Friday, May 6, 2011

Overtime Sightings

I had an overtime shift the other day that had me in the tower on a weekday that I'm not normally on the field. While this meant that I had a one-day weekend, the neat thing is that I got to see stuff that doesn't appear during my normal schedule:

We'll start with American's new nonstop service to Shanghai. American is the first domestic carrier to fly passengers from LAX to Pu Dong. We've had passenger service to Shanghai from China Eastern for quite some time now, along with cargo flights by a number of carriers. American uses B777-200s for the 13-hour flight, while China Eastern uses slightly slower (but bigger) A340-600s. Look at the flex in those wings!

Another B772 operator at LAX is Malaysia, who operates to/from Taipei - another 13-hour flight. Compare the wings at rest in this shot to those of American in the previous one.

American and Airborne Express are the primary operators of B767-200s at LAX these days, but here are two wearing other colors. In the foreground is a Continental B762 which has already been relabeled as part of the merger with United. This merger means that all three models of the B767 will be seen in one fleet, as United already has -300s, while Continental also has -400s. At one time, Delta had all three models of the B767 in their fleet, but parked their -200s a few years ago to simplify their fleet mix. Rolling on Runway 25 Right is a Tampa Cargo B762. Tampa is not a regular at LAX; this was the first time I've seen them here.

I think I've shown you the Continental retro B737-900 before, but here's another view. I wonder if this paint will survive the United merger?

Speaking of the United-Continental merger, here's a shot of all four of the relevant liveries: The Airbus in the alley wears the old United gray-top colors, while the Airbus at Gate 75A has the white-top scheme that replaced the gray; the B737 on the right side of the shot models the last Continental paint, and the B737 in the foreground displays the new hybrid United livery.

On most days, Philippines shows up in a B747-400. On some, they also bring in an A340-300:

While we're talking of A340-300s, three times a week Iberia brings in one as well, nonstop from Madrid, Spain:

Here's one more A343, seen offshore after departing Runway 24 Left enroute to Zurich:

You can't hear it, but the Low Altitude Alert is going off as this shot was taken. A343's are some of our least-favorite aircraft because they're slow poor-climbing runway hogs. It's common for them to cross the shoreline at six hundred feet with a climb rate more appropriate to a Cessna 172. Fortunately, there's nothing out there for about 2,000 miles (except for the sailboat races on weekends). Unfortunately, the next departure is going to have to wait a while for the A343 to struggle out of the way.

That bright light in the construction atop the TBIT was aimed right at the tower; it took about a half hour to get it moved!

1 comment:

  1. CaptainVector,

    Found your blog a few weeks ago - love it. On occassion I listen to and it is absolutely amazing how calm each controller seems to be, especially during peak hours or even communicating with the crew of a foreign carrier. I usually listen to BOS/JFK but now I will start listening to LAX. Really enjoy your perspective and especially the photos - keep 'em coming.