2012 Trips

16th to the 21st December 2012
Istanbul (via Germany).

Went for a four day trip to Istanbul flying Lufthansa, out via Munich and back via Frankfurt, 
Our trip also proved that it is always worth paying that little bit more to fly on the legacy carriers these days ... more of that later !!

We departed MAN on board A320 D-AIPL at 11.10, arriving at Munich just under two hours later.
Due to the fairly long stop-over we went up to the T2 terrace for a few hours.

Munich 16th December 2012.



We departed Munich at 20.30 on board A320 D-AIPS for our 2 hour 10 minute flight to Istanbul, arriving late night.

Istanbul (Ataturk) 17th December 2012.

Up early the next morning and we made our way to the Fly Inn shopping mall which is situated overlooking runways 33 Left and 33 Right, The mall doesn’t open until 10.00 each morning so we parked up in the car park and watched the arrivals and departures from the car.
Once the mall opened we made our base for the day on the food court level and spotted / photographed from the outside terrace.
The weather was very poor with low cloud and rain almost all day long.

Istanbul (Ataturk) 18th December 2012.

Up early again and back at the Fly Inn for the day, weather was a lot better although still cloudy all day, Once you start clearing your Turkish Fleet it can seem quite slow going although there are always a few odd balls to liven things up.

Istanbul (Ataturk) 19th December 2012.

A misty and murky morning which cleared eventually but once again full cloud cover but still a few nice subjects passing the camera.

Istanbul (Ataturk) 20th December 2012.

Our final day and this is when the fun started ........ when we got up it was sleeting and very cold, during the morning the sleet turned to snow and got heavier until the visibility was very poor. To the airports credit operations continued throughout with only the odd runway sweep meaning only brief runway changes.

Our flight back to Frankfurt was scheduled for 17.15 departure so we left the Fly Inn just before 15.00. Our inbound aircraft hadn’t left FRA by the time we got to the airport so we were changed to the Munich flight, this a/c then diverted to Ankara due to the weather at Istanbul so we changed back to the Frankfurt again. Our aircraft (A320 D-AIQB) finally arrived at IST around 19.00 and we pushed back for departure around 20.00 to begin the very slow taxi to the de-icing pan, eventually rotating at 22.15 !!

Of course, Frankfurt closes for the night and we weren’t able to make it back for midnight so we were diverted to Cologne, arriving there at 00.15 local !!

Lufthansa arranged coaches to take us to Frankfurt, arriving there at 03.15 where we were rebooked on to the afternoon flight back to MAN and put up in the Sheraton Hotel for some sleep. You don’t get that sort of service with the LoCo’s !!

Frankfurt 21st December 2012.

Here are two views from the hotel room at the Sheraton (Frankfurt Airport).

We were up again around 08.00 but the view of fog outside the window meant another hour in bed would be better.... We then had breakfast and made our way over to the McDonalds in T2 to view the movements before making our way airside to the gates around 13.00 to photograph the Thai A380 and the “Smiling China” B777-300.

We departed Frankfurt at 16.20 on board the newest A319 D-AIBI and arrived back at MAN at 16.45 local with another 136 Frames and 40 Scrapes in the log book.
A great trip, dampened only by the eternal cloudy weather and of course the snow on the last day, but thoroughly enjoyed.


17th to the 19th November 2012
A couple of days in Sharm-el-Sheikh.

A couple of days in Sharm-el-Sheikh (Egypt) for a rest and to enjoy the sun with my Wife saw us staying at the Hilton (Sharks Bay) which has a block which overlooks the airport and runway.
Great views can be had with superb light early morning although the heat haze starts to affect photos from around 09.00 with the sun moving around to produce backlit conditions in the late afternoon.

We flew out on Monarch A321 G-OZBE arriving at nightfall so it was up early the next morning to spend a short time watching the arrivals before breakfast, then a couple more short sessions during the day in between relaxing in the pool saw the following pass the lens.

Unfortunateley it was still a bit too dark when this US Army Sherpa departed ....

Very nice to see this colourful pair of DonbassAero A320's landing one after another !

A view over the ramp as four Orenair 737-800's were on the ground together.

Around lunchtime the wind changed direction so arrivals and departures were from the other side, this makes things more difficult as a building in the way means you get no warning of anything going past.

Nice to catch the "oddball" Redwings TU204 RA-64017 which still wears the basic ATU Airlines scheme.

Ouch ..... damn lamp posts !!   One of the downsides of this spot.

This view of part of Terminal 1 (with the stunning mountain backdrop) shows how small the gap is between the lamp posts ..... they can find their way in to a lot of shots !!

And a final trio from the Saturday as night fell with the Monarch taken well after dark.

Up early again on the Monday morning allowed this selection to be seen before and after breakfast and then back to enjoying a few more relaxing hours by the pool.

And finally this trio were caught early afternoon just before checking out for the trip home,

We departed back home after dark on board Monarch A321 G-OZBH.
A superb couple of days relaxing in the warmth and sun with the added bonus of some great schemes to photograph and another 46 new entries in the log book !!


19th to the 26th May 2012
A week in Florida.

Having always done Florida as a family holiday a great deal on flights allowed a week to be spent out there as a spotting trip with my Son and a couple of friends.

We departed a very dull MAN at 10am on the morning of Saturday the 19th May on board Monarch Airlines A330 G-SMAN for the 8 hour 55 minute flight over.
After collecting the hire car we did a quick run around the fence at Sanford then it was then off to Orlando International where we spent a couple of hours on level 9 of the Multi Storey car Park.
We stayed overnight in the Travelodge in Kissimmee which is just up the road from Kissimmee Gateway airport and it was then off to Tampa where we had an hour or so on top of the Terminal Top Car Park.

Tampa 20th May 2012.

Crossing the bridge over to Clearwater we made a brief stop ,
 We then carried on south on the I75 and pulled off for a quick stop for the DC3’s at Buckingham Field and then on to a very quiet Ft. Myers.  
Back on the I75 and a couple of hours later we reached Miami, our base for the next five nights.
We stayed at the Hilton, Miami Airport in room number 1020 (a suite with balcony) which overlooks most of the airport and with the aid of the SBS box nothing is missed except when the torrential rain means you can barely see the runway in front of you!

Miami Intl. 20th May 2012.

Over the following four days we spent most of our time at Miami,
spotting from the balcony and out taking photos at El Dorado and “the holes”, we also made a few trips out to the local fields of Opa Locka, Ft Lauderdale (Hollywood and Exec) and Tamiami.

Miami Intl. 21st May 2012. (Early morning)

Opa Locka 21st May 2012.

Miami Intl. 21st May 2012 (Midday)

Ft. Lauderdale Intl. 21st May 2012. (Afternoon)

Miami Intl. 21st May 2012 (Evening).

Miami Intl. 22nd May 2012. (Early Morning)

Miami Intl. 22nd May 2012. (Afternoon & Evening)

Miami Intl. 23rd May 2012. (AM)

Ft. Lauderdale Intl. 23rd May 2012 (Midday).

Tamiami 24th May 2012. (AM)

Miami Intl. 24th May 2012. (PM)

Miami Intl. 25th May 2012. (AM)

Friday morning arrived and it was time to head back north for our flight home from Sanford the following afternoon,
The following were seen from the balcony and perimiter before making our way to Ft. Lauderdale.

The *Star* of the week for photo subjects !!
Still parked up in storage after the airline had failed.

Ft. Lauderdale Intl. 25th May 2012. (Mid Morning)
A couple of hours on the Hibiscus Garage saw the following.

We then left South Florida heading back north to Orlando via a quick stop at Boca Raton which is just off the I95 North-bound and an hour on top of the Multi Storey at West Palm, again, just off the I95 north-bound. We arrived back in the Orlando area late afternoon on the Friday where we had a quick run up Tradeport Drive to log the Biz and bits before once again spending the night at the Travelodge in Kissimmee. 

Up early on the final morning and another quick visit to Kissimmee before heading up to Orlando International for a couple of hours on the Multi storey.
Orlando Intl. 26th May 2012. (Mid Morning)

Just two worth photographing although the sun and heat meant they are just record shots !!

We then headed north back to Sanford where we dropped off the hire car (having clocked up 1,200 miles), We checked in for our Monarch airlines flight back to MAN and spent a couple of hours in the departure lounge where there wasn't a lot to see!!

Orlando Sanford 26-05-2012. (Early Afternoon)

A trio of nice looking DC10's in storage on the far side of the runway,
however the heat haze makes decent shots very difficult !!

We departed Sanford a few minutes early, on board G-SMAN (yet again) and arrived back at MAN eight hours later.

A good week with some nice photos and a total of 761 new numbers hitting the book, 672 Frames and 89 Paint Scrapes although I always seem to make more on my two week family holidays !!!


8th to the 10th July 2012
Fairford and Farnborough Airshows.

We had a three day trip down south for the airshows at Fairford (RIAT) and Farnborough (FIA), the weather was very mixed with sunshine and showers and a lot of cloud !!  We set off from home at "daft o'clock" on the Sunday morning and headed straight to Fairford.
A quick run around the static display allowed me to photograph all of the visitors (I only do transports) and once done we left and headed down to Heathrow for some civil metal !

Fairford 8th July 2012.

And definitely the best looking aircraft of the show for me ......
the Colombian C.130

Only a couple of photos taken at Heathrow later that day......

Farnborough 9th July 2012

Up early the next morning and off to the Farnborough Airshow,
the weather was quite poor on the day meaning a lot of dull photos !!
A good look around the static and then we departed not long after the flying display started, heading back to Heathrow for some more Civil aircraft.

Only one shot taken at Heathrow that evening.......

Heathrow 10th July 2012

The last day of the trip was spent "number crunching" at Heathrow,
not a great deal to photograph today as the weather was quite dull and grey but I did make the effort for my first Saudi Arabian 777-300 and the departure of the Rossiya IL62 !!

We departed back home early evening with another 184 numbers in the book
and one or two nice subjects in the camera.


11th to the 13th May 2012
"Clipper Day" visit to Milan.

We drove down to Luton very early on the Friday morning to catch our Easyjet flight to Milan Malpensa, A319 G-EZFH operated EZY2283 (3 hours late!!) getting us in to MXP around 12.30 local time.
After collecting our hire car we made our way over to Linate Airport, and spent the next few hours shooting arrivals and departures at the end of runway 36.

The next morning we were back at Malpensa to shoot some arrivals and departures before going on the "Clipper Day" ramp tour..............

The following were then taken from the Ramp Tour where we were located between the two runways for most of the day before a quick run around the ramps.

Off to McDonalds for a quick bite to eat and the following were shot from the windows.....

Followed by another run up to Linate which turned out to be very quiet on a saturday evening....

The next morning the weather was not very good so we had a couple of hours by the fence at Malpensa.......

.........before going back to Linate for a few hours before the flight home........

We drove back to Malpensa, dropped off the hire car and flew back to Luton on Easyjet's A319 G-EZAG, arriving back at LTN around 22.30 before the long drive back to MAN !
A fairly good weekend with some great company, some nice subjects in the camera and another 153 new registrations for the log-book !


15th March 2012 - A day at London Heathrow.

We made a visit for the Air New Zealand "All Blacks" B777-300, and managed to catch quite a few that I was after. The day started with a lot of fog over the airport which slowly burned off, just in time for ZK-OKQ landing on 27 Right !!

Around 11.30am we made our way around to 27 Left for some departure shots but the fog was still lingering over there..... luckily it burned away after a short time.

It was then over to Myrtle Avenue to photograph landing aircraft from the 3pm runway change where the following were seen before departing back home around 5.30pm.