Friday, June 23, 2017

Photo Friday

Despite my best intentions, my attempts to reinvigorate ye olde blog have been somewhat lackluster so far. So I'm instigating a new series to keep me more involved with my own creation. I'm calling it Photo Friday, and today is the first entry. The goal is to bring you at least one photo each Friday. There may be more than one photo, and there may be entries outside of the series on some specific topic or other (suggestions/questions/requests are welcome, but I promise nothing!)

Today's post features shots from earlier this year -- I think. I ran across these while looking for a blank memory card for the camera, and so the date is somewhat fuzzy. In any case, I thought each of these of interest in one way or another. Enjoy!

As I write this, it's down to either Paris or Los Angeles for the 2024 Olympics. I think we should let them have it!

I know some who take issue with this statement

I'm not really a baseball fan, but I need to photoshop a version of this with Astros colors!
A rare sighting of a passenger version of the B747-8; I didn't know Korean had passenger B747-8s until this airplane showed up. We see Korean freight B747-8s all the time, but Lufthansa is the only regular operator of the passenger B747-8 at LAX.


  1. Any time I see a civilian operater of the Hercules, I think 'CIA-airline'.

    Even more construction in the last pic, at Terminal One!
    Beyond that, it looks like the RESA works on RWY 24L are completed and in use. Does the change result in increased take-off distance available? I checked the airfield diagram on ainav: from East to West you have Echo9, Echo7, Victor, Echo8!
    I am not familiar with the livery of the Airbus second in line, and the resolution is not good enough to zoom in on the titles. It looks like a nice retro design.

    I thought about asking the same question about the first pic of the Aeromexico-truck prang: in the distance of the first picture, there appeared grading work going on. Is it only the inboard runways that get the extensions?

    Wikipedia tells us that Air China also has passenger Boeing 747-8s, have you ever seen those? The Boeing 747-8 programme looks quite strange, with only three airline clients for the passenger version, plus Transaero, which went bust.

    Three hurrays for a weekly photo feature!

    Oh! ROFL! is that a surveillance camera right at the bottom of the picture, right of center? Do you have a problem with cat burglars?

    All the best,


    1. Hi Filip! Good to hear from you again. Let me see if I can hit all of your points:

      As far as I know, the C-130 is legit. Of course, they wouldn't tell me if it wasn't. That said, we've seen this aircraft at LAX three or four times over the last couple of years. Each time that I've seen it, it was in conjunction with a Delta Airlines aircraft that needed an engine change. At least one of those was a B777, whose engines are too large to put on a truck for highway transport. I've never asked, but my assumption is that the Herc is chartered for emergency engine deliveries.

      That Terminal One shot is out of date; the area currently under construction has moved one gate to the south; in the picture gate 14 is still open, but it actually is now being redone, while at the northern end of the terminal, gate 18B is now open.

      Yes, Runway 24L (and 6R) is fully open. The published length for departures is 10,285 feet -- which is the same distance available prior to the construction. The difference is that there is now paved overrun at the end of the runway that did not exist previously. Curiously, the airport diagram published five days ago shows the total length to be 10,885 feet, and that is the figure that we give the pilots when queried. And yes, we do now have four departure points that we can use, although the eastern-most one is known as Echo6. The challenge for us as controllers is that the pilots don't always have takeoff numbers for some or any of the intersections, which on occasion spoils our plans for adjusting the departure sequence.

      The A330-200 is one of our more recent additions at LAX: Sichuan Airlines, who started flying into LAX in October of last year, from Chengdu, China. At the moment, LAX is their only US destination, and one of only two in North America, the other (and first) being Vancouver, Canada. We see them once per day several times a week, but I don't think they are daily yet. It is a nice change from the current Euro-tail trend; watch for a better photo when I find one.

      At some point, all four of the runways will have work for runway-end safety areas; LAX has been operating without for years, and the waivers to do so have run out.

      I have not seen Air China B747-8s, and in fact wasn't aware that they had any until you mentioned it. At LAX, they transitioned from the B747-400 to the B777-300, and we are now starting to see them in Dreamliners. They brought in a B744 a couple of weeks ago, and it was quite the flashback. I'm speaking of passenger ops here; we get their cargo B744s regularly. I don't mean to deprive anyone of a photo opportunity, but I'd rather that they didn't bring their B747-8 to LAX because of the operational hassles that the B748 imposes. That said, I imagine that the airport neighbors prefer the B748s over the B744s because the newer aircraft are noticeably quieter. And yes, we had TransAero here for a while, although I don't recall them having the B748.

      You didn't really expect me to answer that one, did you? ;-) I will go on record that there has been a feral cat population at LAX, although the on-going transition to drought-tolerant landscaping has deprived them of their food source -- we had a healthy rodent population living in the ivy and shrubbery around the terminals and parking garages, but most of the lush greenery has been replaced by cacti and succulents surrounded by sand and gravel, which is not so hospitable.


  2. Of course I do not mean to impugn the reputation of the good folks of Lynden Air Cargo, who must do quite some business in Alaska, with a real cargo aircraft, capable of rough field operations, giving the competition with DC-6s, Electras and other hand-me-downs a run for their money. It is just that it is so associated in my mind. Years ago, there was a strange Hercules crash of one of these carriers, in eastern Angola, back when the civil war there was still ongoing. I do not recall the name of the company, but I do remember that its founder perished in the crash.
    I did not know a Hercules could load a Boeing 777 engine. I thought only an Antonov An-124 could load a fully cowled GE-90. I know Rolls-Royce designed their 777 engine so that it could be loaded through the side door of any bog standard Boeing 747 Freighter. Then the competiton got an exclusive contract for the 777-300ER ( and -200LR, and F ).

    The picture of T1 also shows a Southwest jet on a T2 gate. Do they fly international now, after all, or is that just overspill from the construction? Once, you started a series about all the airlines in each terminal. How will the Delta move to T3 and T2 change the operations?

    Prior to the 24L/6R construction work, you had an end-aournd taxiway. Do you miss that or was it not all that useful?

    Yes, China is quite the moving market now. Here in Belgium, an entrepreneur wants to start an airline ( unimaginatively called Air Belgium, his previous carrier of that name which stopped flying in october 2000 ) for flights to ten locations in China. He wanted to use four Airbus A340s, sourced form Finnair. All I hear is delays, including nonsense about modifications to the cockpit! Very strange considering the provenance of the aircraft, Finns are not known for cutting corners. Regardless, there are a lot of potential travelers there. Without doubt, Los Angeles is the most important gateway to China in the USA, even before San Francisco. In North America, Vancouver is probably first.

    Yes, I recall your article titled Axis of beDevil, but I think that was before the Boeing 747-8 flew. How about an update? Is the 747-8 a categoy VI aircraft? And will the Boeing 787-10 also give problems, or is it just inside the 'limit'? How many A380s do you get daily now? I think Los Angeles must be the airfield with the most movements amongst the airports that do not have A380 using airlines based there.

    I think Transaero went bust before their 747-8 were delivered. These aircraft will probably never be built, let alone delivered. It appears the largest unfilled order is for UPS freighters. The passenger version looks as dead as a doornail. The program looks like it is in the end stages. The 777X will kill it.

    ... maybe now you will get a population of lizards or rattlesnakes! On the subject of cameras, I still think it strange to see multiple areas marked 'ATC non-visibility area' on the airfield diagram. Do you feel the tower was sited in the wrong place? Recently, ground was broken for the mid-field concourse. Strangely the plans to not incorporate a new tower. That looks like an ideal location.

    all the best,


    1. Filip -

      Yes, Southwest now flies to a couple of destinations in Mexico and Costa Rica. Those flights were at Terminal 2 when I took that photo, but they now operate out of the north end of the TBIT, usually gates 139 or 141.

      The Delta move has greatly changed the complexity the north side ground operation. One of the reasons that Delta moved was to gain access to more gates that could accommodate heavy (wide body) jets, and they make more use of them than the previous north side operators.

      As you note, one of the outcomes of the runway end safety area construction project was the loss of the E-7 bypass. This was a useful tool for when an aircraft reached the runway but was unable to depart, or when we needed to adjust the departure sequence. We now have other options, but we do miss that one from time to time.

      The B747-8 is indeed an ADG-6 aircraft, along with the A380, the C5A, and the A124. Don't know about the big Dreamliner, but I'm more concerned about the B777X, as the B777 family is physically larger than the B787 or the A350.

      The Transaero B747-8s were kind of a wing and a prayer deal anyway; I seem to recall that Boeing was having to make some creative accounting arrangements to make that happen . . .