Saturday, December 24, 2011

A very special visitor to Ft Lauderdale....

I eluded a little to this in yesterday's post, but I didn't want to say much unless I got the shot today - well - the special guest was still there today - so I can only guess that members of the United Arab Emirates Royal Family is visiting Ft Lauderdale for the holiday season - here is their ride...

Friday, December 23, 2011

The season has gone so quickly.....

I just realized the last time I updated my blog was back in October - and - it is two days before Christmas - that's a heck of a time to neglect it. I will say that there have been a lot of circumstances that have distracted me over the last couple of months, but, in the meantime, I have had some time to shoot, and here are some of the best of this time. The Canadian visitors have really started fairly late, with Sunwing only starting in the last couple of weeks, Canjet doing the same, but Air Transat and Westjet (special below) starting quite a bit earlier.

This Westjet special scheme had been just a wish - Westjet hadn't brought the -800 series into Ft Lauderdale in all the time I have been shooting here. But, for the beginning of the season, they changed their schedule, and one particular lunch time, out came this beauty. There is a story to this shot too - it was a cloudy day (not evident from the picture, but to the south of the airport - a lot of clouds) - and when I first saw this, I thought- no chance with the clouds. But - there was one ray of sun that shone through the clouds. The plane stayed in that ray all the way down Taxiway Charlie to the end - and - at the end of the taxiway, the Captain even waved. Now - I'd like to think the Captain saw us photographers at the end and stayed in that ray just for us - now - if it wasn't that - well, I'm not going to think about that - but - I'm thankful for the wave - these Westjet crews are always friendly.

I've been searching for this US Airways special scheme for the longest time - this is the last of the special schemes on US Airways A319's that I hadn't got. Thank you US Airways for replacing one of the Boeing 737-400's flights with the A319 - it's brought back a lot of the special schemes.

Of course, a couple of days later, the Star Alliance scheme came taxiing out.

The early morning light on some days has been wonderful as well. I haven't been able to catch a UPS Being 757 in ages - the last one was in Fort Myers a few years ago - so it was great to be able to catch this one in some lovely early morning light on it's way back to Louisville.

Frontier had brought the A319 to Ft Lauderdale for all except a couple of flights in the past years. This year however, the lunchtime arrival has been the A320 - giving us photographers a whole new range of their great tails for our photography pleasure. This one, one of my favorites - the bald eagle.

This jetBlue A320 - I love New York - is alwayts a welcome sight at any airport - but - in the glorious Florida Fall light, it really is a great picture.

Delta's SkyTeam colors are also a great sight at most airports. Since Delta have pulled the Boeing 737-800 flights, there hasn't been a chance to get that version of the SkyTeam colors, but fortunately, with the domestic SkyTeam (below - N659DL) and the international colored aircraft, we are lucky to get them once in a while.

The one European international scheduled flight is Condor with their Boeing 767-300ER's that come in on Friday afternoons. I'd caught one of these before when on a Frankfurt-Cancun flight, the headwinds had caused them to stop for fuel, but, this is the first time that I'd managed to catch one of the scheduled flights - Snoopy and Woodstock in their glory on the side as well.

They have been late in starting this year, but Sunwing will hopefully have all different types of hybrid schemes this season - I know there is a yellow painted aircraft around, but so far in the season, we have only seen the regular Sunwing colors and the blue British-registered Thompson Fly hybrids - still a long time in the season though.

It's two days before Christmas and a little bird whispered in my ear that there is a special in Ft Lauderdale for the Xmas - I'm not going to reveal what it is at the moment - just in case it has already left, but if I can get it on Christmas Eve, I will be sharing it here.

While I've been lucky to spend some time behind the camera lens, I still would like to wish my readers a wonderful, peaceful and very safe Holiday Season...

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Fall weather has arrived in South Florida....

The fall weather has finally made a showing in South Florida - cooler days, blue skies, westerly operations (well, ok - not all of the time), and perfect photography light. Thirty minutes at the viewing park at Ft Lauderdale yielded these shots in perfect light - I can't wait for the rest of the fall/winter shooting season in South Florida - the Canadian charters will hopefully be starting soon and if the light is anything like it was this day, it's going to be a wonderful season!!

More to come over the next weeks - in the meantime though, more time spent behind the camera lens....

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

LAX - Part 4 - United (Continental)

United has the most different color schemes at LAX - from the old gray, to the blue/white to the new Continental merger color scheme - a lot of movements from United too...

LAX - Part 3 - Delta

Some of the Delta movements - it was interesting to see SkyWest still has some CRJ's in the old Delta colors - Delta mainline is completely in the new color scheme.

LAX - Part 2 - American

A lot of American movements at LAX - these are a few of the ones that I took.

Friday, September 16, 2011

LAX Part One

As mentioned a couple of days ago, I managed to spend some wonderful hours at LAX - sitting at the Proud Bird Restaurant on the south side of the airport.

LAX is so totally different to a lot of places that I have been to before - there is so much traffic that I don't normally see and so I took full advantage of it. These are some of the shots that I have edited since I got back - there are many more to come....

Volaris is an airline that I have never seen before - they don't seem to come to the East Coast of the US - so I was happy to get 3 of their aircraft on approach.

While I've seen lots of United jets, their B744's have eluded me - so I was really happy to catch this one - still in the pre-merge (with Continental) colors.

I've seen Turkish Airbuses before - but - never their B773's - so this was a lovely one to catch too..

This private/corporate B762 was one of the highlights of the day - I've never seen or heard of this one before, so to get it in lovely light was a bonus - one of the catches of the day for me.

This Tahiti A340 is another of the catches of the day - I've heard of them - seen others pictures of them - but - never shot it - until now...a really lovely color scheme.

Air New Zealand is another first timer for me. When this B744 came in on the south side of the airport - I had all hopes for the B773 as well - unfortunately - that came in on the north side - well away from me.

This Aeroflot A332 is another first timer for me - soon after this came in - the famous LA marine layer came in with clouds - bringing an end to the spotting day - but - what a great day it was.

More will come as I edit more and more of the 500+ shots from that day - concentrating more on the local airlines....

A lot of time spent behind the camera lens....

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Watch this space.......

I'm about to enjoy my first spotting trip at LAX. I'm going out to Southern California for another reason - but - will be able to enjoy a few hours spotting at a couple of locations close to LAX. So - hopefully - weather permitting (and it looks nice at the moment), there will be some shots here over the next week or so....

Monday, August 22, 2011

Rain..storms...and ...surprises!!!

Rainy season has struck hard here over the last couple of weeks - the winds have been coming from the west - which means the storms come from the west too - and - that basically shuts down spotting at Ft Lauderdale. Only in the last few days though - has the wind turned, the rain held off for a while and I've finally managed to get out to see what has been happening. Of course, even though the winds are right - the storms are around - they just stay out to the west....

The big surprise today was this little beauty from Canada. I'd seen it once before - but in really terrible cloud and couldn't get a decent shot of it. This time, it nearly caught me by surprise. For those that don't know, the viewing park at Ft Lauderdale has a public scanner that broadcasts the tower frequency. I normally have my own scanner as well, but didn't today. I thought I heard the Air Canada callsign but I saw the grey off in the distance - I thought I must have mistaken it for a Spirit A319. I took my eyes off it for a while - and when I turned again - I saw what it was - it was a frantic scramble to get the camera up .. but I got it and I am very happy!!

Sun Country is still traversing the airways from Jamaica to Ft Lauderdale - substituting for Caribbean Airlines.

Nice to see some classic Southwest colors flying around still.

I added one more...another with the storm in the background

So - now that the weather has turned a little I hope - except for Hurricane Irene this week - I should be able to get more time out and get some more shots.

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

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Fort Lauderdale is back to normal operations....

The extensions to current high-speed exits and the new large high-speed exit on runway 9L are now completed, and Fort Lauderdale has resumed normal operations on the two 9/27 runways. This will carry on for a little while longer; the extension and widening of 9R/27L is the next large operation which will turn Fort Lauderdale into a single runway airport. When the work on 9R/27L starts, runway 13/31 will close completely. It certainly served well during the closure of 9L/27R.

This means that in the hot lunchtimes of Fort Lauderdale, I've been back to the usual viewing spot at the end of runway 9L to see what has been about.

The first is something I've been trying to catch for a couple of years now ever since Delta took delivery of their 737-700 aircraft - they have not been operational into Fort Lauderdale at all until now - operating on a Cincinnati-Fort Lauderdale-New York JFK routing which has them leaving FLL around lunchtime - so I was glad to check this off the list.

Virgin America is always nice to catch - their clean crisp colors are great to see.

For a couple of days in a row, it seemed like Fort Lauderdale was Learjet city - every business jet that seemed to be taxiing out was either a LJ45 or a Lj60. Lovely aircraft they are!!

With the final merger of Air Jamaica into Caribbean Airlines and the operation on a single operating certificate, the Airbus equipment that Air Jamaica used to operate has been returned to the lessors and Caribbean's all Boeing fleet has taken over. However, there has been a shortage of aircraft to operate all the flights, so there have been fillers in from Miami Air International (seen below), Sun Country (seen below as well) and North American for the JFK routes. For the Miami Air and Sun Country aircraft, this has been a chance to get some rare visitors to Fort Lauderdale.

The end of summer will hopefully be coming soon as we move into August and with that, hopefully the hot summer lunchtimes will give way to some cooler temperatures!

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