Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Old School

Every now and then, we get to see some of the earlier generation of jet airliners. Above is the most regular; Air Transport operates DC-8s between LAX and Toledo each weekday. A recent visitor was this Jet USA DC-9; that's an American Eagle CRJ7 in the foreground of the first shot.

Another recent visitor was this Ameristar B737-200:

This B727-100 is an occasional visitor at LAX:

Let there be no question about whose plane this is!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Retro United

Devoted readers: My apologies for the drought of new posts. A road trip to Texas for Father's Day, another to Needles* to inspect a Bonanza, the final week of The Mandragola, along with set construction and rehearsals for The Merry Wives of Windsor, not to mention actually going to work and a lack of inspiration, all conspired to keep me away from the keyboard.

Speaking of work, we're now well into June, and LAX is once again experiencing "June gloom", the low clouds and/or fog that are common around this time of year. I've talked about the marine layer before, so I won't belabor the topic again except to explain that it tends to produce lousy photographs: A few of you have commented that some of the photos I've shown you lately have been oddly tinted. A lot of that comes from the overall gray from the overcast, but in some shots it's due to my shooting the picture through the tower's window shades because there wasn't time to do it any other way. Today's shots are a combination of both - sorry about that.

One of the other guys pointed out this retro-paint United A320 to me last week. I hadn't seen it before (and haven't seen it again since). Hopefully at some point I'll get a chance for some better shots. Meanwhile, the Continental-United transition is moving along: Nearly all of the Continental airplanes that we see have been re-lettered for United. The United fleet is not changing as fast: While some of them have been repainted, we still see a good number of aircraft wearing the old gray-top United livery - which was superseded by the blue and white livery, which is in turn being replaced by the Continental-United hybrid scheme. As far as I can tell, the two carriers are still being run in parallel. Continental is still operating (expanding, actually) out of Terminal Six, while United is at Terminals Seven and Eight. Likewise, Continental aircraft go to one maintenance ramp, and United's go to the other. I read an interesting article about all the decisions that have to be made while combining the two airlines at

* - Trivial question time. What famous comic strip character had a connection to Needles, CA?

Thursday, June 16, 2011


The summer travel season has arrived, and with it some more things to tell you about. Some of these changes are seasonal; others may last longer.

Speaking of seasonal, Air Berlin considers LA a seasonal destination, and they're back at LAX for the summer. They fly in from Dusseldorf and then return, using A332s. LTU used to fly this route, and Air Berlin continued it after taking over LTU.

Another seasonal route is LA-Anchorage, naturally flown by Alaska.

Apparently we didn't have enough flights to Chicago O'Hare, so both Spirit and Virgin America have started flying LAX-ORD. Spirit has also added service between LAX and Las Vegas. Jet Blue, meanwhile, has started flying from LA to Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

In the wake of Mexicana's disappearance, Continental has added service from LA to Mexico. So far, I've seen flights to Guadalajara and Del Bahio-Leon.

Sun Country and Aeroflot have both adjusted their schedules so that they arrive earlier. Aeroflot's new schedule has them leaving on the return trip to Moscow well before sunset.

Alitalia seems to have added flights; I've started seeing them on days that I didn't used to.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Caption Contest 3

I don't know about you guys, but I enjoy doing these - just because it's interesting to see what gets sent in. As before, I'll wait for about a week before publishing your suggestions. You're welcome to keep sending in ideas after that time, and they'll get posted the next time I go through the comments. There's no deadline; I haven't been choosing First, Second, Third, etc.; and there aren't any prizes anyway - but don't let that stop you!

Sunday, June 12, 2011


More miscellaneous items that don't really have anywhere else to be:

It was Appreciation Day at Delta. The In-N-Out truck was parked at gate 52 all day. We were not invited.

A planeload of horses waiting to get going.

US Airways has a predominantly Airbus fleet. But for some obscure reason, they bring in one or two token Boeings per day:

Friday, June 10, 2011

Seen 8!

Here's a collection of various things that seemed worthy of mention:

First was Shamu, then the Salmon-Thirty-Seven, and now . . . Flipper?

CargoLux has been showing up with this converted B744 recently. Wonder where they got it?

Volaris, who has been adding destinations out of LAX, brought in this plane without a name

The first SkyWest I've seen wearing the new United-Continental hybrid paint

LAX now has three carriers flying passengers non-stop to Pu Dong: American, China Eastern, and now United has begun service to Shanghai.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Runway Closure

We had Runway 24 Left closed for construction a couple of weekends ago. Whenever possible, repair work is done at night in order to reduce the impact on air traffic (read: delays). If that's not enough time to get the work done, the next preferred time is on the weekend, particularly on Saturday, which is the slowest day of the week for commercial air travel.

I'm not sure, but it looks like they're mopping the runway!

Meanwhile, the other runway does double duty. Our Local Control trainees got a work out!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Car Show

I went to a car show over the weekend. While you always expect to see shiny, well-cared-for, and seriously modified cars on display, I thought this one was worthy of getting the camera out:


Somebody's got waaay too much time on their hands!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Shot of the day

Here's something we don't see too often at LAX:

An USAF C-130 maneuvers for a graduation day fly-by just north of the airport. You can't tell from this picture, but he's about 1500 feet above the ground.

Friday, June 3, 2011

New show

This past weekend, we opened a new production at the Long Beach Shakespeare Company. Our final show of the season is Niccolo Machiavelli's The Mandragola. Machiavelli was born in 1469 (nearly a century before Shakespeare) in Florence, Italy, and is considered one of the founders of modern political science. He served as Secretary to the Second Chancery of the Republic of Florence from 1498 to 1512. The Mandragola dates to 1518, after Machiavelli was exiled by the de' Medici. While it's a funny show, it is somewhat politically incorrect, and not often performed. We believe this production may be the Long Beach premiere of the work. Check out our first review:

Long Beach Press-Telegram review

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Caption contest 2

After the somber mood brought on by my last entry, it's time for a bit of fun. So how about another caption contest: Submit your suggestions for a caption for this photo: