Friday, October 25, 2019

Special paint!

It's only been a month since my last post, so this time around I'll be showing you a collection of aircraft wearing special paint schemes. The opening shot features an El Al Dreamliner. In June, El Al began service between Tel Aviv and Las Vegas. Las Vegas is El Al's third U.S. west coast (sort of) destination. Besides Los Angeles, which has been their only west coast city for many years, El Al has also started service to San Fransisco. This brings them up to six US destinations, the others being Boston, Newark, and New York.

I think I've shown you this Jet Blue Airbus before, but it passed through today so I thought it was worth another look. Unfortunately, this time of year features a rather unflattering angle of the sun, so photos sometimes do not come out as I would like. The red on this A320 is a traditional fire engine red, and not really as murky as it appears here.

This aircraft has been something of a wraith for me. I've heard about it from coworkers for weeks, but it has always eluded the camera. My first sight of it was late one night about a week ago, which was just a tease. But it came through today and I braved the bad light to get some shots for you. These have been tweaked to bring out some of the detail in the design.

An interesting note is that United put all this effort into a B757, when the general trend is that this model is being retired from mainline fleets. To be sure, we see dozens of them everyday at LAX, mainly from United and Delta, although American still has some as well. As both American and United both have been hit by the grounding of the B737 MAX, I wonder if the B757 will stick around a little bit longer than originally planned. Pure speculation on my part!

Speaking of the B737 MAX, the first aircraft to wear United's new livery was a B737 MAX that passed through LAX the day after the announcement of the new paint. Since the MAX's grounding, we haven't seen the new livery until it showed up on a couple of other aircraft this month:

The top photo is an A319; the lower is a B737-800 (Next Generation, not a MAX). Here, in no particular order, are a few more specials:

Finally, you may have heard that we've entered fire season here in California. There are four named fires at the moment; this is last night's sunset. There are no clouds in this photo:

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Random shots

It's the first full day of fall here, and I'll open with a shot from a couple of weeks ago of the rising Harvest Moon. That's it just to the right of center; the string of lights on the left is the final for Runway 25 Left. I can't claim credit for this shot, which will be a theme for much of this post.

I think I've mentioned before that I often leave a camera stashed in the tower in case somebody sees something photo-worthy when I'm not around. Sometimes they'll tell me that they took some pictures of something, and sometimes it's left for me to discover when I download them from the camera. That's what happened here:

How we came to have a dinosaur keeping an eye on the traffic at LAX, I'm not sure that I want to know. As far as I know, no controllers were injured during this incident, although the doughnuts did suffer casualties.

These next two, I will claim credit for:

Who thought this was a good idea?

Family photo

Here's one that I wish I could claim credit for:

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Friday, July 26, 2019

End of the month wrap-up

Somehow it's already the end of July. I'm not sure how that happened, but here we are. The opening shot is a Philippines B777-300 arriving from Manila. Next, this week's construction photos:


And now, one more plane photo:

I may have mentioned it before, but I believe Volaris was the first carrier to bring the A320neo to LAX. We saw the plane with the purple cowlings for quite some time before we realized that it was a neo. Most of the neos at LAX are 321s. The Southwest is a B737-800. This is an NG with the split Scimitar winglets.

Friday, July 19, 2019


Southern California made the news earlier this month when we experienced a series of earthquakes. The epicenter was near Death Valley - about halfway between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Even so, we felt several of them here at LAX. The most notable casualty was our ground control radar, which has an antenna that spins about 60 RPM atop a 100-foot tall tower. That much momentum at the top of a tower can cause some damage, so it shut down when a couple of the strongest quakes were felt. The techs had to climb the tower and inspect it, but we had it back a few hours later. We also got some special seismic equipment installed:

Here are your random airplane pictures of the week:

The original Salmon-Thirty-Seven was a B737-400; it's been replaced by this -900

Birds of a feather: A pair of Virgin Atlantics on the move. In the foreground, a B787-9 taxis out for departure to London. Beyond, an A330-200 arrives from Manchester. The Manchester flight is a recent addition at LAX.

Friday, July 12, 2019

July construction update

Earlier this week, a reader kindly reminded me that you're overdue for a construction update, so here we go! The opening shot was taken this morning, looking west from the tower. There's a lot going on, so here are some close-ups:

The southern end of the MSC is getting closer to completion on the exterior

The ramps connecting the parking garages for Terminals 3 & 4 have been completely removed

Progress is being made at the north end of the MSC, as well as at the bottom of the D-10 alley, between Terminal 3 and the TBIT. We have hope that the section of Taxiway D that runs along the north end of the MSC may reopen later this month.

I don't think I've mentioned the D-9 alley, between Terminals 2 & 3, but you can see there is work going on at the southern end of this alley as well.

Some of the most visible progress has been on the Terminal 1.5 project:

June 5

June 14

July 12

Meanwhile, in an effort to reduce traffic congestion in the terminal area, the former parking lot just east of Terminal 1, which I previously told you was going to become the site of Concourse 0, is apparently going to be a new rideshare pick-up area. I believe this is intended to be temporary while the people mover is under construction.

Speaking of the people mover project, another ramp connecting the parking garages between Terminals 2 & 6 was removed a week or two ago:

I had to go back a year to find a shot that happened to include the ramp that's missing in the previous shot

Another recent demolition was the pedestrian bridge that ran between the Terminal 5 parking garage and the terminal. You can visualize where it was by connecting that empty square frame in the middle of the shot with the pieces of plywood atop the parking garage at the bottom of the shot.
No construction here, just a view of the heavy vehicle traffic coming into the airport on the night of July 3. Every road into the airport was jammed for two or three hours. While I took this shot on the eve of the Independence Day holiday, this is a nightly occurrence. The controllers who come in to work the mid shift are often unable to get to work on time because they have to fight their way through this just to get to the tower:

And now, lest you forget that this is really an airport, some gratuitous airplane shots:

Finally, we bid good-bye to TT, who retired at the end of May; and give congratulations to EL and TM, who recently got signed off on ground control.