Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas!!

Santa has already started his magical run across the world and his progress is always available here.  To all my readers and viewers, I wish you safest and happiest of holidays and peace and prosperity in 2014.  Just in case Santa has a problem with his sleigh, there is always the backup :)

Another year of moments behind the camera lens gone.....

Friday, December 20, 2013

Texas Special in Florida - 12/20/2013

Today was one of those days - the weather started out nasty - then got better.  During the morning however, I had seen that the new Spirit special scheme A320, N618NK, Greetings from Dallas, had arrived at Fort Lauderdale.  So, in the good weather, I decided with a couple of other spotters decided to go and see what was going on for the lunch hour.  Nothing moving - nothing special moving - we were just about to leave, when, I happened to see this blue tail with a S on it come out with a long orange stripe.  And - lo and behold - here came - N618NK...

Spotting highlight of the month so far!!!!  More (great) time spent behind the camera lens!!!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

New Canadian Charter Season

Well, that time of year is upon us again - Canadian charters have started again.  Once again, Sunwing has added some leased aircraft to the fleet, a lot of which are painted with great logos and I am looking forward to catching those.  In the meantime, the first two that I caught are new for me too - a lease from European operator Smartwings - nice winglets they have and a Czech registered Travel Service jet.

Air Transat has also been flying in their Airbus A310s - the one I have been looking for with the Welcome titles arrived on a glorious day.  This season might be the last time we see the A310s in Florida as in 2014, air Transat is due to take delivery of the first of their Boeing 737-800's that are on order.  While those will make for nice shooting, I'll miss the powerful A310s.

Finally, while not a Canadian charter, something I have been looking for for a long long time, the Tiara Air from Aruba has been making more regular stops at Fort Lauderdale and so I was glad to be able to strike this from the list of wanted aircraft too!!!

It looks to be a promising season with some great aircraft to shoot!  In the meantime, more time spent behind the camera lens....

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Bad weather - good friend!!

It is always great to meet up with a fellow blogger and in this case, it is always a pleasure - Cap'n Aux made a trip to Ft Lauderdale recently.  While the weather was terrible for pictures, I still managed to get a couple of shots on approach.

On approach - being followed by a very nice looking Gulfstream G650 - you can tell the weather wasn't the best!


Final approach - about 500 yards from touchdown.  The good Captain will be back at the end of this week - hopefully the weather will be a lot better too!

More time spend behind the camera lens!!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Short time shooting - two great results

I managed to get a little bit of time today to head up to Ft Lauderdale to see what was floating around.  I knew the one arrival - the Air Transat A310 with the Welcome color scheme, but the other one was a great surprise - my first American Eagle E145 with the new color scheme.  Now that the AA/US Airways merger has been approved - it's going to be interesting seeing this color scheme on an A330 - we already have seen it on A319's and A321's.

But, here are the two new ones today...

Some more time spend behind the camera lens...

Saturday, October 26, 2013

jetBlue Tribute NYFD

jetBlue recently announced and presented their latest special scheme - a salute to the New York Fire Department.  After it was recently released, it has started making its trips around the stations of jetBlue.  Today, October 26, 2013 was the turn on Fort Lauderdale.  It great light, she made presence well known around the area.  A stunning aircraft - well done jetBlue.

Edit 10/27/2013 - added a couple more pictures that I have edited of this beauty.

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

Friday, October 11, 2013

Good weather - and even better biz-jets!

It was another nice Florida sunny but not too hot day today, so I went and spent my lunchtime checking out what was around.  Apart from the usual suspects, it turned out to be biz-jet day today!

These Citation CJ3's are growing on me.  A friend of mine flies one and says they are wonderful to fly - they just look so compact but I bet inside, they are luxurious.

A very interesting foreign visitor - the ride of former Formula 1 racer Rubens Barricchello.  It's been seen a few times in Fort Lauderdale - I'm not sure if he has home in the area to visit.

 The charter Learjet 45 of National Jets approaching it's home base.

A Brazilian-based Citation Sovereign.

I saved my favorite for last.  The Gulfstream G650 of Carnival Cruise Line and Miami Heat basketball team owner Mickey Arison.  This registration used to belong to a Bombardier Global Express, but that was sold and replaced with this glorious Gulfstream.  The Global Express used to be my favorite biz-jet, but, it has now been replaced by the G650 - I just love the lines on this aircraft.

Some more time spent behind the camera lens...

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Finally - some good weather!!!

The long, wet, dreary summer in South Florida is finally coming to an end I hope.  There have been some opportunities of late to spend a little time at lunch time at the viewing park at Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport and a chance to hone some skills back up in preparation for the winter season that will this year hopefully include the new Air Transat Boeing737-800s, the introduction of the international service by Norwegian - although that looks as thought it will start with Airbus equipment as they have been having some issues with their new Boeing 787 Dreamliners, but - those hopefully be a thing of the past soon as well.

So, onto the latest catches.

This Air Jamaica color scheme is still wonderful to see around ,even though on a couple of their jets, it now has Caribbean Airlines titles.

This departure was a very noisy one - a Mexican Government Lear 28 - you can tell it's older, it is officially still designated as a Gates Learjet!

This is something we don't get in Fort Lauderdale a lot at all - Falcon Air Express - although, seeing as it went to Aruba a couple of times in a few days, we were wondering in the area if it was filling in for Tiara Aruba Airlines.

Wing flex on a Saab SF340B!!  Silver Airways, which was originally Gulfstream International, and their colorful Saabs are based in FLL, this one heading to Key West

And finally, the flying box car - a Shorts SC-7 Skyvan - from FLL-based GB Airlink.  This plies the cargo trade between Fort Lauderdale and the Bahamas on a daily basis.  This must have been a test flight, as it didn't use it's GB Airlink callsign and after take-off, went onto downwind, base and final legs before landing and heading to the hangar.

Hopefully, this weather will stay like this for the foreseeable future - I've missed getting out of the office during lunchtime a lot!!

Some more time spent behind the camera lens!!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Stop the presses!!!!

After one of the worst summers for photography, it appears as though the weather is turning - I was able to actually get out to Ft Lauderdale today - pictures to follow - but - I can't wait for the fall/winter season to start!!  The blog will hopefully be alive!!!

Lots of time behind the camera lens coming - I hope!!!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A picture not aviation related

South Florida weather has basically - sucked - for the last few weeks - very very few chances to get to photography anything aviation related.  But - sometimes the weather does play into our hands photographically - and - on Sunday it did.  My son came running into the living room - to tell me about this spectacular sunset outside.  That is was - a mixture of all colors and hues.  I loved it so much, I sent it to a local TV station and it was shown on the late news.

So - some time was spent behind the camera lens at least....

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Fort Lauderdale Airport Landmark Demolished

For anyone that has visited Fort Lauderdale, be it by air, sea or land, the sight of the smoke stacks at the Florida Power & Light (FPL) plant at Port Everglades is usual.  The 4 smoke stacks and their accompanying blue boiler building have been part of the horizon for more than 40 years, the original construction of the plant happening in the 1960s.  FPL announced several months ago that it planned to demolish the plant in order make way for a new greener and fuel efficient plant.  Tuesday July 16, 2013 was the designated date and 6:45am was the designated time – have the plant imploded before the rush of the day started.  At precisely 6:45am on a cloudy day, with all air and land traffic halted around the area, the first of the powerful explosions sounded and the plant began to fall – the blue boiler buildings first followed by the 4 stacks.  In just over 40 seconds, the plant was razed to the ground – that familiar sight on the horizon used for navigating in and around Fort Lauderdale gone forever.
 The final standing of the complete plant

The boiler buildings begin to fall

The boiler buildings falling

One of the many powerful explosions brings down the boiler building

The blue boiler buildings are gone

The first stack falls

The second stack falls

The third stack falls

The fourth and final stack falls

The plant is demolished

It's a pity that it was cloudy when it happened - but - lucky that it was a little cloudy - a couple of hours later, we got lots more rain and darker clouds!

Some more time spent behind the camera lens.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Valle Grand Canyon Airport (40G) - What a surprise!!!

On a recent trip to Nevada and Arizona with the family, we were heading towards the Grand Canyon when we happened on this airfield and took a couple of minutes to have a look at the aircraft on view outside Planes of Fame.  I was surprised to see these few outside - would love to explore this the next time we are in the area - but - the Lockheed Constellation L-1049 info states it's in flyable condition - I'd love to take a ride on that!!!  But - here are the few I managed to shoot in the few minutes we stopped there.

 What a great surprise this was!!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Dragging out some old prints.....

Weather in South Florida has been, to put it mild, not good!  I would make that comment a lot stronger but then I would lose a lot of readers!!!    So, I decided to go back to some old prints that I had scanned a few years ago when I was cleaning out some closets.  I thought I'd post the ones I could find.  These were all taken in the mid to late 90's.

 Even though SAA had some planes in the new color scheme, a few of the old B747-200 Super B's had the old colors.  This one smoking on runway 3L.

I flew on one of these Emirates A310's from Johannesburg to Dubai and back for a business trip.  Going north to Dubai was in business class was amazing.  A couple of good old 727's in the background.

SAA leased a pair of B767-200s at the time - both pictured here - one in the old color scheme and the other pure white.  They did trips to and from African states.

The classiest SAA plane of the time - Ndizane was painted in this color scheme for the South African team to fly to the Atlanta Olympics.  Apparently when she arrived in Atlanta to bring the South African Olympic team, there were lots and lots of comments!

Hopefully, the weather will improve a little over the next few weeks to be able to get some shots of Fort Lauderdale or Miami.  There has been a very sexy Etihad Crystal Cargo B747-8F floating around Miami in the past couple of days - maybe I can catch that - or at least one of the Cathay Cargo B748's - I still have not got one...

I can't even say more time spent behind that camera lens!! :(

Monday, May 27, 2013

A Happy Memorial Day

To all the veterans and currently serving servicemen - thank you for your service that allows us to keep our freedom!

The rest of the blog is a little slow at the moment - the rainy season seems to have hit Florida and not a lot is going on at Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport.  I need to try and find some filler posts to do over the next couple of weeks.....so - watch this space....

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Sweet dreams are made of this......

Have you ever looked at something, or walked through somewhere, or just stood in the middle of something and said to yourself, "What I would give to _______".  I had that very fortunate experience recently.  I was very lucky to be able to take a tour of a stunning Boeing 737-7BC(BBJ) registered N164RJ - this stunning bird that makes her home (when she is in town) at Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport.

From the minute you enter the cabin, you know you are in a place of pure pleasure - as someone described her - an apartment in the sky.  All the amenities are there to be able to support that - bathroom with shower, bedroom, satellite access for communications, wireless internet throughout the aircraft, television, full gallery (kitchen), she is able to provide the best to her occupants.  Here are some of the highlights (note - there are some areas I will not photograph out of respect to the owners)..

The office area  that contains the fax machine, the desk, the working area.

The meeting area, combined with dining area, complete with full boardroom table/dining room table.

The living area, relaxation area.

The living area, relaxation area. 

The living area, relaxation area.

Then of course, for the crew, there is the office area, cold and dark at the moment, waiting for her next trip.

And, finally, the means for getting from place to place - part 1 of 2.  

Yes, I would give a whole whole lot to be able to take a trip on such a lovely apartment in the sky, but, as this post is titled, sweet dreams are made of N164RJ, I mean this.....

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