Saturday, July 26, 2008

TSA commences trial of "Diamond Self-Select Lanes at Orange County (SNA)

John Wayne Airport (SNA) in cooperation with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) began a 30-day trial of the new "Diamond Self-Select Lanes" on Thursday July 24th. The trial lanes will be set-up at the Terminal A Security Checkpoint.

There will be three lanes established designated as "Expert," "Casual," and "Family/Special Assistance" based on the travelers needs and knowledge. In addition to the new lanes the first class screening lane will remain.

The TSA has implemented this program at 30 airports across the country and claim a resounding success with passengers and airlines according to Kathleen Roscher, Federal Security Director at John Wayne Airport.

The following are the exact designations of each catagory;

"Expert Traveler:" The expert traveler lane is for frequent travelers who know how to get through the checkpoint quickly and efficiently, are familiar with TSA procedures, and understand TSA's 3-1-1 liquid policy.

"Casual Traveler:" These passengers should be somewhat familiar with TSA procedures and travel at least once a year.

"Families and Special Assistance:" These passengers may or may not be familiar with TSA procedures but are traveling with small children and strollers, in large groups, may be elderly or require special assistance or extra time at the checkpoint.

Emirates A380 to visit Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

Emirates will operate its inaugural A380 flight to John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK) on August 1st which is also the first A380 commercial service to the United States. Following its arrival in New York, the A380 will commence a familiarisation tour to the west coast were it will pay visits to San Francisco International Airport (SFO) on August 4th and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on August 5th.

Guests will get a chance to view the aircraft close-up inside and out getting a look at Emirates world-class amenities and comfort. The carriers A380 fleet are configured with 489 seats in a three-class layout (14 first class, 76 business class, and 399 economy class).

Upon arrival in Los Angeles, the aircraft will park at the Flight Path Learning Center (the old Imperial Terminal) located on Imperial Highway where it will sit on display.

Above Photo: Emirates A380-861 F-WWSM (016) to be A6-EDC is seen at the Airbus factory in Toulouse, France still wearing its ambertech finish. (Photo by Robbie Shaw)

Friday, July 25, 2008

jetBlue cuts Ontario Airport (ONT) service

The once bright future of jetBlues Ontario Airport (ONT) operations has been quashed as the carrier announced on July 23 that the station would be closed in September after Labor Day. The carriers recently announced 2nd quarter earnings results totaling losses of $7 million dollars was a blow to the carrier and drove excutives to make the announcement that they would be putting a "flat-growth" plan into immediate effect with no further plans to expand or eliminate service except for the daily flight between Ontario Airport (ONT) and John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK).

C-17As for Qatar

As reported on my blog June 25th, the government of Qatar and Boeing announced on July 21st the sale of two C-17A's along with the purchase rights for two additional aircraft. The Qatar Armed Forces (QAF) will be the 4th international customer to operate the C-17A joining the British Royal Air Force (RAF), the Canadian Royal Air Force, and the Australian Royal Air Force. Currently there are 190 C-17A's in service worldwide with the United States Air Force (USAF) operating 176 as C-17A 07-7175 (P-175) was delivered today at Long Beach. Qatar is scheduled to take delivery of its first C-17A in the summer of 2009.

I'm Back!

The past couple weeks have been very busy at work and at home so I have been away from the blog for far to long so here we go.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

C-17A 07-7175 (P-175) makes first flight

New C-17A 07-7175 (P-175) flew for the first time yesterday afternoon 07/15/08. The aircraft destined for Dover Air Force Base performed a standard pre-delivery test flight returning to Long Baech Airport at 1651.

On Sunday 07/13/08 Presidential Candident Barrak Obama visited Southern California first speaking in San Diego during the morning hours. Heading north in the afternoon, he made a couple stops in the Laguna Beach area then headed to Long Beach Airport where he boarded his Midwest MD-81 and departed for Illinois.

Above Photos:

Boeing C-17A 07-7175 (P-175) sports fine lines as this 3/4 photo demonstrates. (Photo by Michael Carter)

This new C-17A is destined for Dover Air Force Base. (Photo by Michael Carter)

Midwest McDonnell Douglas MD-81 N804ME (48030/962) rolls for takeoff on Rwy 30, taking Presidential hopeful Barrak Obama to another campaign stop in Illinois. (Photo by Michael Carter)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Illinois One at Orange County (SNA)

I haven't had much time to update the blog as I have been very busy at work and currently working my 5th day of 11 days in a row. I did however manage to get a few shots of "Illinois One" N918WN as it overnighted in Orange County (SNA) on Friday night and originated out on Saturday morning bound for Las Vegas (LAS).

All Photos by Michael Carter

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Boeing offers C-17B to U.S. Army

Boeing is courting the U.S. Army with the C-17B a derivative of the U.S. Air Force C-17A Globemaster III. The C-17B will have a centerline landing gear, more powerful engines and redesigned flaps that will increase lift for short take-offs and landings. The C-17B will have a develpement price tag of $2.5 billion but Boeing argues that this is more cost effective than either the army's planned vertical take-off and landing Joint Heavy Lift rotorcraft or the Air Force's Advanced Joint Combat Air System plan for a short take-off and landing airlifter.

Boeing will present it's concept for the C-17B at the upcomig Farnbrough Air Show which begins on July 14th in Farnbrough, England.

Air Force to get 15 additional C-17As

The Senate passed a $162 billion war spending bill on June 27 which includes 15 additional C-17As. Approximately $3.6 billion of the $162 billion bill will be used for the purchase and production of the aircraft. The bill was approved by a 92-6 vote but still has to go to the White House for President Bush to sign which he has indicated that he would.

This 15 plane order will extend the production of the C-17A out until August 2010. The original 190 plane order is scheduled to be completed in August 2009 so this budget approval is welcome news to the employees here in Long Beach. Boeing is hopeful that congress will add an additional 15 C-17As in its fiscal year 2009 budget but must wait until fall when the bill comes up for a vote.

Above Photo: Boeing C-17A 00-0172 (P-72) of Elmendorf Air Force Base taxies for a Rwy 32 departure on a gloomy afternoon in Anchorage (ANC). (Photo by Michael Carter)

Long Beach Airport (LGB) Spotting Report

Following is a list of aircraft spotted at Long Beach Airport (LGB) on Tuesday July 8th, 2008 between the hours of 3:45pm & 7:25pm:

Business Jets:


G450 N380GA (cn 4080)

G450 N950SW (cn 4109)

G550 HB-JGC (cn 5175)

G550 VP-BBO (cn 5123)

G550 N534QS (cn 5103)

G550 N990GA (cn 5200)

Boeing Business Jet (BBJ)

737-7BC N129QS (30329/384)


680 "Sovereign" N973AC (680-0195)

All Other Aircraft (except GA):

UPS Boeing 767-34AF(ER) N311UP (27741/632)

UPS Boeing 767-34AF(ER) N322UP (27748/678)

FedEx Airbus A310-304(F) N817FD (552)

jetBlue Airbus A320-232 N638JB (2802) "Blue Begins with Blue"

JetBlue Airbus A320-232 N569JB (2075) "Blues Brothers"

jetBlue Airbus A320-232 N634JB (2710) "B*L*U*E*"

jetBlue Airbus A320-232 N506JB (1235) "Wild Blue Yonder"

jetBlue Airbus A320-232 N561JB (1927) "La Vie en Blue"

jetBlue Airbus A320-232 N643JB (2871) "Blue Jersey"

jetBlue Airbus A320-232 N652JB (3029) "Out With The Old In With The Blue"

jetBlue Embraer ERJ-190-100LR IGW N192JB (19000014) "Yes I'm A Natural Blue"

jetBlue Embraer ERJ-190-100LR IGW N236JB (19000035) "Blue By Design"

Alaska Airlines McDonnell Douglas MD-83 N944AS (53019/1783)

Delta Connection Bombardier CRJ700(701ER) N613SK (10038)

USAirways Express Bombardier CRJ900ER N909FJ (15009)

ExpressJet Airlines Embraer ERJ-145LR N15555 (145594)

ExpressJet Airlines Embraer ERJ-145LR N13550 (145575)

Ameriflight Beech 1900C N34RZ (UC-151)

Above Photos:

Top Photo: Gulfstream G450 N380GA (cn 4080) arrives in Long Beach on a lovely afternoon. (Photo by Michael Carter)

Middle Photo: Citation 680 "Sovereign" N973AC (680-0195) climbs from Rwy 30 bound for Ontario (ONT). (Photo by Michael Carter)

Bottom Photo: Ameriflight Beech 1900C N34RZ (UC-151) arrives in Long Beach with a load of packages connecting to a UPS flight. (Photo by Michael Carter)

ExpressJet Airlines to end branded service

Long Beach Airport (LGB) will see a reduction of airline service as ExpressJet Airlines president and chief executive Jim Ream announced yesterday that the company would be ending its branded service as of September 2nd. "If we had any other choice, we would not take this difficult action." "However, rising fuel prices has made the operation impossible to sustain."

The carrier will continue to operate with 205 aircraft branded as Continental Express as well as to continue its charter flight operations with a fleet of 30 aircraft through ExpressJet Corporate Aviation.

ExpressJet Airlines commenced operations in early 2007 under it's own brand to put a quarter of its fleet to use following the cancellation of a capacity purchase agreement by Continental Airlines.

ExpressJet Airlines Embraer ERJ-145LR N14568 (cn 145628) arrives in Long Beach on a simply gorgeous afternoon. (Photo by Michael Carter)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Horizon Air Announces seasonal service to Mammoth Lakes (MMH)

Horizon Airlines will begin selling tickets for it's seasonal service between Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and the Mammoth Lakes ski resort area begining July 14th. The carrier will use the 70 seat Bombardier DHC-8-401 Q400 for the service which will operate into Mammoth Yosemite Airport (MMH). The schedule for the once a day service which will run from December 14th 2008 until April 12th 2009 is as follows:

LAX-MMH 1420-1525
MMH-LAX 1605-1710

Horizon Air Bombardier DHC-8-401 Q400 N425QX (cn 4039) is seen arriving in Los Angeles on a lovely summer afternoon sporting the carriers 25th Anniversary livery. (Photo by Michael Carter)

Friday, July 4, 2008

V Australia announces new Los Angeles service

Austalian carrier V Australia announced July 3rd, 2008 that it would commence new long haul non-stop service connecting Brisbane, Queensland Australia (BNE) to Los Angeles (LAX) begining on March 1st, 2009. This new service will be in addition to its new service between Sydney, Australia and Los Angeles which begins on December 15th, 2008.

The carrier will operate three weekly flights between Brisbane and Los Angeles using the 777-300ER aircraft configured in a three class layout offering international Business Class, International Premium Economy Class, and international Economy Class.

B-1 Bomber arrives in Long Beach

A Rockwell B-1 "Lancer" bomber 86-0125 (cn 85) arrived at Long Beach Airport (LGB) at 7:45pm on Wednesday July 2nd, 2008. The aircraft scheduled to be here for several months will receive upgrades and modifications mainly to its wing area.

A crowd of approximately 100 people gathered in the DeVry parking lot to see the aircrafts arrival which was originally scheduled for 1:00pm but due to a mechanical issue was delayed with a new arrival time of 5:30pm but again was pushed back. Long Beach Airport Operations notified me at about 5:00pm that the aircraft was in fact in the air and would arrive at 7:30pm. At 7:25pm myself and Doug Kerr spotted the aircraft flying over Orange County making a standard approach towards Long Beach touching down at 7:45pm to the delight of the gathered crowd.

B-1 "Lancer" 86-0125 (cn 85) on short final to Rwy 30 just as the sun sinks into the Pacific Ocean. (Photo by Michael Carter)

Bomb Threat at Los Angeles International (LAX)

A person claiming to be a terrorist was arrested at LAX on Wednesday July 2nd following his claim that he had a bomb in his backpack. The suspect approached an airport police officer outside of the Tom Bradley International terminal and stated that "I'm a terrorist, I have a bomb in my bag and i'm going to explode it now!" The suspect then placed the bag at the officers feet and was immediately arrested. The LAPD Bomb Squad responed and fired a water cannon at the bag in an attempt to detonate any explosives but non were found.

The incident created delays of up to two hours for approximately 131 inbound and outbound flights effecting more 20,000 holiday travelers but no inbound flights were diverted away from LAX.

Vehicle traffic was a mess as the upper and lower roads were closed for three hours outside of the Tom Bradley International Terminal, Terminal Three (Alaska Airlines, Horizon Airlines, Frontier Airlines, and Midwest Airlines), and Terminal Four (American Airlines and American Eagle Airlines). Roads were re-opened at around 1:00pm but traffic remained snarled for a couple more hours.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

LA/Palmdale Regional Airport (PMD) gets more flights.

United Airlines has announced that it will increase service between LA/Palmdale Regional Airport (PMD) and San Francisco International Airport (SFO) beginning September 3rd. This new service brings to four the number of daily roundtrip flights between the two cities. United Express (Skywest Airlines) operates the 30-seat Embraer 120ER Brasilia on the route on behalf of United Airlines.