2016 Trips

24th January - 1st February 2016
Japan Trip

It had been two years since our last trip to Japan, there had been many changes to the colours and operators out there so we decided to make another visit!

Sunday 24th January 2016
MAN - Paris CDG - Tokyo Narita

Early morning saw Ashley and I departing Manchester just after 6am on board Flybe Emb.175 G-FBJJ (my first Embraer flight!) for the short hop to Paris CDG where we had a near six hour layover between flights, the weather in Paris was poor and with not much of interest taxiing past T2's M Gates very few pics were taken, the highlights were the pair of Vietnam A350's, VN-A888 & VN-A889, my first "in service" examples. It was also nice to catch the special "signature" Alitalia A320 in new colours, EI-DTJ.

a very poor 18 added to the book made our time here rather long and boring so we were very pleased when we boarded Air France B777-200 F-GSPU for our AF276 direct to Tokyo Narita, we departed CDG at 14.14 local for the 11.5 hour flight.

Monday 25th January 2016 
Tokyo Narita

We arrived in a sunny Tokyo Narita just before 8am, sadly our case had not made the flight so after quite a long time filling out paperwork etc we finally got on to the terrace at T1 at around 09.30.
The weather was superb for the rest of the day with unbroken sunshine, we split our day between the T1 and T2 terraces where the following pics were taken.......

My first Scoot B787-9 Dreamliner, 9V-OJF

TransAsia had upgraded to an A330 instead of the A320 seen on our last visit.

ANA "Star Wars R2-D2 / BB-8" special B767-300 JA604A

Nice to catch the Mongolian B767-300 JU-1021 instead of the B737-800 they used last time we visited.

My first American B787 Dreamliner, N808AN.

 A superb afternoon with some lovely new subjects, eighty new numbers in the book too which was a great start!
We stayed at the Narita Rest House once again which is just a few minutes walk from Terminal 1.

Tuesday 26th January 2016 
Tokyo Narita

We were back on T1 terrace as soon as it opened at 07.00 and were blessed with another full day of blue skies and sunshine, the following were taken before moving over to T2 mid morning when the sun moved around.

Great to catch the superb new scheme of Air Calin in the early morning sun,

Vietnam Airlines B787-9 Dreaminer VN-A865 taxies for departure,

A very nice surprise as Centurion's B744F N902AR landed just before we left the T1 terrace!

As the sun had already moved too far around we took the terminal transfer bus around to T2 and made our way to the left hand deck for the afternoon,

China Eastern A320 B-6639 in their "Expo 2010" scheme was great to see again, when we saw it last in Shanghai in 2014 our pics were terribly backlit!

Sadly the Air New Zealand "All Blacks" B787-9 Dreamliner ZK-NZE landed on the other side meaning a long range shot in to the setting sun!
I tried for a taxiing night shot when it departed but it didn't turn out too well!!

A great second day with many more new subjects caught by the camera, only sixty one new numbers added to the log though before we retired to the Rest House again for the night.

Wednesday 27th January 2016 
Tokyo Narita.

Another repeat of the last two days ..... virtually unbroken sunshine all day long so we again started on the T1 deck until mid morning,

Nice to catch the Asiana Cargo B767-300 Freighter HL7507, sadly by this time the sun had gone around too far!

It was then back over to Terminal 2 and the left hand deck for a couple of hours,

A quick run to the right hand T2 deck to catch the Finnair "Marimekko" A330 OH-LTO when it pushed back for departure,

Cathay Pacific Cargo's B747-400F B-LIA arrived late afternoon in their brand new scheme, it even generated interest from the Cathay Pacific ground as crew seen below!!

That was the end of another day, once again some new pics for the camera and the new registration tally was even lower at only forty three today.

Thursday 28th January 2016 
Tokyo Narita - Osaka Kansai.
We were up very early this morning to check in at T2 with Jetstar Japan for our flight over to Osaka Kansai, we were through to departures fairly quickly and by 06.30 we were boarding A320 JA08JJ, only four new numbers were made before departure at 07.20 local.

We landed at Kansai at 08.30 local and made our way straight to the superb Observation Deck at the far end of runway 24 Left. The views from here really are great but sadly for most of the day you are facing the sun meaning photos are not the best, added to this was the fact the predominant runway usage is for 06 ops meaning the aircraft are distant. Anything taxiing up to the top of terminal one is within range so all is not lost.

China Postal B737-300 B-2525 departed high and straight in to the sun sadly!

My first sight of Taiwan's V-Air, A321 B-22608 climbing quickly off 06R.

My first China Airlines B777-300, B-18053 departing off 06R

Scoot use their B787-8's in to KIX instead of the B787-9's we saw in Tokyo.

My first Thai International B787-8, HS-TQF arriving long after dark!

A great day at a new airport for me, sadly the pics were not that good but at least a respectable 86 numbers hit the book! We stayed in the Nikko Hotel, Kansai Airport with a view over the terminal allowing some logging to be dones after dark.

Friday 29th January 2016 
Osaka Kansai - Fukuoka - Tokyo Haneda

We were up very early once again to check in for our Jetstar Japan flight down to Fukuoka, departure was scheduled at 08.00 so we had a little time in the departure lounge before boarding, sadly the weather was terrible with very low cloud and heavy rain. Only one subject worth raising the camera for, Air Asia X A330 9M-XXS but another twelve number added to the log book.

We departed at 08.20 on board A320 JA01JJ and arrived in Fukuoka just sixty seven minutes later where the weather was even worse, sadly it stayed that way all day with frequent heavy showers and very dull conditions ...... luckily the movements more than compensated though with the following photos taken.

We went to Fukuoka needing only four of the nine Fuji Dream Embraers, Orange (05FJ), Pale Blue (02FJ), Tea Green (08FJ) and Gold (09FJ), it was great to see the Pale Blue one parked up on stand when we landed, it pushed back just after we got to the terrace ...... one down, three to go!!
Then the Orange one arrived shortly after ..... two down, two to go!!!!

One aircraft type I was really hoping to see in FUK was one of the Japan Air Self Defense Force Kawasaki C1's, they are frequent visitors but we didn't see one on our last visit, I was over the moon when 68-1014 appeared through the murk on final approach .... 

After a short stay, JASDF C1 68-1014 taxied out and departed, a great sight and an even better sound!!

Late afternoon the Tea Green Fuji Dream landed ....... 
three down and only one now required!!!
Sadly after looking at Flight Radar we saw that JA09FJ (Gold) was flying Nagoya to Kumamoto so we wouldn't be fleeting them this time .... or would we???

One of my highlights of the day .....
I finally managed to catch one of the two JTA "Whale" scheme 737-400's.

After watching JA09FJ struggling to get in to Kumamoto (due to fog) we were over the moon to see it heading towards Fukuoka ..... it arrived late afternoon and was one diversion I was very pleased to see, I am sure the passengers didn't feel the same ..... 
We had succeeded in getting all of the fleet in just two trips!!!
Of course, typically after leaving Japan another "colour" has been delivered to the airline .... JA10FJ which is Silver ..... we will have to go back!!!

After a superb day, albeit rather wet and grey, we made our way to check in for our ANA flight back up to Tokyo, nothing much of interest was seen after that and we boarded B777-200 JA712A (in Star Alliance colours) slightly late, departing just after 18.40 for the seventy minute flight to Haneda.
Some great subjects on the memory cards and a pretty decent thirty nine new numbers, I will certainly remember this day for long time!!

We arrived in Haneda shortly before 20.00 with the first aircraft in view being JA873A, Star Wars R2-D2 B787-9 of ANA! we had a couple of hours watching the movements in the dark and made another sixteen new frames before retiring for the night at The Royal Park Hotel, Haneda which is joined on to the international terminal and is a five minute walk from the observation deck.

Saturday 30th January 2016
Tokyo Haneda

Up early again and on to the international deck, we spent most of the day here due to the dull weather (and pouring rain first thing), there are many more international visitors here since our last visit however an awful lot of them at late night. 
ANA's Star Wars / R2-D2 B787-9 JA873A was towed over to its stand first thing in the pouring rain and both of the specail B787-8's were present.....

It was great to catch all three of ANA's special scheme B787's in one shot!

A very quick run over to the ANA deck at T2 for the arrival of B777-300 JA754A in the Pokemon colours and then back to the international deck again.

Just before nightfall both of the Japanese Air Self Defence Force B747-400's arrived, 20-1101 followed closely by 20-1102.

We made our way back to the hotel after most of the late international flights had arrived, another fifty new numbers added to the trip log.

Sunday 31st January 2016
Tokyo Haneda

Our final day in Japan, a long one too and rather boring as it turned out ...... having already spent quite a few days here on previous trips I didn't need many of the Japanese domestic airliners so the going was slow and sadly only twenty new registrations were logged, a very poor turnout!!

We got a little sun first thing so we spent some time on the JAL deck at Terminal One, timed nicely for the arrival of the Star Wars R2-D2 / BB-8 B767-300 JA604A!

Back over to the International Deck for the departure of the R2-D2 B787-9 again .....

Over to the ANA Deck at Terminal Two for the ANA "Peace Jet" B767-300 JA8674, a couple of Air Do's and another look at the ANA Pokemon B777-300 JA754A.

And then back again to the International Deck for the rest of the day where we caught a nice looking Korean BBJ, HL7227.

Cathay Pacific's first B777-300 to wear the new colour scheme, B-KPM

And that was it for our last bit of daylight in Japan for 2016, we carried on spotting from the international deck until check in opened for our flight home late evening, sadly only another twenty new numbers were added to the log on our final day so you can see that Haneda can be very repetitive, at least the photography side of things keeps it interesting!!

At midnight we boarded Air France B777-300 F-GSQA for AF293 back to Paris CDG and departed around 00.45 landing back in Europe just over twelve and a half hours later.

It was dark in Paris when we arrived at just gone 04.15 and we had just over five hours before our last flight back to MAN, it was very slow going with hardly any of interest and not being able to get near to any windows meant no photos were possible either! A very poor 10 new numbers were added to the log.

 The final tally for the whole trip was 435, that being pretty good overall considering this was our third trip to Japan in just four years and shows how much is new on the scene.
My thanks to Ashley and Adrian for their company and for the laughs and it was superb to meet up with Gary, Karl and Gav and the guys over from the USA.


11th July - Farnborough Airshow

A quick day trip down south to the Farnborough Airshow saw us leave the Manchester area very early morrning, 
a very quick stop at Heathrow on the way for a shot of the Austrian A321 OE-LBA wearing the "My Dreamteam" scheme for the Euro 2016 Football Finals but sadly the weather was very poor.

we continued on to Farnborough where the following were photographed before a torrential downpour which ended the show very early .... the place was a washout!!

After making an early exit from the show we went back to Heathrow for a couple of hours of number crunching before heading back north ......

A quick call in at Birmingham after hearing that Cavok Air An.12 UR-CKL was due to arrive as we were passing!

We arrived back in the Manchester area late evening, another 77 new numbers in the book and a few nice subjects in the camera.


20th and 21st July 2016 

A two day trip to Amsterdam saw us departing Manchester early morning on board Easyjet's 20th Anniversary special A320 G-EZOX .... arriving AMS shortly before 10am (after a last minute go-around due to an issue om short final.)

The days were spent taking it easy on the visitor terraces where the following were photographed on the Wednesday, sadly the temperatures were very high meaning many photos were affected by the heat haze........

Nice to catch the Dutch special B777-300 PH-BVA so soon!!

The Xiamen 787-8 Dreamliners were a nice new addition to the schedules since our last visit .... along with the China Southern A380's!

.............. and the following were photographed on the Thursday ......

Nordica was another nice new addition to AMS's flights .....

Very lucky to catch the Etihad Cargo B747-800F N855GT only a week or so before it was repainted in to the normal Atlas Air colours!

The following four were caught from the end of the pier whilst waiting for our return flight late evening ....

We departed Amsterdam on board Easyjet A319 G-EZFJ just after 22.30 arriving back in MAN an hour later, another great couple of days with another 101 added to the log book.


6th to the 8th September 2016 

A work related trip for a couple of days down at Luton saw a few new additions to the photo library,

Nice to catch the La Compagnie 757-200 F-HTAG just a few days before they ceased operations at Luton.

An additional 84 numbers in the book meant a good tally for the couple of days!


30th October to the 9th November 2016 
"Maldives Honeymoon"

My long suffering wife and I celebrated 25 years of marriage this year and took a 2nd Honeymoon, an amazing trip to the Maldives!
We departed Manchester on the morning of the 30th October on board B777-300 A6-ENS, EK22 to Dubai arriving just after 7pm local time.

We had a six hour connection in Dubai which was spent in the Marhaba lounge relaxing and watching the late evening and early morning movements.
Plenty of highlights seen including my first Thai A350 HS-THC, Sri Lankan A320 4R-ABM, Cebu Pacific A330 RP-C3345, China Southern B757 B-2812, Nepal Airlines A320 9N-AKW and my first Biman B737-800 S2-AHO. A total of 60 new numbers added to the log book during the transit stop.

We departed Dubai just after 03.00 on board B777-300 A6-EBT, EK656 

We arrived at Malé (Maldives) shortly before 08.00 local, with some great views on the approach in .....

Lots of the local commuter aircraft lined up as we landed but not easy to get any good photos as the window was very scratched!

We took a speedboat transfer to our small island which was 25 minutes away from the airport and spent nine nights relaxing with the added bonus of being able to see the odd arrival and departure from Malé along with lots of the Twin Otters passing by at low level!
The following were snapped from our water bungalow balcony during the holiday!

98 new numbers were logged during our stay here including all but two of the local "Twotters" which didn't fly while we were there.
The time in paradise passed way too quickly and the morning of the 9th November saw us back at Malé airport for our flights home ...... 
A few poor shots were taken from the windows in the cafe area of the departure lounge, the windows being filthy sadly!

We departed at 09.20 on board B777-300 A6-EBI, EK657 to Dubai,

........ and landed in Dubai just after midday .....
We had just over three hours in transit before our final flight of the trip, the time was spent looking around the shops and sitting by the windows where another 32 new numbers were logged and a few pics were taken.....

We boarded A380 A6-EOR for EK019 back to Manchester and taxied to the holding point for runway 30R, a short delay for takeoff allowed a few pics to snapped through the window!

We departed Dubai at 15.25 and arrived back at Manchester at 19.00.

An amazing Honeymoon for us both with a bonus of 180 registrations in my log book and a few new subjects caught by the camera!


29th November 2016 
A day trip to Dublin

A bargain fare of £4.00 return saw us off to Dublin for the day with Ryanair,
We departed Manchester just after 08.00 on board B737-800 EI-DHT arriving at 08.40.
We collected a hire car and made our way over to a lay-by alongside runway 28 where we spent the day in glorious sunshine.
The following were snapped during the following eight hours.

A great day out ending with another 14 new numbers in the log book, we departed Dublin at 19.45 on board B737-800 EI-DWJ arriving back in Manchester at 20.15.


15th December 2016 
A day trip to Hamburg

My final spotting trip of 2016 saw me making my first visit to this German airport and the day was spent on the terrace on top of the terminal, We booked a special offer fare with Eurowings which also gave me my first flight on a Canadair CRJ. We departed Manchester at 08.00 on CRJ900 D-ACNQ arriving at a very foggy HAM at 10.20 local.
The fog lingered for most of the day but visibility did improve as the day wore on.

The following photos were taken during our time there with a few nice movements making the day more interesting.

We departed for home at 18.50 on board CRJ900 D-ACNX arriving back in Manchester just after 19.00, another 34 numbers added to the year's logs!

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