Saturday, December 31, 2011

Fun with fog

We've ended 2011 and started 2012 with a return of marine-layer fog. The last couple of evenings, the weather in San Diego got to the point that aircraft were forced to divert into LAX. A number of them subsequently got stuck on the ground here, waiting for our visibility to improve to the point that they could take off again.

I've talked about the fog and marine layer before, but one of my coworkers pointed out this interesting vantage point. We're looking down at the LAX Theme Building, which is adjacent to the tower. As you can see, the visibility deteriorates to the point that the lights on the building virtually disappear.

And here's how it looks on a clear afternoon:

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Shot of the day

Bi-polar? Or perhaps, thanks to global warming, they're now semi-polar!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Last of the Continentals?

Since the United-Continental merger was announced in May, 2010, there has been a gradual shift from the Continental name. For most of the intervening time, we've had Continental aircraft showing up more and more frequently with the United name on the side, but still using the Continental callsign. Meanwhile, United aircraft have been appearing with the new hybrid livery: Continental paint scheme with United lettering. As of the first of December, Continental no longer exists as a separate air carrier. I talked to my last Continental flight on the 28th of November; when I came in a few days later, the transition was complete and all flights were using the United callsign. Except that a few Continental aircraft have yet to be re-lettered; I caught this B738 about a week later. Will it be the last?

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Monday, December 19, 2011

Round and round

This is a poor-quality night time shot of a ground control roundabout. There are five aircraft in play here at the end of Terminal 4, and as long as everyone keeps moving, it'll all work out fine - trust me.

Saturday, December 17, 2011


A recent reader comment included a question about Compass Airlines. Compass is based in Minneapolis, and is now one of the Delta Connection carriers, having previously flown as Northwest Airlink before the Delta-Northwest merger. We see Compass just once a day at LAX, on a mid-morning round trip from and back to Kansas City. On this route, they compete with Frontier/Republic ("Brickyard") and Southwest, all of whom operate larger aircraft more frequently. Compass has a fleet of about forty (40) Embraer 175s with a passenger capacity of 76. They are the only regular E175 operator at LAX, although Republic does occasionally show up in a slightly-smaller E170. Republic and Air Canada both bring in the larger E190, easily distinguished by its over-wing emergency exit and additional fifteen (15) feet (~5 meters) in length. As a Delta Connection operator, Compass parks at Terminal 5.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The many tails of JetBlue

Consider this a precursor of the next installment in the stagnant A320 spotters guide series. While JetBlue also operates E190s, we don't see those at LAX.

One of the neat things about working at LAX is that I get to see lots of different airplanes and paint schemes. But even that gets boring after awhile - every American jet looks like every other American jet. There are a few exceptions, though. Alaska and Horizon have a number of special liveries, as does Southwest. Frontier has its "spokesanimals" pictured on the tails of its aircraft. Another exception is JetBlue, whose aircraft have a variety of different designs on their tails, sort of in the same spirit as Braniff's "Flying Colors." This is not a comprehensive collection, but does include all the JetBlue tails I've caught with the camera, and will be occasionally amended as the opportunity arises:

I've been told that this one aircraft is painted green, but I can't see it. No reasonable amount of adjusting the photos makes it any better, so check these links for confirmation:

JetBlue Airways: Blue turns Green

NYC Aviation: JetBlue New York Jets

Monday, December 12, 2011

Lunar Eclipse

Not that this has much to do with airplanes, but those of us on the west coast who had to get up early this past Saturday morning had a chance to see the lunar eclipse.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Shot of the day 11

I'm pretty sure I've shown you this AirTran B737 before, but this is a much better view. I especially like the silhouette on the engine cowlings!

Happy Birthday dad!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A Tribute to Harry Morgan

Actor Harry Morgan died in LA this morning at age 96. I knew him primarily from his role as Col. Potter in the TV series M*A*S*H, and only later learned of his earlier career. I can honestly say that I never saw a performance of his that I didn't like. So goodbye, Harry Morgan. Farewell: Your work will not soon be forgotten. You will be missed - amen.