Boeing Field is constantly operating from both runways at the same time. The light aircraft traffic on the short runway can co-exist with whatever is underway on the main, long runway. However, despite the clear ATC instructions, there are occasional when things don’t quite go to plan. We had a Cirrus and a Grand caravan on approach to the parallel runways. I am not certain who was at fault, but from my angle, it appeared that the Cirrus was drifting off towards the wrong runway. It corrected its path but not before the pilot of the Grand Caravan decided that things were not looking good and went around. It didn’t take them long to get back around the pattern and the second approach was incident free. I don’t know whether the controllers ended up talking to either crew or not.
We had a lot of time to shoot the arriving aircraft at Klamath Falls in the day before the show. One aircraft that showed up was a C-12. I don’t recall seeing it when I was in the show so it either went somewhere else on base or it departed again. However, when I looked at the shots of it, there seem to be a lot of modifications on the airframe that look like there are designed for mounting other items. The C-12 family has received any number of different modifications over the years and there are tons of different configurations. Whether this is one that was de-modified for regular transport use or has the ability to be reconfigured as needed, I don’t know.
Alaska Air is going through a re-fleeting process in the near future. They are consolidating types in service with some aircraft disappearing. The Airbus fleet is on the way out which is no great surprise to anyone. The Horizon fleet is also getting some changes with a focus on the Embraers and the Q400 turboprops also going away. The Q400s have been ubiquitous in the Pacific Northwest for so long that I didn’t always pay them much attention. Now I need to think about them a bit more.
One of the fleet has been painted in a retro paint scheme for Horizon’s days gone by. Despite it being a plane that should appear at Seattle multiple times a day, I had never seen it before. Therefore, I was very pleasantly surprised to see it at Portland when we were down there. Our photo location was directly above the ramp that the Horizon planes were operating from and the south runway, which was their runway of choice, was convenient too so I was able to get a bunch of shots of it in action. How long before this plane and all of its sisters are gone from the area.
While driving around the back of Renton, I saw this nice floatplane. It is a SIAI Marchetti 1019 – a utility aircraft with a turboprop powerplant. Based on the Cessna O-1 Bird Dog, it had a decent military career and now plenty of them have found their way into civilian hands. A short while later, I saw pictures of this airframe at Oshkosh for the annual EAA gathering. Our paths were to cross again, though, when it showed up at Boeing Field, making an approach to the short runway. A bit further away than ideal but definitely cool to catch it again.
A sunny Sunday afternoon had me driving past Renton so I figured I would stop off to see a few things. I swung by the floatplane base after I had done whatI came for and things were quite quiet. I had just missed a few planes and wondered whether I would bother hanging around. Then a Cessna made an approach, as covered in another post, and, while it was taxiing back to the dock, I saw a Kodiak heading towards us down the lake. Initially I thought it was going to make a straight in approach but, since the main Renton traffic was operating to the north, I guess it had to fit with that.
Consequently, it made a path that took it towards the eastern shore of Lake Washington before carving a sweeping, descending turn towards the lake. With the hills of that shoreline behind it, things looked pretty impressive. There were plenty of people out on the lake in boats, kayaks and paddle boards and they would have got a really good view as it came in to the lake to touch down.
They taxied back towards the base and I hadn’t appreciated what their plan was. I figured they were tying up at the dock and I had moved away slightly but they had dropped the wheels and were coming up the slipway. A good dose of power was needed to come up the ramp. I wish I had shot that or, better yet, got some video. I will have to go back to the seaplane base there. The new fencing is not great but there are still some good photo opportunities to be had.
Portland is a big base for FedEx it seems. (I think, at this point, I should called it FedEx Express but, since I am old enough to remember when they were called Federal Express, having Federal Express Express seems a bit redundant. I know, I am grumpy old git! Back on topic…) They had a ton of movements when Mark and I were there. On our first day, it was the afternoon and the southern runway was not ideal for photography given the light angles. Still, it was not terrible and the freighters provide a fair bit of variety.
The following morning, the light was move favorable for a while so we were able to get plenty of shots. The freighter traffic is usually busy at the beginning and end of the day for the express parcel business so we had enough to shoot. The big jets were operating with plenty of 767s on the move. They also had the feeder services with a steady stream of Super Cargomasters (Grand Caravans) and ATR72s to handle the local distribution. Good to take advantage of them before the replacement for the Cargomasters arrives.
I have posted some Mitsubishi MU-2 encounters on this blog before and they have usually involved me complaining about the conditions never being very good for shooting them. Would you believe it but I have finally managed to come across one on a day when the sun was out. Sadly no puffy clouds in the background to make it look even better but, given how long I have waited to catch one in the sun, this counts as a result! Hurrah!
I had to go into the city for a meeting but the time before it was filled with calls. The only time I could realistically make the drive without clashing with anything was early in the morning. Consequently, I parked myself up at Boeing Field to sit in a car in the rain and talk to various colleagues. In a break between calls, the rain had let up and I was treated to the departure of a C-146 Wolfhound. A Dornier 328 would be a nice surprise at any time, but a Wolfhound was definitely a bonus.
It taxied past me when heading for the departure end and I was able to get a quick couple of shots. I then had another call and figured that the departure itself was not going to work out. For some reason, though, the departures were really slow. Everything was sitting at the hold for ages. I wonder whether the conditions combined with the departing traffic from SEA meant that they were restricting the releases. Whatever the reason, they held for over half an hour and my next call ended just before they took the runway. A lucky bonus as reward for sitting in a parking lot in the rain taking calls for a couple of hours!