Friday, June 26, 2009

Who's That? Answers, Part 7.2

As promised, here are the rest of the answers to part 7. I'm not doing that many at one time again!

China Airlines (callsign: Dynasty) is the flag carrier from Taiwan, and serves LAX from Taipei. Their cargo flights also leave here for DFW. The logo on the tail, which I thought was a hibiscus, is actually a plum blossom.

Air Tahiti offers service between L.A. and Papieti, Tahiti, as well as Paris. These routes are also served by Air France.

I know these look like two shots of the same airplane, but they're really not: Air China in the first, and Air China Cargo ( callsign: Air China Freight), the cargo subsidiary, in the second. These are from mainland China, and are based in Beijing.

Singapore, and its subsidiary Singapore Cargo: the world's third-largest cargo airline. The Los Angeles to Singapore flight is one of the longest scheduled airline flights in the world. Singapore also flies the record holding flight, from Singapore to Newark. Both of these routes are served with Airbus 340-500's, not shown here. Singapore, the first operator of the Airbus 380, is expected to be the next carrier to bring the Airbus 380 to LAX, perhaps later this year - although I haven't been able to find any mention of it on their website.

Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong's flag carrier. Besides B744's, some passenger service here uses B773's, although I the only ones I've seen have been well after dark, so no good photos for you. Instead, you get an extra freighter shot, since some are painted and some are not.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Who's That? Answers, Part 7.1

Finishing the answers to this part is taking forever, so I'm breaking it into two parts so that you can at least get some of them. The rest will be in another day or so . . .

Philippines brings in mostly B744's, as seen here, although I have seen Airbus 343's as well. Service to/from Manila and Guam, although it seems like the flights I've noticed lately come in from Manila and leave for Guam.

Virgin Australia is Richard Branson's latest start-up. LAX is the only place you can see them in the USA: Currently they offer service to/from Brisbane and Sidney, with Melbourne planned for September of this year. As I write this, they have a fleet of three B777-300's, with several more on order. At one point, I think we had all three on the ground here at once.

Although All Nippon and Nippon Cargo have similar paint schemes, they are now two separate operations. All Nippon serves LAX from Tokyo's Narita airport, as does Nippon Cargo, who also goes from L.A. to San Francisco and Chicago. All Nippon uses B773's, while Nippon Cargo shows up in B744's.

Malaysia B744 pulling into the International Terminal. Malaysia shows up once a day in the early afternoon, and then departs for Taipei early the next morning. Flight time to Taipei runs 13 to 15 hours before continuing on to Kuala Lumpur. Besides LAX, the only other airport in the USA served by Malaysia is Newark, via Stockholm.

Okay, I'll admit that these two were a little tricky, although the "Cargo" logo on the MD-11's tail-mounted engine cowling should have been a bit of a clue. China Eastern is based in Shanghai, and can only be seen in this country at LAX and New York's JFK airports. Their cargo subsidiary, China Cargo (callsign: Cargo King) doesn't serve New York, but has several other US destinations. China Eastern shows up in Airbus 340-600's, while China Cargo uses MD-11's and recently added B747-400's.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Stick around!

Fear not! The answers to last week's quiz are coming. I've recently been distracted with getting my latest trainee through Clearance Delivery (signed off yesterday - congrats!) and my current read, A Romance on Three Legs: Glenn Gould's Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Piano.

Happy Father's Day!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Lakers return victorious

For all of you basketball fans, the Lakers returned to LA yesterday. The parade is set for tomorrow, although since the city (and the state) are broke exactly who's going to pay for it is under discussion.

For those of you who aren't basketball fans, the Los Angeles Lakers just won this year's National Championship by beating the Orlando Magic in five games (out of a possible seven) this past Sunday in Orlando.

The team returned yesterday, arriving at LAX just before 1 PM local time. The airport fire and rescue guys gave them a water salute as their plane pulled into the ramp. I was working position at the time, so one our trainees (thanks Michael!) offered to take these shots of the arrival:

The NBA contracted with Northwest Airlines for team transportation this season. This might just be the last big thing for Northwest, as they'll be fading away as this year goes on. Here we see the A319 arriving on runway 25 left.

The LAX fire crew (Engine 80) provides a water salute at the entrance to the Atlantic Aviation ramp, while the TV11 helicopter hovers overhead.

The players' families rode on this chartered Airbus, which arrived a few minutes before the team's plane.

As a supporter of the Houston Rockets, I'm saying: Just wait til next year!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Who's That? Part 7

Here's our next batch: a dozen foreign toughies. Your hint: these are all Pacific-rim carriers. Good luck!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Why I hate working on airplanes

We're taking a break from the Guess Who quiz today while I grumble about other things. The quiz will continue next week once I get the next group assembled. Meanwhile, on my one day off this week I spent some time piddling with the Baron. A nice flying airplane that I've grown to despise every time I have to work on it. The latest annoyance was a lack of oil pressure indication on the right engine. I traced the problem to air in the line to the gauge, which was remedied by bleeding the line. Not such a hard thing to do, but what a pain:

This shot, taken from the floor looking up behind the instrument panel, shows the back of the engine gauge cluster. The line that I was working on was the blue fitting seen in the center of the photo. What's not shown is the amount of stuff that had to be removed just so it could be seen at all.

This is approximately the position needed for me to take the first photo, as well as accomplish the necessary work to fix the problem. My head, resting on the copilot's floor and/or rudder pedals, is lower than my feet on the wing.

Who's That? Answers, Part 6

Okay, so how'd you do? These are all strictly cargo operators, meaning that none of these is the cargo division of a better-known scheduled passenger carrier. Unless you're in the industry, I'd be willing to be that some of these, maybe even most, are not familiar names.

You've probably heard of Airborne Express, which now goes by the moniker ABX Air. This is a B762, parked next to Hangar One: the original hangar from Mines Field (now known as Los Angeles International), which dates to 1929 and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Based in Mexico City, AeroUnion can only be seen in this country at LAX and Chicago's O'Hare airports. Not as large as the others listed here, they have a fleet of three Airbus A300's.

Little Rock-based Air Transport International, which is now owned by ABX. This is a DC8 which has had its original JT3D jet engines replaced with CFM-56 high-bypass turbofans. In the background is a United B763 just starting its departure roll on runway 25 right.

Atlas Air (callsign: Giant) B744. Unlike some of the others here, Atlas often leases their planes/crews to other carriers. Quite often when these guys show up they're using callsigns like 'Qantas Cargo' or 'Lufthansa Cargo'.

Cargolux, from Luxembourg, operates exclusively B747's like this one. Currently they are all -400 models, but Cargolux has orders for the new B747-8F, which should be out in 2010.

Kalitta Air (callsign: Connie) operates various models of the B747, and is based in Ypsilanti, Michigan. This is a -100 or -200 (I don't remember which) arriving on runway 24 right.

Polar Air Cargo, owned by Atlas Air and DHL, also operates B744's. This one is about to touch down on runway 24 left, while a United (Skywest) CRJ-200 waits to depart.

Southern Air, based in Norwalk, Connecticut, is another operator with various models of the B747. Sorry about the lousy shot, but I don't get to see these guys that much, especially during the day. Seen here crossing the threshhold for arrival on runway 24 left.

World Airways has two B744 freighters; the rest of its fleet consists of DC-10's and MD-11's, in both cargo and passenger configurations. In addition to providing cargo service for airlines who don't have their own cargo fleet, World does a lot of military charter work for the US government. That's a Delta B738 in the foreground, rolling out on runway 25 left.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Who's That? Part 6

This batch is some more of those 'hard ones' that I've been warning you about. I'll give you one hint, though: These are all cargo carriers. Exclusively. Oh, and once again, they're in alphabetical order. Answers in a few days. Good luck!