Monday, May 31, 2010

Seen 3!

We've had some nice weather lately and they just cleaned the tower windows, so I've got some more new shots to share with you; let's get started.

I promised you some better pictures of Hawaiian's new Airbus A330, and here they are.
Seen here with an arriving American B767 in the first shot and a Southwest B737 in the second.

Another new A330 operator here at LAX is Aeroflot; this is the first one I've seen, and it caught me by surprise - I hadn't heard that they were going to bring in Airbuses. I had noticed that we haven't seen Aeroflot much since the Iceland volcano. I've since been informed that the B767's that they had been using on the LAX-Moscow route were not able to carry enough to be very profitable, I assume because of the amount of fuel required for the 12-hour flight.

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned the return of Air Berlin, for whom Los Angeles is a seasonal destination. We've since seen the return of another seasonal carrier, Sun Country, who operates B737-700's and -800's. What I've seen so far is a triangular route from San Diego to LAX and then on to their base in Minneapolis-St. Paul. Here are shots of both B737 models, each with a Hawaiian B767. I like Sun Country's paint scheme, which is a nice break from most carriers' "white plane with a logo on the tail" liveries.

And speaking of colorful paint schemes, here are a couple more of my favorites.

While talking about volcanic ash last month, I mentioned KLM Flight 867, which lost power after flying through volcanic ash while approaching Anchorage, Alaska, in December, 1989. That B747-400 was then less than a year old, and was returned to service after repairs that included replacement of all four engines. That same aircraft is a regular visitor at LAX; I took this shot just this past week as it was preparing for departure to Amsterdam.

Here's something different - How often do you get to see a B747 from this angle?

UPS retired its fleet of DC-8 freighters last year, but somebody else has found them useful; this one passed through last week, flying for National Air Cargo

We don't normally see low approaches at LAX, as training flights are not allowed here. This NOAA P-3 was an exception. NOAA has been conducting air sampling flights in the LA area, and I caught them as they passed by a couple of weeks ago.

I'd like to wrap up this time by noting the end of an era at LAX. Our last ex-PATCO controller retired this weekend. For those who need a refresher, PATCO was the controller's union that illegally went on strike in 1981, saying that 'they can't fire us all.' Well, President Reagan did just that, and fired over 11,000 controllers after a 48-hour warning period. It took the FAA about ten years to replace all those fired controllers (I'm one of the last of the replacements). In 1993, President Clinton signed an executive order that allowed some of the former PATCO controllers to be rehired. We had a couple here at LAX, and I worked with others at other facilities. The few I knew were all great guys, and their experience was a benefit to those who came along later.


  1. Does the P-3 have some other name?

  2. The P-3 Orion was built by Lockheed, and is based on their Electra turboprop airliner. The US Navy used them extensively for anti-submarine and marine surveillance missions. The so-called "weather planes" in Bermuda were P-3's. The US aircraft that made an emergency landing on Hainan Island in China after a mid-air collision with a Chinese jet fighter in 2001 was also a P-3.

  3. That post about the KLM plane is cool! It's pretty interesting that a (sort of) piece of history plane is still flying about the skies, much cooler that he is flying long-haul to LAX! I hope that plane flies for a while longer and encounters no more volcanoes!