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.