Sunday, October 15, 2023



This Southwest came in as an emergency last month. I don't recall the specifics, but there were no injuries and the aircraft landed safely. Here we see the LAX ARFF trucks inspecting the aircraft with thermal cameras for a possible fire or, more likely, hot brakes, a probable scenario when an aircraft lands overweight or at a higher than usual speed. An overweight landing can occur when an aircraft has to return for landing shortly after departing for a long-distance flight and as a result still has a large fuel load onboard; many aircraft can actually take off at a higher weight than they can land, as they are designed with the expectation that they will burn off fuel during the flight, and not all aircraft have the ability to dump fuel. A high-speed landing may happen when the aircraft experiences difficulties with the wing flaps or leading edge slats. Both of these are aerodynamic devices on the wings that allow the aircraft to take off and land at slower speeds by increasing the amount of lift that the wings can produce. Because flaps and slats also increase the aerodynamic drag, they are retracted after take off to allow higher cruise speed and reduced fuel burn, and then extended again before landing. If the airplane takes off and they can't be retracted, the flight will usually return because the added drag will slow the plane down and increase the required fuel for the flight, likely to the extent that the fuel onboard will not be sufficient. The more common scenario that we see is a flight that is arriving and discovers that they are unable to extend the flaps and/or slats, perhaps due to a hydraulic failure. This will result in the aircraft landing at a higher speed than normal, which may lead to hot brakes. Hot brakes can be an issue because at sufficient temperatures the brakes can actually catch fire.

Sunday, August 20, 2023

Shots of the month

Unlike many of the cargo aircraft that we see, this Avianca Cargo A330-200F is a factory-built freighter. The A330-200F can be identified by the bump on the underside of the nose. The passenger version of the A330-200 sits slightly nose-low, and since a level floor is preferable for cargo loading and unloading, the -200F has the nose gear mounting point repositioned to achieve a level floor while on the ground. The under-nose bulge is the revised nose gear well and doors, a feature that P2F conversions of the A330-200 lack. Noteworthy is that this is only necessary on the -200F; the -300 naturally sits more level on the ground. Thanks to reader tercio bomfim for calling out my initial misstatement.

Silk Way West is a cargo carrier from Azerbaijan

Retro or legacy liveries are a nice break from the day-to-day airplanes at LAX; I don't recall Horizon having one when they were operating the Dash-8, but it looks good on this E175


Sunday, July 23, 2023

Brazilian Women's World Cup team plane visits LAX


This Dreamliner carried the Brazilian Women's World Cup team to the 2023 FIFA World Cup in Brisbane, Australia. The markings on the aircraft are a tribute to Iranian human rights protesters Mahsa Amini and Amir Nasr-Azadani.


Wednesday, April 26, 2023

The colors of Condor


The German airline Condor is upgrading its fleet, and with new airplanes comes new paint. This stripes theme seems reminiscent of beach towels and awnings. So far, only the new A330neos seem to be getting the all-over stripes; the older A330s that I've seen only have stripes on the tails. The reaction among my coworkers has been pretty mixed, but I like it. I especially like the planes of different colors; anybody remember the jellybeans and flying colors of Braniff?

Before the Airbuses and the new livery, Condor brought B767s into LAX:

Sunday, April 23, 2023

Do you want to be an Air Traffic Controller?

The FAA has announced that there will be an open season for air traffic controller new-hire applications. There will be a very limited period to apply. Applications will be accepted online May 5 -8 of 2023. If you are at all interested, start getting ready. More information on how to apply can be found at:



Thursday, March 23, 2023

Happy New Year!

January sunrise

This was supposed to have published a couple of months ago, and clearly it got stuck in the Drafts folder. So, from the better late than never department, a somewhat belated happy 2023!

I was going to start 2023 with another round of construction photos. But for the sake of orientation, I'm including shots of each of the terminals as seen from the control tower, in numerical order. The terminals at LAX are numbered in the order that they are encountered by vehicles entering the airport. Because the control tower is basically in the center of the terminal complex, and as all traffic enters the terminal complex from the east, this results in a series of photos taken in a counter-clockwise direction. These were all taken during the first week of 2023:


Looking northeast from the control tower: Terminal One. The parking lot just beyond is the current location of taxi and ride share pick up, and the future site of Terminal Zero

Due north of the tower: Terminal 2

To the northwest: Terminal 3 and the north end of the TBIT, along with the P2B and P3 parking garages

Looking west from the control tower is the TBIT: Tom Bradley International Terminal, aka Terminal B. The flat building beyond the TBIT is the MSC, or Midfield Satellite Concourse, aka West Gates at Tom Bradley. The city ramp tower can be seen at the south end (Left, in this photo) of the MSC. The big hangar just south of the MSC is American Airlines maintenance. The future American Eagle terminal will be in the empty ramp area between the hangar and the MSC.

Southwest: Terminal 4 and the south end of the TBIT

Terminals 5 and 4

Terminal 6

Looking southeast from the control tower: Terminal 7, in the center of the photo, with Terminal 8 behind, and the American Eagle terminal just beyond the palm trees. Planned Terminal 9 will take the place of the current American Eagle terminal as well as the buildings just beyond Terminal 8. The big white hangar just beyond the American Eagle terminal is United Airlines maintenance

Looking east from the control tower. In the foreground is the Theme building, currently the location of the LAX USO. Beyond are the P1 and P7 parking garages.

Gratuitous airplane photo: an Emirates A380 follows a Lufthansa B747-8 on Taxiway E, both on their way to Runway 24 Left for departure. In the foreground, a WestJet B737-700 has just pushed from Terminal 2. The Hollywood sign is barely visible in the background.