2010 Throwback... Californian Christmas Roadtrip! [Final Update Completed]

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PeterR
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2010 Throwback... Californian Christmas Roadtrip! [Final Update Completed]

Post by PeterR »

10 years ago my dad and I spent two weeks in California over the Christmas period. With not much else to do at the moment, I've dug out the original files from the trip and reprocessed the images and decided to do a thread on here to give people some aeroplane pictures to look at during these strange/crappy times stuck at home! I have to say, looking back it's obviously I didn't really have a clue about camera settings 10 years ago, and thought shooting into the sun was a good idea, etc, so please forgive some of the images being less than optimal quality.

Starting with Friday 17th December. And an quick pit-stop at LAX to photograph an IL-76 parked on the cargo apron.
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Then we had a visit to Van Nuys Airport arranged which was ran by two airport employees. We were due to meet them at airport's viewing area, so of course we took advantage of the time beforehand to photograph lots of business jet movements.
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First facility we visited on the tour was the hangar of a helicopter charter operator, who provide aircraft for many Hollywood TV & Film productions. In the hangar they had the Bell 206 marked as "Counter Terrorist Unit" from 24, and some other aircraft in fake military colours for an upcoming film which meant no photography. But they did have this colourful AS250 out on the ramp!
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Next stop, and my highlight of the day, was a visit to Fire Station 114, the home of LAFD Air Operations. We had a tour of the station facilities and a chance to view all the aircraft types in their fleet, although sadly all their aircraft stayed inside under horrible yellow halogen lighting!
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But they did have a Air-Crane on contract to them, which we were able to shoot outside.
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Sadly photography of many of the other aircraft residents was not permitted. Rather annoying when you're taken past one of Raytheon's A-3 Skywarriors!

Our final stop for the day was Santa Monica Airport. There was due to be a fly-in of Douglas DC-3 / C-47 aircraft to the airfield to celebrate 75 years since the aircraft's first flight (from that very airfield on December 17, 1935). Sadly the poor weather meant non of the Dakotas made the trip, so we were reduced to shooting GA types in the rain for the remainder of the afternoon.
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Last edited by PeterR on Wed 30 Dec 2020, 11:33 am, edited 2 times in total.

PeterR
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Re: 2010 Throwback... Californian Christmas Roadtrip!

Post by PeterR »

On Saturday 18th December, we visited Palm Springs Air Museum. Unbeknown to us, they were hosting a private event the night before which meant many of their older aircraft had be repositioned to the corners of their hangar making photography very difficult. So here's a shot of their Tomcat, positioned out the front of the hangar instead.
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On various weekends throughout the year, the museum host flying events, and coincidently on the day of our visit, they were due to fly their P-63 Kingcobra “Pretty Polly” for a short flight demonstration.
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I have to admit, I don't think I'd ever heard of or seen a Kingcobra or Airacobra previously, so it's short flying demonstration was a treat to see, even if tricky to photograph!
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Shortly afterwards, we could hear a familiar but strange sound drifting across the airfield. Imagine our surprise, when at a small civilian airport, on a Saturday, a pair of USMC Harriers appeared!
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Following the Harriers, conversations with the museum volunteers informed us the airport gets a lot of military aircraft movements, and that there was a pair of Goshawks on the ramp. So once we'd finished at the museum, we explored and found somewhere to snap of the US Navy machines parked up before heading back to the hotel.
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capercaillie
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Re: 2010 Throwback... Californian Christmas Roadtrip!

Post by capercaillie »

Keep them coming Peter, always good to see how others got on touring around. Would have liked to have seen an active Skycrane.
"The surrogate voice of st24"

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Tommy
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Re: 2010 Throwback... Californian Christmas Roadtrip!

Post by Tommy »

That Goshawk looks top, too!

PeterR
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Re: 2010 Throwback... Californian Christmas Roadtrip!

Post by PeterR »

Thanks Chaps. Sunday 19th December saw along pitstop visit to LAX before we set off for our day's adventures. The weather was dreadful today but never pass on opportunity to shoot an MD-11F!
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Our first destination was to Commemorative Air Force Museum at Camarillo. The shots from inside the hangar aren't worth editing, sorry. So just one wet shot of their resident C-46 out on the ramp.
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From there we travelled to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, to see this...
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The next day was just spent driving through rain storm after rain storm. Tuesday 21st December we attempted to go spotting at Fresno Air National Guard Base. But continual harassment by Airport Security and Local Police meant we only managed to shoot some of the civvy helicopters parked up, one shot through the fence of a Blackhawk, and no worthwhile images of their highly-classified F-16s which they were so keen to prevent photography of!
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On Wednesday 22nd December, we made a brief stop at Castle Air Museum before continuing north. The grey/white skies and poor state of many of the aircraft meant not many images worth posting.
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The weather & action improves from this point so check back for the next update soon...

Mike
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Re: 2010 Throwback... Californian Christmas Roadtrip!

Post by Mike »

A great bunch of guys at Camarillo. Sadly that C-46 has been sitting for over a decade now and is unlikely to fly again.

GeeRam
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Re: 2010 Throwback... Californian Christmas Roadtrip!

Post by GeeRam »

Mike wrote:
Tue 22 Dec 2020, 3:19 pm
Sadly that C-46 has been sitting for over a decade now and is unlikely to fly again.
That's a shame, I didn't know it was no longer a flyer :frowning2:

I saw it fly at Nellis AFB in 1997 during the Golden Anniversary Airshow, so it must have only flown for another year or so after that.

Mike
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Re: 2010 Throwback... Californian Christmas Roadtrip!

Post by Mike »

It flew up until around 2008 or so. The cost of maintaining and operating two R-2800s vs the dwindling number of bookings CAF SoCal were getting led to it being parked up.

Tinker Belle has been the only C-46 flying in the Lower 48 since then.

GeeRam
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Re: 2010 Throwback... Californian Christmas Roadtrip!

Post by GeeRam »

Mike wrote:
Tue 22 Dec 2020, 6:17 pm
It flew up until around 2008 or so. The cost of maintaining and operating two R-2800s vs the dwindling number of bookings CAF SoCal were getting led to it being parked up.
Ooops....I seem to have let a whole decade pass me by there :relaxed:

Old age kicking in again :laughing:

PeterR
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Re: 2010 Throwback... Californian Christmas Roadtrip!

Post by PeterR »

On Thursday 23rd December, the weather was much nicer when we spent a few hours at San Jose International Airport.

First up, Boeing 767-300 from Hawaiian Airlines. According to planespotters.net, this airframe was withdrawn from use in 2014.
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Alaskan Boeing 737-800, sporting special markings on the tail.
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A classic American Mad Dog.
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And finally, very nice of Volaris to send a jet with my name of the side..!
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The next couple of days didn't have any aviation focus, as they were spent sightseeing in San Francisco. But two bonus images...

UH-1 Huey operating sightseeing flights over the Golden Gate bridge.
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AS350 operated by the Californian Highway Patrol seen transiting the city.
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Merry Christmas to all UKAR Members. Next instalment at the weekend...

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Blackbird
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Re: 2010 Throwback... Californian Christmas Roadtrip!

Post by Blackbird »

Cracking series Peter - many thanks. It looks like it was a good trip!

Merry Christmas to you and everyone on UKAR. I really think we've made the best of the year with a huge number of fantastic images across a number of threads.

Andy

PeterR
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Re: 2010 Throwback... Californian Christmas Roadtrip!

Post by PeterR »

Next up, on Monday 27th December, we visited the USS Hornet Museum, located near Oakland.

The skyline of San Francisco in the background.
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Always loved the S-3 Viking, so was very pleased to see this one in such good condition on the deck.
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Top Gun Skyhawk.
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Finally, lovely sunset over the Tomcat.
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HeyfordDave111
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Re: 2010 Throwback... Californian Christmas Roadtrip!

Post by HeyfordDave111 »

GeeRam wrote:
Tue 22 Dec 2020, 5:41 pm
Mike wrote:
Tue 22 Dec 2020, 3:19 pm
Sadly that C-46 has been sitting for over a decade now and is unlikely to fly again.
That's a shame, I didn't know it was no longer a flyer :frowning2:

I saw it fly at Nellis AFB in 1997 during the Golden Anniversary Airshow, so it must have only flown for another year or so after that.
China Doll was on Static at the 2003 Miramar show, and very nice she looked too.
Got to love Russianhardware

PeterR
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Re: 2010 Throwback... Californian Christmas Roadtrip! [Updated]

Post by PeterR »

Tuesday 28th December saw the start of our drive back to Los Angeles, firstly with a stop at Mojave Air & Space Port to see some retired airliners. I imagine it's much busier now..!

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That evening, we stumbled upon this NASA Hornet which is a gate guardian at the local Baseball Stadium.

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The next day, we started with a visit to the Joe Davies Heritage Airpark, located just outside Palmdale Airport.

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Sadly the Lockheed Facility across the road was closed, meaning we could only shoot through the fence. Very cool to see the A-12 & SR-71 side by side.

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That afternoon we visited Victorville Airport, shooting more stored aircraft.

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And then we got back to Los Angeles in time to shoot some airliners departing in golden evening light from Imperial Hill.

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Spiny Norman
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Re: 2010 Throwback... Californian Christmas Roadtrip! [Updated]

Post by Spiny Norman »

Lovely stuff, Peter, especially that last 747.

PeterR
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Re: 2010 Throwback... Californian Christmas Roadtrip! [Updated]

Post by PeterR »

Final update to this thread, thanks for the kind comments so far. Thursday 30th December was spent at LAX all day... below is just a small selection of what was captured!

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Not the Ryan Air we're used to seeing..! :crazy_face:
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One of the rarest catches, shot on the wrong side of the light as we'd gone to get lunch! :triumph:
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Not the best shot, but it's the only New Zealand 747 I've ever caught!
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Catch of the day, and probably the whole trip for me! What a stunner! :heart_eyes:
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And we stayed until the sun had set, with stunning colours as it did...
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That's all folks. Hope it's given you something different to look at during this strange Christmas! Stay safe. :call_me_tone1:

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POD
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Re: 2010 Throwback... Californian Christmas Roadtrip! [Final Update Completed]

Post by POD »

Got to love that spot on the bank at LAX Peter...Cant wait to get back there...

Happy New Year ,

Kev W
Tiger Tiger!

Downes0106
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Re: 2010 Throwback... Californian Christmas Roadtrip! [Final Update Completed]

Post by Downes0106 »

Great shots, and a great trip report. Thanks for sharing.
Scott

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Canon 100-400MM IS, 70-200MM plus some wide-angle/macro stuff

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Blackbird
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Re: 2010 Throwback... Californian Christmas Roadtrip! [Final Update Completed]

Post by Blackbird »

Many thanks Peter - looks like a great trip.

Andy

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