Wednesday, July 31, 2013

LAX aircraft spotters' guide: Boeing 727

 It's the end of the month and I feel the need to give you one more post for July. However, there's a construction crew with jackhammers and backhoes working just outside CaptainVector HQ (on my one day off - nice!). As a preventative measure, I've shut down all the hard drives to protect them from the incessant vibration and pounding. Thus, I took a look in the folder of drafts that have been started but never posted to see what I could find. I started work on this a very long time ago, and it seems likely that there won't be many additions, so here you go. Enjoy! - CV

This doesn't really qualify as a spotter's guide, as there rarely are any B727s to spot at LAX anymore; not even freighters. FedEx was the last regular user here, and they've quit bringing them in; the last FedEx B727s I saw here were probably a year ago, and they were here for decommissioning. One of those happened to be the last B727 built (in 1981, I believe). Nowadays, the B727s we see are all corporate or charter.


This shot is several years old; the last few times I've seen a Trump plane here, it was a B757.
As you scroll through these shots, you'll notice that a lot of them are not exactly current. The opening shot dates back to 2007 or 2008; the shot below is maybe a year or two later.

This is another shot from the time machine, taken shortly before Champion ceased operations in 2008; this was the last Champion Air aircraft seen at LAX:

Capital Cargo recently was absorbed by Air Transport International, who currently brings in a B757 each evening.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Changes II


My apologies for the recent dearth of postings. I won't bore you with a litany of reasons or excuses other than to say that recently little of my time is my own. Instead, I'll cover a few more changes seen recently at LAX. We'll start with the opening shot, as that may be the last scheduled passenger MD-11 at LAX. KLM had been covering their additional seasonal flight with some of their few remaining MD-11s, but I noticed a couple of weeks ago that we're now getting two B747s each day instead. I haven't managed to get them together in one shot yet, but the summer isn't over . . .

As was mentioned in a comment to the previous post, Sun Country has added flights to/from Minneapolis - St. Paul. On some days, they have three flights at LAX: mid-morning, late afternoon, and midnight. Not so much on Saturdays, though - we just get the afternoon flight.


 UPS has new digs on the south side of the airport, next to FedEx. This ramp is also used by Atlas and Polar.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


Each summer at LAX, we see our traffic pick up for the summer travel season. Some of that additional traffic comes in the form of service to new destinations. This year, Delta has been noteworthy for its additions. Delta now has B757 service to Anchorage, Alaska, a route formerly only served by Alaska Airlines. Both Alaska and Delta offer LAX to Anchorage service -- a five-hour flight -- on a seasonal basis; apparently nobody wants to go there from here during the winter! Another new Delta B757 destination from LAX is Seattle, Washington.

 Delta has also started to offer B737 service to Boston and Nashville

  In addition, Delta has been flying A319s to Guadalajara and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

 Skywest CRJs have begun flying Delta service to Bozeman, Montana, as well as Seattle and Spokane, Washington

 AeroMexico has been flying to Cancun and Zihuatenejo

 Spirit has begun flying LAX to DFW

As well as LAX to Houston

American now flies B737s to Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina. In addition, Skywest has been flying CRJ2s in American Eagle colors to Eugene and Redmond, Oregon. Gratuitous American and Virgin Australia photo:

This one's for my friends Adrienne and Ashley: Allegiant has resumed service to Missoula, Montana

Friday, July 12, 2013


No particular theme today, but here are a few interesting shots from the last week or so.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Current Events

The night of July 4th is always a sight to behold from the tower, as the city becomes a carpet of fireworks. I shot this short video to give you a taste of it, but you'll have to take my word for it because the video really doesn't do it justice. From before sundown until when I left at one in the morning, there were fireworks going off all over the city. Incoming pilots remarked that it looked like a war zone.

As I write this on Saturday afternoon, the investigation has barely begun on the Asiana crash landing in San Francisco. I don't know anything more than what is publicly available on CNN and other media outlets. I can tell you that some aircraft that had been destined for San Francisco diverted to LAX when SFO was closed; here are shots of two of them, both aircraft types that we don't get to see at LAX from these carriers very often:

Air New Zealand 8
United 72

Thursday, July 4, 2013


Thanks to CG, we have a look at Fiji's new paint - and yet another A330.  Here are some more of CG's recent snaps:

For those of you in the States: Have a safe and happy 4th!
If you're not celebrating Independence Day with us, have a happy Thursday!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Night shot: Five of a kind

Wouldn't you know it: After last week's 4 of a kind shot, I came in for the midshift a couple of nights ago and snagged this one, with five passenger B747-400s in the C-10 alley. As before, four are lined up at the TBIT, but the fifth one can only been seen by its tail sticking up above the rounded roof of Terminal 4. Seen in the shot below is a second Qantas B744 at the other end of the TBIT, so we sorta had a six-pack that night. Speaking of the TBIT, here's a night time shot of all the pretty new lights: