bit of a rarity, for some reason, two of them were up our way recently at the same time.  I don’t know whether this was a coincidence or not.  One was operating out of Paine Field and the other was at Boeing Field.  The weather wasn’t great but it was an MU-2 so, early Sunday morning, I headed down to watch it come in.  We had an Air Canada Max arrive shortly beforehand to allow me to check on my exposures in the conditions and then the MU-2 showed up.  A quick few shots and then back in the car and head home.

Avanti Taunting Me At Sunset

Given my recent Avanti posts, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I had some bad luck again.  After the arrival of the 777X, the local Avanti was showing due to arrive just before sunset.  The weather had been very overcast but, as is often the case up here, the sun was sneaking occasional appearances below the clouds as sunset approached.  The Avanti was due soon and it looked like it could either be great or crap.  About five minutes before it was due in, the sun popped out.  Things looked great for a Cessna that was on approach.

It couldn’t last, though.  The clouds took over again and then things got worse.  The Avanti, instead of turning on to approach, went off on some weird looping flightpath to the north.  I have no idea what it was up to but the time it spent meant the sun was now definitely gone.  Now I was playing “How High Can the ISO Go” as the conditions deteriorated.  At least modern camera are pretty amazing with little light to work with.

I got some shots of it as it came in and they really came out quite well.  At the north end of Paine Field, things are a bit further away so, with a smaller plane, I can make use of the 500mm and f/4 certainly helps in the low light.  Just behind the Avanti was a G550 so I figured why not wait for it to come in too.  The light was even worse but it was still worth a go.  Low light is not great but it can provide some nice shots if you are lucky and this was okay.

A First Encounter With Ukraine’s Workhorse

There are some aircraft that have been built and flown in huge numbers which it is almost embarrassing to admit that you have never photographed.  One such aircraft is the Antonov AN-12.  This was a ubiquitous military transport for the eastern bloc and, while it is now a rather aged design, it still has a good role as a civil freighter.  However, I have never seen one in action until recently.

A Ukrainian registered example from CAVOK Airlines was coming in to Seattle.  It was due to arrive at around 1pm which meant the light would be right on the nose.  The worst possible case.  Of course, that was assuming that there would be light.  When it actually arrived, the sun was well obscured by clouds.  Given the dark colors of the plane, maybe that was a good thing.  Two minutes after it had gone, the sun was back out of course.  It was trailing smoke from its old generation engines but it was definitely a highlight of the last few months of movements.

Finally I Have Avanti Success

I posted about a trip to Paine Field one evening to photograph an Avanti which was unsuccessful because the plane diverted back to Sacramento.  A little while later, I got a notification that it was due in again.  The arrival time was about 6:40.  With sunset just after 7 at that time, it had the potential to be very nice.  Of course, any delay could make it a bust.  I figured it was worth a shot and Nancy was fine with waiting from me to get back before having dinner!

The evening light was looking really good.  I practiced panning with some of the local traffic while watching for the progress of the Avanti.  It was on its way but arrival time was slipping a little.  It should still be okay.  Meanwhile, I noticed the progress of the shadows of some of the trees where I was as they crept closer to the runway.  It was going to be tight.  We would make sunset without a problem and there was no low cloud to cause concern but it was a risk that the tree shadows would be on the plane.

Nothing I could do about any of this and, with the plane still airborne as it was due to pass me (assuming that they didn’t land near the threshold), the chances are things would be okay.  I kept my eyes peeled for the sight of the Avanti lining up on approach. Eventually it came in to view and zipped down the glide slope.  By now the light was low and the shadows were creeping on to the runway but it made the silver of the airframe positively glow.  I clicked away as it came by and then I was done.  Back home for dinner!

Kenmore Air’s 75th Anniversary

2021 is the 75th anniversary of Kenmore Air.  Since we moved to the Pacific Northwest, I have been grateful to Kenmore for providing plenty of floatplanes for me to see and some convenient locations to photograph them.  I have also had a fun flight with them.  When they announced that they were holding a public celebration I was in for that.  It was a free event at their Kenmore Harbor headquarters and it was a lot of fun.

I put together an article for Global Aviation Resource that describes the event in more detail so, rather than repeat all of that here, the link to the article is https://www.globalaviationresource.com/v2/2021/09/07/aviation-event-kenmore-airs-75th-anniversary/.  I will pop a few of the images of the event here as well and will cover some details of the proceedings in future blog posts.

Kenmore Air Moves to a PC-12

Kenmore Air is well known for operating a fleet of deHavilland Canada floatplanes in the Pacific Northwest.  They do also have a sizeable fleet of land planes too which, up until know has been Cessna based with Caravans being their staple.  However, they have added something new to the fleet in the shape of a Pilatus PC-12.  Not sure what the purpose of this is and whether it is the first of many but I was pleased to catch it on approach not long after they took delivery (or at least announced delivery).

Charter SAAB 2000

The SAAB 2000 was not a best seller when it was in production and they are definitely not too common in the North American market these days.  That makes it a nice surprise to get one.  The 340 was a reasonable looking plane anyway and stretching it and adding bigger engines resulted in a more elegant look in my mind.  This one is apparently used for charter operations and was a nice thing to get when taking some time off recently.

Turbine Floatplane That’s New to Me

While we were walking along the beach in Shoreline, I heard the sound of a plane coming our way.  I could see it was a floatplane from a long way off but, even as it got closer, I didn’t know exactly what it was.  I took a bunch of shots and then continued on our walk.  Only when I got home did I look closer and still I didn’t know what it was.  Time to hit the FAA registry.  Turns out it is called a Murphy Moose.  Never heard of this let alone seen one before.

T-34 Low Departure From BFI

A civilian owned Mentor lives in the Pacific Northwest.  I don’t know which airport is its base as I have seen it flying from a bunch of locations but it is always interesting to catch.  One morning I was up overlooking Boeing Field when it taxied out to depart from the short runway.  It is a small plane for that distance but unusual enough to justify some attention.  They took off quickly but kept it nice and low as they built up speed before climbing away for whatever they had planned.

Life Flight PC-12

PC-12s are a common aircraft in the North American aviation scene so this one is nothing special.  Seeing one on approach, albeit in nice light, is not cause for much celebration.  However, it does mean that, with the light on the nose and a prop spinning up front, it is worth dropping the shutter speed and getting some prop blur.  If I try and fail, I haven’t lost a shot of something that I wanted desperately to get and, if it works, it’s a bonus.