Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Night shots

I left the camera in the tower one night, and apparently someone got bored while he was on break.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Heavy Arrival

It's been a solid month since last I posted, so apologies for keeping you waiting. I caught this sequence of an arriving C-17 last month. The C-17 is an aircraft of some local interest, since the factory that built it is here in Long Beach. Not for much longer, though: the last C-17 (of a total of 279 built) rolled off the line earlier this year. Boeing has already begun dismantling the tooling, so it's unlikely that there will ever be any more. The C-17 plant was the last aircraft factory in Long Beach, which used to be the home of the Douglas, and later McDonnell Douglas, airliner production facilities. Thousands of DC and MD jets were built in Long Beach, and thousands of piston airliners and military aircraft before them. It's the end of an era; Boeing has announced no plans to produce other aircraft in the Long Beach facility.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Stormy weather

Last week we had some unseasonably rainy weather in southern California. While it wasn't enough to make a dent in the on-going drought, it was sufficient to snarl air traffic for a few days. A number of our controllers wanted you to see these shots. While they don't tell the whole story, you can certainly get the idea.

Monday, July 13, 2015

How'd that happen?!? - expanded

This follow-on to Friday's shot gives a better view of what was happening to create the shot I showed you before the weekend. Essentially, each airplane is waiting on the one in front of it, and the key player to the whole mess is the American heavy seen at the far left. It's pulling onto gate 48B, or at least is supposed to be. The fact that somebody had time to go grab my camera and take these shots tells us that the tug has most likely stopped partway onto the gate -- probably because some piece of ground service equipment is in the way, the jetway is not in the correct position, or the ground crew isn't in place to receive the aircraft. Everything else is a domino effect: the American Eagle CRJ is waiting for the B777 tail to clear the intersection; the Alaska is waiting for the Eagle; the US Air coming off the runway is waiting on United who is waiting for Alaska; the Delta E-jet on the left is waiting for US Air while the Delta E-jet on the right is waiting for everybody.