Friday, November 30, 2012

Foggy arrival

Lately, some of my best shots have come from leaving my camera in the tower when I go home. Credit for this series goes to XX - nice job!

On the subject of cool photos, check out Jon Proctor's collection entitled "LAX Through the Years"

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Dreamliner arrives at LAX

LAX has entered the age of the Dreamliner:  United has introduced the Boeing 787 on a few flights from Houston. So far, they're in the introduction stage, and we're getting one flight late some evenings; thus the dark and grainy photo. The most noticeable traits seem to be the shape of the nose, the upswept wings, and the engine cowlings. I've only personally worked it once so far, so I don't really have any observations about the aircraft's performance. Proportionally, it looks like a B767-200, only larger, and yet smaller than an A330-200. United's initial B787s are configured for 219 passengers; a larger version will come on line later. By comparison, the B767s at United seat between 174 and 244 passengers, depending on variant. United doesn't operate the A330, but at LAX we do see Delta A330-200s, which accommodate 239 passengers. Delta has also ordered Dreamliners, and I believe is currently the only other US airline to have done so, but their aircraft deliveries are still a few years away.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

American Eagle changes at LAX

Lots of you guys caught the appearance of SkyWest in American Eagle colors last week. I haven't yet taken any better shots, so here's the other side of that plane:

As several of you mentioned in the comments, AMR, the parent company of American Airlines and American Eagle Airlines, has chosen to use 50-seat SkyWest CRJ200s at LAX in place of the 44-seat American Eagle E140s. The larger American Eagle CRJ700s will continue to be operated by American Eagle Airlines. The American Eagle Airlines crew base at LAX will also be closed at the end of the month; American Eagle CRJ7s will have crews from the Chicago base. These changes have been brought about, at least in part, by a bankruptcy judge throwing out an American Airlines pilot contract provision that limited American's use of regional jets.

Following this story is made more complicated by the fact that "American Eagle" is the brand name for American Airlines' commuter/feeder service as well as the company name for the AMR-owned regional airline that has been providing most of that service. American Eagle Airlines (callsign: Eagle Flight) is expected to adopt a new company name next year, which may make it a bit easier to keep track. In the future, American Eagle will be the marketing brand for American's regional feeder service, regardless of which contractor is providing the service (be it Eagle Flight, SkyWest, Mesa, etc.)

AMR has moved the E140s to DFW; we saw a number of them ferried out late the eve of the change-over on November 14th. These shots are of the last before-dark E140 arrival at LAX:

An unexpected discovery was the white tail on this E140. Shots taken on November 14th - the last day of American Eagle E140 operations at LAX

Here are a couple of better E140 shots, taken a few weeks earlier:


AINonline:  SkyWest to fly as American Eagle

Dallas Morning News:  SkyWest signs on with American Airlines

Dallas Morning News:  Garton talks about SkyWest

Flight Global Airline Business blog:  SkyWest's quiet takeover of LAX


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

To all of you in the states: Happy Thanksgiving!  For those of you around the world who don't see this as a day to over-eat and watch sports: Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Something new

I caught this B777 at the International Terminal a few days ago. I'd previously heard about it earlier in the week from a couple of the other guys in the tower. Bonus points if you know who it was!

Monday, November 19, 2012

What's wrong with this picture?

The title is a bit misleading, as strictly speaking there's nothing really wrong with this picture. But there definitely is something unusual here.

Friday, November 9, 2012

And Now We Have Six*

Seeing as how it happened last month, this doesn't quite qualify as news anymore, but I wasn't there when it happened. Thanks to enterprising cohort TB, however, I now am able to bring you photos of the first arrival of LAX's sixth daily A380 flight. China Southern is Asia's largest airline, and has been present at LAX for some years now in the form of a daily B777-200 flight from Guangzhou (formerly Canton), China. Earlier this year, I noticed that they had added a cargo B777-200 flight, also from Guangzhou. In October, the daily passenger flight became an A380. As the flight schedule hasn't changed, this is now the last of our six A380 arrivals each day, generally appearing sometime around 6 pm. With our transition back to standard time, this flight now arrives after dark, so better photo opportunities will have to wait until next spring. 

Special thanks to TB, whose resourceful use of binoculars and iPhone made these photos possible.

* - With apologies to A. A. Milne

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Taking a ride with the LAPD

Some of us got to take a ride with the LAPD last week. The morning weather wasn't the greatest, but it got better as the day wore on. Our chariot was a Eurocopter AS350 A-Star that picked us up on the ramp at Atlantic Aviation and ferried us to the LAPD downtown heliport.

Our ride awaits

They have a nice moving map display with a little helicopter icon to mark their location. That said, what's wrong with this picture?

I have no idea why this American is parked on the cargo ramp

The southeast corner of LAX: A2 and ICC

Terminals 6 & 7

Delta and United maintenance ramps

Mid-field crossing ~ 1000'. These are the 25s, looking to the east

Wonderful airborne visibility: The ATIS was reporting 4 miles

See if you can find the airplane in this shot!

Destination: LAPD's downtown heliport

Instrument panel of an LAPD helicopter on display. The moving map display on the left has been switched to show the camera in the hose. There's a guy standing right in front of the helicopter - nice knees!

LA County Fire Department

LA County Sheriff Department

This is a brand new Robinson R66, flown by the Fontana PD. Robinson helicopters are built in a factory in Torrance, California; less than ten miles south of LAX. Fontana is about fifty miles east of LAX

MD 500E flown by Pomona PD. Pomona is about thirty miles east of LAX

This is one of four US Coast Guard helicopters based out of LAX; I worked it out on a rescue mission later that same day

Time to go!

This shot was taken an hour or so after the earlier shot of the train station. Notice the much-improved visibility

The visibility may be better, but where's the airport?

Follow that plane!

There's an airport around here somewhere . . .

Not THAT airport!

Another view of the southeast corner of the airfield. In the foreground is the 105-405 interchange
That's the same Southwest that appeared in the air-to-air shot above; you can't outrun the LAPD!


Parting shot. Thanks guys!
We landed on the Atlantic Aviation ramp next to a Delta Airbus that was awaiting its outbound charter passengers

The early-morning visibility was yucky, but the payoff came that evening: Gratuitous sunset photo!