Thursday, December 30, 2010

A visit to Miami - in great weather..

My son and I had the opportunity to spend a long afternoon at Miami (KMIA) - we again tried to go and get the Transaero B777 from Moscow, but it was not bad weather in Miami that got us missing the plane - but the bad weather in Europe - it was over 3 1/2 hours late coming in, arriving after dark. But there were some good sightings to be had on a great afternoon with a few clouds about to start increasing into the late afternoon.

This is the first time I've been able to catch the Surinam Boeing 737-700 - a nice first time catch.

Lufthansa had 3 flights this particular day - this Boeing 747-400 coming from Frankfurt landed on the south runway (runway 9) - the A340 from Munich and the A330 from Dusseldorf both landed on runway 12 - the cross runway.

Sky Lease Cargo has one MD-11 in full colors - the other two are plain white at the moment, and by chance, we got the full colors.

My first time getting a Korean Cargo Boeing 747-400 at Miami - the other plane from this cargo carrier I caught in Anchorage.

Insel Air operates MD-80s from Curacao - the second time I have caught this airline - the first time with the large titles.

Avianca brings so many different types into Miami, A320s, A319s, Boeing 767s, but it's been a long time since I've seen one of their A330s in Miami.

Amerijet is famous in South Florida for their Boeing 727s - but have recently received a couple of Boeing 767-200s.

There must be a story behind this Atlas Boeing 747-400 - yes - it is a -400 even if you don't see a winglet - on the other side - there is one. This has been operating a few weeks now without the winglet on the right wing. I'm not too sure how it was lost or when it is going to be replaced, but there must be some kind of performance degradation without the second winglet - I would think they would want to have it fixed.

The last two are things I have wanted to get for a long time - the first being the American Eagle Embraer E145 with the pink Susan G. Komen sash - I've caught the Boeing 757 with the sash, but the Boeing 777 still eludes me.

Finally, I've been wanting the get the Air Berlin A330 for a long time but each time I've been there - it always goes to the runway on the opposite side I have been standing at - this time though, she came in right in front of me...

The Transaero still eludes me - one day I will get it - in perfect weather I hope. But, in the meantime, the first of many trips to Miami in the future I hope seeing as it's now just a quick 35 minute drive from home to Miami.

In the meantime, wishing everyone a Happy New Year, and, some more time spent behind the camera lens....

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas to all!

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year!!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Amazing what can happen in 10 minutes.....

Today was quite a special day - first off, the weather was absolutely perfect! Blue skies, a coolish day, a few small clouds in the sky, but the main reason was a couple of very special captures, and they both happened within about 7 minutes.

Knowing that there are hybrid schemes all over the place at the moment for the Canadian charter airlines, the South Florida spotters always try to keep an eye out on what is around when Canjet or Sunwing come around - today was no different. Having received an email that a special was around, I headed to FLL to get it - a Jetairfly B738 that is leased to Canjet for the winter season. Thursday is the next big charter day, so hopefully there will be others around - Sunwing has the Hapag Lloyd retro orange scheme from Germany and it's been seen in South Florida's hoping...

The second catch was something that I have wanted to get ever since I heard about it and saw the first pictures - the American Airlines tribute to the troops - Flagship Liberty - with the subtitle "In support of all who serve" . Particularly at this time of year, the holidays approaching, there are many men and women servicemen who are far away from home serving their countries. It's small things like American has done with this B737-800 and the other aircraft they have, a B767-200 called Flagship Freedom that remind us of those who serve to protect us.

In case I don't get to post another entry before the holidays, wishing all my readers and visitors a very peaceful time with family, a Happy Christmas, Happy Hanukkah or Happy Kwanza.

In the meantime, some more time spent behind the camera lens.....

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Introducing.....The Bandit.....

This has been a very long wait - something I've been trying to catch for a very long long time - The Bandit - the private jet of Russian billionaire and businessman, Roman Abromovich, a Boeing 767-33A/ER registered P4-MES (home country Aruba) - he is also known in the soccer world as the owner of Chelsea Football club in the English Premier League. While I've seen her once before at West Palm Beach, but she was not in a shootable, and not even very viewable position, so when I looked at Flightaware this morning and saw a flight plan from St Maarten to Ft Lauderdale, I was keeping a keen eye on the time. Operations at Ft Lauderdale were westerly, so I knew I was going to be on the top of the parking garage to get her arrival. And, on time and using the callsign P4-MES Heavy, she approached runway 27R in what were perfect conditions on a cool Fall day. Fortunately, the approach was high so it offered a great shot in front of the refinery towers.

Then the even approach to the landing on runway 27R.

I'll have to get down and edit the last few in the sequence that I took because, while the approach was graceful, the landing certainly wasn't as there was bogey bouncing (left main gear, then right main gear, then back to left main gear) down a long section of the runway, accompanied by the obligatory tire smoke, before rolling out all the way to pretty much the end of the runway. I'll try and edit that section and get it posted soon....

But in the meantime, welcome to a view of one of the ultimate business jets plying the routes around the world.

Some more time spend behind the camera lens.......

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Raining in Miami, Sunny in Ft Lauderdale....

Well, this day didn't work out as planned - and in some ways I was glad. The plan was originally to spend the day in Miami, shoot the Transaero 777 and what ever else was around. When I left home in Fort Lauderdale, the sun was shining, but as I got closer to Miami, I knew the day wasn't going to go well with westerly operations and a cloud base that letting intermittent sun through. I headed for one spot on the south side of the airport that allowed the viewing of operations on runway 27 and spent a little time there. I did manage to get one new capture that I've been looking for for quite a while - a LAN Cargo B777-200LRF landing on runway 27.

There were also two Centurion MD-11's around as well, one lifting off runway 27

And the other landing on runway 27. I was hoping one would have been the new Sky Lease Cargo - but no such luck.

After spending a few hours at Miami hoping that the operations would change to easterly and the cloud would lift, shooting the Transaero 777, Alitalia B777 and LAN 767 with winglets in heavy cloud, I looked to the north and the sun was shining, so I headed off to Fort Lauderdale for the rest of the afternoon. And, I was glad that I did with some special operations, easterly operations and glorious afternoon sun (I'm sure that Miami changed right after I left as well....)

I've managed to catch one of the Continentals with it's new titles - that being a Boeing 737-800, this time was a Boeing 757-200.

Another of the rare catches - the Delta Boeing 757-200 with Dali titles on the nose.

This is the second year that I have managed to get a Caribbean Airlines Boeing 737-800 with in Transavia colors. From talking to several people, Caribbean has leased two of these aircraft from Transavia this year - this one was PH-HSA when home in the Netherlands.

Finally, this is not so much of a special scheme or capture, but the second approach of this Allegiant MD-80 that afternoon - the first attempt was a go-around with a Southwest Boeing 737-700 still on it's taking off roll.

I'll definitely be heading to Miami again some weekend to try and get the Transaero in better light and better conditions. In the meantime, more time spent behind the camera lens.....

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

To all my readers - hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving.

The past week or so have been very busy with a trip to the last NASCAR race of the season and a few lunchtime trips to Ft Lauderdale. This long weekend has a plan to go to Miami on Saturday - Transaero has a new flight into Miami from Moscow that has been operating for a few weeks now, so I'd like to catch that and I'm hoping the spotting gods will also allow the skies to be graced with one of two oneWorld special schemes, maybe an American Flagship Freedom scheme, whatever they would like to pass my direction! Pictures and a normal blog entry will follow soon!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Fall weather has started.....

The weather has started to change - we have had a week of totally fantastic weather and light for photography. The movements have been a little slow - with the exception of "The Herbert D Kelleher" - a Southwest classic in gold - named for the founder of Southwest - seen here in perfect light.

Spirit has been getting it's A320's and they come into Ft Lauderdale with great regularity.

This week has also seen a substitution of the lunchtime Delta flight from Memphis - for two days in a row, a MD-90 has been operating instead of the usual A320 - the first picture was taken from the top of the Hibiscus parking garage as she flared for landing on 27R - westerly operation that day - the second approaching 9L with easterly operations. Having flown on one of these, they are a really comfortable ride.

The great weather and light showed off this jetBlue Embraer 190 as it approached runway 9L.

Another shot from the top of the Hibiscus parking garage shows this Delta B737-800 flaring for landing. The lunchtime flight from Atlanta has been really varied this week - one day this B737, the next day a B757 - that's quite a capacity change.

Not often you see these A320's in the old US Airways colors these days. This approaching 9L on a day of easterly operations.

And finally, one of my favorite biz-jets - a Bombardier Global 5000 - this model, with her larger sister, the Global Express have the most amazing take off performance - I just love watching these aircraft with their minimal take-off rolls before they seem to head straight up into the sky.

I'm hoping this weather lasts for a while - so we can keep getting all these wonderful days. There are a lot of overseas spotters in South Florida at the moment from Europe and they seem to be enjoying the great weather as well - just wish I could spend the same time at the airport during the day that they can.....but...during the week, it's lunchtimes. Hopefully there will be a trip to Miami on a weekend day in the offing soon...

In the meantime, some more time spent behind the camera lens...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

New blog coming soon.....

Hooray....the weather has been awesome! The fall season has started and the weather has changed - stunning lunchtimes...I'm still in the process of editing pictures, and that's why the blog is a little behind...please check back in a couple of days though....

Friday, October 29, 2010

A little travelling.....

This week was my first business trip in a long time - a trip to one of our subsidiaries in Nashville, so it was time for some Southwest hospitality again. Direct flight from Ft Lauderdale to Nashville and back home via Jacksonville.

On departing Ft Lauderdale, I managed to get a fairly decent shot of the UPS Boeing 757 in their new parking spot - they moved a few months ago down towards BAX cargo in the middle of the field.

I've always enjoyed travelling on Southwest - I always find their flights comfortable, the attitudes pleasant and generally a good trip. This time was no different - we had a great flight up towards Nashville. I'd seen on weather web pages during few days prior that there might be some bad weather approaching Nashville when we were due to arrive. And - there was - a line of storms and tornado warnings in the air had the captain have the cabin crew in their seats at around 20,000' on approach. The approach itself was bumpy with strong winds and when we got to a few feet (maybe 15' or so), the captain decided this was a good time to get this aircraft on the ground - no graceful smooth landing - put it down - and keep it down!!! The crew really earned their money that day!! The preceding picture was obviously taken during the pleasant section of the flight :)

When we were leaving Nashville, I managed to get a couple of shots - firstly, this Compass Embraer 175 that is still in NWA colors - I'm sure some people really miss these colors and they are a rarity these days, it was good to get it.

After lift off, we passed by the Tennessee Air National Guard station, on the ground were 4 C-130's.

The rest of the week has been a touch of the "same ole same ole" at Ft Lauderdale during the lunchtimes with the exception of Friday - I was about to leave with the clouds coming over when I saw this white airTran B717 taxiing out with a big black area on the fuselage. When I realized it was the Harry Potter special scheme - I was praying that the clouds would not arrive before the plane - and - fortunately, they didn't....

Another week over - and some more time spent behind the camera lens...

Friday, October 22, 2010

It's still....very quiet in South Florida

It is still really quiet - the Canadian charters have still not started, because of economic times, traffic is less, I'm just hoping it's going to pick up soon. Talking the other day to a fellow photographer at Ft Lauderdale, we were discussing how the times have changed. This time last year, we could spend a full hour at Ft Lauderdale and have something on the go the whole time - even lines of 6 to 10 aircraft waiting for departure. There was lots of action, even if it was the same old stuff all the time. Today, we spend a full hour at Ft Lauderdale and we get times where there isn't a movement for over 5 minutes! The times really have changed.

There have been some interesting planes around though. The one that I have really wanted to get since I saw it's release just over a week ago is the new jetBlue New York Jets plane - and - I can say I've seen it - while driving along I-95 on the way home - the end of one day while driving home. Hopefully it will be seen through my lens soon though. However, I have caught two different aircraft with the new "Barcode" tail - one on departure and the other on arrival.

Something that has always been seen at Ft Lauderdale with great regularity has been the Beech 1900D's of Gulfstream International that were always painted in their Continental Connection color scheme. However, today, I saw this one - a brand new color scheme for this airline - and it seems the end of the Continental Connection colors. I'm not sure if this is going to be a permanent change or if it's a transition while Continental and United merge, but, it is the first time this color scheme has been photographed from what I could find - so - a good catch.

Quite a while ago, I did a post on special color schemes and one of the ones that I pointed out in that blog was the Southwest special Silver One scheme - that was a celebration of their 25 years. This week, while spending a little time at Ft Lauderdale, I saw this Southwest regular blue scheme come out but with the titles on the nose. I shot it quickly to go and have a look later on my computer at what the titles were. When I did look later, I saw the 25 and the Silver, and then when I checked the registration, I realized - Silver One is no more - she is been repainted in the regular Canyon Blue - but with the titles - what a sad color change for her - the Silver One scheme was a nice scheme!

Hopefully, and I really mean hopefully, things will start to pick up soon, and we can start to get a little more action...

In the meantime, some more time spent behind the camera lens......

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Fall is starting to show in Florida....

The weather has changed in Florida - hurray!!! It seems like the hot sticky heat-hazed days of summer are a thing of the past. The lunchtimes are more pleasant to spend time out at Ft Lauderdale. Also, the sun is starting to get a little lower in the sky and the usual darker underside pictures of the summer are starting to be a thing of the past as well. However, as is usually the case in the fall, the winds can turn a little more to the west, making westerly operations more the norm for a short period of time. So, the usual viewing park at the end of the runway turns into sky shots of the planes in the air and with the weather being cooler, they are fairly high in the sky. So, the viewing area at the top of the Hibiscus garage is the more preferred area for westerly operations. This does allow for some smoky touchdown shots with the viewing area looking down on the runway. It's interesting to see the different amounts of tire smoke that are generated with each different touchdown. One note to all the pilots though: please if you are landing on 27R at FLL, land a little closer to the threshold of the runway, it lets us photographers get better shots without having to catch you between the light poles *LOL*. Below are a few taken one day last week...

Continental B737-800

Aires Columbia B737-700 - if I remember, this bounced a little as well...

Smooth landing of the jetBlue Embraer E190

Another smoky airTran landing - their 737-700's always seem to land fairly hard..

There was one special scheme that I did manage to get after a long time of searching - the Allegiant Blue Man Group color scheme - here heading down to Sheltair after landing to operate a charter flight.

Now that the season has started, we will hopefully be seeing a lot more of the Canadian charters starting, maybe even a charter or two from Europe - last season Thomas Cook Scandinavia was operating an A330 into Ft Lauderdale for seasonal charters - it would be nice to get those again.

In the meantime, a little more time spent behind the camera lens.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

A father/son Ft Lauderdale

Last Saturday turned out to be a nice father/son day for me as my son and I headed out for a little excursion time at Ft Lauderdale. For a little while, it almost seemed like Fall is on the way with a cooler day, little humidity, but, later in the afternoon, the summer returned. However, we got some nice sights while we were there....

We took this as we were leaving - a Columbian Air Force Boeing 707 - I'm going to see if this is still there on Monday - would like to catch this on a take off roll...

A rare sight at Ft Lauderdale - an American Airlines Boeing 767-300ER - this one on a charter flights - taking the Miami Dolphins to Minneapolis for their Sunday NFL game against the Minnesota Vikings.

An aging Saab 340 parked without propellers

My first catch of a jetBlue Embraer 190 in new colors.

Miami Air brought this Boeing 737-800 in from Las Vegas - an other charter...

Canjet operating one of their two weekly flights from Canada during the non-season - soon, these will be overseas leased aircraft operating three times a week - some special schemes to catch soon...

A very nice private Gulfstream G-IV taxiing out for departure.

Some more time spent behind the camera lens......