Working towards another tick on the bucket list

A while back i wrote my bucket list.  I put it up online and slowly but surely have been ticking things off.  One of the things I put on there that was aviation related was to take a photo of every airline that flew to Australia.  Well that task is getting closer and closer.  Now i don’t want to put up that full list with photos yet (since I am 1 off) but I will put up a list of what I have worked out with help from a few others (though open to additions if people know):

  • Qantas
  • Virgin Australia
  • Air New Zealand
  • Jetstar
  • Emirates
  • Etihad
  • Qatar
  • Hawaiian
  • China Airlines
  • Air China
  • China Southern
  • China Eastern
  • Sichuan
  • Scoot
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Garuda Indonesia
  • Australian
  • United
  • JAL
  • Thai
  • Air Asia X
  • Air Asia
  • Royal Brunei
  • Our Airline/Nauru Airlines
  • Norfolk Air
  • Air Vanuatu
  • Air Calin
  • Air Austral
  • Air India
  • Asiana Airlines
  • Korean Air
  • LAN
  • Aerolineas Argentinas
  • Air Tahiti Nui
  • Malaysia
  • Philippines Airlines
  • Vietnam Airlines
  • Cebu Pacific
  • Air Canada
  • Air Niugini
  • Delta
  • British Airways
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Air Mauritius
  • EVA Air
  • Fiji Airways
  • SilkAir

Now that is a pretty big list.  But I am pretty sure I have all but about 2 of those.  Well it was 3 till the other day.  Previously I was missing Scoot, Cebu Pacific & Sichuan.  Now I can strike Scoot off that list as I got it on Sunday afternoon:

<table style=”width:auto;”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/47cPjzh5yFAD4sjR616uHtMTjNZETYmyPJy0liipFm0?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-l0moUY0pSPU/VMXQs0GZ-XI/AAAAAAABs-0/3uxhNCG-Mf8/s640/scoot1.jpg” height=”479″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/109346098513022744611/SeattleSpotting2015?authuser=0&feat=embedwebsite”>Seattle Spotting 2015</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto;”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/9T7mckguB5ot6fiyHgQTAtMTjNZETYmyPJy0liipFm0?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-uSxw6Y1tQLo/VMXQvBrXQgI/AAAAAAABs_Q/3EEVwRvsZRI/s640/scoot5.jpg” height=”478″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/109346098513022744611/SeattleSpotting2015?authuser=0&feat=embedwebsite”>Seattle Spotting 2015</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto;”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/bWAXBq6dd9q3fv59LY0JONMTjNZETYmyPJy0liipFm0?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-wXeNIBmN3GU/VMXQwGP8DbI/AAAAAAABs_k/EzkSovXB2Vw/s640/scoot7.jpg” height=”479″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/109346098513022744611/SeattleSpotting2015?authuser=0&feat=embedwebsite”>Seattle Spotting 2015</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto;”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/SlwHlbtc49jeN6Z26bvyzNMTjNZETYmyPJy0liipFm0?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-OTvudj3T1j4/VMXQtluZt7I/AAAAAAABs_A/Lf2H1DtubRo/s640/scoot3.jpg” height=”479″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/109346098513022744611/SeattleSpotting2015?authuser=0&feat=embedwebsite”>Seattle Spotting 2015</a></td></tr></table>

I managed to get some shots of their yet to be delivered 787-9 while it spent 4 hours on Sunday working the pattern in Everett.  Even though I didn’t plan on doing any spotting, I still managed to get some good shots :D

Now where can i find Cebu & Sichuan with easy access ;)

Christmas Eve Avgeekiness

I was going to title this the second half of the Honeymoon Avgeek photos, but it is Christmas Eve so it is appropriate to celebrate.

From Honeymoon Spotting

A New Livery Southwest 737-700

From Honeymoon Spotting

A Fiji Airways A330 heading to the parking spaces after a long flight from the South Pacific

From Honeymoon Spotting

A MasAir Cargo 767 (never seen this before)

From Honeymoon Spotting

A JAL 777-300ER

From Honeymoon Spotting

A Mesa Airways CRJ, flying for US Airways Express, painted in the American Eagle Livery (confused yet?)

From Honeymoon Spotting

A United 737-800 with Scimitar Winglets

Merry Christmas to you all!!! May you Christmas Day be full of Avgeekiness

Getting around to it

So, it has been about 2 weeks now since Heidi & I got back from Honeymoon and with all the craziness of Thanksgiving, then Heidi’s birthday, I finally get a chance to plonk myself in front of the computer to work on some photos.  So up first today are some of my shots from the Grand Canyon… just a couple

From Honeymoon
From Honeymoon
From Honeymoon
From Honeymoon

Number 2!

So this week I managed to get Air Force 2 when it was visiting Seattle. I have spotted Air Force Once twice before (once in MSP and the other in SEA earlier this year, or was it last? I don’t remember) and getting the USAF’s 757 had been elusive. I have shots of their 737s (unpainted) but never the C-32 (which is the Military designation for the 757). I was a bit worried that since it was a South Flow out of Boeing Field that the photos from the Museum of flight (where I had a meeting before the flight took off) would not be any good. Thankfully due to the pilots holding it on the runway until the very last minute, I got some fantastic examples of a typical 757 take off. If it was a fighter it would be called a “Zoom Climb” i reckon.

From Seattle Spotting 2014
From Seattle Spotting 2014
From Seattle Spotting 2014

Unlike the VC-25A (which is the military designation for the 747 that acts as “Air Force One”) the C-32 is a straight 757 bought as if it was a commerical aircraft. No modifications for Air to Air Refueling or jamming equipment & the like. So sorry VP Biden, you are just rolling on a standard 757, albeit a pretty one!

Some Plane Porn for you all

Been doing a lot of Plane Spotting lately so here are some pretty things for you:

From Seattle Spotting 2014

Avianca 787-8

From Seattle Spotting 2014

Avianca 787-8

From Seattle Spotting 2014

Virgin Atlantic 787-9

From Seattle Spotting 2014
From Seattle Spotting 2014

Air China 747-8i

From Seattle Spotting 2014

Etihad 787-9

From Seattle Spotting 2014

Air China 747-8i

From Seattle Spotting 2014

Virgin Atlantic – 787-9

From Seattle Spotting 2014

Ethiopian Cargo – 777F

From Seattle Spotting 2014

Dassault Falcon 2000

More to come later in the week!

A Special Moment

On Monday it became official that I had won a competition. Even though I found out last friday and now posting to you all a week later I figured it was about time to spread the word. A few months back Condor Airlines (part of the Thomas Cook Group of airlines and based in Frankfurt) put out a competition. Submit a photo of one of their aircraft in the new heart livery, or one of their special schemes and you could win $1000 travel voucher.

I had totally forgotten about this competition between when I entered and when I got advised I had made the finals. I am pretty sure I saw this come out on twitter and though, hey I have some photos of condor, why not. I was lucky enough to have gotten one of the special schemes while up in Anchorage back in May. I had a wide range of photos and figured I would enter the one that screams Anchorage. A Take off shot with mountains in the background. It wasn’t my best work but hey, I didn’t expect to win.

I submitted the photo and then totally forgot about it. All the way up till about 2 weeks ago when I got a twitter DM asking me for a copy of the high res version for the finals. I was pretty happy about that, but then last Friday morning I am sitting and work and here twitter go off. I loaded up tweetdeck (since I was at my pc) and see a direct message from Condor saying “Congratulations”. I was shocked, utterly shocked. I had not ever thought I would win and really only submitted that photo because I figured I had nothing better to do. There are far better aviation photographers out there, way better than I am, I have also taken much better photos in my life, but damn was I over the moon. Here is the photo that I submitted

From Anchorage Spotting

Fast forward to Monday and it becomes official. The All Stars page shows my photo and then last night I recieved my voucher in the mail. What prompted this photo was actually another tweet this morning. Condor gave a Friday shout out to everyone and then also changed around there Twitter header to my photo:

Condors Twitter Header

Condors Twitter Header

That to me is a huge honor. Not only did my photo win, but it is now being seen by anyone world wide! The whole thing makes me smile, just looking at that tweet that says they have my photo up. I feel like my hobby actually has a point now. Everyone has always asked why I do it? To be honest I can’t really give an answer that makes people go “wow that is so true”. I do it because I like doing it. I take the photos for me, not really for anyone else. If other people get to enjoy it, great. But this kind of makes me feel special that other people do enjoy my photos, that maybe I am not doing this just for myself but for all the other Avgeeks out there.

This isn’t a “hey i just won $1000 travel voucher” kind of big head post but more of a “hey, I didn’t really realise until now that other people enjoy what I do”. If other people in the world can enjoy my photos, and who knows maybe some of my photos are plastered all up over peoples offices or something, then that makes me feel special because I know that my hobby is more than just a time waster, it is a real hobby. So to all of those Avgeeks out there who wonder if it is worth it, I say to you. It sure is!

LAX Spotting

Last Saturday was awesome for the spotting. I got some amazing shots that I am really happy with. Apart from the car issues it was a good time with friends. But this is what you really want right?

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My first shot of a jetblue Mint A321 in the wild.

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The same for American.

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A British Airways A380

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Continuing the all Airbus Post with a Hawaiian A330.

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Finishing off the Airbus run with the Emirates A380.

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Starting off the Boeing side with some freighter action. ABX Air 767 with a DHL nose.

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Lufthansa 747-8I

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Transaero 767-300ER heading back to Russia.

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Etihad 777-200LR heading back on the long flight to the middle east.

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Southwest’s New Mexico One.

But the piece d’resistance Hello Kitty Sanrio Family arriving from Taipei.

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SeaFair…. Little bit different this year

With SeaFair last weekend (and I only just managed to get through the 2000 or so photos taken last week so yeah this is a bit late) it was a big weekend for a plane spotter. I was planning on heading out on both the Saturday and the Sunday. I wanted at least one day at Boeing Field for the take off & landing shows etc that are conducted by the aircraft and the second day, somewhere by the lake. I had done a lot of planning to head out onto the I-90 bridge high rises this year, but that never happened.

Saturday went pretty damn good, ok well it went pretty good, there were certainly moments that I did not see coming. Heidi was with me most of the day and we had a blast. We spent a bit of the morning at the Museum of Flight, checking out the Marine Corp equipment spread around. Heidi actually enjoyed herself more than I expected, so that was a huge suprise. I know she was looking for plenty of men in uniform, and she certainly got that wish… but no dress uniforms… thankfully. Wierdest moment of the day happened while looking over the Osprey we had just about to walk over to get a bit closer when all of a sudden the skies opened. The rain started pouring down, so we took shelter under the wing, along with a couple of the crew of the aircraft. They joked that the Osprey comes with it’s own rain prevention system (aka… the wing) and when it started coming down harder, we fled to the inside of the aircraft. About a minute or so after getting in out of the rain, it began to hail. My first thought was OMG THE TRUCK!, but then it was more.. WHAT THE HELL IT IS HAILING! A freak storm had come out of no where and the aircraft was getting pelted with small pieces of hail.

After some time at the Museum of Flight we headed around to the far side of the airport, onto the Boeing Access Road (that’s the actual street name, not a private road, we weren’t breaking any laws :P) and parked along the fence line. Thanks to having a truck I could get up above the fence height without needing a ladder or having to try and scramble over people. We could also sit out in the sun and enjoy the day (since it wasn’t all that bad), although that would later turn out to be my downfall. I got heaps of great shots as the Patriots came and went, the Marines all started to wait, then just as the last of them started to head out… another freak hail storm hit. Right as the Hornets got clearance for take off, it came out of no where dumping hail everywhere… take a look for yourself. Here they are just prior to clearance:

From Seattle Spotting 2014

Then moments later

From Seattle Spotting 2014

I was up there for as long as I could, and got a little bit drenched. At first I didn’t know it was hail and was more worried about all the windows of the truck being open. Didn’t end up needing to worry that much as by the time I got into the truck, it was well and truly finished. Back outside I went! After all was said and done I wasn’t that badly burnt and had a metric butt load of photos (ok around 1200 or so) but by the end of the day I was totally wrecked. I had been up since around 530am since I was at MoF really early to get some photo work done for the blog when no one was around. I woke up the Sunday morning with no energy at all!! I could barely move so I ended up staying around the house. I had dehydrated myself pretty badly it seemed (I didn’t think so at the time) so I just stayed home. I ended up missing out on a second day by the lake, but I did manage to get a lot of photos already processed (well at least the ones I took early last week)

Right now there is one thing I know you really want…. photos! So take a look here but you can find the rest at my main photo folder on Picasa

From Seattle Spotting 2014
From Seattle Spotting 2014
From Seattle Spotting 2014
From Seattle Spotting 2014
From Seattle Spotting 2014
From Seattle Spotting 2014
From Seattle Spotting 2014
From Seattle Spotting 2014
From Seattle Spotting 2014
From Seattle Spotting 2014