Monday, November 19, 2012

November has been very good to me so far......

And - today was no exception - after searching Flightaware at the start of the day to see if there was going to be anything good at Fort Lauderdale for the day, one very elusive special scheme came up - United's A320 Friend Ship - N475UA - and - it was due to depart at a decent time around lunchtime.  So, with perfect South Florida fall weather, I headed up with a lot to the viewing spot at FLL and walked down the field a little - westerly operations, the viewing park is too far down and they are way in the sky when they go past that, and - there is came!

However, this wasn't the end of special schemes for the day - just before this while waiting - an American B737-800 came flying down the runway.  As the light was so good, I couldn't resist shooting it - and - to my surprise - it had a lovely yellow ribbon on the tail...

Hopefully the rest of the month will be good to me - I did see that Southwest's Colorado One had been at FLL over the weekend - so - I'll be searching it out again...

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

Sunday, November 4, 2012

A major cross off the bucket list - Air Force One!!

This has been a long long time in getting - since I first saw Air Force One in St Louis in 1999 when then President Clinton met Pope John Paul II, I have never managed to get close enough to get a decent picture of it - until today.  President Obama visited Fort Lauderdale today and in almost-perfect weather 92-9000 made it's approach to runway 9L.

VC-25A 92-9000 approaching Fort Lauderdale
It's been a special month so far - and it's only 4 days into the month!!!

Another wonderful few minutes spent behind the camera lens....

Friday, November 2, 2012

A very special surprise....

The fall season has finally arrived in South Florida and with it, thank goodness, the departure of the rain and some lovely blue skies, and, hopefully, this will continue for a while!

So, I went to sit up at the viewing park at Fort Lauderdale to enjoy some of the lovely weather.  There happened to be a C-17 at one of the FBO's that was due for a departure at some point, so I was keeping a good eye on that and a slightly interested ear to my scanner that was in the car next to me.  During one of the transmissions, my ears perked up a little - it kind of went something like this.

WN XXXX:  Tower, Southwest XXXX, ILS runway 27R.

Tower:  Southwest XXXX, you are number 2 to a heavy Boeing 707, runway 27R cleared to land

BRA2401: Tower, Bravo Romeo Alpha 2401 short final for runway 27R.

I have to admit that my ears perked up at the words Heavy Boeing 707.  I got out of the car and looked east and there they were, the tell-tale 4 streams of smoke trailing behind this object out to the east.  Well - it lands on runway 27R and because of 2 exits that were closed, it comes all the way to the last exit, Bravo 1, turns onto taxiway Bravo, goes to the end and does a 180 degree turn and heads down taxiway Charlie to Signature.

Oh - what was it?  Brazilian Air Force KC-137 - that came out of nowhere - who knows why - but - I'm glad it did.  It was a perfect start to the South Florida Fall shooting season.  Some more time spent behind the camera lens.....

FAB2401 - Brazilian Air Force KC-137

Sunday, September 2, 2012

KSFO - San Francisco - another spotting place crossed off the list.....

 As noted in my previous post, I was able to travel to San Francisco in August.  The city has always been on my list of places I've wanted to spot at, and, thanks to the Virgin America trip, I was able to cross the city off my "Want To" spotting list.  Some of the highlights....

 British Airways taxiing to the terminal

Air France departure back to Paris

All Nippon Airways Star Alliance special departing to Tokyo

Eva Air arrival from Taipei

United departure to Honolulu

Swiss arrival from Zurich

It is getting close to the Ft Lauderdale/Miami fall/winter spotting season and with that will come the special hybrid schemes and hopefully some great catches.

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

Saturday, August 18, 2012

A very special trip....

I was very fortunate on 8/14/2012 to be part of the media contingent to fly on the inaugural Virgin America flight 1 from San Francisco to Washington Reagan.  The link to the complete article I wrote is below that included a great interview with David Cush, the CEO of Virgin America.|+Planespotting+and+Aviation+Photography%2C+Breaking+Airline+News%2C+Aviation+Discussion%29#.UDAVNUSKdRQ

Saturday, June 16, 2012

It's been a bad start to the summer season......

I have just realized how long it has been since I posted - and - realized how much of the summer spotting season has been marred with rain.  I have managed to get a few interesting shots over the past few months - I just need to finish editing them and will get them posted...

Watch this space.........

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Southwest First 737-800 Revenue Flight - Warrior One

I was recently privileged to witness the first revenue flight of the first Southwest Boeing 737-800 - N8301J - "Warrior One". This wasn't the first time that I had seen her approaching Fort Lauderdale - a week previously, she had been doing proving and training flights to the fiver airports that were the first operational airports for the -800. One week later, and this time with the wind blowing from the west, Southwest 1717 from Chicago Midway approached runway 27R.

The approach took Warrior One past the towers of the refinery - a normal sight for pictures at Fort Lauderdale with approaches from the east.

Warrior One over the runway - with the city of Fort Lauderdale in the background.

About to settle on runway 27R.

Taxiing back past the terminals towards the Southwest ramp.

A water cannon salute welcomes Warrior One as she enters the Southwest ramp. Originally, the fire trucks were parked on either side of the B6 entry to the ramp, which would have given a perfect water cannon head-on shot, but - they moved down to the entry to the ramp before she arrived.
The very next day, the second -800 N8302F made her appearance and the two now operate on alternate days into Fort Lauderdale - soon - we'll have to keep an eye out for newer aircraft with the delivery schedule for Southwest being rather aggressive for 2012 and 2013. Although it's been a long time since I last posted, there have been a lot of time spent behind the camera lens (and new lenses too! :) )

Friday, February 17, 2012

New jetBlue special - Boston Red Sox

I was lucky to catch this at Ft Lauderdale today - it had left Ft Lauderdale for La Guardia in the morning and came back - seems like it had been shuttling this route for a few flights. Fortunately, the clouds that were around broke up in plenty of time for the approach.

More time spent behind the camera lens....

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Frontier - the animals that fly.....the A320 series

I've long admired the great color schemes that Frontier Airlines brings. I think a lot have seen the adverts on TV - the talking animals - Frontier had a great set of ads that ran for a while. This winter season, they have started to bring the A320's into Ft Lauderdale - the A319's have been flying into Ft Lauderdale for quite a while - as have the E190's. I'm trying to get the complete series of the A320's, but, in the meantime, 10 out of the 14 have been caught in the view finder.

I'll be getting my collections of the A319's and E190's together as the meantime, some more time spent behind the camera lens...

Monday, January 23, 2012

A rare visitor .. and .. a rare plane in the US...

A lunchtime spent at Ft Lauderdale today revealed a rare visitor to Ft Lauderdale - not only a rare visitor, but a very rare aircraft type in the US now - a British Aerospace BAe 146-100. I personally haven't seen one of these in about 10 years - not since Northwest last flew them into St Louis on occasion. This perfect specimen - N114M titled "Lucky Liz" came through Ft Lauderdale on its way from the Bahamas to its home base - Ft Worth Meacham International Airport (KFTW). Another of those - perfect place at the perfect time in perfect weather.....

Some more time spent behind that camera lens...

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Miami Slide Fest 2012 - Ramp Tour of MIA

Every year at this time, photographers from all over the world gather in Miami for the Digital and Slide Festival. Each year, thanks to great organization, we are privileged to get access to the airport grounds and get some awesome pictures. This year, unfortunately, the weather didn't play along with the tour - two cold fronts caused cloudy conditions for most of the day, but, any day on airport property with a camera is a great day! Still, I managed to get some decent shots...

The major attraction was the arrival of the "whale" - the A380 from Frankfurt - and we managed to get right next to runway 27 for the arrival. This was one of the latest A380s in the Lufthancsa fleet - D-AIMG "Wien".

A couple of attractions that were around the field were the classic Boeing 727s - both cargo planes - the first being this visitor from Brazil.

The second being this local aircraft from Amerijet - this we were able to shoot close to the runway as she completed a long take off roll down runway 27.

One of the other major attractions was the ability to photograph right next to the arrivals on runway 30 - on westerly operations at Miami (which is was this day), the majority of the European arrivals land on runway 30 and getting close to the touchdown point made for great shots. I could live in a tent next to this spot on westerly operations!!!!

Virgin 5 from Heathrow - recently changed from an A340-600 to the Queen of the Skies - this is G-VHOT "Tubular Belle".

Iberia brought in an Airbus A340-300 instead of the usual A340-600 from Madrid.

One of the many American jets to land on runway 30.

TAM from Brazil with it's regular A330-200.

Hopefully, next year's festival will bring better weather - I really could live right next to this runway! A lot more time spent behind the camera lens....

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

New airline - new scheme - old plane

Suddenly it appeared at Ft Lauderdale - parked over by National Jets - something that I haven't seen before - and - it turned out - a brand new airline - Fly Jamaica Airlines - with it's plain but interesting scheme. The airline plans to fly from Kingston, Jamaica to Georgetown, Guyana, New York and Toronto. The plane itself is an older Boeing 757-200 that previous served with ATA (callsign AmTran).

A really nice special catch for me...

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