Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Photo quiz of the day

Since A Christmas Carol opens at the Long Beach Shakespeare Company in a matter of days, yours truly finds he has scant time for writing here. So for your amusement, here's a shot taken a few days ago. Care to guess what and where?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Monday morning triple shot . . .

. . . of Airbus A380s.

While we've become used to seeing two Airbus A380s together at LAX, there are occasional opportunities to see three, each wearing different colors:

Friday, November 25, 2011

Gear Up!

Our recent sessions of east traffic have provided some nice photo opportunities of departing aircraft. You saw some in yesterday's post on east traffic; here are a few more.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Things look different when we go east traffic

It's that time of year, when the weather actually changes in Southern California - if only for a little while. We've had several weather systems bring us rain recently, and we've run East traffic at LAX each time. In one instance, for a couple of days, although a few hours is more common. A recent example: This past Sunday, we transitioned from the overnight "Over Ocean" procedures directly into east traffic, as the winds were out of the east at around ten knots. It rained off and on all morning (and flooded the Sepulveda tunnel), but just after lunchtime, the winds unexpectedly shifted with a vengeance and were out of the west at up to seventeen knots. So we scrambled to turn things around and went west. But, since we're west most of the time, most of the pictures I've shown you are of west traffic operations. So this is how things look when we're east traffic:

The approach end of the runways, in this case, the 7s:

The arrivals:

The departures:

Even the radar display looks different. This shot was taken at a quiet moment one evening a couple of weeks ago, during another east traffic session:

And then there's the inevitable accumulation at the other end of the runway when it's time to turn it back around:

To all of you in the US: Happy Thanksgiving! To those around the world who are not engaging in gluttony and preparation for insane shopping: Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Monday morning photo quiz revealed

A lot of responses for this one, which surprised me after nobody commented on last week's picture of two airplanes on the runway. As many of you correctly noted, this Philippine B747 has a few flat tires:

This happened after a rejected takeoff late one night last week. The aircraft exited the runway with hot brakes. Really, really hot. So hot that we could see them glowing bright red, from the tower. Without binoculars. Wish I'd had the camera, but I'd left it in the car because we'd been socked in earlier in the afternoon when I came into work. Hot brakes on a large aircraft are serious because they can conceivably catch fire or cause tires to explode. Most airliner tires and wheels are designed to release the pressure in the tires before they can explode, and they functioned as intended. We rolled the trucks, and the fire crews cooled and monitored the brakes and tires while the passengers deplaned and were returned to the terminal in buses. The plane was headed for Guam, a twelve-hour flight, and it was full: There were 405 people onboard, and no injuries were reported. I imagine that the aircraft was left on the taxiway because it wasn't practical to tow it with full fuel and over a quarter of its main gear tires blown. The following afternoon, a crew set to work replacing the blown tires:

The aircraft was on Taxiway Bravo, adjacent to Terminal Seven. As you might imagine, not a very convenient place to park a disabled aircraft; the ground controllers had a lot of fun working around it. Here's how it appeared on our ground radar; the yellow and red stripe marks the position of the B747 (the aircraft was in the red area; the yellow area was restricted for some aircraft):

The day after the tires were replaced, the aircraft flew out at the usual time.
Not so, actually: A week later, it's still here, getting shuffled around from one parking spot to another, while residual issues are being worked out.

Related news articles:

Aviation Herald

The Daily Breeze

Monday, November 21, 2011

Monday morning photo quiz

Here's a little something to start the week: Check out this B747 parked in the middle of Taxiway Bravo. Any guesses what it's doing there?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

East traffic teaser

I'm working on a collection of shots from our recent sessions of east traffic. In the interim, here's a teaser:

Friday, November 11, 2011

Saluting our Veterans

November 11th in the US is observed as Veterans Day in honor of our military veterans. In other countries, the date is observed as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day. Thank you to all of our veterans.

Before and After

If you ever doubted that airliners' wings are designed to bend, just compare these two shots. The first shows this China Airlines (callsign: Dynasty) Cargo B744 about to touch down on Runway 6 Left. The entire weight of the aircraft is being supported by the wings:

And now, just after touchdown. The weight of the aircraft is on the landing gear, and the wings have relaxed:

Those of you who recall the Wake Turbulence series remember that this means that the wings are no longer producing lift, and thus no longer creating the vortices that create the wake turbulence felt by the following aircraft.

Happy Binary Day!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Shot of the day 8

An early-morning shot from this past weekend. Rain moved in from the west as the sun rose in the east. We had this rainbow for a minute, maybe two. Shortly after, things really started to get interesting as the wind got progressively stronger out of the east. You know what that means: Time to turn the boat around. A few hours later, time to do it again. Three airport turns in one shift!

Monday, November 7, 2011