Friday, August 11, 2017

Photo Friday: Crappy photos

This week opens with a very late night shot from earlier this week. Hainan's Dreamliners are pretty colorful, but this one was worth even a lousy photo.

I glanced up and just had a chance to shoot this through the window shades; can't tell you how they fixed it!

Continuing the theme of poor photography, here are this week's construction photos, taken yesterday afternoon:

And just for fun, here are a couple of shots from the archives:

One year ago

Two years ago

Friday, August 4, 2017

Photo Friday

A bit of randomness this week - enjoy!

For variety, this week's construction update looks at Terminal One, where another jetway has been installed. I'm guessing that this will be Gate 16. The adjacent gate is 18A, and the two tails in the bottom corner are 12A and 10. The bare dirt area will eventually become 14, and we may also have a 12B.

Here is a look at the departure end of Runway 25R, which is currently shortened for the construction of a runway end safety area. Until a couple of weeks ago, the intersecting and adjacent taxiways were also closed, which made for some interesting challenges for tower and ground controllers. The intersection where the American Airbus is waiting to cross was closed, so aircraft that ended up at the west end of Taxiway H had to turn left and cross Runway 25L - which is usually exactly opposite of where they need to go. This establishment of a Runway End Safety Area is similar to the work that has already been accomplished on Runway 24L/6R on the north side. The RESA establishes a paved overrun (stopway) at the ends of the runway so that an airplane that runs off the end doesn't immediately hit something. While LAX hasn't had an incident of this sort lately, there are two accidents that come to mind immediately which illustrate the need. Both happen to involve Southwest, although a little research reveals plenty of similar accidents with other carriers. See this Wikipedia entry for more: Southwest_Airlines_Flight_1248

Double trouble:  An Antonov 124 and a Boeing 747-8F on the Imperial Terminal ramp. Both of these, along with the Airbus 380 and the Lockheed C5, are Design Group 6 aircraft. If you want some insight into ADG-6 operations at LAX, here is a pdf copy of the LAX ADG-6 Operation Plan on the LAWA website. Meanwhile, the innocent United in the foreground is a B737-900.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Photo Friday: Construction update, and some follow-ups

The current status (well, as of earlier this week) of the construction as seen from the tower. In an earlier post or comment, it was mentioned that Southwest international flights are now parking at the TBIT instead of Terminal Two. These are shared narrow-body gates, also used by AeroMexico, Avianca, Copa, Interjet, LACSA, TACA, and Volaris (as seen in the following shot)

I meant to include a shot of Sichuan in an earlier post, but somehow it didn't make it in. This sequence shows one of their first arrivals, not long after they initiated service here:

Thursday, July 27, 2017

What's wrong with this picture?

It's early afternoon in this shot, which is a horrible time to be taking photos. But besides the glare, what's wrong with this picture?

Friday, July 21, 2017

Photo Friday: Visitors

Today, in no particular order, a collection of airplanes or colors we don't get to see on a regular basis.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Photo Friday: Airport update

A recent comment inquired about construction on the airport, so I'll start by showing you some of what's going on in that department. The opening photo was taken this past Sunday, and shows the tower's view of the west part of the airport. Progress is well underway on the Midfield Concourse project, which you can see just over the roof of the TBIT to both sides of the center mall structure. One fairly new development is the chunk taken out of the American maintenance ramp; American no longer can go around their hangar on their own ramp -- if an aircraft needs to reposition from one side to the other, it has to come out onto the taxiway system to get there. You can also see that Gate 131, which opened just last year, now doesn't exist. The Delta B777 at the right edge of the photo is at Gate 133. What you can't see is that on the opposite side of the TBIT, Gate 132 has suffered a similar fate. Both of these gates have been temporarily taken out to make access for the tunnel project that will connect the TBIT and the new Midfield Concourse. There will be two tunnels; one for passenger access and the other for utilities and baggage. These tunnels will run beneath Taxiways S & T. Originally there had been a proposal for a pedestrian skybridge to connect the two terminals, but there were issues with how high it would have to be in order for aircraft to pass beneath it. At one point there was also a proposal to put a new control tower on top of that, but it got shot down pretty early in the process. In the far distance, just left of center, you can see the new Qantas maintenance hangar at the far west end of the airport. This is located on the West Airport Maintenance Area, normally called "WAMA" on the radio. This hangar can hold an A380, and replaced the old TWA hangar that had to make way for the Midfield Concourse and Taxiway T projects. The photo below, taken just a couple of weeks before the first, gives an idea of how quickly progress is being made.

In this third photo, along with the opening shot, which was taken at the same time, you can see that the ground controllers have their hands full. Also visible is the revamped helipad on the roof of the Terminal 4 parking garage. No longer does LAX have a public-access heliport in the middle of the airport; this pad is for emergency use only. I understand that there were security concerns about the easy access of the previous arrangement, but I rather suspect that the driving factor behind the closure was the additional revenue gained from the hundred-something parking spaces created when the heliport was closed.

One of the upsides to the Delta Airlines relocation to the north side is the more flexible arrangement for handling traffic in the D-9 alley (Between Terminals 2 & 3). This alley is normally controlled by Delta ramp control, and it has been remarked to allow two streams of narrow-body traffic, as seen here.
Another bit of Delta news is the recent appearance of Delta A321s

And now, some recent arrivals:

Finally, a recent proposal to reduce taxiway congestion at LAX and other busy airports around the world: the piggy-back taxi system!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Lights, camera, action!

Being in LA, we're surrounded by the film industry. Being at LAX, periodically we get to actually see Hollywood at work.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Photo Friday finally

Ok, so this isn't what I was originally planning for this edition of Photo Friday. But I'm about to hit the Publish button and that's better than what came before. Some recent comments will lead to a subsequent entry since that seems better than covering things in a comment thread that will be hard to find or reference later. So keep commenting!

Shamu has been retired from the Southwest fleet, but for a little while we get to see this special Shark Week paint.  On an unrelated note, this shot and the one below show the current status of the construction at Terminal 1. Gate 18A just opened up a week or so ago; in the shot below the plain blue B738 is on 18A. The new paint plane next door is at 18B, and the tail just to its left (your right) is 17B.

It's not often that we have to bring cargo B747-8s to the north side for departure, but the morning of this shot they had to taxi around because RY25L was closed. For those of you playing the home game, recall that the B747-8 and the A380 are not able to use RY25R, so if RY25L/7R is closed, then RY24L/6R is the only game in town. The exception is for arrivals; they can land on RY24R/6L, but they can't use it for takeoff. One more consideration for departures is that if we have more than one B748 or A380, they either have to be paired up, as seen here, or the second one has to be held off of Taxiway E (or Taxiway A on the south side) until the first one has gone. The real trap for us is when we have one leaving and one taxiing in after landing; they can only pass wingtip-to-wingtip within the first 1,500 feet (457 m) of the runway.