Monday, July 11, 2016

This side up

I can't help but wonder if somebody is worried that their pilots won't know which way to fly their airplane!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Another new arrival

On the heels of Interjet, our latest arrival at LAX is really a return from the past. Scandinavian Airlines was last seen at LAX in 1994, after having flown here since 1954. That first flight in 1954 (in a DC-6) is noteworthy for being the first commercial flight to use the trans-polar route between Europe and North America. Scandinavian arrives several times a week from Stockholm, Sweden. So far, I've seen both A330-200 and A340-300 aircraft in the Scandinavian colors. The fuselage is not white, by the way; instead it's a very light beige or gray (Pantone Warm Gray 2, according to Wikipedia).

Saturday, March 26, 2016

New arrival

One of two recent arrivals on the scene at LAX is Mexican carrier ABC Aerolineas, aka Interjet. So far, we get one flight a day from/to Guadalajara, Mexico. Interjet parks at Terminal 2 with a 150-seat A320.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Strike one!

We had a line of thunderstorms push through Los Angeles around six in the morning a couple of weeks ago. Along with all the wind and rain, we also had thunder and lightning - an uncommon occurrence in LA. During the storm there were many lightning strikes around the airport, and several strikes on the field -- one of which was a direct hit on the tower! I was on duty at the time, and in the cab the flash was almost blinding. We knew that the lightning strike was really close by -- about twenty feet above our heads, as it turned out. All of our equipment is shielded from things like this, so we were able to continue on without interruption. It wasn't until later that it was confirmed to us that the tower itself had been hit. Thanks to some help from the airport, we got these photos from various cameras scattered around the field.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Dreaming of Dreamliners

Air Canada is yet another carrier bringing Boeing B787s to LAX. This is a -9, which is replacing the B767-300 in Air Canada's fleet. Air Canada has both B787-8 and B787-9 models, configured for 251 and 298 passengers, respectively. We see a mix of Air Canada's wide body jets on the midday flight from Toronto; the Dreamliner is the current favorite, although we also regularly get A330s and B777s. Here are a few more B787 shots:

Head-on view, because how often do you get to see a Dreamliner from this angle?

That's a LAN B787-8 on takeoff roll to Lima, Peru, a seven-hour flight; with a Delta B717 sandwiched in between. LAN's B787-8s are configured for 247 passengers, while the Delta B717s accommodate 110.

With a Southwest B737-800. Note the new split scimitar winglets on the B737. The B737-800 is the largest aircraft in Southwest's fleet, with a passenger capacity of 175.

That's a Saudia B777-300 parked at gate 123A; one of the few vestiges left of the old TBIT.
Saudia flies in from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, the world's 6th-longest scheduled airline flight, with 305 passengers.

The red-tailed B767-300 in the background belongs to Air Canada rouge, and carries 280 passengers
between LAX and Vancouver.

Another Boeing sandwich: An Allegiant B757-200 in the foreground, with a United B757-300 rolling for departure behind.
The Allegiant B757s seat 215 passengers, and will soon be disappearing from LAX, as Allegiant uses them for Hawaii service -- which will be ending in August of this year. United acquired its B757-300s via the merger with Continental, and is the largest operator of that model, as Continental was before the merger. When they flew for Continental, they were configured for 216 passengers; with United they now carry 213.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

New Alaska paint

Alaska Airlines has recently refreshed their paint scheme; thanks to a couple of my sharp-eyed coworkers I can show it to you here. Thanks guys!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Revealed: What's special about those pictures

Several of you came close to guessing this one. One critical piece of information is that American Airlines has gates at Terminal Four, while US Airways parks at Terminal Six. For the time being, the new American is using gates at both terminals. Both of these shots illustrate a first in the US Airways - American merger: The first legacy American Airlines aircraft to park at a US Air gate at LAX, and the first US Airways aircraft to park at an American gate. True, in the opening shot the other airplane at a US Airways gate is wearing the new American colors, but if you look closely you'll see that it's a repainted US Airways aircraft. In the second shot, the aircraft still wearing the US Airways livery is a B757. What's interesting about that is that so far, the only B757s we've seen at LAX getting the new American paint are the former US Airways airplanes; the American B757s seem to be retaining the bare metal AA livery. I suspect that may be because many of those airplanes are being phased out, and as such don't merit the expense of a new paint job. Many of the American B757 routes out of LAX are now being flown either with B737-800s or A321s. 

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Guest video: Why I Fly

I have mentioned before that several of the controllers at LAX tower are pilots. A couple of them are even flight instructors. One of the guys at the tower is currently working on his pilots license and made this video, which he asked me to share with you. It's a nice piece; enjoy!

Friday, March 4, 2016

What's special about these pictures?

Just in time for the weekend! These two shots were taken several weeks, maybe even a month, apart. They appear in chronological order; the earlier one is the opening photo. They show different views of the south side of the airport but yet there is a common theme. So what's special about these pictures? Reveal early next week.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Recent arrival

I can't really claim that this is a new arrival, since they've been flying here for a couple of months now, but Qatar Airways now serves LAX from its home base in Doha, Qatar. This is a fifteen hour flight in B777-200LRs that are configured for 259 passengers. We actually started receiving Qatar freight flights last year, ahead of the passenger service which just started up in January. The freighters fly a different route, though: they arrive from Mexico City, and then depart for Liege, Belgium, also in B777-200s that wear the same livery as the passenger haulers. This has, on one or two occasions, caused some confusion when a ground controller has attempted to take the passenger arrival to the air freight ramp. Before the arrival of passenger or freight service, we have seen this identical livery at LAX in the form of Qatar Amiri Flight, which serves the government and royal family, although not actually part of the airline.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Revealed: What's so special about this picture

With several red herrings in this photo, this one was a little sneaky. The obvious one is the big hole where the runway used to be -- and will again, someday. Another is the Hollywood sign visible near the top of the shot - a clue that this is not a summertime photo. Yet one more is the tailwind indicated by all the flags in the construction zone.

But when I gave you a hint yesterday, a better hint would have been that there is more than one airplane in this picture:

It's really hard to spot, so here's the next shot I took:

"It's a little jet. So what?" I hear some of you saying. Some of the rest of you have guessed at it already, and the registration is just barely clear enough to read in this photo that I may as well tell you that this jet is a Honda. Or, to be more correct, it's a HondaJet.

The Honda HA-420 has been in development since the late 1990s, and first flew in 2003. The FAA certified the airplane in December, 2015, and production is already underway in Greensboro, North Carolina. This visit to LAX was a test flight, and as far as I know, the first time a HondaJet has been seen at LAX.

What makes the HondaJet noteworthy is the way the engines are mounted. Instead of being stuck on the side of the fuselage, each engine is on a pylon that extends above the wing. It's hard to see in these shots, so here's one more:

 For a much better view, check out some of the photos at Honda's website:

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Need a hint?

I thought last week's was pretty obvious, but this week's is not so much. Here's your hint: pay no attention to the construction. Reveal coming tomorrow!

Friday, January 29, 2016

What's special about this picture?

Just in time for the weekend: Another installment of everyone's favorite blog game. This shot was taken late last week, but I just rediscovered it when I downloaded it from the camera yesterday. So, besides the reflections in the window, what's special about this picture? Look carefully! Reveal in a couple of days.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

New Arrivals

The Boeing Dreamliner is becoming more and more common at LAX. Both American and United have them here now, and at least a half-dozen international carriers bring them in as well. Here are two of the most recent additions, who coincidentally both park at Terminal Two.

Avianca flies to/from Bogota, Colombia, a flight that takes around six hours. This route has previously been flown with a B757, B767, or most recently, an A330-200. In each of these, the flight time was closer to seven hours. Avianca is the world's second-oldest airline (after KLM), and has equipped its B787s to carry 250 passengers. In comparison, the A332s that Avianca use carry 252.

Our very latest arrival just started service this week at LAX. Hainan Airlines is the largest privately-owned air transport company in China, and is China's fourth-largest airline. They have just introduced service between Los Angeles and Shangsha, China. The flight takes thirteen to fourteen hours, in Dreamliners set up for a passenger capacity of 213.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

What's wrong with this picure revealed

Whoops! Somebody lost their luggage - right in the middle of the taxiway. Actually, I believe that this particular cargo container is empty, and got blown off a transport. If you look at the far left edge of this photo, you'll see the windsock is extended straight out. Most airport windsocks require fifteen knots (28 km/h) of wind to fully straighten out like this. Additionally, observe the direction the windsock is pointing and the location on the airport. The sock is showing almost a direct crosswind, and this location is at the southern end of the taxiways that pass along the backside (west side) of the TBIT - the one place in this part of the airport where a north-south wind is unobstructed by buildings. The other possibility of course is that jet blast from a passing aircraft did the deed, also completely conceivable in that location. Many planes come across at taxiway Tango, which is the taxiway that the two catering trucks are crossing in this photo. The wind did blow the container partway across the taxiway, as when it was first reported the container was on the taxiway centerline. Either way, it look the better part of ten minutes for someone to come claim their lost container, during which time taxiway Bravo was blocked -- to the disappointment of the Skywest E175 seen in the first shot, who had an open gate waiting for it.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Blog revival: What's wrong with this picture?

Welcome to 2016!  It's been a couple of months since I last managed to post, so thanks to all for your patience. While I'm making no promises, I am attempting to revive this old blog, if only on an occasional basis. Let's start off the new year with everyone's favorite feature, What's wrong with this picture? I managed to snag this shot the day after Christmas. We're looking over the southern section of the newly-revamped international terminal at the west end of the south complex. Lots of things we could talk about here, but what's wrong with this picture? I'll give you a couple of days to think about it; look for the reveal over the weekend. Happy New Year!